Hardwood vs. Laminate

Hardwood vs. Laminate
Cleaning Comparison: Hardwood vs. Laminate

Whether you've chosen a hardwood or laminate floor for your next home project, you want to keep it looking its best. The two types of floor might look similar at first glance, and there are some similarities, but the differences in materials and construction also means there are differences in how they must be cared for. Read on as we compare the best ways to clean each floor type.
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Routine Cleaning: When Hardwood and Laminate Live in Harmony

Every floor type has basic steps for cleaning and care that homeowners must follow, and hardwood and laminate floors are no exception. With both layouts, you should always blot up spills and spots with a damp cloth as soon as they happen to prevent staining. You should also sweep, dust or vacuum the floor regularly - and if you choose to vacuum, make sure to use the hard floor attachment, as beater bars or rotary brushes can cause scratching. You might also want to invest in protective pads and mats for furniture to help protect your floor.

There are also things to avoid with each floor type. You should never wash or wet mop either floor with soap, water, or oil-based detergents. Doing so can cause swelling and warping in hardwood floors, delamination in laminate floors, and joint-line separation in both floors; any of the above would void the warranty. You also shouldn't use any cleaners that are abrasive or contain wax, or use steel wool to scrub, as these things will cause scratching and discoloration. This also holds true with using any type of buffing machine.

Hardwood Deep Cleaning

There are a few vital tips to remember the next time your hardwood floor needs a more thorough cleaning. For mopping, you should use a standard hardwood floor spray cleaner specially designed for pre-finished or urethane coated floors. Apply the cleaning spray directly to the floor , and use a back-and-forth motion on the floor with the flat mop, working in small sections. If and when the mop pad becomes soiled, make sure to replace it with a fresh cover, as using a dirty cover can cause streaking. (Don't feel bad about using too many covers in one session, as they are generally machine washable and can be used again later.) Repeat this typical cleaning process multiple times to deep clean extremely dirty wood floors. Mineral spirits on a clean white cloth are the best way to deal with tough spots such as permanent marker, ink, paint or lipstick, followed immediately with wood floor cleaning solution and a clean cloth and to remove residue. This also works well to remove adhesive residue.

Laminate Deep Cleaning

Like with hardwood floors, you should use a cleaner specifically formulated for your floor type when scouring laminate floors. Again, you should apply the cleaner directly to the floor surface then rub it with a flat microfiber mop pad or apply it directly to a mop head or clean cloth until the pad is slightly damp and use it to wipe the surface until it's immaculate. For stubborn stains, you'll work wonders with any acetone-based fingernail polish remover and a cloth followed right away with spray laminate floor cleaner and another clean rag to remove the acetone after it's done its job. And if you end up with a substance like candle wax or chewing gum on your floor, use ice to harden the spot, then scrape it off with a plastic scraper or credit card.

Certain substances, like nail polish remover should be tested in a not-so noticeable spot of your floor because on some laminate floors, it may dull the factory finish. When using acetone or mineral spirits, be sure to clean the area right away with a quality floor cleaner for wood or laminate as appropriate.

Hardwood and laminate floors bring natural beauty and an upscale look to any home, but both also require a special type of care to retain that long-lasting beauty. With this guide, you'll be on your way to handling mess that spills upon you and your floor. For more of the best floor care solution, contact the friendly staff at 1877FloorGuy today.