Has your laminate floor lost the luster and shine which compelled you to go for that flooring in the first place? You might be convincing yourself with the time taking a toll on your laminate floor, clouding it irrevocably over time. Well, that’s partially true, but that dullness you are seeing is absolutely not unpreventable. So you are not fooling yourself if you want to revive the shine of your laminate floor, just like the time you got it installed.
Laminate floors are authentic and a good choice, whether it’s their lustrous surface or durability. They are easy to maintain and able to last for decades with their shine preserved if cared for properly and carefully (see if laminate needs to acclimate before installation). That’s the thing, proper and right care, that doesn’t mean it involves lots of effort and frantic scrubbing, rather some knowledge about the basics, things you shouldn’t do.
Ways to Shine the Laminate Floors
While you can whitewash the laminate floor to make it look as rustic as hardwood floor, in no way does it mean that you should apply the same cleaning methods we mentioned in our post on cleaning the hardwood floors. The former has a thin surface layer that is vulnerable to damage because of some small mistakes. Also, you cannot have the surface refinished like a hardwood floor; in extreme cases, you might need to replace the laminate floor.
So to avoid the need for costly replacements and to keep your laminate floors intact with their shine, go through this article. It covers almost all the details necessary to know about maintaining the laminate floor, whether you have just got it installed or it’s been long. You might be surprised to know how easy that was, and also, with the little mistakes, you might not realize you were making.
1. Vacuum or Sweep the Floor Regularly
The most important and primary practice to keep your laminate floor shiny is to vacuum, clean, or sweep it regularly. The buildup of dirt and dust can make the laminate floor dull over time. So it’s best to clean any filth as soon as possible and keep the residue from building up and dust from leaving any marks on the floor.
Everyday activities in the house, particularly in the presence of kids and pets, can get the floor dirty, in which case you have to sweep the laminate floor more often. Laminate flooring has a thin layer of wood covering the synthetic floorboard, and the surface is pretty susceptible to damage. Thus, avoid using any harsh cleaning tools over it. Nonetheless, if your laminate gets damaged, our repair guide is a must-read to know what to do in such unstance.
2. Clean with a laminate cleaner
You can use a good laminate cleaner bought from the market, which will leave your floor shinier. Don’t fall for any expensive floor cleaner; get the one manufactured for this particular flooring specifically. Don’t use cleaners with harsh and aggressive solutions; these can dull the floor further.
You can also opt for homemade cleaners, like a solution of vinegar, alcohol, and water, or only vinegar and water. Use equal parts of all three ingredients to form the mixture. These solutions make good laminate floor shiners, keeping the brightness and shine of the floor alive. However, their results are not instant but eventual. You will most likely need to use these multiple times a month for noticeable results.
You need to use a spray bottle to apply the liquid cleaners on the laminate floor, whether the cleaner is a homemade one or otherwise. Spray a small amount of liquid at a time; as mentioned above, excessive wetting and moisture can cause the floor to warp. To wipe the cleaner, use a micro-fiber mop or a soft, non-abrasive piece of cloth or towel. Through this way, you can remove the long built-up residue and dirt from the floor, which can be making your laminate floor appear dull.
3. Polish the Floor
After the floor is dry or only slightly damp, polish your laminate floor by buffing it dry with a clean and soft dry cloth or towel. Examine in the light and see if there are any areas that are still dull; use a microfiber cloth to rub those areas. Rub one section at a time that will reveal a nice shiny finish on the laminate floor.
Preventing Laminate Floor from Getting Dull
Avoid Excessive Water
Excessive water can severely ruin laminate floors; it can reach down to the floor joists and planks and can cause the floor to swell, buckle or warp. Instantly wipe any liquid spill since laminate floors are not totally waterproof. Frequent spills and moistening can damage the floor. After using a laminate floor cleaner, damp-mop the floor and make sure to wipe out all the excess water leaving the floor just a little damp and allowing it to air dry.
Make sure, while damp mopping the floor, the room has proper ventilation. Absolutely avoid applying a water-based cleaning method, like using a mop soaked with water from a bucket or steam mops (see best steam mops here). Steam cleaning will strip off the luster finish from the laminate floor because of too much heat.
Don’t Overuse a Cleaner or Use the Wrong Ones
Using too much cleaner even if it’s the right one can be a problem for your laminate floor, and absolutely don’t use the wrong cleaner. The use of excessive cleaner can cause cleaner’s build-up and will make the floor sticky hence nonshiny, even after you mop it. The wrong cleaner can do more harm than good to your laminate floor.
Don’t just buy any floor cleaner available in the market; specifically choose that has been formulated for laminate flooring. Others might contain soaps, oils, or other harsh chemicals that will contribute to dullness. You can also safely go for DIY cleaners, a mixture of vinegar and water, or add alcohol as well if there are some tough stains to clean like nail paint, shoe polish, or ink. Don’t worry about the smell of vinegar; it will only last for around 10 minutes.
Try to keep the windows shut and the curtains and blinds down of the house as much as possible, don’t let the laminate floor be exposed to sunlight unnecessarily, at least. Direct sun rays on the floor, on a daily basis, can cause streaks over it and eventually cause fading of the luster and color. Particularly if you notice too much bright sunlight falling on the floor, protect it by keeping the curtains down.
Use the Right Cleaning Tools and Methods
You can definitely not use any cleaning tool available to you on your laminate floor. The surface is pretty vulnerable to scratches and damage, so don’t use stiff or harsh cleaning tools over it. Avoid using vacuums with a brush roll or beater bar over the laminate floor; they have harsh and stiff bristles designed to stir up and loosen the dirt.
Hence, these can damage the laminate flooring by scraping and scratching it, plus, will build up the dirt. Don’t use abrasive cleaning pads or harsh scrubbers, like steel wool or sponge, and try to frantically rub the laminate floor; you will not get the shine that way but quite the opposite, guaranteed. Rather use a mop, but make sure it’s not abrasive; use a microfibre mop or a soft broom. A soft microfiber or lint-free cloth will also do the work.
Don’t Use Wax or Polish
Don’t ever use wax or polish over the laminate floor to clean it; these are absolutely unnecessary and will only conceal the shine of the surface, diminishing it. Using wax on a laminate floor will cause dirt to build up. Rather than restoring the shine of the floor, the wax will do the opposite, make it look duller.
Using Floor Mats at the Entrance
Using a floor mat at the entrance is a nice effective preventative measure to avoid dust from being carried inside the house. Especially if you actively host a bunch of guests in your house, a frequently dirty and dusty floor is inevitable. A dust-trap mat will trap the outside debris, which can otherwise cause scratches on the floor when stepped above. Hence lessening the chance of a dull floor because of this particular reason.
Simple Measures/Tips to Keep Laminate Floor Shiny
- Install protective pads on the bottom of the furniture, like chairs, tables, or others, placed over the laminate floor, as they can cause scratches on the floor.
- Read the instructions and guidelines provided by the manufacturers about the materials used in the flooring; there can be specifications. These guidelines and instructions are also often available on the companies’ websites.
- Vacuum the laminate floor at least once a week if your house doesn’t have many occupants and you don’t find the floor exactly dusty. Increase the weekly cleaning if there are more occupants and pets around.
- Mop your laminate floor once a month to preserve the shine and keep the floor fresh. Use soft, microfiber mops and consider the cleaning methods mentioned above.
- Don’t take long to clean or wipe the stains or spills on the laminate floor, don’t let them sit for long. Deal with them as soon as possible, particularly if there is a liquid spill, to avoid long-term damage.
- It’s best if you instruct the occupants and guests to remove and leave their shoes outside before entering the house or arrange clean house shoes for using inside the house.
- Try to avoid using products that don’t mention being made for laminate flooring; those might contain harsh chemicals and oils, which can ruin the layer of the floor by forming streaks over it.
- In case of spills and stains like those of candle wax or chewing gum, use ice put inside a plastic bag to rub it over chewing gum or candle wax; when the stain is hardened, scrape it with a knife or scraper. Stains of ink, nail polish, or paint can be removed using alcohol, as in the homemade solution mentioned above. Although, it’s best to avoid using such items on the floor.
- If you have pets in the house, trim their nails, or those can scratch the floor while your pets move around the house. Pet food dishes can also potentially cause marks and scratches if placed on the laminate floor; pay attention to that as well.
- If you have plant pots placed on the laminate floor, be careful about those too. Make sure those are not overfilled with water and install pads under them as well.
How to add shine to laminate flooring at a low cost?
There’s a simple, low-cost DIY method to restore the shine of your laminate floor. The homemade solution requires equal parts water, vinegar, and alcohol; you can add half a cup of each. Make the solution in a spray bottle for the right application. That is an effective way to reveal the shine of your laminate floor.
Why does my laminate floor look dull?
There are multiple potential reasons that can cause your laminate floor to appear dull. Common ones include dust and dirt residue build-up, wrong cleaning methods, and tools used on the floor. Not vacuuming the floor regularly despite the need, use of water-based cleaning methods are some common mistakes that most people tend to make.
What is the best cleaner for laminate floors?
There is a large number of cleaners available in the market that are specially formulated for laminate floors. Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner is one of the best out there; it doesn’t have strong chemicals, has a neutral PH, but it is effective for laminate floors. It is specifically formulated for the purpose and will reveal the luster of the laminate floor.
So you see, it is not at all difficult to shine laminate floors and definitely doesn’t get heavier on your pocket. The mistakes most people make, which result in the loss of shine, are because of their lack of knowledge about the basics and carelessness. Once you get that, you will find it pretty easy to maintain your laminate floor.
This article covers almost every bit of detail that is necessary to know about maintaining the laminate floor, from the methods to restore the concealed shine to preventive measures and simple tips, which might not cross your mind but make a difference nonetheless. So get on to bring back the shine of your floor and keep in mind all the basics and practices provided in this article, and shinier results are guaranteed.