How To Care For Wood Laminate Vinyl Flooring When The Package Doesn't Include Care Instructions

Posted on: 27 August 2018

One of the latest products in wood flooring is a vinyl laminate product that strikingly looks like wood but is not. Hence, you do not have to care for it in the same way as wood. Unfortunately, when the boxes of snap-together planks of this product do not include floor cleaning and care instructions, you are left wondering how to clean such a floor after you have installed it. Here is how a professional floor cleaning service might approach this issue.

Does Water Bead Up on It?

A little bit of water dropped on a plank will tell you a lot about this type of flooring. If the water beads up into bubbled pools, then the product is fairly waterproof. This is important, as it dictates what kind of cleaner you can use.

Is There ANY Wood in It at All?

There should not be with vinyl snap-together planks, but there are hybrid products out there. Porosity is key, as is a slightly waxy surface. If liquid dissipates a little or makes the surface of the planks slippery, you may have a hybrid product. Use a floor cleaner meant for wood, wood laminates, and any products containing even a little wood. If the vinyl wood-look planks are strictly vinyl, water-based cleaners are perfectly safe.

Are Bare Floor Steam Cleaners Okay?

There are some very handy vacuum/steam cleaning mops out there. You might be wondering if you can use any of these on this type of flooring. Actually, you can, and they come highly recommended with this type of flooring in mind. Running both the vacuum and steam mop features together cuts out the sweeping step, allowing you to "sweep" and mop at the same time.

Additionally, the steam is able to cut through sticky, dried-on messes on these planks that would take extra scrubbing to remove with a traditional mop. The extra scrubbing might scratch and scrape the surface of the vinyl, revealing that your "wood" floor is not wood at all. Hence, the steam mop is a gentler approach to floor cleaning.

Avoid Heavy Oil-Based Cleaners

Because your new flooring is not really wood, you do not need to bathe it in heavy, oil-based cleaners. Those types of cleaners are meant to keep wood floors from drying out and splintering. These cleaners cannot penetrate vinyl, so they would just sit on top of the planks, creating a very greasy and slippery mess.