This is a question flooring professionals run into all the time. Unfortunately the short answer is no. Steam cleaners are exceptional at getting dirt and grime off laminate floors.
However, the intense heat and moisture it uses to get the job done can also wreak havoc on the adhesive used on your laminate floors. Once the steam and moisture break down the adhesive holding the laminate down it will begin to bubble up and may even come loose.
What About Floating Laminate Floors?
Floating laminate floors use a click and lock technology and require no glue to install. Although there is no adhesive to worry about with floating laminate floors, steam cleaning can still be harmful to your floors. The moisture and heat can cause warping and has also been known to cause swelled and peaked edges. These potential issues can affect the look of your laminate flooring and even obstruct the click and lock function on the flooring. This means you will need to replace either some or all of the flooring.
Why Do Other Websites Say Steam Cleaners Are Okay?
If you’re reading this you’ve likely read other articles online that said steam cleaners are perfectly safe on laminate floors. They say that steam cleaners use a small amount of moisture and dry within 30 seconds which makes it okay. The problem with this line of thinking is it ignores the long term impact of steam cleaning. Sure after the first few times using a steam cleaner the only thing you’ll notice is how clean your floors are.
You don’t see the small, incremental damage you may be doing underneath each time you use it. Over time the risk does not outweigh the convenience of steam cleaners. You’ll soon be replacing the floors at your own expense, because the flooring warranty will not cover improper care techniques.
Why Do Steam Cleaners Say They Are Safe For Your Floors?
There is a difference between a guarantee and simply making a claim. Sure the companies who make steam cleaners might say they are safe, but will they cover your flooring warranty if they need to be replaced? Many flooring manufacturers will tell you not to use excessive moisture and a few will even tell you specifically not to use steam cleaners.
In summary, it is not recommended that you use a steam cleaner on your laminate flooring. Any damage will likely come out of your own pocket. If you do decide to take the risk remember to limit the moisture you use on the floors as much as possible and try not to make your steam cleaner your go-to tool for every cleaning.