Laminate floors are the new trend in town. While marble floors will always have their own space in the home décor industry, laminate floors with their hard-wood finish, durability and versatility are slowly and surely making their mark.
What is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate floors are made up of several materials bonded together under high pressure. Most laminate flooring consists of a moisture resistant layer under a layer of HDF (high density fibreboard). This is topped with a high resolution photographic image of natural wood flooring. It is then finished with an extremely hard, clear coating made from special resin-coated cellulose to protect the laminate flooring.
The Advantages of Laminate Floors
The most obvious advantage of laminate floors is that it gives your home a beautiful flooring option similar to hard-wood floors, but at half the price. Laminate floors can be laid over existing tiled floors, concrete floors, stone or mosaic floors – namely any kind of levelled and water-proofed floors. Laminate floors are designed to be easy to install and do not need nails or glue. Hence, while you get a new floor for a low cost, your existing floor is also untouched and unharmed in every way.
Taking Care Of Laminate Floors
Laminate floors are durable and long-lasting, but not taking the right care can result in serious damages. As it is, laminate floors are pretty resistant to scratches, spills, moisture and most other factors that damage hard wood floors. With a few pro tips, you will be able to keep your laminate floors looking new for long:
Broom first. Then mop
When cleaning laminate floors, it is important to be gentle. So, first take a broom with soft bristles and sweep away all the dust. You can even take a soft cloth and do this. If you have pets at home, you may find that pet hair sticks pretty easily to laminate floors and can be hard to clean with just a broom and mop. Take a minute to think. First, what was your pet doing in the part of the house with the laminate floors? (Pets can easily scratch and damage the resinous top layer of the laminate. Your pets may not have long talons or claws, but for all intents and purposes it is better to keep them away from the laminate floor). Second, a lightweight vacuum cleaner with a good suction capacity should easily clean up the hair. And a mop later, your floors will be shining again. Remember not to use excessive water though, to avoid water spots.
Don’t let spills dry
Your laminate floors are fully prepared to handle stains – we build them tough, yes! So, if something spills, do not lunge for the nearest top-of-the-shelf chemical cleaner. Most of the times, a simple wipe with a soft damp cloth is enough to deal with food spills and you will not have any stains either. The important thing is not to let the spill dry because you may end up scratching the protective surface of the laminate panels while attempting to clean a dried spill. If the floor gets stained by oil or paint, use some acetone remover to gently wipe the spot and then immediately clean with a damp cloth. For stains that do not go away even with this method, call an expert.
Steer clear of chemicals and abrasives
By now you must have figured that it is really important to protect the resin-coated top layer of laminate floors to ensure longevity. So keep steel-wool scrubs, scrub pads, chemical-based cleaners, and cleaners with a soap or detergent base away from your floors. Do not attempt to wax or polish your laminate floors in order to make them shine, either. The only chemical that you should use on a laminate floor is laminate floor repair paste for repairing minor nicks and scratches.
Use water, but in moderation
Water is a natural cleaner and while it has no chemicals that can harm your laminate floors, using too much of it can also have a bad effect. If not used the right way, water can easily seep in between the laminate panels and cause the underlying wood to warp and become lumpy – not something you’d want to happen. To avoid this, make sure you damp cloths for a quick wipe and clean up any liquids that may spill on the floor quickly.
Once a year, go for a deep-clean
Despite your daily cleaning routine, there will be some amount of hazing and film build up. It’s unavoidable. Hence, we advise a once-a-year deep cleaning from the best in town. Trust us, the pros know how to get the gunk out of invisible places – like where the skirting profile is attached to the wall. This way, you can ensure that your laminate floors will last for their entire lifetime which is a good ten years or so!
Opt for the Best – Always!
If you opt for laminate floors for your home, get only the best home décor providers to outfit your home. HomeLane’s Home Design Services provides laminate floor solutions with an AC3/AC4 rating (suitable for all residential applications in addition to light commercial applications such as hotel rooms and small offices).