If you’re like me, nothing is quite as satisfying as looking at a newly installed laminate floor. I appreciate the durability laminate provides and how it makes a wood-look floor affordable. That’s why I was so disheartened when I walked through a home and noticed a scratch in my laminate flooring. At that point, the only thing I could think about was how to remove scratches from the laminate floor.
There are several simple options for removing scratches from laminate floors. Scratch repair pens are excellent for minor scratches, while options like floor putty, paste wax, or burn-in sticks are solid options for minor to moderate scratches.
However, each approach has its benefits and drawbacks. If you’re trying to figure out how to remove scratches from laminate floor, here’s what you need to know.
Contents (Jump to Topic)
- Does Laminate Scratch Easily?
- Can You Remove Scratches from Laminate Floor?
- How to Remove Scratches from Laminate Floor
- What Causes Laminate Floor Scratches?
- Can You Repair Deep Scratches on Laminate Flooring?
- Can You Replace Individual Damaged Laminate Floor Planks?
- How to Prevent Scratches on Laminate Floors
- What’s the Best Way to Remove Scratches from Laminate Floor?
Does Laminate Scratch Easily?
Generally speaking, laminate flooring doesn’t scratch easily. It’s a highly durable flooring material, so it usually stands up well to regular use. In most cases, scratches only occur under somewhat extreme circumstances, and most situations are avoidable.
Essentially, even though the wear layer is tough, that doesn’t mean scratches can’t happen. Dragging heavy furniture across your floor can potentially damage the surface. Similarly, gravel trapped in shoe treads might leave scratches as you walk, and long pet nails can leave marks as they run around.
You can keep your floors in great shape long-term by taking proper care of your laminate flooring and exercising some due diligence to prevent situations that lead to scratches. Plus, if scratches do occur, you have options.
Can You Remove Scratches from Laminate Floor?
Whether you can remove scratches from laminate floor primarily depends on the extent of any damage. Minor scratches and chips are typically repairable. In some cases, the same is true of moderate scratches.
In those cases, options like scratch repair pens, floor putty, paste wax, and burn-in sticks are usually enough to address the damage. However, for deep, large gouges, repairing the laminate is more challenging. While you can try the aforementioned options, the results may blend in poorly if you’re covering a large area.
As a result, replacing the damaged planks is a better choice if you have large, deep gouges. Since that’s possibly your best option, keeping spare planks after installation is wise. Otherwise, you could try swapping the damaged plank and one in good condition in an area you don’t see, such as a plank under a sofa or rug.
How to Remove Scratches from Laminate Floor
You have several options available that can help you remove scratches from laminate flooring. Which strategy is best depends on several factors, primarily the length and depth of the scratch.
For minor scratches, going with a scratch repair pen is typically the fastest and most convenient option. If the scratch is more substantial, burn-in sticks, floor putty, or paste wax are usually better choices.
Regardless of the method you use, it’s typically best to put on some personal protective equipment. Gloves and goggles help protect you against the unexpected, so it’s wise to use those when repairing your laminate floor.
Scratch Repair Pen
1. Clean the Floor Around the Scratch
Before you focus on how to remove scratches from laminate floor, the first step you need to take is cleaning the area around the scratch. Begin by sweeping the spot or wiping away any surface dirt and debris with a microfiber cloth. Next, vacuum using the hard floor attachment to get all the dust out of the scratch.
After that’s handled, use your laminate floor cleaner, following the manufacturer’s directions regarding dilution and application. Rinse the spot with clean water, wipe up excess moisture with a clean, dry microfiber cloth, and let the area air dry completely.
2. Apply Color with the Scratch Repair Pen
Once you’ve finished cleaning the spot, it’s time to use the scratch repair pen on your laminate to disguise the scratch. Typically, running it along the scratch to deposit color does the job. Keep the pressure light along the way, making several passes if you need more coverage instead of applying more pressure.
3. Buff the Scratch to Polish the Spot
After you apply the color using the scratch repair pen, you’ll want to buff the area gently. Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth, apply light pressure, and use circular motions. Continue buffing until you achieve the desired degree of polish.
4. Let the Color Set
Scratch repair pens usually have a short curing time. Check the manufacturer’s directions to see how long the manufacturer recommends waiting before you move on to the last step.
5. Clean the Area Again
After the color fully cures, clean your laminate flooring once more. Choose an appropriate laminate floor cleaner and use it as directed by the manufacturer. Then, rinse the area with clean water and wipe up excess moisture with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. Finally, allow the spot to air dry.
1. Clean the Floor Around the ScratchCleaning the floor area around the scratch ensures no dirt or debris impacts your results. Begin by sweeping the spot or using a microfiber cloth to remove dirt and debris. After that, vacuum using a hard floor attachment to ensure all the dust and dirt is out of the scratch.
Nest, mop your flooring while using your preferred laminate floor cleaner, following the manufacturer’s instructions for proper dilution and application. Then, rinse the spot with clean water. Soak up any excess moisture using a clean, dry microfiber cloth, and finally, allow the area to air dry.
2. Heat the Burn-in Stick and Apply
Burn-in sticks use hard resins to fill scratches. Review the manufacturer’s directions regarding heating the material.
Once the resin melts, carefully apply it to the scratch. Use a plastic putty knife or the provided card that came with your kit to remove any excess.
3. Let the Resin Dry
After you apply the resin, let it dry based on the manufacturer’s instructions. Wait times can vary, so make sure the spot remains undisturbed and uncovered for the recommended duration.
4. Buff the Spot
Once the resin cools, you can buff the spot to achieve the desired level of shine. Start with a clean, dry microfiber cloth, using light pressure and a circular motion.
If a microfiber cloth is ineffective, you can try very fine grit sandpaper. Make sure to keep the pressure light and avoid unnecessary contact with the rest of your floor. Then, wipe up the dust with a damp paper towel and use the microfiber cloth again to ensure you have the right amount of shine.
5. Clean Your Floor a Second Time
Once you’re done buffing, you can use a laminate floor cleaner and mop to clean the area once more. That removes excess dirt and dust.
Follow the laminate floor cleaner manufacturer’s instructions regarding dilution and application. Then, rinse the spot with clean water and use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to wipe away excess moisture. Lastly, let the area air dry.
1. Clean the Floor Around the ScratchFirst, you want to remove any dirt and debris by cleaning your floor in the area with scratches. Sweep or use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to whisk away surface dirt and debris. Next, use the hard floor attachment or setting on your vacuum to remove dust and dirt inside the scratch.
Once that’s done, you’re going to mop while using a laminate floor cleaner. Review the manufacturer’s instructions regarding dilution and application, and then apply. Finally, rinse the area thoroughly with clean water, use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to handle excess moisture, and allow your floor to air dry completely.
2. Apply the Floor Putty
After you finish cleaning and the scratch is dry, it’s time to apply the floor putty. Keep the putty knife stays at a 45-degree angle, ensuring the tip is pointing slightly upward. Put some putty directly onto the scratch, then run the putty knife across the spot several times to fill the damaged area.
Once the scratch is filled, use a paper towel to wipe up any excess putty. Then, run the putty knife across the scratch a few additional times to smooth the spot.
3. Buff the Scratch
After applying the putty, you’ll need to wait the recommended amount of time-based on the manufacturer’s instructions and then buff the spot. Usually, you can use a microfiber cloth and circular motions, smoothing out the putty until you get the desired level of shine.
4. Let the Putty Fully Dry
Once the buffing is finished, you need to make sure it fully cures. Refer to the manufacturer’s directions regarding the wait time. While it dries, make sure the area is uncovered and undisturbed for the best result.
5. Clean Your Floor Again
After the drying process is complete, it’s time to clean your floor. Use your preferred laminate floor cleaner and follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding dilution and application. Then, rinse with clean water, remove excess moisture with a microfiber cloth, and let your flooring air dry.
1. Clean the Floor Around the Scratch
As with the processes above, you need to begin by cleaning the area around the scratch. In most cases, you want to start by sweeping or wiping up any dirt and debris using a microfiber cloth. Next, take a vacuum with a hard floor attachment and use it to remove any dust that’s caught in the scratch.
Then, you’ll need to mop. Use laminate floor cleaner – ensuring you follow the manufacturer’s instructions – to finish cleaning the spot around the scratch. Finally, rinse using clean water, soak up excess moisture with a clean, dry microfiber cloth, and let the floor completely air dry.
2. Apply the Paste Wax
How you apply the paste wax can vary depending on the product, so start by reviewing the manufacturer’s instructions.
A manufacturer might recommend using a plastic putty knife to apply the paste wax. Make sure the putty knife stays at a 45-degree angle, keeping the tip pointing slightly up. Place some wax on the scratch, then rub the putty knife across it several times to fill the damaged area. Finally, take a paper towel and wipe up any excess wax before running the putty knife across the scratch a few additional times to smooth the spot.
Sometimes, you’ll begin by applying a small amount of paste wax to a clean microfiber cloth. Then, use a circular motion to apply the paste wax to your laminate flooring, ensuring it works into the scratch.
3. Buff the Waxes Spot
You’ll need to buff the waxed area after the scratch is filled, allowing you to ensure the finish matches your laminate flooring. In most cases, you can use a clean, dry microfiber cloth. Wiping the area with light pressure and while using a circular motion to polish the spot helps the wax blend in correctly, so use that approach.
4. Let the Paste Wax Dry
The total drying time for paste wax can vary, so review the manufacturer’s directions to see how long it takes. Since it could take a few hours, make sure you leave the spot uncovered and avoid that area until the required time passes.
5. Clean the Floor Again
Once the paste wax finishes drying, clean the floor again. Use laminate floor cleaner and follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding dilution and proper application.
Then, rinse the area with clean water. Lastly, use a clean microfiber cloth to remove excess moisture before letting the floor air dry completely.
What Causes Laminate Floor Scratches?
Laminate floor scratches can happen for a few reasons. One of the most common causes is dragging furniture across the floor, particularly if the furniture is moved repeatedly. Dining room chairs are a potential culprit, as the feet dragging across your laminate can eventually damage the finish.
If you have gravel stuck in your shoes and walk across your laminate floor, that can leave scratches, too. Long pet nails – especially on dogs – may leave scratches as they run across your flooring. Toys with sharp edges that are drug across your floor are another potential cause of laminate floor scratches.
However, those aren’t the only potential culprits. Any tough, sharp object that’s drug across your flooring can cause damage, so keep that in mind.
Can You Repair Deep Scratches on Laminate Flooring?
Repairing deep scratches on laminate flooring is possible. Options like floor putty, paste wax, and burn-in sticks deposit material and color. As a result, they can fill in the scratch.
However, wide scratches are trickier. While you can fill them with floor putty, paste wax, or burn-in sticks, it’s hard to get them to blend in well. As a result, it can leave a discolored-looking spot on your laminate flooring.
Since that’s the case, replacing severely damaged laminate floor planks is usually the better choice. While it is a bit cumbersome, it ensures your flooring will look its best.
Can You Replace Individual Damaged Laminate Floor Planks?
Replacing individual damaged laminate floor planks is an option. How you approach the replacement depends primarily on the type of laminate you have in place.
For click-and-lock laminate, you begin by identifying the closest wall that also runs parallel to the planks. Remove the baseboard to get to the edge of the plank beneath. Then, remove the boards until you get to the damaged plank that needs replacing.
By using that process, you can remove the interlocking planks without damaging their structure. Once you get to the damaged board, remove it and replace it with a new one. Then, start putting the planks back into position, ensuring they lock into place. Finally, put your baseboard back on to complete the project.
For glued laminate flooring that doesn’t interlock, you can pry the damaged plank up with a scraper. Once it’s removed, clean the excess dried glue and the spot.
After the area is clean, apply adhesive to the open space for the plank and let it sit until it’s tacky. Position the replacement plank into the spot and press down to make sure it adheres correctly. In some cases, using a heavy roller is the easiest way to apply even pressure and ensure adhesion.
Once the plank is positioned, remove any excess adhesive that pushes up with a clean microfiber cloth. Then, don’t walk across that plank until the adhesive cures fully.
How to Prevent Scratches on Laminate Floors
Dragging dirt and debris across your laminate floor can lead to damage like scratches. Additionally, spills involving certain chemicals can wear away the finish, reducing the amount of protection for the underlying surface.
By cleaning regularly, you can prevent those issues. Sweep and vacuum using a hard floor attachment at least once a week. When it comes to mopping, the frequency largely depends on how much traffic and dirt accumulation you have, but once every other week is typically a solid starting point.
Place Doormats at Entrances
Having doormats near your entrances helps capture dirt and debris before it makes it into your home. Look for doormats with enough texture to scrub the soles of your shoes. That allows the material to remove stuck dirt and objects – like gravel – from your treads more effectively.
Take Shoes Off When Inside
Removing your shoes when you’re inside is another option to prevent scratches. By taking them off, dirt and debris in your shoes can’t damage your laminate. Have a position near a doormat where household members can store their shoes and require everyone – including visitors – to take their shoes off when they arrive.
Trim Pet Nails
When your pet’s nails are shorter, they don’t dig into your laminate flooring as much as they would when longer. How short you can trim the nails depends on the position of the quick. Cutting into the quick is painful and leads to bleeding, so trim the tips until just before you reach the quick.
If your pet is comfortable enough with it, you can also file their nails after trimming. That allows you to round off sharp edges manually. If your pet won’t sit still for that, use other methods. For example, walking dogs on concrete or asphalt naturally grinds down the nails and removes sharp edges, so it’s worth doing.
Use Rugs and Other Floor Coverings
Putting down rugs or similar floor coverings creates a barrier between items and your laminate floors. By placing them in high-traffic zones, you also reduce wear and tear, which helps keep your laminate flooring’s finish intact.
Since rugs may slide across smooth flooring surfaces, it’s wise to use a rub gripper as the bottom layer. Rug grippers are usually rubber or similar material and help improve traction, leading to less slipping.
Put Floor Protectors on Furniture
Putting felt floor protectors on the feet of furniture pieces prevent the furniture from scratching your floor when moved. Usually, you simply peel off a backing to reveal adhesive and firmly press them onto the feet of your furniture to apply. Once in place, simply set the feet on the floor and use the piece as usual.
What’s the Best Way to Remove Scratches from Laminate Floor?
Ultimately, the best way to remove scratches from the laminate floor depends on the degree of damage. Scratch repair pens are a simple solution for minor blemishes. However, floor putty, paste wax, or burn-in sticks are better if the scratches are a bit deep. If there are large, wide gouges, then replacing the plank is usually best.
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