Dealing with Sticky Laminate Floors: Causes, Remedies, & Prevention

why is my laminate floor sticky

Sticky laminate floors are a common issue that many homeowners and renters face. Sometimes, this sticky residue can make a once beautiful flooring look dull and unattractive and pose a slipping hazard.

Understanding the causes behind this phenomenon and the appropriate remedies can save you time and money and help you maintain your floor’s aesthetic appeal.

In this article, we will delve into the various reasons why laminate floors become sticky, suggest effective solutions to tackle this issue and offer preventive measures to keep your laminate floors shining and slip-free. Stay with us as we walk you through this sticky situation.

Common Causes of Sticky Laminate Floors

1. Residue from Cleaning Products

One of the primary causes of sticky laminate floors is the residue left behind by inappropriate cleaning products.

Some cleaners contain oils or waxes that, though designed to create a protective layer and impart a shine to your floors, often leave a sticky film behind.

This residue attracts more dirt and dust, making your floors appear grimy over time and creating a slippery, potentially hazardous surface.

For instance, oil-based cleaners or those specifically labeled ‘polish’ or ‘wax’ can contribute to this issue.

Similarly, despite being popular, products like Mop & Glo or Orange Glo are known for leaving a wax-like residue that can make your laminate flooring sticky.

Therefore, choosing cleaning products carefully, preferably those specially formulated for laminate flooring, is essential to avoid any unwanted stickiness and keep your floors sparkling clean.

2. Using Too Much Water

Excessive moisture can prove to be another significant culprit behind sticky laminate floors. While water is a standard tool in cleaning, using too much can harm your laminate flooring.

Laminate floors are somewhat resistant to moisture, but excessive water can seep into the seams of the flooring, causing it to swell and distort over time.

Furthermore, water left standing on the surface can evaporate slowly, leaving a sticky residue that can attract dust and dirt.

It’s crucial to understand that while laminate flooring mimics the look of natural hardwood, it does not possess the same water-resistant properties.

Hence, using a damp (not wet) mop and promptly drying the surface after cleaning is the key to maintaining the integrity and appearance of your laminate floors.

3. Low-Quality Cleaning Products

Low-quality cleaning products may seem like a bargain, but they can harm your laminate floors more than good.

These inexpensive or harsh cleaners commonly contain aggressive chemicals that may leave a stubborn residue behind, contributing to the unappealing stickiness.

This residue not only dulls the shine of your floor but also serves as a magnet for dust and grime.

To ensure that your laminate floors stay clean and shiny without any sticky after-effects, it’s recommended to invest in high-quality cleaning products.

Products specifically designed for laminate flooring, such as Black Diamond Stoneworks Laminate Floor Cleaner or Bona Stone, Tile & Laminate Floor Cleaner, can provide an effective and gentle cleaning experience, leaving your floors spotless and residue-free.

Remember, a quality cleaner is an investment in the longevity and beauty of your floors.

4. Failure to Rinse Properly

Another factor contributing to a sticky laminate floor is the failure to rinse properly after cleaning.

It’s not enough to mop away the cleaning solution; a thorough rinse is necessary to remove any residual cleaner left on the surface.

A failure to do so can result in the cleaner drying on the surface, creating a sticky residue that traps dust and dirt. Similarly, it’s paramount to dry your floor promptly after rinsing.

Any standing water can seep into the laminate, causing the same swelling and distortions from excessive moisture exposure.

Proper rinsing and drying are equally as necessary as choosing the right cleaning products to maintain the cleanliness and shine of your laminate floors.

5. Worn or Damaged Finish

A worn or damaged finish is another potential cause of stickiness on laminate floors. Over time, the protective layer that gives your laminate its shine and serves as a barrier against dirt and grime can wear down.

Continuous foot traffic, heavy furniture, and abrasive cleaning tools may contribute to this deterioration.

Without this protective finish, your laminate is more susceptible to damage and becoming sticky as it can easily hold onto residues.

Restoring and maintaining the laminate’s protective finish is crucial in preserving the cleanliness and shine of your floor.

Products such as Rejuvenate All Floors Restorer, designed to refill scratches and restore a high gloss shine to all floors, can be beneficial.

Always remember to use such products per the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure a regular cleaning routine to enhance the lifespan of your laminate flooring.

6. Pet Urine or Spills

Pets are a delightful addition to any home but can also be a source of mess—especially regarding laminate floors.

Pet accidents and other spills can leave unwanted stickiness and unpleasant odors, posing a challenge for homeowners.

However, with the right approach, you can effectively clean up these mishaps and remove any lingering odors, leaving your laminate floors looking and smelling fresh.

This section will provide a step-by-step guide on handling pet urine or spills on your laminate floors.

7. Old or Expired Cleaning Products

Cleaning products are essential to maintaining the luster and cleanliness of your laminate floors.

However, it’s important to remember that these products, like many others, have a shelf life.

Over time, cleaning products can lose effectiveness, resulting in less-than-ideal cleaning outcomes and potentially contributing to the stickiness of your laminate floors.

It’s crucial to regularly check the expiration dates of your cleaning products and replace old or expired ones.

In the subsequent section, we delve deeper into the impact of old or expired cleaning products on your laminate flooring and provide tips on managing this.

8. Wax or Polish Buildup

Over time, your laminate floors may lose their luster and shine due to a common culprit – wax or polish buildup.

This usually occurs when wax or polishing products are applied excessively or too frequently, resulting in layers of residue that can dull the surface and make your floors sticky.

Not only does this buildup detract from the aesthetic appeal of your floors, but it can also make them slippery and unsafe.

Luckily, there is a safe and effective way to address this issue. The following section will guide you through removing wax or polish buildup from your laminate floors, restoring their original shine, and preventing potential accidents.

9. High Humidity Levels

Humidity, or moisture in the air, can significantly impact your laminate floors.

When the humidity levels in your home are high, your laminate flooring can warp, buckle, or even develop mold, compromising the aesthetics of your floor and its longevity.

Therefore, controlling the humidity levels in your home is an essential aspect of laminate floor care.

In the ensuing section, we will explore practical and effective strategies to regulate humidity within your home, ensuring the durability and visual appeal of your laminate flooring.

10. Incorrect Underlayment

Underlayment plays a pivotal role in maintaining the health and aesthetic appeal of your laminate flooring.

It acts as a protective barrier, mitigating the damaging effects of moisture from the subfloor.

When underlayment is incorrectly installed or is of poor quality, it can give rise to numerous issues like buckling, warping, or even mold growth.

It is crucial to get your underlayment correctly installed and periodically assessed by professionals to ensure its optimal performance.

If needed, do not hesitate to replace old or damaged underlayment, as this can significantly enhance the lifespan and appearance of your laminate floors.

In the upcoming section, we will delve deeper into the importance of underlayment and guide you through professional assessment and replacement.

11. Subfloor Moisture Issues

A lesser-known yet vital aspect influencing the health of your laminate flooring is the moisture content in the subfloor.

It can create a variety of problems, including causing your laminate flooring to become sticky.

High moisture levels in the subfloor can seep upwards, impacting the laminate flooring and leading to uncomfortable stickiness, discoloration, or even damage to the floor’s structure.

Consequently, tackling subfloor issues head-on is of utmost importance to prevent future stickiness and preserve the integrity of your laminate flooring.

The forthcoming section will provide insightful strategies to effectively address and rectify subfloor moisture issues.

12. Improper Installation

Installing laminate flooring is as pivotal as the product in ensuring longevity and aesthetic appeal.

Homeowners often overlook this vital aspect, causing significant issues down the line. An improper installation can lead to many problems, including gaps between planks, peaking, and even damage to the laminate material.

Therefore, consulting with a professional flooring installer is strongly recommended for an initial assessment and potential corrections.

Their expertise and skill can help prevent installation-related issues and, thus, save you from unnecessary costs and inconvenience in the future.

The following section will delve deeper into common installation errors and how professionals can effectively rectify them.

13. Heavy Traffic and Dirt Buildup

One of the frequently overlooked factors contributing to sticky laminate flooring is the impact of heavy foot traffic and dirt accumulation.

Given the bustling nature of our living spaces, it’s inevitable for our floors to bear the brunt of continuous footfall and gather grime over time.

This constant pressure and dirt buildup can lead to residue on the surface, causing the laminate flooring to feel sticky.

Regular cleaning and maintenance become all the more important in such scenarios, not just for aesthetic appeal but also for the longevity of your flooring.

In the subsequent section, we will explore practical measures to combat the effects of heavy traffic and dirt accumulation on your laminate flooring.

Home Remedies for Sticky Laminate Floors

2.1 Heavy Traffic and Dirt Buildup

A simple yet effective remedy for heavy foot traffic and dirt buildup is routine cleaning with an appropriate cleaning solution.

  1. Step One: Vacuum or sweep your laminate flooring to remove loose dirt and dust.
  2. Step Two: Mix a cup of white vinegar with a gallon of warm water. This solution is mild enough not to damage your flooring but strong enough to handle the grime.
  3. Step Three: Dampen a mop with the solution and clean the floor. Avoid soaking the mop; too much water can damage the laminate.
  4. Step Four: Dry the floor with a clean, dry mop or towel to prevent water spots and streaks.

Precautions: Always test a small, hidden area first to ensure the cleaning solution does not discolor or damage your flooring. Avoid using steam mops, which can cause delamination, warping, or other damage.

Remember, the keys to the longevity of your laminate flooring are regular maintenance and prompt action against dirt accumulation. With these simple steps, you can keep your floors shining and stick-free.

The following sections will remedy other common causes of sticky laminate floors.

Preventive Measures for Maintaining Laminate Floors

Regular Cleaning Routine

Maintaining a consistent cleaning schedule is vital for the preservation and longevity of your laminate floors.

Regular cleaning keeps your floors pristine and prevents the buildup of dirt and grime that can lead to stickiness.

Use the right tools and products, such as a microfiber mop or a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner designed for laminate flooring.

Follow Manufacturer Guidelines

Each laminate flooring has specific care and maintenance guidelines provided by the manufacturer.

Ensure you thoroughly read and follow these instructions to avoid unintentional damage to your floor.

Using the recommended cleaning solutions and methods will preserve the integrity of your flooring and extend its lifespan.

Area Rugs and Mats

Consider using area rugs or mats in high-traffic areas, such as hallways, kitchens, and entryways.

These additions can effectively minimize wear and tear, protecting your laminate flooring from scratches, scuffs, and dirt accumulation.

Prompt Spill Cleanup

Spills and accidents are inevitable, but prompt cleanup can prevent long-term damage. If a spill happens, swiftly blot it with a dry cloth or paper towel to prevent the liquid from seeping into the laminate.

For sticky spills, use a damp cloth and a gentle cleaner. Remember, prolonged exposure to moisture can damage laminate flooring.

Temperature and Humidity Control

Laminate floors respond to changes in temperature and humidity, and these conditions can lead to expansion, contraction, or warping.

Maintain an optimal indoor environment by controlling temperature and humidity levels. If you live in a humid climate, consider using a dehumidifier to keep excess moisture in check and prevent moisture-related issues with your laminate floors.


In conclusion, the key to preserving the beauty and longevity of your laminate flooring lies in timely and appropriate care.

From using the right cleaning products and following the manufacturer’s guidelines to placing rugs in high-traffic areas and promptly cleaning up spills, every step is integral to keeping your floor at its best.

Control of temperature and humidity also plays a significant role, as these conditions can cause warping or damage.

Remember, every effort counts when it comes to maintaining your laminate floors. Addressing issues promptly and using preventive measures can make a world of difference in the lifespan of your floors.

Let’s not overlook the importance of regular maintenance; a little time and attention can keep your laminate floors looking as good as new for years. Take charge and proactively care for your laminate floors today!


Hi! I’m Kobby, one of the co-owners of and the newest house owner in town. I’m a huge fan of most things natural. Over here on this site, I'm happy to share all the exciting hacks, tricks, and tips I have learned and continue to learn each day about taking care of natural stones.

Recent Posts