All types of flooring regardless of thickness, species or design including solid wood flooring, natural stone or slate, ceramic tiles, carpeting, vinyl or laminate can become scratched or worn particularly by sharp objects.
All laminate floors are constructed with a top protective layer (melamine) so they are scratch-resistant but this must not be considered scratch-proof.
The top protective layer of all laminate flooring will have an AC rating. This rating determines the use type of the flooring. For normal domestic use look for anAC3 rating. With certain products a light commercial use is acceptable and they will have an AC4 rating. Any heavier for commercial usage will need to be rated AC5 / AC6. Regardless of the rating we would always highly recommend that you take some of the preventative measures below to maximise the life of your laminate floor:
1. Place a high quality mat at all entrances to capture dust, stones, small pebbles, grit etc.
2. Use protective felt pieces or soft rubber pads on chairs or other movable furniture. Regularly check if the protection is still in good condition and replace when worn.
3. Wheels under furniture should be of the soft rubber type to help avoid damage.
4. Cleaning heads and wheels of vacuum cleaners should also be made of soft rubber and easily swiveling, you may be better using a soft head brush instead of a vacuum.
5. Make sure that the hard bottom side of the cleaning head does not touch and scratch the laminate floor.
6. Use brushes if you want to clean laminate floor, preferably use a sweeper brush with soft hair.
Laminate floor Water and Steam cleaners?
The top protective layer on a laminate floor makes it low-maintenance in comparison to Solid wood and engineered wood flooring. Cleaning with a steam cleaner is not necessary strongly advised against. Excess water and steam can cause the joints between two laminate planks to expand permanently damage the floor. Equally excess water spillages and or mopping can cause the product to de-laminate, warp, bubble and cause damage to the click system holding the boards together. The best and only proper way to ensure the life of the laminate is to use a laminate cleaning spray and a microfibre mop. This will avoid water damage yet keep the product clean and hygienic.
Repairs on my laminate floor?
Minor damage (such as deeper scratches or small indentations made by an object that has fallen onto the laminate) to the laminate floor can be repaired with a repair kit for laminate floors. These kits usually have a number of colours that must be mixed to give a close as possible match with the colour of the damaged laminate floor.
What is the best maintenance?
Daily maintenance is best done with a dry microfibre cloth. The magnetic properties of a dry microfibre cloth mean that small dust particles in the grooves are also removed. Following the 6 tips / preventative measures described above will help to maximise the life of your floor and keep it looking better for longer.