You just decided to redecorate your home and chose to install new laminate flooring in almost all the rooms in the house (or apartment). It looks stylish, it’s relatively easy to keep clean, but you’re still wondering whether you made the right choice. Namely, the structure of laminate is such that you might wonder whether it’s easily scratched (i.e., damaged) or not. Well, if you have wondered that, you’re in the right place.
Laminate flooring – generally speaking – does not scratch, i.e., it is usually fairly scratch-resistant. So, you don’t need to worry about scratches in its seemingly soft surface too much.
Now that you’ve got your primary answer, we are going to dwell into the topic a bit more. Is laminate flooring completely resistant to scratches? Also, can you have your pets walk on it without fear? And if you actually get a scratch, how can you remove it? These are some of the questions we are going to answer in the following paragraphs.
Are Laminate Floors Scratch Resistant?
Well, the general answer to this question would be – yes, they are. Laminate, although it’s lesser quality than hardwood floor, is a very durable and resistant material. It is resistant to several types of damages, including pets, furniture and shoes.
We’re going to deal with pets in a separate part, so let us see the other two types.
As for furniture, laminate flooring works well with most furniture. Just putting furniture on it won’t cause any damages, but moving it around might damage the surface and even cause some smaller scratches if often repeated on the same spot. The good thing here is that you can easily avoid this by placing pads on the furniture you know you’ll move around – like chairs, tables, and sofas. Still, if you want to avoid any issues, you’ll want to lift your furniture rather than dragging it around.
As for shoes, most laminate flooring is very resistant to traffic, so to say. This is the reason why most enterprises with a lot of visitors use laminate flooring. Here, you’ll specifically want to pick a laminate with a higher AC rating (optimally AC4 or AC5), because their overall quality is better, and they are undoubtedly more durable.
The Quality of Laminate Flooring
There is a system of assessing the quality and durability of laminate flooring, including scratch resistance, and it’s called the AC (or Abrasion Class) rating system.
The system is also used for vinyl floors and tells you how the flooring is resistant to abrasion, impact, stains and cigarette burns. There is also a possibility, depending on the testing, that the rating also shows the flooring’s resistance to furniture legs, castors, and swelling along its edges. The good thing about this test means that if the flooring has this rating, it has passed all tests because failing in just one test means that it won’t be issued a rating.
This rating system was initially created by the Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (ELPF) for internal and regional use but has since become the global standard for testing the quality of laminate floorings. You can check out the ratings and their meanings in the table below:
|AC1||Residential/moderate||Suitable for bedrooms or guest rooms|
|AC2||Residential/general||Suitable for living rooms or dining rooms|
|AC3||Residential/heavy||Suitable for all areas|
|AC4||Commercial/general||Hotel rooms, small office|
|AC5||Commercial/heavy||Office, boutique, café|
Does Laminate Flooring Scratch Easily From Dogs and Cats?
No, it does not. We’ve said above that laminate is “pet-resistant”, meaning that it does have a high tolerance to paws and claws. Certainly, if your cat or dog digs into the laminate and wants to damage it intentionally, that’s a wholly different situation, but if you have a normal, trained pet – their movements won’t damage your laminate. You’ll also want to pick flooring with a higher AC rating, but laminate generally works well with pets.
The only thing you need to worry about when pets and laminate is concerned are “accidents”, i.e., when a pet urinates or defecates on your laminate. Sure, that won’t cause any scratches, but since wood absorbs liquid, if it’s exposed to it for too long, it’ll start to buckle or wrap. Luckily for you, this issue is easily solved with quick intervention, i.e., by immediately removing the secretions from the laminate.
How to Remove Scratches From Your Laminate Flooring
Laminate is actually a multi-layer, synthetic product made through the process of lamination. The top layer of laminate flooring is made of thick plastic and is meant to last for years, being more durable than most flooring materials.
Still, it won’t last forever and it is still prone to damages, as we’ve stated in the preceding paragraphs. But if you’re not dealing with irreparable damage because of which you have to replace the complete flooring (e.g. a fire, a large crack or break, a cur, etc.), there are several things you can do to preserve your laminate and prolong its duration.
In this section, we are going to show you what you can do for your laminate.
1) Reparation through color
If you have a scratch or a tear in your laminate that you can easily camouflage – usually if it’s just a surface tear – the most important thing is that you find the matching color. Since this can be difficult for laymen, you should always contact the seller or the manufacturer if you need to repair your laminate. They should have a matching reparation kit ready for you, so you won’t have trouble matching the colors in this case. If you cannot do that or they don’t have what you need, you should pick a repair kit yourself, but chose carefully before you buy, because this choice is often pivotal.
2) Wax pencil
If you have a small, surface scratch on your laminate, a wax pencil is your “weapon” of choice. Namely, this little utensil will not only fill your tear easily and without any visible signs, but it’ll also adapt well to the surrounding colors of your laminate. Be careful not to overuse the wax and when you’re done, be sure to wipe the extra wax from the laminate. Just don’t forget to do it as gently as possible to avoid permanent marks. This only works with minor scratches
If you have a smaller scrape on your laminate, rather than just a scratch, a wax pistol will just do it for you. You’ll have to get floor repair putty and then fill the scrape with it to camouflage the damage done. To apply the putty, use a special putty knife to fill the crack, then hold it at an angle of 45 degrees to fill all the cracks, even those you cannot see with your naked eyes. The important thing here is that the putty completely fills the scrape, leaving nothing behind. After you’re done, leave the putty to dry, which shouldn’t take more than 24 hours.
4) Replace your laminate
This is the ultimate solution, but it will certainly and completely resolve your issue. Namely, if you have a large scratch, a large tear, a crack or a major scrape, neither a wax pencil nor putty will do the trick for you. In such cases (of using the aforementioned utensils), you’ll only have a “Frankenstein’s Monster” on your floor, so we advise you to just remove the piece(s) in question and replace them with new ones. It might be more expensive, but at least you know that you’re getting something good for your money.
And that actually covers our topic for today. As you can see, although durable and resistant, laminate floorings aren’t completely immune to scratches and there are ways in which you can harm them. Luckily, this doesn’t happen that often and we’ve given you some practical advice on how to avoid it.
But, if such damages actually do happen, you can also use our article as a point of reference, since we’ve given you some additional advice on how to handle both minor and major damages to your laminate flooring.
We hope you found our article helpful. See you next time!