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All About Laminate

Choosing Laminate Flooring

» Flooring Material
» Flooring System
» Finishing Up
» Design Decisions

Stuff You'll Need

» Calculating Flooring Needs
» Tools for Laminate Flooring

Getting It Done

» Preparing the Room
» Smoothing The Subfloor
» Dealing With Moisture
» Installing Flooring
» Working Around Obstacles
» Finishing the Job
» Reinstalling Shoe Moldings
» Dealing With Steps
» Maintaining the Floor

Additional Articles

» What is Laminate Flooring?
» Facts About Glueless Laminate Flooring 
» Flooring Underlayment - Types and Uses
» Measuring for Moldings/Trim
   

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Maintaining The Laminate Floor

Laminate flooring is touch and durable, and usually easy to keep clean.  Just sweep or vacuum.  Damp mop when needed with a bit of ammonia or vinegar in water.  Don't flood the floor, as this can cause damage.

Some common products - such as soap, floor polish, scouring powder, and steel wool - are not recommended for laminate flooring.  They can damage the wear layer.  For tough stains, use the manufacturer's recommended product.  Test any product you're unsure of in a less visible area.

Mats at exterior doorways reduce tracked-in dirt.  Felt pads under furniture legs and soft rubber rollers instead of metal or plastic ones help prevent dents and scratches.

Filling Small Dents

Because some marks and dents are unavoidable, flooring manufacturers sell fillers for small surface repairs.  Most fillers are types of finishing putty, color-coordinated to match the flooring.  They resist wear and moisture just like the flooring does.

First clean and dry the area to be repaired.  Protect the surrounding area with clean plastic tape.  Then fill the dent with putty.  Before the putty hardens, wipe away the excess with a cloth dampened with water or acetone, following your manufacturer's instructions.  Remove the tape.  Dry putty is next to impossible to remove, so clean up well while it's still wet.

More serious damage probably requires replacing planks.  Hire a professional laminate-flooring installer.

Stubborn Stains

Some stains need more than elbow grease.  The chart below offers a few suggestions.  Citrus-based cleaners work well for stains that water alone won't fix.  Some manufacturers also recommend acetone. 

Stain Solution
Chocolate Rub with lukewarm water and a cloth dampened with manufacturer's cleaner.
Tar Rub with a cloth dampened with citrus-based cleaner or acetone.  Wipe with a clean, damp cloth
Candle Wax Let harden; remove with a plastic scraper.  An automobile ice scraper works well.
India Ink, paint Rub with a cloth dampened with citrus-based cleaner or acetone.  Wipe with a clean, damp cloth.

 

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