Cleaning Laminate Floors in Homes With Dogs

Can dogs scratch laminate floors? By its very nature and construction, laminate flooring products are durable and able to withstand scratches from even the biggest dogs. Sometimes scratches happen, however, so if and when they do happen you’ll want to use a laminate floor repair kit.

How to erase dog tracks from your laminate floors

One of our Swiss Krono customer service experts knows all too well the answer to this problem! She has two house dogs who play tag whenever the mood strikes them, and this means paw prints are everywhere. Here’s what she has to say:

“I often clean with a microfiber dust mop, dampening it with warm water and vinegar in a spray bottle. In addition, the vinegar acts like an odor eliminator so I have no doggie smells, especially after they have gotten wet on their daily walks. I installed my laminate flooring in 2006, and it still looks great.”

If your laminate floor is highly glossy, you’ll want to clean frequently with a microfiber mop and hot water in a spray or mister bottle. High-gloss laminate flooring often shows prints, especially so if you have a dog.

How to remove muddy dog paw (and people) prints

If the mud is wet, see above and wipe it all up quickly. Consider adding doormats by your doors so mud doesn’t get tracked in.

For dry mud, vacuuming or sweeping will do the trick. Just make sure your vacuum doesn’t use a beater brush. Oh, and forget about floor steam cleaners and wet jets. They add moisture to the mix and can damage your floor!

How to protect your floor from other dog messes

Topical moisture is an enemy of any floating-floor system, especially if it isn’t mopped up quickly because it can seep into the seams of the laminate planks. Some solutions for you to consider:

  • Place a tray with an absorbent mat under your dog’s water bowl to collect any water drops, dribbles and drippings.
  • Encourage your sweating dog to cool down on a mat rather than on the laminate floor (possibly easier said than done).
  • Add a continuous bead of PVA Type II glue to the edges of any laminate planks likely to be exposed to moisture. Glue will keep any fluids from getting in between the planks.

If you have a dog and you’re replacing carpet with laminate floor, consider a few extra steps to help your dog transition to your home’s new improved floor covering:

1. Cut out and save a piece of carpet that has an area where your dog may have dispensed topical moisture. Check the carpet and pad for stain or dampness. Put this piece of carpet in a large plastic container, cutting the sides of the container down to the height of the carpet. Because all animals are scent-driven, this will create a scent-baited comfort station. Place this scent comfort station on a vinyl floor or near an exit door.

2. Prepare the subfloor where you dog previously had an accident so that you don’t have the same situation happening again with your new laminate floor.

  • Clean concrete subfloors with hot water mixed with some bleach. (See bleach container for recommended portions.)
  • Clean wood subfloors with a product that contains neutralizing enzymes. Be prepared to replace the wood subfloor if it’s compromised.

3. Paint the entire subfloor with Kilz or Zinsser primer to address both staining and odors. Allow the subfloor to dry completely before installing floating floor system.

How to deal with a film on your laminate floor

Although not directly related to having a dog in the house, a film can be frustrating. To “defilm” your laminate floor, use 100% pure acetone and lots of elbow grease and make sure the area is well ventilated.