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Laminate flooring problems you can fix yourself

Laminate flooring problems tend to be minimal and easy to correct.

Invented in Sweden by the Pergo Company in 1977, laminate flooring combines the best features of natural and artificial flooring. Made from wood products, but not solid wood, it has a moisture resistant layer underneath and a photographic image of a natural wood floor on top, finished with a clear hard coat. It rivals hardwood in beauty and elegance and rivals vinyl in durability and ease of maintenance.
 
Start with regular maintenance

Laminate flooring problems will be minimized with simple, regular cleaning. Start by sweeping, vacuuming or dry mopping to remove everyday dirt and dust. This will also keep the floor free of sand and prevent scratches from foot traffic. Place mats inside doors and ask people to remove their shoes at the door as much as possible.
 
deeper cleaning

Common substances like mud or spilled food and drinks are easy to clean up. Simply use a damp rag and, if necessary, a homemade solution of ¼ cup vinegar and a quart of water, or if necessary, a few drops of dish soap or baby shampoo dissolved in warm water. If you prefer, you can use a commercial product made to clean laminate flooring. Dry the floor afterwards with a soft cloth and do not leave standing water as this can cause problems (see below).
 
Paint, marker, and other hard-to-remove substances can usually be removed with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.
 
Most serious problems of laminate flooring

Other problems you may encounter include:
 
peak. “Peak” is a high point in a joint where two adjacent panels push against each other, caused by a lack of expansion space between the floor and the wall. You can correct this by removing the baseboard from the wall parallel to the longitudinal direction of the planks, trimming the edge of the floor, and replacing the baseboard. The spike should dissipate over time, more quickly if you put a weight on it.
 
Warping or warping. These are a convex or concave bowing of the planks, usually caused by excess moisture, either moisture rising from the subfloor, lack of a sufficient moisture barrier, and/or high humidity in the room. Another common cause is using too much water to clean the floor, which is easily avoided by following the cleaning guidelines above.
 
· Chipping. Splinters can indicate poor quality flooring or faulty installation. Vacuuming laminate flooring with a vacuum equipped with a beater bar can also cause it to splinter.
 
Other ways to avoid problems with laminate flooring

Most laminate flooring manufacturers do not recommend using oil soaps to clean their floors, as the citrus tends to dull the surface. Never use anything abrasive to clean your laminate floors, such as cleaners, sandpaper, or steel wool. Never wax, polish or try to refinish your floors.
 
More help

If your floors show any of the above issues (dullness, scratches, poor quality, poor installation), you can still make them look better. Even if you just want to make regular maintenance of your laminate flooring easier, a good quality flooring restoration product should be your finishing touch.

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