When you are considering remodeling your home, including installing hardwood flooring, there are many types of flooring you can choose from. Laminate flooring that looks like hardwood is an affordable option that has the look and durability of solid hardwood flooring, as it can last up to 25 years until it needs replacement. Here are some tips to help you take care of, repair, and refinish your laminate flooring.
Although laminate flooring is covered with a durable, clear, protective layer, it is still important to keep it clean of dirt and other particles by sweeping or vacuuming it often. Dirt, pebbles, and other particles left on the surface of your laminate flooring can cause abrasion damage over the surface of the flooring from foot traffic. Sweep the floor to clean up this type of debris as often as possible to prevent abrasive damage.
Be sure to also wipe up any standing water on your flooring, as moisture on the flooring's surface can cause damage and discoloration to it. Then, don't forget to attach cushioned pads under the feet of any furniture placed on the laminate flooring. This will help prevent scratches to its surface when you slide the furniture over the flooring's surface.
If your laminate flooring has become chipped or dented, you can fill in the damage without having to remove and replace the entire floor. To complete this repair, you will need a tube of laminate hardwood floor patch filler in the same color as your floor. You can find this at most home-improvement stores. When shopping for the tube of filling material, if you have an extra piece of your flooring, take it with you to the home-improvement store to help you select a matching color. If you can't find an exact matching shade of patch filler, you can combine and use two or more colors of patch filler to create a match.
First, clean the area of the flooring with a laminate-flooring cleaning solvent and allow it to dry. Squirt a small amount of the patching material onto a paper plate and use a putty knife to mix it around until it begins to thicken and dry slightly. If you are combining two or more colors of patching filler, mix them together. Press the patching material into the chip or hole of your flooring, smoothing it over with the putty knife. Allow this to dry fully, following the product's instructions.
Despite your best care and maintenance, over its lifetime, your laminate hardwood flooring may still become scratched, worn, and dull-looking. Although laminate flooring cannot be sanded down like solid hardwood flooring, you can still refinish its surface.
To refinish the laminate's surface, first pour a container of floor stripper into a mop bucket and mop the floor stripper all over the surface of your laminate flooring. Apply the stripper liberally by allowing your stripper-soaked mop to drip for a bit into the bucket, and then wipe it onto the flooring. Allow the stripper to sit on the flooring for the time recommended by the product's instructions.
After waiting the appropriate amount of time, apply a stripping pad onto a floor buffer and scrub the treated flooring with the machine to lift up the flooring's clear coat. Next, vacuum the floor with a wet/dry vacuum to pick up any particles from the buffing, and then mop over the floor with a mop damp with clean water. Make sure you use a different mop in this step than you used with the floor stripper. If you have a larger-sized floor, it can be helpful to complete the stripping process to your floor in smaller areas instead of all at once.
Now you can fill in any chips or holes in your laminate flooring with a matching laminate-floor patching filler and a putty knife. Allow the filler to dry before continuing on.
To seal and finish your floor, pour a container of acrylic floor sealant in a bucket and apply it onto your floor using a clean, dry mop. Swirl the mop back and forth in a figure-eight pattern over the laminate to coat the floor evenly. Wait the product's recommended time for the sealer to dry, then using the same application technique, apply a coat of floor finish with a dry mop. Wait for the floor finish to dry as the product's instructions recommend, and then apply a second coat. Allow this to dry before walking across the floor.
Use this information to take care of, repair, and refinish your laminate hardwood flooring.