Shiny and new: Removing scratches and scrapes from laminate flooring
Laminated floors are a popular alternative to hardwood, stone, and tile floors. They’re available in pretty much every colour, texture, and finish pattern you can imagine, are cheaper to install than their natural-material counterparts, and easy to clean and maintain. With all of these benefits, it’s no surprise that laminate (also called vinyl) flooring is the most common type of flooring in new homes in the UK, the US, Europe, and many other parts of the world.
Unfortunately, laminate floors are prone to scratches, scrapes, and scuffs that can quickly become unavoidable eye sores. We can’t help but notice a high-contrast scrape on an otherwise perfect ‘wooden’ floor, or an unnatural looking scrape on flooring that is supposed to resemble stone. It’s as if they reach up to us, demanding our attention each time we walk by.
Luckily, removing scratches and scrapes from laminate flooring is a fairly simple and straightforward process. Almost all minor scrapes and scratches can be completely removed using a simple laminate flooring repair kit. These kits come in all shapes and sizes and are readily available at hardware shops and online.
In this article, we’ll look at how you can repair minor to medium scrapes and scratches in your laminate flooring at home.
Step 1: Evaluate the scrape, get the supplies you’ll need, and clean the area
Arguably the hardest part of this otherwise very simple job is finding a repair kit that has the exact right shade of wax or filler to match your vinyl. If your filler is off by even just a shade or two, the scrape might be gone, but you’ll still be looking at that spot every time you walk by. For this reason, we recommend that you take a well-lit photo –use natural light if you can– before looking for a repair kit. This will help ensure that you get just the right shade.
If your scrape is very small or thin and you don’t need a filler, you’re in luck. You could get away with a laminate floor repair crayon in the right shade and nothing else. If you’re unsure about the exact shade, it’s better to pick a slightly lighter than darker shade.
If your crack is a bit more substantial, you’ll need to look for a repair kit that has a filler material. In many kits, the filler will come in little metal tubes (imagine tiny toothpaste or acrylic paint tubes), or you could opt for a professional repair kit that comes with blocks of wax and a heat applicator. In all honesty, if your scratch is so deep that you need the latter, it might be worth it to just call in a pro.
Once you have your wax crayon for very minor scratches or repair kit for bigger holes, wipe down the area to remove any dust or oils and allow it to dry completely.
Step 2: Apply the fix according to kit instructions
If you’re using a wax crayon to fix the thinnest of scratches, it’s a simple exercise of colouring in the scratch. Rub the crayon between your hands for a minute or so to soften the wax and make it more pliable, then lightly colour in the scratch. Try to move across the scratch instead of along it. Avoid pressing down too hard and creating bumps. Once you’re done, you can use a putty knife (or a credit card if you don’t have one) to smooth out the area you’ve covered and remove excess wax. Buff the whole area with a microfiber cloth and evaluate your handiwork. If the scratch is still visible, apply another layer of wax and repeat until it’s gone.
If you’re using a wax filler from a metal tube to fill slightly deeper scratches, also start by warming the wax. You could warm it with body heat, or by placing the still-sealed tube in some lukewarm water. This will liquify the wax, making it easier to work with and fill every square millimetre of the scratch. Pierce the tube’s protective aluminium cap and apply the applicator head. Slowly drip the wax into the scratch, then use the applicator tool, putty knife, or a credit card to smooth it out before it sets. Once it’s set, scrape off any excess with the same tool. If the scrape is still visible, repeat the process. Clean with a microfibre cloth once you’re done and admire your latest DIY project.
Step 3: Avoid future scrapes and scratches
Most scrapes and scratches on laminate flooring are completely avoidable with just a few simple guidelines. You can avoid having to repeat steps 1 and 2 by following these tips and tricks to keep your laminate flooring spotless and scratch-free.
1. The biggest sinner when it comes to destroying laminate floors is furniture. Dragging heavy tables or couches across laminate is a sure way to keep the laminate flooring repair kit manufacturers in business. You can avoid these scratches by attaching soft furniture pads (cheap and readily available) to the feet of your couches, chairs, tables, or any other heavy piece of furniture that needs moving from time to time.
2. Consider rugs or doormats in heavy traffic areas. Laminate floors don’t last forever, but you can dramatically improve their service life by putting rugs or mats in the areas that get the most traffic. This will typically be in front of the doors, or wherever people put on or take off their shoes.
3. Regularly sweep laminate floors to remove small stones, pieces of glass, or other hard debris. We can step on debris and drag it underfoot without realising that we’re chewing up the laminate.
When to leave it to the pros
Fixing a minor scratch or scrape in laminate flooring is easy. Fixing a major tear or laminate that’s warped or lifted isn’t. In cases where the scratch has gone through several layers of laminate or water damage has caused it to warp and bend, it’s better to call a professional.
WeRestoreSurfaces has the skills, tools, and experience to help you repair any laminate flooring issues without you having to invest time, money, and effort into what could be a complex and difficult job. Major scratches and warped flooring require completely different tools and techniques than described in this article, and we’re the guys you want to call if you want it done right and permanently the first time around.
For more information regarding our services, please do not hesitate to contact us by giving us a call for a free quote. Alternatively, fill out the enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
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