If you’re thinking about installing laminate floors in your house, you have probably heard about the need to acclimate the flooring to the room. Acclimating is the process of bringing the floor material into its new environment and letting it sit there to adjust to the climate.

Acclimating has always been an important part of the process for wood floors, but it can actually be just as important for the newer laminate floors. Failing to acclimate your floor could lead to damage and might void the warranty.

Does Laminate Flooring Need to Acclimate?

Yes, laminate flooring definitely needs time to acclimate to the room before you install it.

This is especially important if the flooring is coming from storage under different conditions than the house. If the flooring has been on a hot truck for three days and you install it in an air-conditioned house, it is going to be shocked by the change.

Why does laminate flooring need to acclimate in the first place? It’s because it has a fiberboard core made of a wood-based composite material. Wood, even when it’s processed into laminate fiberboard, keeps its natural tendencies to expand and contract.

acclimate laminate flooring

Wood and wood products expand or contract when the temperature or humidity around them changes. This is why you also need to install laminate floors with an expansion gap between the flooring and the walls, to allow for the floor to grow or shrink when the seasons change.

You need to acclimate laminate floors to their new home because if you bring them right in and install them without acclimating, the installation will not hold up. It will look perfectly fine at first, but when the flooring material finally adjusts to the humidity and temperature in the room, it will either expand or contract abruptly. This can cause gaps to form or make the flooring misshapen. 

Failing to acclimate properly can cause an uneven or ugly floor a year down the road. More importantly, you will be left without the protection of a warranty if you don’t follow the manufacturer’s directions for acclimating the material (most of the time, they want you to acclimate the flooring for 48 hours or more).

How Long Does Laminate Flooring Need to Acclimate?

Laminate flooring needs at least 48 hours to acclimate before you start installing it, but it can often take 72 hours or longer.

The number one factor to help you decide how long to acclimate your flooring is the warranty information that you can get from the product packaging, sales sheet, or website.

Flooring manufacturers know that acclimating the flooring properly is one of the most important ways to make sure the floor stays strong and beautiful throughout its lifespan. They will recommend a certain number of “hours before installation” for their product based on its thickness, composite material, etc.

So read the directions first, but if you have any special circumstances you can extend the time by 24 hours to be safe.

Note: Acclimating is more complicated than just a simple length of time. You also need to prepare the house ahead of time and lay the flooring out in a way that it can acclimate effectively. Keep reading to discover all the steps you should take for your new floor.

How to Acclimate Laminate Flooring

Since acclimatizing laminate flooring is a somewhat natural process, it’s not an exact science. This section will tell you the guidelines you can follow to successfully acclimate your new laminate flooring. If you do all of these, your flooring will be ready to install right and it will look great for years. These guidelines can even speed up the process.

Give Yourself Enough Time

The first step in a good laminate flooring installation is having the right expectations and planning ahead.

You probably want to get your installation over with as quickly as possible so you can enjoy the new floor you’ve paid for and avoid living in a construction zone any longer. However, don’t make the mistake of skipping acclimating time just because you get in a hurry.

Plan to get the flooring into the house two or three days before the day you want to install it. It takes a little patience to do things right, but it will be worth it.

Make sure to talk to your flooring salesman and any contractors involved about acclimating the flooring so it can be delivered a couple of days before you plan to install it.

Make Sure the Room is at Normal Living Conditions

When you’re acclimating the laminate flooring to your house, you need to think about the temperature and humidity conditions of the house. When you’re living in the house, it’s going to be relatively dry and a comfortable temperature most of the time. These are the conditions you need to acclimate the new flooring to.

If the house is newly constructed, you shouldn’t put the flooring in the house until the windows and doors are installed and any air conditioner or furnace system is installed and running. These create realistic air conditions in the home.

Watch out for excessive humidity sources. This could include construction projects like a newly-poured concrete slab or smaller sources like wet paint. Materials like this go into the house wet and then dry over time. This slow drying raises the humidity in the house. 

You should wait about 2 months before installing a laminate floor over new concrete, and about 3 days after painting the inside of your house. It’s also important to have some ventilation to speed these times up.

Make sure the temperature is moderate in the house before you go installing laminate flooring, too. If you’re not living in the house, it may be as hot or cold as the outdoor temperatures in there. Acclimate laminate flooring only after you have had the air conditioner or furnace running like normal for at least 3 days.

The temperature should be somewhere between 60F and 85F degrees, and the humidity should be between 25% and 75%. Note that the subfloor itself should also fall within these ranges.

You’ll notice that those numbers give you quite a bit of wiggle room. You just need to avoid extremes and get the temperature and humidity pretty close to where it will be when the house is actually being lived in because these are the conditions that the flooring will spend most of its life in.

Test the Humidity on a Concrete Floor

If you are installing laminate flooring over a fairly new slab of concrete or in a damp concrete room, you need to check the humidity of the concrete itself.

You can use a digital meter to give you a moisture percentage, but if you don’t have one of those you can perform a simple test using a plastic garbage bag.

Cut a large plastic bag along one seam and then unfold it to make a bigger surface (you can also just use a piece of plastic painter’s cloth). Take some sort of tape and attach the plastic sheet directly to the concrete floor. Spread the sheet out and tape all the edges so you form a complete seal.

After 24 hours, come back and peel up the tape. If there is any moisture on the underside of the plastic, you probably have too wet of conditions for a successful laminate installation.

A dry plastic sheet means the concrete is dry and has no moisture problems — it should be safe to acclimate and install laminate flooring in that room.

If this test shows a moist concrete floor, get a flooring meter for more precise measurements or wait longer to bring in your flooring. It’s likely too wet for acclimating. If you can’t dry the room out, you may need some other type of flooring that is not as finicky as laminate and wood (i.e. vinyl or tiles).

Open the Cartons

When you get your new laminate flooring, it will most likely come to you in cardboard cartons shrink-wrapped with plastic. This protects the flooring in shipping, but it can slow down the acclimating process.

To speed up acclimating when the flooring gets to your house, cut the shrink wrap open and fold the sides of the cartons down so that air can get to the floorboards from all directions. Exposing the wood to the air in the room will help it acclimate.

Stack Laminate Flooring for Airflow

If you’re really in a time crunch to get your flooring acclimated, you can remove it from the carton entirely and stack it up for maximum airflow.

Lay out three or four boards side by side, a few inches apart, forming a square. Then place the same number of boards on top of the first ones, only alternate the direction. Keep placing perpendicular layers on top, leaving several inches between any adjacent boards.

This will leave a lot of gaps for air and help your laminate adjust to the room’s conditions as fast as possible.

When stacking your flooring, remember to make a flat and even stack. Just be sure to support each board enough so it doesn’t sag in the middle. You can put a permanent bend in the laminate planks if you let them sag or twist during the acclimating process, so be careful.

Use a Moisture Meter to Test the Water Content

If you don’t mind buying a special tool, you can test the moisture content in your laminate flooring to make sure it’s well enough acclimated to the room.

Use the prongs on the tester to measure the underside of several pieces of laminate flooring to find the average moisture level.

Then, use the meter to test the subfloor for its moisture content (again, test several different spots around the room to find the average).

The reading you get from the flooring and the reading you get from the subfloor material should be within about 2% of each other. This tells you that the new flooring is completely acclimated to the room’s humidity conditions. If the two values differ by more than 5% humidity, you need to wait longer for your flooring to acclimate.

If you find that the flooring and subfloor are of the same humidity before you give them time to acclimate, still remember to follow your flooring product’s installation instructions and wait the 24-48 hours required to guarantee your warranty.

The best laminate floors can represent quality meant to last. Thanks to their wear layer, they are not only resistant to fading from sunlight but are also resistant to wear and scratching.

However, no floor, irrespective of how expensive it is, is completely resistant to the claws of your furry friends, a fork being wielded by a toddler, or that huge bit of grit stuck beneath one of your preschooler’s sneakers.

Thankfully, minor scratches on your laminate floor do not have to be permanent. Here we will show you how to remove scratches from laminate flooring using simple techniques and inexpensive items which can have your surfaces looking just the way you love them, in no time at all. 

scratch on laminate floor

How to Remove Scratches From Laminate Flooring

The first thing you will need to do before applying any of the options provided below is clean the affected area and leave it to dry.

Once your floor is ready, you will be able to use colored putty, pencils, markers, burn-in sticks, or even oil to get rid of the blemishes on your floor. The first three items are often provided as part of a laminate floor repair kit or can be purchased separately.

We have provided detailed steps on how to proceed below.

1. Burn-In Sticks

These products can be used for shallow scratches. However, they require a burn-in knife or flameless heat gun to melt them.

Once the tip starts to gleam, you will need to apply it to the scratch. You will then need to scrape off the excess with a hard flat object such as a credit card, and then buff your floor.

2. Colored Putty

This method is best used for removing scratches that are somewhat larger but do not necessitate the removal of the affected board.

You will need to apply some of the paste to the scratch you wish to conceal, using a putty knife.

You will also need to remove any excess quantities using the knife and then use a cloth to buff the floor.

3. Home Remedies

If you happen to be dealing with a particularly superficial scratch, you will be able to use some oil applied to a cloth to conceal it by rubbing it gently. Coconut or olive oil will be suitable in this instance.

4. Pencils and Markers

Options in this category are ideal for removing minor scratches. When using either option, you will need to ensure that the color is an exact match for your floor. You will then need to gently apply the pencil or the marker across the scratch until it is completely concealed. 

Once it becomes indistinguishable from the rest of the plank, you will need to stop as continuing may leave a darker trace on the board. Finally, you will need to use a clean cloth to buff the floor.

(Both pencils and markers happen to contain the same material and are effectively the same thing in different forms.

Those used for wood floors will also work perfectly on your laminate floors and you will be able to use them instead if you already have one available in the color and shade that you need.)

5. Wax Sticks

This alternative is ideal for the deepest scratches on your laminate floors. It is actually possible to mix colors when using them to obtain the perfect hue for your floor. 

Once you have gotten the color you want, you will simply need to apply the product you have purchased following the manufacturer’s instructions and wait for it to dry.

6. Replace Affected Planks

If the scratch happens to be particularly deep, you may need to remove the affected planks and replace them with alternatives from your surplus supply.

You will be able to do so by removing the base molding, working your way toward the damaged plank, and removing the other boards in front of it. You will also need to replace it with a brand new board and replace the other planks which are in excellent condition, and finally, put back the base molding.

If you happen to have glued your planks, you may need to cut out the damaged board. However, it is worth noting that a fair amount of skill will be required to do so and you may need to call on a professional to carry out the procedure.

Best Laminate Flooring Scratch Removers 

There are several products in this category that can be used to restore a uniform, even appearance to your laminate floors. Some of the most effective of them have been provided below:

1. Katzco Repair Kit 

This wax stick and marker laminate floor set comes with an impressive variety of colors that you will be able to blend to obtain the ideal hue for your floor. (The manufacturer has also provided a color matching guide to assist you in this regard.)

The markers are quick drying ensuring the process of repairing scratches will be completed as soon as possible, providing you with an even, scratch-free surface.

Just small quantities are needed, ensuring you will be able to make use of it for as long as possible, and any repaired spots will be virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the floor.

2. Fortivo Repair Kit

With this repair kit consisting of putty and stains, you will be able to take care of moderate scratches on your laminate surfaces.

Color matching support is also provided to ensure you get it perfectly right.

There are also clear tips provided by the instruction manual, which will enable you to take the right steps towards achieving a floor that seems almost brand new. 

3. Mohawk Quick Fill Burn-in Stick

This burn-in stick is nimble enough to get into small cracks once heated. It will also set impressively firmly as well once it has cooled. You will also be able to remove any surplus with ease using a credit card.

Special care should be taken to select the right color before purchasing.

How to Prevent Scratches on Laminate Flooring

Protective measures can go a long way towards preserving the sheen of your laminate floor and preventing the occurrence of scratches which can mar its elegance.

Here are a few cost-effective methods that will enable you to protect your floors:

1. Using Rugs and Runners

These features are great for enabling your laminate floors to better handle the inevitable wear and tear of high traffic areas, energetic kids, and playful pets. 

What’s more, they can also serve to enhance your decor ensuring you get to enjoy additional benefits for placing them around your home.

2. Doormats

Placing doormats outside and inside entrances to your home can protect your floors. External rugs will remove most of the grit and those used in the interior will protect your floors from any lingering debris, while also serving as a spot at which visitors and residents alike can leave their footwear.

3. Furniture Protection Pads

Placing felt furniture protection pads beneath the legs of your tables, stools, and chairs can significantly reduce the risk of scratches and dents on your laminate floors. Heavy-duty felt pads with a firm adhesive grip are highly recommended.

However, the presence of these pads does not mean that you should permit your furniture to be dragged rather than lifted.

(Furniture protection pads should also be replaced three times a year.)

Conclusion

Owing to an abundance of cost-effective remedies, scratches on laminate floors happen to be an issue that is generally easy to resolve.

Taking protective measures as an extra precaution can also go a long way in reducing the risk of such blemishes affecting the surfaces in your home, ensuring they can effectively enhance the elegance of your living space, as a result.

Despite being a more functional option compared to hardwood flooring in terms of cost, ease of installation, and resistance to water and staining, laminate flooring can be affected by certain issues.

One of these is bubbling. But what is it and how can you resolve it when it occurs? Find out right here where we discuss how to fix laminate floor bubbles in detail.

What Is Laminate Floor Bubbling?

Laminate floor bubbling refers to a condition that causes small parts of surfaces in this category to rise up close to the seams or at the center of planks, giving the impression that your floor is peeling slightly.

bubbling in laminate floor

Causes of Bubbling in Laminate Flooring

1. Excessive Moisture in the Air

The presence of excess moisture in the air may cause bubbling in laminate floors. This could occur during the summer, or even if you happen to live in excessively humid areas.

This issue could also be further exacerbated by a lack of adequate ventilation as well.

2. Neglecting Spills

Spills should be cleaned up instantly since laminate floors are not waterproof. Failure to do so could result in your surfaces bubbling. 

3. Using the Wrong Cleaning Methods and Products

The use of mops (either those of the manual or steam variety) can result in excess water seeping into the laminate floor and causing the layers of the plank to separate. This issue can also be caused by using the wrong cleaning products which may affect the adhesive used to hold the layers together.

The loosening of the glue may result in the veneer layer being separated from the plank which may manifest as bubbling. (This separation is also referred to as delamination and may also be caused by low-quality laminate products.)

4. Lack of an Expansion Gap

Laminate floor planks are not meant to be in contact with the walls of a room, stairs, or cabinetry.

Failure to provide an expansion gap between the planks and these components when the laminate floor is installed will result in the planks pushing up against each other during the onset of warmer weather possibly resulting in bubbling in the surface.

Leaving an expansion gap bigger than the recommended size can also lead to issues. 

5. Failure to Take Required Precautions With the Subfloor

Concrete subfloors are not impervious to water and due to their porous nature, moisture will seep through them.

If laminate flooring is installed without permitting an adequate curing period for the subfloor or without the presence of a suitable vapor barrier, it may cause moisture-related issues such as bubbling or buckling in laminate floors.

How to Fix Bubbles in Laminate Flooring?

There are several options for repairing bubbling in laminate flooring which each depend on the cause of the issue. As a result, you will need to examine the floor to determine the reason for the bubbling and select one or more of the appropriate solutions provided below:

1. Check the Extent of the Damage

If only a single plank is damaged, you will simply need to remove the molding, and then the planks from the wall, until you get to the affected plank. You will then need to remove the damaged board and replace it with another from the original batch. 

If the bubbling is more widespread, you may need to replace the entire surface since the issue is likely to be due to the floorboards being of poor quality.  

2. Provide an Expansion Gap

Are the walls level with the laminate floor planks or do they even slightly overlap them? To resolve the issue, you will need to remove the molding and cut a gap of at least a quarter of an inch to provide sufficient space to allow for the expansion of the floors during warmer weather. (The larger the surface of the laminate floors, the larger the gap will have to be.)

To cut in straight lines you will need a circular saw while a jigsaw will do for circular contours. 

A degree of skill is required to cut laminate flooring and so you may need to rely on the services of a professional.

Once you have provided the expansion gap and replaced the molding, you may need to place weights on any uneven planks to restore the smoothness of your floor.

3. Cut Through Bubbles on Planks

It is possible to cut and glue bubbles on planks. You will require the following tools:

  • A sharp knife
  • Wood glue

You will also need to:

Cut a slit through each bubble

For each affected plank you will have to make an incision through every bubble.

Apply the wood glue

Wood glue can stain the flooring and so care will need to be taken when applying it. You will need to squeeze a small amount through each incision and smoothen it. 

A weight should be applied for 24 hours to give the wood glue time to dry.

4. Glue Delaminated Wear Layers

Loose wear layers can be fixed by gluing them. You will need the following tools:

  • Putty knife
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps
  • Compressed air

For each affected spot on each plank you will have to do the following:

Apply compressed air beneath the delaminated layer

This can be done by inserting the blade of the putty knife beneath the wear layer and applying the compressed air. Doing so will enable you to ensure it is clean enough to apply the glue.

Apply the wood glue

You will have to apply the adhesive while taking care to hold the layer up with the knife and press a small quantity of wood glue beneath the topmost layer of the plank.

Clamp the planks

You will have to apply the clamps to the parts of the planks to which glue has been applied making them pretty tight.

You will also need to leave the clamps in place for 24 hours which is the period the wood glue will need to dry.

Preventing Laminate Floor Bubbling

Laminate floor bubbling can be prevented by taking the following precautions:

1. Installing Moisture Barriers

Moisture barriers with a minimum of 6mm must be installed above concrete subfloors. If you live in particularly humid areas, you will need to ensure they are at least 12 mm thick.

2. Using the Right Cleaning Methods

Excessive amounts of water should be avoided when cleaning since, it will penetrate the planks and subsequently damage them.

Acidic cleaning agents such as vinegar are also unsuitable   for laminate floors since they will affect the glue holding each plank together and cause loose veneers.

3. Making Use of Dehumidifiers 

This is especially important during summer when humidity can be rather high. Switching on your air conditioning units can also help to reduce moisture levels in the air and reduce the risk of any resulting damage to your floors.

4. Pay Close Attention to Humidity Levels

The recommended levels of humidity for laminate flooring range between a maximum of 60% and a minimum of 30%. Ensuring humidity is maintained between this range will enable you to protect your floors from the risk of any damage from excess moisture in the air.

FAQs

Can I repair swollen laminate flooring without replacing it?

It will depend on the underlying cause of the swelling. When laminate flooring swells due to the presence of excess moisture, it will not regain its original size back even when dried. Under such circumstances, it is best to replace the affected part of the floor.

However, if the swelling in the floor planks is due to the use of glue to install them, the issue would ordinarily be resolved when the moisture from the adhesive dries out (this should take about a month). There will be no need to replace the boards in this instance.

What parts of the home are the least suitable for laminate floors?

Parts of your house that will see a great deal of moisture are the least suitable for laminate floors. This includes kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms, basements, and covered porches. It is best to opt for more water-resistant flooring choices such as ceramic tiles or vinyl instead.

How can I get rid of water under laminate flooring?

Simply remove the boards and remove the excess water using a wet vacuum. Next, allow it to dry out completely. 

However, it is worth noting that the water may actually extend to other areas,

You may need to call on the services of a professional to ensure they are able to detect any further damage and thoroughly eliminate any excess moisture present, forestalling any risk of mold or mildew.

Conclusion

The main cause of bubbling in laminate floors is moisture although it may also be caused by poor quality flooring or the lack of an expansion gap.

It can easily be fixed by using wood glue, replacing the entire surface (in the case of widespread damage), or cutting an expansion gap.

Like the most bothersome issues, buckling in laminate floors seems to almost happen overnight. One moment, all seems right with your laminate floor and the next, it seems to be doing its very best to defy gravity. 

What could be the cause of that unwelcome rise right in the middle of your living room floor? Can it be rectified? If so, how to fix buckling in laminate floors?

We’ll discuss in detail each of these questions along with preventing buckling in laminate floors.

What Is Laminate Floor Buckling?

Laminate floor buckling is a condition that causes laminate floors to take on an uneven appearance due to their planks seeming to lift and split. This results in raised ridges at specific points on affected laminate floors.

laminate floor buckling

Why Do Laminate Floors Buckle?

Moisture and changes in temperature are two of the main causes of buckling in laminate floors. Quite often, the problems they cause in this regard could be as a result of the following issues:

1. Failure to clean spills on time

Although laminate flooring may possess some moisture resistance, it is not completely moisture-proof. Hence any spills should be cleaned promptly. Leaving any spills for long periods could result in moisture seeping between the floor planks, damaging them as a result.

2. Inappropriate cleaning methods

Laminate flooring is not meant to be cleaned with copious amounts of water or with a steam mop. Doing so will ensure moisture can reach the core of the planks and cause damage to them.

3. Lack of a moisture barrier

This is especially the case when installing flooring over a concrete surface. This subflooring secretes moisture over time which can affect the laminate flooring installed over it, resulting in swelling in the planks.

4. Lack of expansion gaps

Laminate floors tend to contract during colder weather and expand during warmer weather. As a result, it is important to leave expansion gaps during the installment process to accommodate such changes. Failure to do so will result in buckling when floor planks expand against each other in the absence of sufficient room for their new sizes.

5. Installing the wrong type of flooring

Not all laminate floors are suitable for rooms exposed to a great deal of moisture (such as kitchens, mudrooms, and bathrooms). Using the wrong variety which is especially susceptible to water can result in buckling.

6. Failure to acclimatize flooring

Like hardwood and vinyl flooring, you need to acclimatize laminate flooring so that it can adjust to the temperature and moisture levels of its surroundings.

To do so, you will need to leave the flooring in its packaging, lying flat on the floor for a minimum of 48 hours, in the room it is to be installed in.

How To Fix Buckling In Laminate Floors?

Buckling in laminate floors can be fixed. However, different measures may be required depending on the nature and the extent of the damage.

As a result, you will need to take the following steps:

1. Ascertain the source of the moisture

You will need to first ensure that the buckling is not being caused by leakage of some sort. For example, if the flooring surface in your kitchen happens to be affected, you will need to ensure that it is not a result of any leaking pipes or appliances.

If you happen to have a concrete subfloor, you will need to ensure that a vapor barrier has been installed to protect your laminate planks from any moisture which may seep through the concrete.

You will also need to wipe any spills which may have been left unattended.

Once you have done so you will need to switch on your dehumidifiers. However, it is worth noting that while dehumidifying the affected area may resolve the issue if it happens to be minor, you may need to implement one or more of the following steps presented below in the event of the damage being somewhat more extensive.

2. Replace part of your floor

If a relatively small part of your floor happens to be affected, you will need to remove the damaged portion by implementing the following steps:

  • Remove the molding closest to the part of the floor which needs to be replaced.
  • Remove the tongue of each plank from the groove of the one closest to it, and then remove the segment of laminate flooring. (This should be repeated  until you get to the damaged part of the floor, and you should discard any planks which happen to be damaged.)
  • Replace the damaged planks with boards from the new batch, locking them as you proceed to the molding (simply locking in any planks you have retained to their former position as well). Special care should be taken to ensure that an expansion gap is left to prevent buckling in the future.
  • Tap the planks with a hammer and a wood block to ensure they are firmly set.
  • Replace the molding.

It is also possible to saw off the affected part using a circular saw and tape, however, this method is somewhat more complex and may require the services of a professional.

The possibility of having to replace part of your floor means that ordering surplus quantities is always recommended. If not, you may have to order another batch if possible.

3. Provide an expansion gap

If the issue is caused by the lack of an expansion gap, you will need to remove the molding. You will also have to create the gap using spacers and cutting out part of the floor close to the walls. The minimum recommended size for an expansion gap is a quarter of an inch. Also, make sure that the expansion gaps left when installing your floor aren’t too big.

The molding will need to be replaced following the procedure.

How To Prevent Buckling In Laminate Floors?

Unlike hardwood flooring, laminate flooring cannot be sanded. It will also not return to its original state when dried in the event of sustaining significant water damage. As a result, taking special precautions to protect your floor is rather important. Here are how you will be able to do so:

1. React promptly to spills

Any spills should be promptly cleaned up. If necessary, you may need to use a wet-dry vacuum to ensure as much water as possible is removed from the seams.

2. Check plumbing and appliances regularly

If you have installed laminate flooring in kitchens or bathrooms, you will need to regularly check the plumbing in those rooms to ensure it is in peak condition. Potential problem spots such as toilets, sinks, and heaters should be inspected closely.

You will also need to inspect your appliances as well, to ensure none of them happens to be leaking, constituting a buckling hazard as a result.

3. Opt for other flooring surfaces where possible

Although laminate flooring is more water-resistant than hardwood, it is by no means waterproof.

Hence, installing it in rooms where spills and leakages are more likely to occur, will significantly increase the risk of buckling.

As a result, opting for waterproof options where possible is highly recommended. It is actually possible to obtain high-quality vinyl flooring which will enhance the esthetic quality of your kitchen, shower room, and mudroom.

4. Choose the right kind of flooring

If you are intent on installing laminate flooring in rooms where a great deal of water is used, you will need to ensure you select a water-resistant variety.

You will also need to take special care during installation to ensure that the seams are as tight as possible.

It may also be possible for you to use a polyurethane laminate floor sealant for the entire floor. 

However, it is also worth noting that doing so may actually void your warranty and so you will need to pay close attention to the manufacturer’s stipulations in this regard before proceeding with this step.

Some things are meant to go hand in hand together, laminate floors and wax, however, do not belong to that select category. 

So what do you do when you find out that your other half, your babysitter, or soon-to-be least favorite cousin has decided to provide an extra touch of shine to your laminate floor, using either floor wax to give it a pleasant polish, or a floor cleaner which contains the substance? 

How do you handle the inevitable dullness which sets in making your floor which you were once so proud of seeming as though it needs an immediate and thorough clean?

How can you get rid of all that wax and enjoy a pristine laminate floor once more? 

Find out what you will need and what steps to take to have your floor cleaned to a state of perfection once again.

wax buildup on laminate floors

How To Remove Wax Buildup From Laminate Floors

Things You’ll Need

Removing wax buildup from laminate floors is an undertaking that is likely to require a great deal of elbow grease on your part. Having the right items for the task, however, can ensure all that effort yields rich dividends.

Here are the items you will need to rid your floor of the coating of wax covering it:

  • Hairdryer
  • Plastic drywall scraper
  • Bucket
  • Water and vinegar (for your homemade cleaning solution)
  • Clean cloths
  • Vacuum cleaner

1. Vacuuming Your Floor

This first step will make the entire process easier by removing any lingering debris. You will need to ensure that you do not use the beater bar or rotating brush during the procedure since doing so may result in the floor getting covered in scratches. 

2. Soften the Wax

Wax can be softened by applying heat to it and doing so will make the entire process of removing the wax buildup from your laminate floor easier. 

However, steam mops are not a suitable option for surfaces in this category since manufacturers usually do not approve of using them on floors that have not been completely sealed. 

Using them on laminate floors does mean that the moisture can seep between the planks and cause damage to your flooring.

Hairdryers are the best option and you will need to set the appliance you intend to use to medium before heating the wax with it.

3. Scrape off the Wax

You will need to use your plastic hand scraper to remove the softened wax. For the best results, you should draw the tool lengthwise down the planks. 

Working across their width may not only cause smears but also cause the accumulation of wax between the planks.

A metal scraper should never be used in place of a plastic one.

4. Wipe off the Wax

Once as much wax as possible has been scraped off, you will need to mix your cleaning solution.

This will involve the following items:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1-gallon hot water

Simply mix the vinegar and hot water together in a bucket and it will be ready to use.

You will then need to dip a clean cloth in the vinegar solution, wring it and use it to wipe the wax, moving the wet cloth in one direction only. You will also need to rinse the cloth in the solution and repeat.

Alternatively, you may also pour the solution in a spray bottle and spray slight amounts on sections that need to be cleaned.

If you prefer to work from a standing position instead of having to kneel, it will also be possible to wrap the cloth around a microfiber mop head.

5. Buff the Floor

Once you have covered the entire surface, you will need to leave it to dry, allowing a minimum of 30 minutes to elapse.

Any spots should be buffed with a microfiber cloth as doing so will ensure the entire floor will have a uniform gleam at the end of the procedure.

Additional Tips: Removing Wax From Laminate Flooring

1. Use Rubbing Alcohol 

Other than a vinegar and water solution, wax on laminate flooring can also be removed using rubbing alcohol.

Simply apply it to a cloth and use it to clean the wax buildup. (You will need to have scraped the surface first.)

2. Use Mineral Spirits and Paint Thinner for Difficult Spots

What happens when you come across particularly stubborn patches of wax that simply will not budge? Apply mineral spirits or paint thinner to remove them and render your laminate floors wax-free.

3. Use the Hard Floor Attachment

When vacuuming, use the hard floor attachment rather than the beater bar. The latter is meant for carpeting and its bristles rotate thousands of times each minute. Using them on your laminate flooring (or even hardwood surfaces) will result in a dull appearance due to the damage caused to the finish.

4. Use a Store-Bought Solution 

There are store-bought solutions that can also be used to remove accumulated wax from your laminate floors.

Trewax Instant Remover is one such example. Versatile and free of any unpleasant odors, this cleaner manufactured by Beaumont Products is both safe and easy to use and has been proven to be capable of stripping off wax from laminate floors and also getting rid of unsightly footprints. It is also ammonia-free which is an added plus since the chemical is unsuitable for laminate floors.

Additional Tips: Cleaning Laminate Flooring

1. Always Use Manufacturer-Approved Cleaning Products

Using manufacturer-approved products will prevent your floors from taking on a filmy appearance which often occurs as a result of using the wrong sort of cleaning solution. 

It can be especially difficult, or might even be impossible to remove, even when a switch to the right kind of cleaning product is made, hence, it is important to use the right products from the outset.

2. Vacuum Frequently

Doing so will prevent the buildup of debris which can cause scratches on your floor. It will also prevent the likelihood of bits of grit getting stuck beneath footwear or in your mop heads and possibly scratching the finish.

3. Wash Your Microfiber Mops Frequently

Doing so will keep them pristine and ensure they can also keep your floors spotless as a result. 

Fabric softener should never be used when washing your mop heads. Doing so will cause the fibers of your microfiber mops to stick together. 

Once this happens, your floors might take on that hazy appearance even though you use the right kind of cleaner.

4. Read Product Labels Carefully

What happens when you need to choose an alternative cleaner in the event of your go-to, manufacturer-approved floor cleaner being unavailable?

To ensure you select the right kind of cleaner, you will need to read the label carefully to check that it does not contain any wax.

Guests who won’t take off their shoes, kids who love nothing better than clambering onto one piece of furniture and launching themselves off it and onto another, that armchair which actually turned out to be heavier than it looked. These are just a few reasons scuff marks can appear on your smooth gleaming wooden floors and detract from the pleasant natural touch they bring to their surroundings.

Thankfully such unsightly blemishes can often be removed. We discuss exactly how you can do so by showing you what you will need and how to remove scuff marks from wood floors and as a result, restore your surface to its original perfection.

scuff mark on hardwood floors

10 Ways to Remove Scuff Marks From Hardwood Floors

Scuff marks are actually blemishes on the finish of a hardwood floor and are by no means permanent. As a result, they can often be removed by means of simple procedures.  

The items you will need to remove them can be easily obtained and are by no means costly, ensuring you will be able to get rid of those scuff marks without needing to expend a great deal of time or effort.

However, it is worth noting that scuff marks need to be removed as soon as they appear since they are easier to get rid of when they are new.

1. Buffing With a Damp Cloth

Items you will need

  • A small quantity of water
  • Clean microfiber cloths/ a towel/ a sponge

If you have a clean microfiber cloth, towel, or sponge, all you will need to do to remove any scuff marks from your wood floor is simply dampen one of those items with a little warm water and buff the spot.

It is worth noting that although this method can be effective for new scuff marks, it may not be as efficient for those which have lasted for some time. 

2. Using  an Eraser

Items you will need

  • A pink pencil eraser/a rubber eraser
  • Clean cloth/towels
  • Some water

The first thing you will need to do is slightly wet a towel or cloth and wipe the scuff mark with it. Next, you will have to apply the eraser to the blemish. Once it has been gotten rid of, you will need to clean the floor with another dry cloth.

To achieve the best results, you will need to ensure you use a clean eraser. Alternatively, it would also be possible for you to buy rubber scuff erasers from a retailer specializing in home decoration.

However, you should be aware of the fact that frequently relying on an eraser to remove scuff marks on wood floors may eventually dull their shine.

3. Footwear With Rubber Soles

Items you will need

  • Rubber-soled shoes

If you have shoes that have rubber soles, you will also have the option of slipping them on and rubbing them over the scuff marks to remove them.

Paying close attention to the color of your soles and your floors is important since soles may actually cause discoloration on your floors if the latter happen to be lighter in color. 

4. A Tennis Ball

Items you will need

  • A brand new tennis ball
  • A knife
  • A mop stick

This method will require your cutting an ‘X’ in the ball and inserting the mop stick into it. 

Next, you will need to rub the tennis ball against the scuff mark taking care not to apply too much pressure. Following this procedure, the scuff mark should disappear. 

5. Baking Soda

Items you will need

  • Baking soda
  • A clean microfiber cloth/sponge
  • Warm water

This option is ideal for floors that have perfectly smooth surfaces and no scratches. You will have to make a paste with the baking soda and dabbing it with a clean cloth or sponge, apply it to the scuff marks.

Any residue should be wiped away with a clean damp cloth.

6. Toothpaste

Items you will need

  • White non-gel toothpaste
  • A clean microfiber cloth/sponge

Like baking soda, toothpaste happens to be one of the mildest abrasives available, it is also only suitable for smooth floors with no scratches since it may get into them and contrast with your floor especially if the surface happens to be darker in color.

Simply use a cloth to apply the toothpaste to the scuff mark and wipe it off with another clean damp cloth.

7. Applying WD40

Items you will need

  • WD40
  • Microfiber cloth

WD40 is an excellent option for light scuff marks. All you will have to do is simply spray the solvent onto the affected part of your floor and then wipe it with a microfiber cloth.

In addition to being ideal for restoring the uniform appearance of your floor, WD40 may also make it gleam when applied. However, it can also make your floor rather slippery and you will need to ensure you remove any residue.

8. Applying Mineral Spirits

Items you will need

  • Mineral spirits
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Gloves
  • Dish soap

In addition to being suitable for thinning paint, cleaning brushes, and taking care of slight scratches, mineral spirits are also ideal for cleaning scuff marks. 

All you will need to do is apply a small amount to a clean microfiber cloth and wipe the affected area. Since this product can cause slight irritation and is also flammable, you may need to wear gloves when applying it. You will also need to clean the residue away with dish soap to ensure none is left behind.

9. Steel Wool

Items you will need

  • Grade #0000 fine steel wool
  • Floor wax

This option is best used when you intend to get rid of scuff marks which are particularly difficult to remove. 

It is also worth noting that it comes with the risk of dulling the shine of the surface it is used on. A good solution to that issue is to apply a slight quantity of floor wax to the steel wool before using it to remove the scuff marks

10. Store-Bought Products

Items you will need

  • A store-bought solution
  • A clean microfiber cloth/sponge

Store-bought products for caring for hardwood floors can also be used to remove scuff marks.An example is the Bruce Hardware Floor Cleaner which is renowned for its ability to keep hardwood floors shiny and in excellent condition without leaving any residue. All you will need to do is spray a small quantity on the damaged area before wiping it with a cloth. No additional wiping will be required afterward.

If your once shiny laminate floors have become dull and smudgy, then you know how frustrating it can be to try to correct this.

Of course, laminate flooring has come a long way since the mid-1990s when Pergo introduced it to the U.S. retail market.

Back then, there were very few design options for laminate flooring. Laminate floors weren’t designed with “shiny” in mind.

But soon, Armstrong, Mannington, and others began manufacturing laminate floors as well. Where there are competitors, there’s competition.

As a result, today’s laminate floors are even harder and more durable than ever. You can select from many styles, colors, shades, textures, and sheens. They can truly be anything you want them to be.  

Despite this, you may find yourself wondering why your laminate floors don’t look as good as they did when they were first installed. What do you do now that they aren’t as fresh-looking or they’ve become dull?

In this article, we’ll identify:

  • Possible causes or reasons for your laminate floors’ dull  appearance
  • How to make your laminate floors shine
  • How to keep your laminate floors looking shiny and new
shiny laminate floor

Why Do My Laminate Floors Look Dull?

There are a few reasons for this type of situation. But few of these are likely to cause your laminate floors to become dull overnight. Dulling usually happens gradually.

Causes of dull laminate floors can include:

Traffic

In high traffic areas, the cause is the traffic itself. This is the most common cause of dulling. This kind of dulling is also an example of the gradual kind.

Cleaning Products

Not all floor cleaning products are alike. Not all are intended for laminate floors. The wrong product can leave your floors with a dull film.

If your laminate floors have suddenly become dull, some thought should be given to the product most recently applied to your floors’ surface. If there’s been a recent change, this is the likely culprit.

Dust

A dusty film will leave any surface looking dull. Again, consider another cleaning product if dust seems to be returning more quickly than it once did. Something in the product might be attracting it or causing it to stick. This would cause small amounts to remain after dry-mopping.

Residue Build-up

The accumulation of dust, dirt and inappropriate cleaning products combined can leave your laminate floors looking dull and lifeless. 

Exposure

Of course, the finish on today’s laminate floors almost invariably involves UV protection. Where a floor is exposed to bright sunlight for several hours daily, it will remain protected from the damage caused by the sun’s ultra-violet rays.

However, while the most advanced form of protection from ultra-violet rays is blended into the floors’ finish, it is not a completely impenetrable armor. 

Moreover, UV protection will do nothing to protect your floors from the heat that direct sunlight throws off. Heat takes its toll on the surface of almost anything. Even if a section of your laminate floors is exposed to temperatures that are only somewhat elevated, the duration of the exposure is where the difference lies.

Over the course of a few years, exposure to higher temperatures can cause the exposed section of the floor to become dull and worn out.  

For hardwood and engineered hardwood floors, it’s possible to sand, stain, and refinish the affected section.  

Laminate floors are a different story. Replacement of the affected section should be considered.

Will Polyurethane or Paste Wax Make My Laminate Floors Shine?

Laminate floors are prefinished when they leave the factory. The finish is described in terms of “sheen”. The most common types are high gloss, semi-gloss, satin, and matte.

Depending on the type of finish applied during manufacture, your laminate floors might not have been intended to have a very glossy look. This would be the case with satin and matte finishes.

If your laminate floor was purchased with a semi-gloss pre-finish, then it was intended to be, you guessed it; somewhat or semi-glossy.

Any attempt to change the sheen type is likely to result not only in failure but quite possibly, a ruined floor.

Laminate floors are somewhat more flexible than hardwood and engineered hardwood. Typically, any finish that you apply would be very rigid once it dries and cures. Application of a rigid finish over a flexible board would likely result in a compromised finish.

Ultimately, the new finish would crack and flake until the entire floor looked like it came down with a serious case of dandruff. Removing the most recent application without damaging the original finish underneath would be next to impossible.

More importantly, the application of anything not intended for your laminate floor can void the warranty.

Application of a polyurethane coating or paste wax is something that can’t first be tested in a small, inconspicuous area of your floor. The flexibility of the floor versus the rigidity of the polyurethane or hardened wax finish on top of it is what’s being tested.

With this in mind, applying the finish in an inconspicuous area will not offer an accurate simulation of the conditions. 

How To Make Dull Laminate Floors Look Shiny and New

The best way to accomplish this is to first, get the floor as clean as possible.

If you’re considering a change of cleaning solution, you should know that solutions that contain acid in any form, should be avoided. This includes vinegar. The internet is filled with suggestions to use vinegar on finished flooring. Using vinegar in such cases is a big mistake. Acidic solutions do not help a floor’s finish. Acid is a corrosive that breaks down the finish. This makes it far more difficult to keep a floor clean and shiny.  

There are better and more effective ways to remove the build-up of residue that’s causing your floors to look dull. 

Things You’ll Need:

● Floor Vacuum: A floor vacuum is the best and fastest way to remove surface debris and dust from your laminate floors. If you don’t have a floor vacuum, you can use your carpet vacuum’s hard floor setting or floor accessory attachment. As long as whatever you use doesn’t have a beater bar, this will do the job.

● Flat Mop: A mop with a reversible head offers either side of the mop pad for use without the need of switching between mopping and dust mopping.

● Microfiber Cleaning Pads And Dusting Pads

● A Clean Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

● Deep Cleaning Solution For Laminate Floors: Some manufacturers of laminate floor cleaning solutions offer a deep cleaning solution in their product line-up. Others offer a general-purpose, laminate floor cleaning solution. In this case, the deep cleaning type is called for. If you can find one with a spray nozzle, this is even better.

Be sure to clear the room of furniture, décor, and other objects. It’s easier to simply move these than it is to try to work around them repeatedly during the process.

Use your vacuum to remove all dust and loose debris from your laminate floors. If your vacuum doesn’t pick up well along edges and around corners, consider using a dust mop in these areas.

Then follow the dust mop by wiping these areas with a damp cloth. It’s important not to have any loose particles on the floor before applying the deep cleaning solution.

Next, apply the deep cleaning solution according to the directions on the label.

This can be followed up with a laminate restoring solution. If you do this, try to use a product made by the same manufacturer as the deep cleaning solution.

Once you’re done with this process, your laminate floors can be cleaned regularly using a cleaning solution intended for routine cleaning of laminate floors.

Again, try to purchase items from the same product line. That way, if you need help or have any questions, you need only call a single source at a single phone number.

How to Keep Your Laminate Floors Looking Shiny and New

The less dust and debris that are allowed on your laminate floors, the better. Allowing either or both these things to accumulate can cause your laminate floors to become dull and tired-looking. Be sure to remove dust and debris regularly with a floor vacuum or microfiber dust mop.

Follow up the dusting frequently with a damp mop cleaning. Simply spray a fine mist of water from a spray bottle onto your laminate floors. Then buff the floor dry with the dusting side of your mop pad.

Damp-mop cleaning doesn’t need to take place every time you dust your laminate floors. But if your household has a lot of activity, pets, and heavy traffic, you should consider damp mopping every few days. Use a general floor cleaning solution for laminate floors every two or three weeks or as necessary.

Above all else, be sure to follow the recommendations of your laminate floors’ manufacturer and follow the directions on product labels.