WASHINGTON, June 12, 2012 -- /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Spills. Heavy furniture. Even high heels. Life can take its toll on your home's flooring. But if you're investing in a new floor and don't want to invest time, money and backache into keeping it looking its best, a laminate floor is the closest thing there is to a maintenance-free floor.
How laminate flooring is constructed ensures that it stays looking great for a long time. Protected by a tough external layer, a laminate floor is much stronger and more scratch-resistant, impact-resistant and longer lasting than any hardwood, vinyl or carpet.
Laminate floors are comprised of a hybrid of materials fused together through a unique lamination process. The top layer – a transparent, protective surface – is extremely durable.
Unlike hardwood floors, which are subject to staining, fading in sunlight, and easily scratching and denting, laminate floors offer the look of hardwood or stone flooring without the expense and required maintenance.
Of course, buying a quality floor in the first place is one of the key steps toward easy maintenance. According to the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA), laminate floors that pass a series of 10 rigorous performance tests earn the NALFA Certification Seal. Similar to the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, the NALFA seal is a testament to the floor's superior resistance to light, water, stains, weight and other factors.
So to keep your laminate floor in perfect condition, follow these simple guidelines:
• Avoid letting dust, dirt and moisture accumulate. Place area rugs or doormats at entrances to help trap loose dirt and debris. Vacuuming or sweeping is usually sufficient to keep a laminate floor clean.
• Laminate's stain- and moisture-resistant surface makes spills and other messes easy to handle. Most spills will wipe up easily with a clean, white cloth. If not, dampen a rag with water and spot clean, or clean the area by damp mopping. Don't use a wet mop.
• Laminate doesn't require waxes or varnishes to keep it looking great. Never use wax, soap or detergents, which could leave a residue.
• Don't use wood polish on your laminate floor. It can create a dull finish and slick walking surface.
• Don't use abrasive cleaners, steel wool or scouring powder, as these may scratch your floor.
• Use chairs with soft casters and place felt pads under the feet of heavy furniture.
Note that each manufacturer provides specific instructions on how to properly care for its laminate flooring. Check information provided on the product, or consult the manufacturer's website.
About NALFA The North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) was formed in 1997 by U.S. and Canadian manufacturers and importers of laminate flooring. Since its inception, NALFA has been dedicated to creating voluntary product performance standards for laminate flooring in North America. For more information, visit www.nalfa.com.
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SOURCE The North American Laminate