How Can I Make My Laminated Floor Shine Like Real Hard Wood?


Laminate is a durable and long-lasting multi-layered flooring designed to resemble hardwood. Wood grain patterns are printed on laminate layers to replicate the natural appeal of hardwood. Like hardwood, laminate inevitably accumulates abrasive dirt, dust and grit from foot traffic. If disregarded, these abrasive particles can scratch and dull laminated floors over time. Regularly cleaning and maintaining a laminate floor preserves its polished appearance and significantly increases its lifespan. Basic solutions can make a laminated floor shine like real hardwood.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • 2 mop buckets
  • Microfiber mop pad
  • Flat mop
  • Paper towels
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • Spray bottle
  • Terry cloth towels
  • Vacuum the entire floor to extract abrasive dirt and dust particles. Direct the vacuum's attachment over cracks between the laminate planks to remove hidden grime.

  • Fill two mop buckets with warm water. Saturate a microfiber mop pad in one of the buckets of water. Squeeze the pad to wring out excess water.

  • Slip the barely damp mop pad onto a flat mop. Rub the mop over a 4-foot by 4-foot section of the floor to remove film and grit particles. Periodically rinse the mop pad in the second bucket of water and wring out excess liquid from the pad.

  • Wipe the damp laminate with paper towels until thoroughly dry.

  • Mop the remaining 4-foot by 4-foot sections of the laminate surface using the same techniques. Dry each 4-foot by 4-foot section before proceeding to mop the next.

  • Combine 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of rubbing alcohol and 1 cup of warm water in a clean spray bottle to create a polishing solution. Thoroughly mix the solution.

  • Spray the solution onto a terry cloth towel, not directly onto the floor. Rub the towel in circular motions over a 1-foot by 1-foot section of the laminate surface to eliminate streaks and add shine. Allow the solution to air-dry.

  • Repeat the polishing process on the remaining 1-foot by 1-foot sections of the floor until the laminate surface shines like hardwood. Always apply a clean portion of a terry cloth towel to the floor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Substitute a commercial laminate floor polish for the vinegar and alcohol solution. Use a polish recommended by the laminate floor manufacturer or installer.
  • Abrasive products and vacuums containing beater bars can scratch and mar laminate floors.
  • Excessive water and moisture causes laminate floor planks to expand.
  • Test the polishing solution on a small, inconspicuous portion of the floor to prevent damaging or discoloring the laminate.
  • Attempting to refinish, sand or apply hardwood floor polish to laminate will damage the floor.

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  • Photo Credit Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
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