10 Reasons Your Laminate Floor Is Turning Yellow (+ Fix)

why is my laminate floor turning yellow

Your beautiful laminate floor is starting to turn a yellowish hue. What could be causing this, and how can you fix it? There are several possible causes of yellowing laminate floors, but thankfully most are easy to remedy. In this article, I will discuss the causes of yellowed laminate floors and provide solutions for each one. Let’s get started!

One possible cause of yellowing laminate floors is exposure to sunlight. The UV rays from the sun can bleach the color out of your flooring, causing it to turn yellow. Also, you can expect spills, grime, and stains to cause your laminate flooring to be yellow.

So there you have it if you came for a quick answer, but honestly, there are many more reasons your laminate floors may be turning yellow and a lot more things you can do about it. So keep reading if you want to know more.

Reasons Why Laminate Floors Turn Yellow

As I mentioned, there are several reasons your laminate floors may be turning yellow over time. Here are some of the most common causes:

1. Harsh Cleaning Products

We all love to keep our homes crystal clean, but sometimes we don’t realize that the cleaning products we’re using are harming our floors – and floor materials like laminate are not very forgiving.

Harsh chemicals in cleaning products can strip the protective layer off of laminate floors, causing them to become dull and yellow over time.

These same harsh cleaners can also leave behind chemical residues that will not only build up but can further damage your floors.

If you’re using harsh cleaners on your laminate floors, it’s time to switch to a gentler alternative.

Plenty of gentle cleaning products on the market will clean your floors without damaging them.

Look for cleaning products specifically designed for laminate floors – these will be the safest and most effective option.

You can also make your own gentle cleaning solution by mixing one part white vinegar with four parts water.

This solution will clean your floors just as well as any store-bought product but without the risk of damage.

2. Exposure to Sunlight

Another common cause of yellowing laminate floors is prolonged exposure to sunlight.

The UV rays from the sun can bleach the color out of your laminate flooring, causing it to turn yellow.

If you have laminate floors exposed to direct sunlight, there are a few things you can do to protect them.

First, limit the amount of time your floors are in direct sunlight. This may mean closing the blinds or drapes during the day.

You can also try placing a rug or mat in front of doors or windows to block out some sunlight.

Another option is to use move your furniture or decor around periodically so that different areas of your floors are exposed to sunlight.

This will help evenly distribute the sun’s rays and prevent any area from becoming too light or yellow.

3. Age and Wear

Sometimes, your laminate floors will turn yellow simply because they are old and have seen a lot of wear and tear.

Laminate floors are not meant to last forever; over time, they will show signs of age and wear.

If you know your laminate floors have been around for quite some time, and they are starting to turn yellow from age or wear, it is not much you can do to prevent it.

Clean them with a good laminate floor cleaner until you’re ready to replace them.

4. Dirt, Spills, and Stains

If you’re the sort of person who is constantly tracking dirt and grime into your home, your laminate floors are likely starting to turn yellow from all the dirt and debris.

Even if you’re diligent about cleaning your floors, spills and stains can cause them to become discolored over time.

Also, if you do not clean spills and stains immediately, they will likely become permanent. This is very common in families who have kids and pets.

So if your laminate floors are starting to turn yellow from dirt, spills, or stains, the best thing you can do is clean them as soon as possible.

The sooner you remove the dirt, grime, or stain, the less likely it is to cause permanent damage or discoloration.

5. Nicotine Staining (Older Homes)

I once went backpacking across Europe and stayed in a lot of hostels. Unfortunately, most of them were pretty run down, and a lot of them had yellowed laminate floors that were stained with nicotine.

This was evident because of the strong cigarette odor that greeted you and because many of the hostels were in older buildings.

If your home is an older building with laminate flooring that hasn’t seen any updates in a while, the yellowing is likely due to nicotine staining.

This is especially common in a country where smoking indoors was once legal.

Unfortunately, once nicotine stains set in, they are very difficult to remove. The best thing you can do is have your floors cleaned or replaced.

6. Mineral From Hard Water

Another common cause of yellowing laminate floors is mineral build-up from hard water.

If you live in an area with hard water, likely, the minerals are slowly but surely causing your laminate floors to turn yellow.

Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, which can leave a film on your floors when it is often used to clean the laminate floors.

If you think hard water is the cause of your yellowing laminate floors, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem.

First, you must use distilled water to clean your floors. This will help to remove the mineral build-up and prevent it from causing further damage.

You can also try using a vinegar solution to clean your floors. Mix one part vinegar with two parts water and spritz it onto your laminate floor and use a flathead mop to clean.

The acidic nature of vinegar will help to break down the mineral build-up and leave your floors looking shiny and new.

7. Color Transfer From Rugs Or Carpets

Storytime! Our beautiful laminate floors were one of the selling points when we bought our first house. They were a nice light brown color that went well with our furniture and laminate floors.

Unknown to us (I mean my wife and me), my son had spilled some water on the rug, and it had seeped through to the floor.

A few days later, we noticed a large yellow stain in the middle of our living room. It turns out that the water had caused the color from the rug to bleed onto the laminate floors.

We tried everything to remove the stain, but it was permanent. If you like having a rug or carpet over your laminate floors, make sure to use a slip-resistant mat to prevent color transfer.

Or you can raise and clean your rugs every other day to allow the floors to air out and prevent the colors from bleeding. We also learned our lesson, and now we only buy light-colored rugs.

8. Use of Wax or Polish on Floors

Unlike many other flooring materials that can be waxed or polished from time to time, laminate floors should never be waxed or polished.

The wax will not only build up over time and cause the floor to turn yellow, but it will damage the protective film on the surface of the laminate. If you must use a polish on your laminate floors, ensure it is a non-abrasive type that won’t damage the finish.

If your laminate floors are starting to turn yellow, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem.

First, try cleaning the floors with a mild detergent and water solution. You can try using a vinegar solution or distilled water if that doesn’t work.

9. Type Of Wood Used For The Laminate

The type of composite wood used for the laminate core can also affect the floors’ color.

For example, if you have a laminate made from oak and the laminate floor work was not sealed properly, water can seep in, and then the tannins in the wood will start to leach out turn the floors yellow.

To avoid this problem, ensure that your laminate floors are adequately sealed with a good silicone-based sealant.

10. Incorrect Cleaning Methods

How you clean laminate floors is very different from how you would clean other types of flooring, like hardwood.

If you’re not using the correct cleaning methods, you’re likely causing damage to your floors without even realizing it.

When cleaning laminate floors, always use a damp mop – never soak the mop head in water as this can cause water damage.

Just be sure to avoid using too much water when cleaning laminate floors – too much water can cause the boards to swell and warp. Instead, you only want to spray a fine mist of the cleaning solution on your laminate floor.

If you’re using the vinegar solution, rinse the floor with clean water afterward to remove any lingering vinegar smell.

And if you do accidentally use too much water when cleaning your laminate floors, be sure to dry them immediately with a towel or mop.

Now that we’ve covered one of the most common causes of yellowing laminate floors let’s move on to the next.

Laminate Floor Care And Maintenance Tips

Here are a few care and maintenance tips for your laminate floors so they neither get damaged nor discolored:

  • Vacuum or sweep your floors regularly to remove dirt, dust, and debris.
  • Place mats at all entrances to your home to help reduce the amount of dirt and debris tracked in.
  • Use a damp mop or cloth to clean up spills.
  • Avoid using too much water as this can damage the flooring.
  • Wipe up spills as soon as they happen
  • The longer they sit, the greater the chance of staining.
  • Place furniture pads under all legs of furniture to avoid scratches and other damage.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners on your laminate floors, as this can damage the surface.
  • Never wax or polish your laminate floors, as this will damage the protective coating.
  • If something does spill on your floor, be sure to clean it up immediately.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading!


Hi! I’m Kobby, one of the co-owners of favoredstoneguides.com 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.

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