Laminate flooring, instead of traditional wood boards, can be an attractive option for many people. It’s more affordable, exceptionally resilient, and easy to install and maintain. Laminate floors also come in a wide variety of styles and designs.
But can you refinish laminate flooring to give your floors a brand, new look?
Well, the answer is a bit complicated.
This guide takes you through the process of refinishing your laminate flooring while offering some helpful alternatives more suited to homeowners like you.
Can You Refinish Laminate Flooring? (Well, kind of…)
Technically, refinishing is when you sand away the top layer of grain on a wooden surface. Then, you apply a new layer of paint, lacquer, or varnish.
Unlike wood, however, laminate floors don’t have any grain. The color and grain you see are actually just images printed onto the fiberboard and sealed by a layer of protective resin. Accordingly, too much sanding on laminate could end up scratching the underlying image and distorting the look of the board completely.
Now, with the right tools and expertise, it is possible to sand off the glossy layer on laminate without scratching the underlying image. Once you’ve carefully sanded down the glossy finish, you can then apply a new layer of paint or sealer. That being said, the work is often tedious. Inexperience with laminate sanding may easily lead to an end product that is much different from the original in an undesirable way.
Luckily, there are alternative options to completely refinishing your laminate floors that you can consider.
Keep Your Laminate Floors Clean
It may sound simple but, to prolong their look and lifespan, it is important to take proper care of your laminate floors. Using floor cleaners specifically made for laminate, such as WOCA Laminate Floor Cleaner, keeps your floors looking like new on a regular basis without damaging the material.
Also, avoid using any type of abrasive equipment while cleaning as it may scratch up the surface and dull your floor’s finish. Consider a gentle and convenient option, such as a spray mop with a soft cleaning pad to ensure your floors aren’t scratched during regular cleanup.
Make regular cleaning even easier by signing up for a cleaning subscription to ensure that you never run out of the products you need to keep your floors in tip-top shape.
Seal Your Laminate
Most likely, your laminate floors are already protected from dings and dents thanks to built-in sealing. Laminate boards will usually lock into place with one another, creating a seal that few liquids can penetrate.
But if you’re worried about your floor’s ability to stand up against spills and liquids, adding an extra layer of a sealant like polyurethane will provide extra protection. Always apply products with appropriate applicators, like the WOCA applicator pad, to avoid streaks and bubbles.
Use Floor Mats
Adding floor mats in high-traffic areas and entryways can help ease the wear and tear of your laminate floors over time.
By choosing area rugs and runners for your home, you can long the life of your laminate floors. Plus, trendy rugs or runners that coordinate with your decor can improve the look of your home's interior!
Add a Coat of Paint
Since laminate flooring lacks the grooves and physical grain of real wood, stain won’t necessarily penetrate the material and change the look of your boards as desired. That doesn’t mean you can’t use good old fashioned paint though.
If you do decide to paint your flooring, be sure to follow standard good practices:
- Always clean the surface with a floor cleaner designed specifically for laminate floors.
- Sand away the gloss layer of your boards with care.
- Repair any cracks or holes.
- Use a trustworthy primer to help the paint adhere to the laminate surface.
- Paint and re-seal the floor to prevent water damage.
Proactive Care is Key
It is possible to get your laminate floors shining again, but it may take a bit of time. The best option is to exercise regular care through cleaning, regular maintenance, and preventative care.
Before you clean, use a vacuum that doesn’t have a beater bar, as this bar is designed to agitate the carpet to remove dirt. Using it (or anything else abrasive) is sure to scratch up the flooring over time. Always use a light vacuum or turn on any “flat surface” mode that stops the bar from spinning.
Once this is done, apply a laminate-specific floor cleaner to give your flooring a good cleanse. After cleaning, let the floors dry completely. For added protection against nicks and scratches, apply a layer of laminate flooring maintenance product to your floorboards.After the floor has dried, use a WOCA polishing cloth to eliminate any remaining scuffs or dull places.
The question stands: Can you refinish laminate flooring? Technically, yes. But, although it is possible to refinish, doing so requires skill, time, and tools that most homeowners just don’t have at their disposal.
Instead, it may be best to go another route by engaging in regular cleaning and maintenance, adding a new coat of paint, or even just doing a bit of polishing to get your floors shining like new.
Whatever route you choose, WOCA has the products you need to keep your floors protected and looking their best.