Since the inception of laminate flooring, ease of maintenance has been one of its largest assets. Due to the composition and construction of the product, as well as the extremely hard Aluminum Oxide wear layer, laminate flooring is perhaps the easiest type of flooring to maintain.
General daily maintenance requires vacuuming, sweeping and dust mopping. Several generic cleaning solutions are also available to clean laminate floors. Most major laminate flooring manufacturers also have their own cleaning kits with instructions. Most kits contain a terry cloth mop and a spray-on cleaning solution. The cleaner is sprayed onto the mop-head and then the floor is wiped clean. It is very important that you follow the maintenance schedule of the product you purchase. Ask your retailer or manufacturer on the specifics of maintaining your floor. Virtually all of the warranties require a specific maintenance schedule be followed.
Laminate floors are fade, stain, dent, burn and scratch resistant. However, it is still possible that you may end up with a scratch, "nick" or dent that will require repair. Laminate flooring is very tough, but it is not "bullet proof". If a problem arises, there are a few ways to repair or hide the damage.
The first and most difficult method is to replace the affected board(s). All manufacturers have instructions on "How to replace a board". This will require some tools, patience and skill. "Glue-less" laminate floors should be the easiest when board replacement is required. To replace a board you must follow the specific instructions of the manufacturer of the flooring you are installing, or hire a professional. If you decide to hire a professional installer, make sure that they follow the instructions as well. Although they have "done it before", remember that it is your warranty you must consider.
Major manufacturers also have "touch up" kits available. These kits may include acrylic or latex putty, wax pencils or crayons. This type of repair kit is for small scratches and/or dents. These kits are a very cost effective way of repairing your laminate flooring.
The best way to keep your laminate floor looking its best is to understand its limitations. You must follow the maintenance techniques and schedules of the flooring you purchase. Do not mop any laminate floor with soap or water. You should also use floor protectors (felt or other) under chairs and other furniture on the flooring. As stated earlier, laminate flooring is a very durable flooring option, however, it can be damaged. With proper care, you will enjoy your laminate floor for many years to come.