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Laminate Flooring Frequently Asked Questions: Cleaning & More

by Bestlaminate
Published: Updated: 18 comments 4 minutes read

Bestlaminate is here to answer some of the most popular laminate flooring questions. We have 4 new answers to questions that you submitted!

1. As a family with kids and pets, what should we look for when shopping for wood laminate flooring?

Laminate Flooring with Dog

The AC Rating of laminate flooring is something you will want to look at closely. We carry several brands that offer an AC Rating that is recommended for heavy traffic areas, and even commercial areas. The minimum for general residential use, would be an AC3 rated floor. However, if you have large pets and kids that tend to be bouncing off the walls and floors, you may want to consider an AC4 rated floor. AC4 rated floors are rated for general commercial use, such as stores and shops where there will be lots of foot traffic from customers. This slightly higher rating will usually come with a longer warranty too, since you are purchasing a high quality product.

You should read the warranty carefully as it won’t cover some problems, but if you don’t want to pull up your floor in 10 years because it is worn out, consider a floor that offers a 25 year to lifetime residential warranty. If a company is willing to replace manufacturing defect flooring for a LIFETIME you bet they’re sure they have a sound product. Laminate flooring is an investment in your home, one that you will enjoy for many years.

2. Do you have any tips for cleaning my laminate floor?

How to clean laminate floors

Laminate flooring is known to be low maintenance and easy to clean. A quick sweeping or light mopping is all it takes to maintain your flooring. Use a solution of water and vinegar to mop your flooring. This natural method will kill bacteria and mold, leaving your home naturally fresh and clean.

3. How much extra flooring should I get when buying new flooring?

For normal rooms, the golden rule is to purchase 5% extra flooring material due to damaged planks, wrong cuts, and the like. For kitchen installations and when you install laminate tiles, you will want to order up to 10% extra, since flooring may be damaged due to water leaks or other mishaps. Since this wasn’t the first time this question has been asked, we’ve explained what the waste factor is in a previous article.

4. What tools do I need for installation?

Continue installing your flooring

The 5 Essential Tools for Laminate Flooring Installation are:

  1. Measuring tape
  2. Reversed jigsaw blade with teeth pointing down
  3. Dry erasable marker
  4. Undercut saw
  5. Tapping block and Pull bar

Laminate flooring is a DIY lover’s project. Many homeowners feel a great deal of accomplishment upon installing a new laminate floor in their home. Keep in mind, each house and installation situation is different. To get a better understanding of exactly what you need, check out our installation check-list!

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*This post was updated from 2010 to give you a better reading experience!

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18 comments

William Morton March 12, 2013 - 10:10 pm

We live in a split level home built in ’94. Radiant hydro heating in poured concrete slabs on both floors. We are looking at putting 15.3mm laminate upstairs. It comes with a foam backing pre-installed.

My question is this, do I need to put a vapor barrier down between the concrete and the foam backing on the laminate on the upper floor?

Even down stairs, the concrete that contains the piping for the hot water is on top of the concrete foundation. If I were installing this on the bottom floor (which is below grade) I would definitely put a vapor barrier – but if I don’t need to do it upstairs, I’d rather not have to mess with it.

Suggestions?

Reply
admin March 17, 2013 - 7:37 am

Thank you for your question. First of all we suggest to contact manufacturer of your floor and check all requirements and rules related to the installation of flooring over radiant heating. Some products exclude this option and void warranty in case you follow with the installation. If it will be one of our floors and installation over radian heating is allowed, we will suggest to use additional layer of vapor barrier over cement subfloor.

Reply
roberta January 6, 2013 - 12:24 pm

we want to put a laminated flooring in our livingroom we have wood floors now that aren’t level. How level does the floor have to be. my husband says he doesn’t think it matters if it is no real level but others say different what do u say?

Reply
Fred February 1, 2013 - 4:33 pm

Roberta, because laminate is a floating floor the subfloor does not have to be perfectly level in order to install it. The pitch should not be more than an eighth of an inch heighth difference for every foot , you can use a 12″ level to check the pitch. You will need to level all areas that dont fit that criteria, also you may need to scrape or sand down any high spots that you might have in the subfloor in order to level things out.
Good Luck, Fred

Reply
igor kupershlak November 15, 2012 - 7:39 am

after master laminate my floor in bedrum,the level of the floor lost.what it can be?i suspect that the under pad was install not properly not on surface but in sam places.what can i do?haw can i found out if i am correct?

Reply
Fred November 16, 2012 - 10:42 am

Igor K., I am not sure why your floor is not level. If the underlayment was not installed properly it could cause the floor to be unlevel. Also your subfloor can be unlevel. The only way to tell is if you disconnect the laminate floor, inspect the underlayment and use a bubble level to check the levelness of the subfloor. Good Luck,

Fred

Reply
david white June 22, 2012 - 10:57 am

Question: Mopping worn laminate, and laminates look without finish

I clean laminate floors for my clients. I use microfiber flat mops and warm water to clean. If I dont mop with the direction of the wood grain, the floor will look smeared.

Can you explain why worn laminate finish has this effect, and why mopping this way works? Also can you tell what worn no finish laminate looks like before it is mopped? Thanks

Reply
Fred July 16, 2012 - 10:48 am

David, There might be residue on the laminate which is causing the floor to look smeared. I’m not sure why it looks better when you mop in the dirction of the wood, we have never experienced any problems with that before. I would suggest to call the manufacturer, they will be able to answer your question more thoroughly.

Reply
Lora Mick September 8, 2011 - 3:18 pm

I brought 12mm flooring & my installer is having touble installing it. It will not click together. Put down laminate flooring is not new to him. He has installed many floors with laminate. But this is takeing 4 times as long to put down . Is there any tricks to put it down?

Reply
Fred September 8, 2011 - 5:26 pm

Lora, There are many videos that your installer can watch on youtube to help with installation techniques. Laminate flooring manufacturers have many different locking systems and methods of installation. A professionally trained laminate flooring installer should have no problems installing this floor. I have seen many people who say that they are very experienced laminate flooring installers when really they are not and they simply underestimate the work that needs to be done and the time that it takes to install the floor correctly.

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