Appealing hardwood visuals and marvelous slate and stone looks are the hallmark of today’s laminate. It simply looks like the real thing. And laminate flooring is great for busy families: it installs easily, wears incredibly well, and comes in breathtaking colors and styles. High-end and fashionable, laminate’s a hot choice.
Today’s laminate looks so realistic, you’ll find yourself asking, “Is it laminate … or is it hardwood?”
It’s laminate, all right—the stylish result of continuing breakthroughs in modern technology and manufacturing methods. There are styles that convey the authentic look of wood or the classic appeal of ceramic tile.
Various shades and finishes allow you to choose the wood look down to the species, and now laminates are mimicking hardwood even more. Some laminates offer beveled, distressed, and highly textured options—giving your laminate floor not only the look of hardwood, but the feel of it, too.
Laminates are inherently “green,” because they use fewer resources and far less wood in their manufacture. And because they’re durable—some styles even offer 25-year warranties—you don’t have to replace laminate floors as often.
Consider laminate for a distinctive look that’s beautifully affordable … and affordably beautiful.
Laminate’s construction makes it inherently durable, but you’ll want to remember a few basics of routine care, protection, and repair. Depend on us to let you know all about these methods for keeping your laminate floor at its most attractive.
Shaw Laminate Flooring is naturally durable; learn how to keep it looking great while standing up to the toughest household conditions.
Follow routine maintenance guidelines to clean your laminate flooring
- Use a damp cloth to blot up spills as soon as they happen. Never allow liquids to stand on your floor.
- For tough spots, such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, ink, or tar, use acetone/nail polish remover on a clean white cloth, then wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.
- Sweep, dust, or vacuum the floor regularly with the hard floor attachment (not the beater bar) to prevent accumulation of dirt and grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.
- Periodically clean the floor with cleaning products made specifically for laminate floor care. For optimum results, we recommend Shaw's R2X Hard Surfaces Flooring Cleaner.
- Do not wash or wet mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, warping, delamination, and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.
- Do not use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, or strong ammoniated or chlorinated type cleaners.
- Do not use any type of buffing or polishing machine.
- For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
- A more frequent dust-mopping or vacuuming schedule may be required in very sandy areas such as a beach home.
Protect your laminate flooring to keep it looking like new
- Entry mats will help collect the dirt, sand, grit, and other substances such as oil, asphalt, or driveway sealer that might otherwise be tracked onto your floor.
- To prevent slippage of area rugs, use an approved vinyl rug underlayment.
- Use floor protectors and wide-load bearing leg bases/rollers to minimize the chance of indentations and scratches from heavy objects. As a rule, the heavier the object, the wider the floor protector.
- Maintain a normal indoor relative humidity level between 35% and 65% throughout the year to minimize the natural expansion and contraction of the wood.
- a. Heating season (Dry): A humidifier is recommended to prevent excess shrinkage due to low humidity levels. Wood stove and electric heat tend to create very dry conditions.
- b. Non-Heating Season (Wet): An air conditioner, dehumidifier, or periodically turning on your heating will help to maintain humidity levels during summer months.
- Avoid excessive exposure to water during periods of inclement weather.
- Keep your pets nails trimmed to prevent them from scratching your floor.
- Never try to slide heavy objects across the floor.
- A protective mat should be used for furniture or chairs with castors.
Repair your laminate flooring when damage occurs
In the event that accidental damage occurs to one of the planks, minor scratches or dents can be repaired using a Flooring Touchup or Color-fill Kit. This special touchup kit is a filler material, color coordinated to the color of your floor so that, when used properly, the repaired area is often invisible. The repaired area will hold up to foot traffic and wear just like the rest of your laminate flooring.
Glueless laminate board replacement and repairs
Shaw glueless laminate may be assembled and disassembled several times. Carefully disassembled glueless joints will retain their original locking integrity during re-assembly. New replacement plank(s) should be acclimated in the replacement area for at least 72 hours, to allow them to equalize to the conditions of the flooring in the room where the replacement(s) will take place.
- Remove baseboard, wall base, or quarter-round as needed to replace the damaged board(s).
- Take the flooring apart, 1 row at a time, by lifting the rows to detach them; then separating the individual boards. Be sure to stack the individual planks in the proper order for re-installation. This usually eliminates the need to cut planks for start or end of the row lengths.
- Replace the damaged board with a piece from the edge of the original installation.
- Insert the properly acclimated new plank(s) along the outer edge of the original flooring installation during re-assembly. This minimizes the chance that a newer plank might stand out from the wear condition of the original installation.
- Re-install the baseboard, wall base, or quarter round, and the replacement-repair is complete.
We help you every step of the way after you’ve selected your new floor: professional on-site measurement, removal of old flooring, and skilled installation that includes moving your furniture and replacing trim. We do it all expertly, so your floor will look amazing and give lasting satisfaction. Learn the particulars about laminate installation here.
If you want a problem-free installation—and we all want that!—here’s a checklist of things to do before the installer arrives.
- Make sure you know who’s removing your existing flooring. If you wish, the installer will do it. If not, you should make arrangements to have it removed.
- Who’s moving the furniture? Decide in advance if you want to take on the responsibility or if you want the installer to handle it. Either way, be sure to remove all fragile items from the room.
- In general, your laminate should run parallel to windows or, in narrow rooms, to the longest wall.
- Measure door clearances before you have your laminate installed. If the new floor is thicker than your existing floor, door bottoms may rub. Plan in advance to have someone shave or saw the correct amount off the bottom of each door so it does not drag.
- Paint first. If you’re planning to paint, wallpaper, or do any other remodeling in the room, it’s best to do it before your laminate is installed. Keep extra paint to touch up any post-installation nicks.
It’s also a good idea to check with us directly to find out if there are other actions we recommend before installation. Just call a member of our friendly sales staff.