How to Disguise Scratches and Scuff Marks on Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is a popular flooring choice for many homeowners, but not everyone can afford the high-quality option and end up dealing with scratches and scuff marks that mar the finish of laminate flooring.
Laminate floors can be found in many homes around the country for those that want to replicate a solid wood floor without the cost of the real thing. Laminate flooring provides us with an affordable alternative to engineered wood floors. But laminate flooring does have a few disadvantages, not least being the fact that it can be easily scratched and are prone to scuff marks over time. While a better quality product might be more durable, not everyone can afford the extra cost and you end up purchasing an affordable option that will require more maintenance that the alternative
Protect and Preserve Laminate Flooring
Before we take a look at how to cover up scratches and remove scuff marks, if you know or are not sure if you have installed a quality product, it makes sense to ensure the laminate flooring is maintained and cared for to prevent future damage before it occurs. Using a laminate floor sealer, such as those available at Builders stores, will help to protect the flooring from scratches and scuff marks.
If your laminate flooring comes with a warranty, let this expire before applying laminate floor sealer, as this could void any warranty.
Other guaranteed ways to prevent scratches and scuff marks on laminate flooring are:
• Use a soft sweeping brush or dry floor sweep (mop) to remove dirt daily.
• Apply laminate floor sealer regularly as advised by the manufacturer.
• Lay floor mats at all entrances to trap dirt and prevent it from coming inside.
• Keep your pet's claws trimmed so that they cannot scratch floors.
• Lift furniture when moving it around the room.
• Fit felt bumpers underneath dining chair legs.
Foresight is better than hindsight. Taking care to maintain laminate floors will extend their lifespan and keep them looking good for longer.
Disguise Scratches in Laminate Flooring
You need to be careful when fixing up scratches on laminate flooring, especially if the laminate finish has also been torn. Any damage to the laminate coating shouldn't be left for too long or the decorative layer - that gives it the wood look - can also become damaged and be impossible to repair.
• Wax Crayons
You can purchase Liberon wax sticks that are available in assorted wood colours that are rubbed over the top of any scratches. These aren't a permanent solution and will need to be re-applied as and when required.
• Alcolin QuikWood Epoxy Putty
Deep gouges or scratches can easily be filled with epoxy putty. Follow the instructions for proper application. If the colour does not match the existing floor colour, mix a small amount of craft acrylic paint to the required colour and then apply two thin coats of clear nail polish over the top of this.
• Clear Nail Polish
If you suspect that the laminated layer has been compromised or damaged when scratched, you can apply a couple of coats of clear nail polish over the damaged area. Don't apply the nail polish too thickly as this will be more visible. Rather coat with a couple of thin layers. If you can still see the difference against the other planks, gently scuff the surface of the nail polish with 300-grit sandpaper to dull the finish.
• Polyurethane Sealer
Not only will applying a polyurethane sealer provide a protective layer over laminate flooring, but it will also provide a certain amount of waterproofing. Any spills or moisture on laminate floors are quickly absorbed into the sub-material, so it is important to wipe up any moisture immediately. Applying a polyurethane sealer will allow you a little more time to mop up spills or moisture.
Scuff marks can be due to the installation of inferior laminate flooring in high-traffic areas, or by scraping furniture across the floor.
Remove Scuff Marks on Laminate Flooring
Keeping in mind that laminate flooring consists of several layers on top of a sub-base material, the top of flooring planks has a laminated coating that protects the layers underneath, hence the name laminate flooring. This is where the disadvantage comes into play if you purchase a cheaper, more affordable laminate flooring solution. Many of these products only have a thin layer of laminate that wears quicker, leaving the planks open to scratches and scuff marks.
Since you cannot sand laminate flooring, what is the solution if you want to remove ugly scuff marks that occur in certain areas, particularly areas of high traffic such as entrances and exits into the home?
The secret to getting rid of scuff marks is to use acetone (nail varnish remover) and a soft cloth. Apply acetone to the cloth - just enough the dampen the cloth - and gently wipe over the scuff marks, making sure to avoid the joins at the end and side of the planks. You need to do nothing more than that.