Can you use a steam mop on laminate flooring? Well, the short answer is no, but there are a few exceptions which we will discuss further in the article.
A little explanation about laminate flooring;
Also referred to as Floating Wood Tile, laminate flooring is a manufactured type of flooring that is fused together through the lamination process.
A Multi-Layer synthetic flooring, laminate flooring consists of 4 main layers, and each layer is designed to serve a different important purpose.
Multi-Layer Flooring Layers
- A Melamine Backing Layer that provides a powerful moisture barrier while ensuring the flooring’s structural stability and integrity
- A Highly Dense and Strong Inner Layer (also referred to as Core-Board layer) that consists of compressed wood fiber. This layer protects against moisture as well as indentations
- Melamine Decorative Layer that enhances the floor’s aesthetics. This is the layer that gives the floor a “natural wood” look.
- Melamine Wear Layer that gives the floor the beautiful yet tough finish that also makes it resistant to wear, fade, and stains. Some laminate floorings are further strengthened with aluminum oxide that further makes the flooring resistant to wear, fade, stain, as well as moisture
Although constructed to resist stains, moisture, fade, and wear, laminate flooring is still one of the most sensitive floorings, especially to intense moisture and heat.
Once the floor is subjected to intense heat and moisture, the adhesive holding the laminate layers together begins to break down. Moisture and heat tend to cause swelling, warping, and even peaked edges on this type of flooring.
And although most high-quality laminate floorings is designed to resist moisture, leaving spills standing on the floor for extended periods may cause irreversible damage. It’s therefore important that you wipe up any spills, pet urine, or other liquids off the floor as soon as possible.
Can You Use a Steam Mop on Laminate Flooring?
Using a steam mop on laminate floors may not be such a good idea. Here are some few reasons why it’s not advisable;
1.Moisture and Heat May Completely Ruin Your Floor Over Time
By now, you’ve already learned that cleaning your laminate flooring with a steam mop is not a very good idea. Like I stated earlier, laminate floorings are quite sensitive, especially to heat and moisture. This means that a steam mop that produces intense heat and moisture may end up doing more harm than good.
In fact, if you’ve been using a steam mop on your laminate floor, you might have already started noticing damage especially in high traffic areas like the kitchen or living room. This is because these areas are bound to get more scratches and therefore steam and heat from the steam mop readily seeps through the cracks.
2.Steam and Heat Encourages the Growth of Mold (and Rotting)
Another reason is that the combination of steam and heat getting through the cracks on your floor encourages rot and mold. Once mold starts growing and the flooring starts to rot, you and your family might constantly have to endure the musty smell coming from the floor.
And of course, mold growing on your floor is definitely a health hazard.
3.Floor Starts to Fade, Wears Down, and Loses its Glossy Finish (and Removing Stains becomes a Problem)
Another reason is that with time, the once glossy and beautiful floor will start to fade and wear off. Removing stains will also become harder than before. Nobody wants a dull floor of course.
4.Most Manufacturers Does Not Recommend Using Steam Mops on their Laminate Floorings
If you ask any manufacturer if its okay to mop laminate flooring with steam mops, their answer will most likely be NO.
So why do manufacturers recommend against using steam mops on laminate floors?
Well, first of all, most manufacturers do not cover any damage caused by a steam cleaner or steam mop.
Most manufacturers will clearly state advise against, wet-mopping, damp-mopping, or cleaning the laminate floors with water. Their reason? These cleaning methods may permanently damage the floor and will therefore void the warranty.
Of course, it’s always good to follow manufacturer’s warnings and advice.
Why Do Steam Mop/Cleaners Manufacturers Recommend Using Steam Mops on Laminate Floors?
Quite a good number of steam mop brands say it’s perfectly safe to use these cleaners on laminate floors. Some claim that their steam mops only expel a little amount of moisture and heat and which dries up in less than 30 seconds.
Well, it makes total sense considering large amounts of moisture and heat are known to cause severe damage to laminate floors. If the floor dries up fast, this eliminates the probability of the steam seeping through any cracks and scratches.
But then, you have to realize that even cleaning with steam mops that are generally considered “safe” for laminate floors may have a long-term impact. Like I said earlier, laminate floorings are sensitive. Exposure to moisture and heat loosens up the adhesive holding the material together.
And of course, some models are designed to allow you to dispense just the right amount of quick-drying steam or even adjust the amount of heat in the steam. At the touch of a button, you can easily choose from high, medium, to low steam.
Of course, if you’re not afraid of the long-term impact of a steam mop on your laminate flooring, you may consider such models. (models that produce less steam which dries up fast),
If You Must Use a Steam Mop for your Laminate Floor….
Well, if you really want to use a steam mop for your laminate floors, then there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Be ready to pay for the damages on your flooring from your own pocket since the manufacturer will most likely refuse to cover the cost
- Only use steam mops that produce less steam. There are quite a good number of such models in the market right now. Of course, this is if you don’t mind the long-term impact of the mop on your laminate flooring
- If possible, avoid using steam mops on your laminate floors on a daily basis. Sweeping or vacuuming in most cases will work fine. In other words, only use a steam mop for a deep clean
- Make sure your laminate floor is properly sealed. This may help prevent extensive damage- just a little bit though. A sealed laminate floor has a shiny look
- Keep moving while cleaning- settling in one place will cause more steam to enter in between the planks
What Steam Mop Would You Recommend for Laminate Floors?
Well, if you’re willing to overlook all the disadvantages we’ve mentioned, there are a few steam mops that might be a little bit safer compared to others. Plus they get the job done real well.
1.PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner
2.BISSELL CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner
Can You Steam Mop Laminate Floors?- Wrapping it Up
Well, as you can see, it’s not a good idea to use a steam mop on a laminate floor. The damage could be irreversible, not to mention making your floor look dull and unappealing.
A lot of people still use steam mops on laminate floors regardless of the risk they pose. If cleaning your laminated floor is absolutely necessary, then be sure to use a model that has a steam control feature and one that dries steam quite fast.
Hopefully, I have answered your burning question on whether it’s a good idea to use a steam mop on laminate flooring. Thank you for reading and have a great time!