Parquet floor image by Einar Bog from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>
Laminate floors come in a wide variety of patterns and colours, often simulating the look of other flooring materials, including hardwoods. The covering placed on laminate protects it from most normal wear and tear, but even this thick plastic coating can become scratched deeply enough to damage the patterned piece of laminate flooring beneath. Small damaged areas can be repaired or patched. Replace larger areas with new laminate planks. No prior experience with carpentry is necessary to complete the task, so it’s suitable for any DIY homeowner who wants to restore their floor’s good appearance.
Clean the surface of the laminate. Sweep up any dirt or debris with a broom. Sponge clean the damaged area using a laminate floor cleaner, making sure not to saturate the area with moisture. Rinse away the cleaner with clean water and pat the area dry with a rag.
Examine the damaged area to assess the amount of damage present. If there are only a few scratches, you’ll need to repair them with a filler. If the area is heavily damaged, or damage extends through the laminate design layer, remove the damaged flooring and replace it with a patched piece.
Fill the scratches in the flooring with coloured wood filler that is the same colour as the laminate. Push the filler deep into the cracks. Use the putty knife to push the filler in place, making sure it is level with the surface of the laminate. Allow the filler to harden completely for the length of time suggested by the manufacturer.
Coat the filler with a layer of polyurethane to protect the repaired area.
Replace a large damaged area with a new section of flooring. Remove the damaged laminate plank by removing the adjacent planks. Starting at the nearest wall, pull planks up one by one until you reach the damaged ones. Lift the planks from the end nearest the wall to unlock the tongue and groove system that secures the planks in place. Remove the damaged planks and measure them for length.
Purchase new planks of the same laminate type from a home improvement store and cut them to fit the length of the damaged planks. Install the new planks at an angle, placing the tongue of the new planks into the grooves of the existing, undamaged planks. Press down on the plank edge to level it out and lock it into place. Replace the adjacent planks, working from the damaged area back to the wall.
- Parquet floor image by Einar Bog from Fotolia.com