I recently updated the laminate flooring forum. It is cleaner, faster and best of all, has NO MORE SPAM! What a relief. Please check it out at http://laminateflooring.gig8.com. The new forum is now based on the more modern SMF (simplemachines) rather than PHPBB. It will continue to be under construction for the next few weeks. Spread the word to those who care. :)
Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
Thanks to Luke for the alert.
2006 Costco coupon is out! Good from Feb 13 to March 6, 2006. $5 off $24.99. $19.99/box seems like a pretty good deal. Cottage oak, brazilian cherry and cabin maple. -- LukeFor more information, see my earlier post on Costco laminate flooring. There is a substantial thread that will probably be helpful to you. You can also find out more about laminate flooring on my forum - laminate flooring | oncloud8. Costco's product is also known as "Harmonics" laminate flooring and is related in some secret way to QuickStep.
One of the biggest advantages of laminate floors is that they are made to look good for many years with a minimum of effort. Most laminates come with a 10 to 25 years residential warranty against staining, wearing and fading, depending on the brand. All you really need for cleaning are a vacuum cleaner, a dry mop and a damp towel for more difficult stains. Laminates are built to stand up to wear, but to keep them looking like new, here are a few recommendations.
Be aware that large pieces of sand or rock can cause visible scratching. These are usually easy to catch by having floor mats and foot brushes at outside doorway entrances. Dirt which gets pass the mats and brushes can cause invisible scratching that eventually leads to dullness. So, vacuum and mop regularly to keep grit off the floor. For dry cleaning, vacuuming is usually sufficient. Microfiber pads are also quite effective and, if available, lets you avoid involving fluids. Never clean with abrasives, scouring powder or steel wool.
Damp clean laminate flooring using a vinegar or ammonia-based solution. For example, you can pour 1/4 cup of vinegar into a 30 to 32 ounce empty spray bottle filled with plain water for a quick solution. Then, dampen a terry mop or a Swiffer with water and mop, spraying the floor as you go along. When damp mopping, avoiding standing fluids so you do not saturate the floor. Wipe immediately! Other possible cleaning fluids that have been suggested include:
If your laminate is scratched, see if you can buy a touch up stick from your manufacturer. The area you repair will look, hold up to traffic and wear just like the rest of the laminate floor.
In case of more severe damage, which is unlikely to take place in most of the homes, a trained professional can be called to replace a plank. The new plank should be almost indistinguishable from the rest, if done properly.
For more tips on cleaning and maintenance from a community of laminate flooring enthusiasts, visit laminate flooring | oncloud8.
We ended up going with carpet, but for those of you interested, I did a little more research on laminate flooring versus hardwood. A good resource? Floorshop.com. If you are concerned about appearance, uniqueness and how the floor sounds, better go with the hardwood. If you are concerned about price, installation and durability, go with the laminate. One thing they pointed out, which I've heard before, is that the laminate sounds more "hollow" when walked on with hard soled shoes. What is laminate flooring? Laminate flooring is typically high density fiber board, sandwiched between a melamine laminate backing, high quality photographic paper with an image of wood, and then another melamine laminate top. Of course, the problem with this is immediately evident. The number of patterns will be limited. (How, how about an auto-wood pattern generation algorithm? Hmm, but maybe printing costs are prohibitive...). Some new hybrid products use a real thin slice of wood instead of the paper.