Laminate floors are a popular alternative to hardwood floors, and though they are not real wood, they are nevertheless designed to be easy to install and maintain. However, laminate floors are still considered floating floors and can suffer from some of the same problems as hardwood, so taking care of your floor means making sure of its correct installation and limiting its exposure to harmful elements.
Make Sure Your Floor Has Been Acclimatized
Before your wood floor was installed, it should have been acclimatized to your house's environment; this is done by letting the floor panels sit in your house for about a week prior to installation. This isn't always an absolutely crucial step, but it can help prevent damage down the road. If panels aren't acclimatized, sudden changes in weather could cause buckling as the panels expand and contract.
If this wasn't done, this isn't necessarily a problem. Just try to keep your house within the same 10-20 degree range and humidity levels over the course of the next few weeks, as the panels can still acclimate after they are installed.
Give Your Floor Expansion Room
Laminate floors don't expand and contract quite as much as hardwood floors, but it's still a floating floor, which means it needs room to move if necessary. Take a look at your baseboard; the laminate floor should be under it, but only just – if it was pushed against the wall during installation, it has no room to expand.
If it was installed too tight, don't worry; a contractor can remove some of the floor to give it the room it needs without having to tear up your floor. However, this should be ascertained before any peaking occurs.
Clean Your Floors Dry
Laminate floors from places like Apex Floor Coverings are designed to be somewhat resistant to moisture, but this doesn't mean that water won't hurt it. Water damage to laminate floors is more serious than peaking from too little expansion space; laminate panels can fall back into place if they are given expansion room, but panels that are buckling or warping from water damage will need to be replaced. If your panels used a tongue and slot design, this means pulling up everything until you reach the damaged point.
Everyday cleaning can be done using a vacuum or dry mop. If you need to do a more thorough clean, you can use a flat damp mop or a wet cloth to clean specific areas, but take care to dry the floor as soon as you're done rather than letting it air dry. Be especially careful around baseboards and room transitions; these areas aren't as watertight, and moisture can seep into the cracks and below the floor.
When vacuuming, use vacuums without a beater bar; these can cause chipping in your floor. If you have an area with a lot of foot traffic that seems to get dirty often, rugs can help prevent damage and wear. Rugs can also take a bit more of a beating when cleaning, so you can use whatever cleaning tools you have available.Share
30 July 2015
Saving money is important in a home with six children. As they grow, the bills seem to grow with them. After paying a particularly high energy bill, I decided that enough was enough. I researched ways that I could make my home more energy efficient without spending a ton of money. To help other parents in the same boat, I created this blog. Helpful tips, such as replacing your home's windows, can save you a great deal of money in the long run. Hopefully, the information provided here can also help preserve the environment and make it a better place for our children.