Laminate floors are a popular home solution because they are extremely durable and easy to maintain. Laminate flooring is designed to appear shiny and clean and proper maintenance will ensure that it stays this way. However, dirt and dust particles along with residue buildup from the wrong cleaning agents can make laminate floors look dull. The good news is that even if these floors look old and dull, you can make them appear brand new. All you need is some basic tips and information on how to restore laminate flooring.
How to Restore Laminate Flooring?
The top layer of laminate flooring is made of a tough plastic that makes it resistant to daily wear and tear. However, despite this protection, laminate flooring can still scratch and scrape quite easily. Since the surface cannot be sanded, you will have to use putty to repair the scratches. Moreover, with prolonged use or improper care, your laminate floor can also begin to lose its shine and appear dirty and old.
If your laminate flooring has a faded or worn-out appearance or noticeable scratched, then you can take up a simple DIY project to restore it. Here is a list of things that you will need:
- A repair kit. This should include wax pencils, putty, and a putty knife
- Vacuum machine or dust mops
- Laminate floor cleaner. You can substitute it with a homemade cleaner comprising water, white vinegar and rubbing alcohol
- Clean, lint-free cloth
- Laminate floor polish
- Microfiber towel
Follow the steps listed below to restore laminate flooring in your housing and give your house a complete makeover.
Step #1 – Purchase a Repair Kit
To successfully repair scratches on your laminate flooring, you need to ensure that you match the color of the floor. For this, you can contact the flooring manufacturer and purchase the repair kit directly from them. This repair kit will include wax pencils, matching-color putty, and a putty knife. If you are unable to locate the manufacturer you can get one from the Home Depot here. Note: This kit only includes the putty: Just make sure the colors will match your floor.
If you are unable to contact the manufacturer, you can simply take a sample of your laminate floor to the store and buy a repair kit. Alternatively, you can also get a customizable repair kit that allows you to develop the desired color of putty at home.
Step #2 – Clean Your Floor
Dirt and dust particles can accumulate on your laminate floor and the streaks they leave behind can make it appear dull. Therefore, the first step you need to take is to thoroughly clean your floor with a vacuum or dust mop. The best way to do this is to use a vacuum cleaner or mop that is specifically designed for laminate floors.
In cleaning your floor, make sure that you avoid using any vacuum machine with a roller brush as this can scratch your flooring. It is a good idea to stick to a soft broom to remove traces of dirt and dust.
Here are some of the best dust mops for your laminate floors.
Step #3 – Fill in Minor Scratches
Use a wax pencil that matches the color of your laminate floor to fill in minor scratches or holes. Once you have filled in the scratch, blend it into the rest of the floor’s surface. To do this, use a soft cotton cloth to gently buff the edges of the scratched area until it completely blends in with the rest of the floor.
Step #4 – Fix Minor Scrapes
If your laminate floor has a deep scratch or a wide scrape, a wax pencil will not be sufficient to repair it. To fix these damages, you will need floor repair putty. The first thing is to apply the putty on the center of the scraped area and then spread it across the scrape with a putty knife or wooden craft stick. If you are using a knife, then hold it a 45-degree angle to the floor and press the putty across the scrape from several different angles. This will ensure that the scratch gets filled completely. Wait for 24 hours for the putty to harden and become a permanent repair.
Step #5 – Repair Major Scrapes
If your laminate flooring has a lot of deep scratches or scrapes that go right through the top plastic layer, wax or putty will not be enough for repair. Here, you will have to remove and replace the entire board. You can carry out this step yourself or call a professional for assistance.
If you decide to go ahead with the task yourself, then start by removing the baseboard at the nearest wall. Proceed to pull up the boards until you reach the damaged one and place the un-scratched boards back in place to the wall.
Pro -tip – Leave a little room at the wall for expansion and replace the baseboard over it to complete the repair.
Step #6 – Use a Laminate Floor Cleaner
The next step to restore laminate flooring is to clean with the right cleaning agent. Cleaners that contain harsh and aggressive chemicals can strip the shine off your laminate floor and make it look faded. To make your floor appear shiny again, it is important that use a good laminate cleaner.
Laminate floor cleaners such as Black Diamond Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner are extremely easy to use. To use these pre-mixed solutions, you simply have to spray them on the surface and wipe with a microfiber mop or sponge. However, you must remember that using an expensive cleaner doesn’t guarantee a shiny floor. Therefore, you must use a cleaning agent that is specifically designed for laminate floors.
Pro-tip – Use floor cleaners in moderate quantities as excessive use will strip away the shiny coating of your floor.
An excellent substitute for a commercial cleaning agent is a homemade laminate floor shiner made of vinegar and alcohol. A solution made of alcohol and vinegar will enhance the shine of your laminate floors. To maintain your clean floors, you should ideally use this DIY remedy four times a month.
You can follow the steps listed below to make your very own laminate floor shiner.
- Fill a spray bottle with ½ cup of water, ½ cup of rubbing alcohol and ½ cup of white vinegar.
- Spray a small section at a time and wipe it with a microfiber mop. Remember that excess use of a solution can potentially damage your floor.
- Leave the area to air dry or buff it with a dry cloth.
Note – If you are opting to air dry your floor after cleaning, make sure that it dries up within five minutes. If the floor remains wet for longer, it can swell up or crack.
Step #7–Remove Residue
Poor quality cleaning materials can cause residue to buildup. This, in turn, results in a dull and dirty-looking laminate floor. Therefore, to get your laminate floor to regain its shine, you should clean any residue or dirt.
In this step to restore laminate flooring, damp-mop your floor using a minimal amount of water or cleaning solution. Alternatively, you can use a spray bottle. For this, simply spray a small section of your floor and clean it before you move to the next section. You can hand dry the floor using a clean, lint-free cloth.
Remember to never use hot water to clean your laminate floor as this will remove your floor’s shiny finish.
Step #8 – Polish Your Floor
This is the last and most important step to restore laminate flooring. Before starting, gently shake a bottle of laminate floor polish and then apply it on your floor. It is a good idea to start it in one corner of the room and carry out a test patch. Spread the polish using a clean microfiber towel or lint-free cloth.
Apply the laminate floor polish in small sections and slowly work your way to the opposite end of the room and let the polish dry. Read the instructions on the bottle and apply another coat if necessary.
Once you have successfully polished your floor, you will notice a visible improvement in its appearance. It will look more lustrous and shinier than before. For best results, avoid walking on it for at least 24 hours.
Tips to Protect Your Laminate Flooring
Here are some simple things you can do to make your laminate flooring appear shiny and new for a long time.
Wipe Liquid Spills Immediately
Liquid spills can seriously damage your laminate floors. The liquid can seep inside the flooring boards, leading to cracks appearing on the surface. To prevent this from happening, wipe any liquid spills with a clean, dry cloth.
Protect from Sunlight
Direct and regular exposure to sunlight can streak your laminate floor. This can cause the polish to fade away on the exposed section. To avoid discoloration caused by sunlight, draw the curtains or blinds where there are sharp sun rays.
Avoid Using Low-Quality Cleaning Tools
Wrong cleaning tools such as a vacuum cleaner with a roller brush or steam cleaners can cause the surface polish to be stripped away, leaving behind a dull, faded appearance. Therefore, be careful in selecting the tools you use and ensure that they are not damaging your floor.
Now that you know how to restore laminate flooring, you can easily transform the way your house looks. For more information, on home restoration, visit our website.