The most asked questions about laminate flooring – answered.
There’s not much that we don’t know about laminate flooring here at Leader Floors and we are always here to help you with your laminate flooring questions. Over the years, we have been asked a variety of questions about laminate flooring and we thought it would be worth it to share all of our knowledge with you.
Here are the questions about laminate flooring that we get asked the most and the answers that you need.
How long does laminate flooring last?
Laminate flooring has a life expectancy of around 10 years. This varies depending on the manufacturer but most state that laminate flooring will last for more than 10 years. If you use harsh cleaning fluids on the flooring then this will reduce the lifespan of the flooring but if cared for correctly you could expect your flooring to last for up to 30 years depending on the original quality and wear resistance of the floor covering.
How to clean laminate flooring
Treating your laminate flooring right will ensure that it lasts and cleaning it properly is one of the main challenges – so here are our top tips for cleaning laminate flooring.
- Do not use soaking wet mops or steam cleaners on laminate flooring as this can cause damage that is irreparable. Light spray mops work best.
- If you spill something on the flooring then use a damp cloth to blot the spillage as soon as it happens – try to not let the spillage sit on the flooring for too long.
- For those tougher spots such as paint, oil, markers and ink try nail polish remover on a clean white cloth and wipe away any residue. This should be strong enough to take the stain away but not damage the floor. Don’t use too much remover as overloading the flooring could potentially cause harm.
- Vacuum, sweep and dust the flooring regularly as this will remove any dust that will naturally build up. When vacuuming, make sure that you use the appropriate hardwood flooring setting/nozzle to ensure that you don’t scratch the flooring.
- If you want to clean the floor with a laminate specific floor care treatment then we recommend doing this sparingly. We have a range of floor cleaning products available here at Leader Floors for you to use.
- Don’t wash the flooring with water, soap detergent or liquid cleaning product as this can cause the flooring to warp, swell, cause joint-line separation and depending on the flooring make the warranty void.
- Do not use steel wool, buffing or polishing machines on the flooring as this could also cause damage.
How to remove candle wax and chewing gum from laminate flooring
It can be a pain when you get chewing gum or candle wax on your laminate flooring – but fear not we have just the method that will take it away and not damage your flooring.
- Firstly, you will need to harden the spot with ice. Place ice over the stain making sure that it has hardened.
- Then you will need an implement to scrape the residue off. You could use a credit card or plastic scraper to gently scrape the item away from the floor. Make sure that you don’t scrape too hard as this could scratch the flooring.
- Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
What are the pros and cons of laminate flooring?
Pros of Laminate Flooring
- Easy to install. You can even do it yourself.
- Inexpensive. Laminate flooring is much cheaper than a real wood floor.
- Stain resistant. If you have little children or pets and one of your biggest fears is stains then you should consider laminate flooring as stains are easy to wipe away.
- Design freedom. The diverse selection of laminate flooring designs means that you can install any kind of flooring to match the existing decor in your home.
- Easy to change. Laminate flooring is just as easy to replace and change styles as it is to install. It can act as a great way to update your room without having to spend much.
Cons of Laminate Flooring
- Can at times be slippery.
- Doesn’t always look as authentic as a real wood floor.
- Can be hard underfoot if you are used to the carpet. (Choosing a cushioning underlay can help!)
- Can be noisy underfoot without the right underlay.
- Cannot sand or refinish damaged planks.
How much to lay laminate flooring?
The standard installation of laminate flooring can vary depending upon the fitter. Some charge a daily rate which depending on the size of the project could be £150. Other fitters charge per square metre which could be from £8-12 per m. You could also install the flooring yourself if you are handy enough and have the time which would obviously be free – just pay yourself in chocolate biscuits and cups of tea throughout the day. Speaking from experience YouTube can be your friend here!
Do you need underlay for laminate flooring?
In short – yes. Laminate flooring is essentially a floating floor which has to be distributed evenly across the subfloor. Underlay gives the support and cushioning between the laminate and subfloor which gives it stability and reduces noise and locks the flooring in place.
What is the best underlay for laminate flooring?
Now that you know that underlay is essential for laminate flooring we can almost hear you asking ‘which underlay should I choose for my laminate flooring?’. Don’t worry – we get this question a lot.
That is why we have a dedicated section on our website for laminate flooring underlay which you can browse through.
Is laminate flooring wood or plastic?
Laminate flooring is a multi-layer synthetic flooring (fancy, I know.) But in layman’s terms, it is designed to imitate the appearance of wood but has a core layer which is made from melamine resin and fiberboard. The top layer is then textured to make it look like real wood.
How to repair laminate flooring
One of the problems with laminate flooring is that it can be subject to damage over time and with natural wear and tear issues can arise. The damage can be fixed so don’t worry about any scratches or marks that occur.
These damages can be fixed with a laminate flooring repair kit which can be found in various colours depending on the style, colour and finish of your laminate flooring.
To tackle a scratch on the laminate flooring make sure that the surface is clean and dry as any dirt will reduce the impact of the repair and could damage the flooring further. Each repair kit will provide different instructions on how to actually repair the scratch so make sure that you consult the manual for the specific damage that you are trying to repair.
How to cut laminate flooring already installed
Step 1 – You will need to mark the laminate flooring along the line where you would like to cut it by using chalk, pencil or marker as long as you have a straight edge to draw the line with.
Step 2 – Using a circular saw you will need to set the cut depth to 1/32-inch deeper than the thickness of the laminate flooring layer. By doing this you will cut into the underlay but not the sub-flooring which is exactly what you want.
Step 3 – Make sure that your eyes are protected and that you are wearing safety goggles. Align the saw with the line and then lift the guard out of the way. Turn on the saw and allow the blade to get up to its full speed.
Step 4 – Let the blade plunge into the flooring and follow the line up to the other side.
Step 5 – Turn the blade off and you have your cut piece of laminate flooring ready to go.
How much laminate flooring do I need?
To do this you will need to figure out the square footage of the room that you want to install the laminate flooring in.
- To do this, use a tape measure and note down the length of the room as well as the width. Multiply the length by the width and this will give you the square footage. For example, if the room is 6 feet by 9 feet you would need enough flooring for 54 square feet. (6 x 9 = 54)
Rooms length x rooms width = room square footage
- Then you will need to add 10% to the square footage to accommodate for waste and cuts to the flooring. If you are choosing a tile pattern then we recommend adding 20%. Using our example we would need to add 5.4 extra square feet to 54 so we would get 59.4 so why not just round it up to 60.
- Check with your flooring retailer if you are unsure.
How soon can you walk on laminate flooring?
Try and wait 24 hours after installation before walking on your new laminate flooring. This may seem hard as you will want to test it out but by waiting 24 hours you will give the flooring enough time to settle and be cured. If you jump into the room too quickly it could lead to the flooring being uneven which is not what you want.
Can you put heavy furniture on laminate flooring?
Yes. You can place heavy furniture on laminate flooring but be careful when placing the furniture on to the flooring. If you drag the fixture into place it could scratch or chip the floor and leave damage.
Can you vacuum laminate flooring?
Yes, you can vacuum laminate flooring. Ensure that your vacuum cleaner is on a hardwood floor setting to ensure that you don’t scratch the laminate flooring in the process of cleaning.
How often should you mop laminate floors?
We don’t recommend that you do mop your laminate floor. Instead, you should vacuum and clean any stains with a damp wet cloth. However, some people do like to give their flooring a mop and if you are to do this then we recommend doing it sparingly every two to three months. Make sure that you don’t saturate the mop with water as this will damage the laminate flooring.
Now that your laminate flooring questions have all been answered you should explore the diverse range of laminate flooring options available here at Leader Floors where you will find hundreds of designs to choose from.