How to Remove Scratch Marks From Laminate Floors

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how to remove scratch marks from laminate flooring

Laminate is a great option for people who want durable, modern-looking flooring in their home. However, just like any high-touch surface in a home, it is susceptible to damage. 

While it takes quite a bit to scratch up the laminate, when it happens, it can be very obvious. Homes with kids and pets are probably going to be extra vulnerable to scratched and scuffed flooring. 

The good news about this is that laminate is fairly easy to repair once it has been scratched. 

With a few simple techniques, you may be able to get rid of unsightly scratches in your kitchen or living room. In this article, we have laid them out for you and provided tips on effectively removing damage to laminate flooring. 

Removing Scratch Marks on Laminate: Basic Idea 

Depending on how deep the scratches are, you may want to try a couple of different techniques. Some of the most effective ones include: 

  • Purchasing a repair kit from your flooring’s manufacturer
  • Using toothpaste to fill in scratches 
  • Melting down a crayon 
  • Replacing the entire plank 

How to Prevent Scratch Marks on Laminate Flooring

how to prevent scratch marks on laminate flooring

Perhaps the best way to keep your laminate flooring looking nice is to prevent scratches in the first place. 

Taking care to stop scratches before they occur is much easier than trying to remove them. There are a few precautions you can take to do this. 

One thing you can do is adopt a “no shoe policy” in the house. Even rubber-soled tennis shoes can get small pieces of gravel stuck in them and scratch laminate flooring. 

A “no shoe policy” is also a great way to keep your home clean and prevent harmful bacteria. 

You can also attach felt pads to the bottom of any furniture that stays on the laminate. Furniture like kitchen chairs is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to scratching up the flooring. 

Think about any hard objects that could potentially end up on the laminate and try to prevent their use. If it is unavoidable, do your best to cushion them any way you can. 

Get a Repair Kit From the Manufacturer 

Most manufacturers of laminate or hardwood flooring will offer a repair kit to customers. 

It’s possible that your laminate flooring came with this repair kit. If it didn’t, you can always get in touch with them and either buy one or request a replacement. 

This repair kit will come with all the tools you need to fix minor scratches and gouges. Things like putty, small putty knives, or wax pencils should all be included. 

The nice thing about these manufacturer-made repair kits is that they will be matched to the flooring. 

The toughest part of repairing a laminate floor is finding the right pigment and pattern to match. The manufacturer will have the correct putty or wax to fill in the scratches seamlessly and match them perfectly. 

Use Toothpaste 

use toothpaste

It might seem odd, but toothpaste is a great material for buffing out minor scratches. It is useful for everything from painted surfaces, to glass, to laminate flooring. 

Toothpaste makes a good buffing compound because it has a very fine grit to it. 

Much in the way that toothpaste will remove small particles from your teeth, it can do the same for scratches. The fine grit will act as an exfoliant that can easily remove light scratching. 

Simply apply the toothpaste to the affected area and rub it down with a soft cloth. This will remove the raised edges of the scratches without gouging the flooring any further. 

It is important to remember that you should never sand or buff laminate flooring with heavily gritted material. Unless you are planning to refinish the entire floor, this will only make the problem worse. 

Toothpaste is a nice, gentle material that will only remove the very fine scratching and nothing from the surface. 

Melt Down a Crayon 

If you are not able to get matching repair wax from the manufacturer, a melted crayon could do the trick. 

Large boxes of crayons will have a wide variety of pigments for you to choose from. You should be able to find a color that matches your laminate flooring just right. 

Once you find a color that seems close, melt it down in the microwave 30 seconds at a time. Make sure to put it in a microwave-safe bowl and don’t leave it in too long. 

When it is fully melted down, place a few drops into the scratches and rub it in with a cloth. You can also use a small, dull putty knife to smooth it out. 

After the wax has cooled, use toothpaste to smooth it out and clean it with a small amount of water. 

Replace the Whole Plank

If the damage to the laminate is too great to repair, you may have to replace the entire plank. 

The nice thing about this type of flooring is that it is relatively inexpensive. When you are initially installing it, make sure to save a few extra planks for just such an occasion. 

By replacing the plank, you can start fresh and work on preventing future scratches. Depending on the damage, this might be the easiest solution. 

F.A.Q. 

faq how to remove scratch from laminate floors

  • How do you get stains out of laminate?

To get stains out of laminate, cover it with a paste of baking soda and water. Leave this to set overnight. 

Once the paste is dry, clean it off with a wet towel. This solution should lift stains out of the laminate material fairly easily. 

  • What is more scratch-resistant; laminate or vinyl?

Vinyl is much more scratch-resistant than laminate is. 

Vinyl has much more give and resistance, which allows it to move instead of becoming damaged. If your family is hard on flooring, you may want to go with vinyl. 

  • Is laminate waterproof?

Laminate flooring is resistant to water from the top to the bottom. What this means is that it will resist water that is spilled on the surface. 

What this also means is that if water gets under the flooring, this could cause problems like mold or rot. It is always best to be careful with water around laminate

Conclusion

If you live with your laminate flooring for long enough, chances are you will scratch it eventually. 

Luckily, there are quite a few options for repair and most of them are very cost-effective. Also, by implementing a few rules and precautions, you can avoid having to make these repairs at all.

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AUTHOR

Michael J. O’Connor is a writer and marketing specialist from the Bay Area of California. A graduate of Sonoma State’s Creative Writing program, he spent many years as a contractor and carpet layer, learning the ins and outs of flooring and general contracting. When he’s not typing away at his desk, he enjoys hiking with his dogs, woodworking and collecting rare books. See full biography here.

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