you should never use a steam mop on hardwoods or laminate, cork etc. Moisture can penetrate the seams and cause the core or material to swell.Steam mops work great on tile and natural stone, and on sealed concrete (stained etc) floors.
I would agree with KMS on this. Many floor products simply do not fare well with moisture. While many claim that you can do this with their flooring, Over time it will take its toll on the surface. Stick with tile, or the type of floor you currently have. If you have back issues, or standing on hard surfaces is uncomfortable for you, then the sheet vinyl types should be considered. They do make some really nice high end types that look and even feel to the touch like wood or tile.
laminate is fine for steam mop.
Pergo...one of the leaders in the industry does not recommend it.... from their web site
How do I clean my Pergo floor? What do I need to know regarding long-term care?
Pergo's exclusive LusterGard TM surface protection ensures
dirt and dust will not adhere to your floor and guarantees it will not
stain or fade like other flooring surfaces. For day to day maintenance
an occasional damp mop, quick sweeping or light vacuuming with the hard
floor attachments are usually all it takes to keep your Pergo floor
clean. Do not use soaps, detergents, or cleaners with wax because they
may leave a film, dulling the floor. Difficult spots like nail polish,
markers, tar and cigarette burns can be easily removed with Pergo's
Laminate and Hard Surface cleaner. Another option is to mix 1 gallon of
water with 1 cup vinegar or ½ cup of ammonia per gallon of water. Pergo
floors must never be waxed, polished, sanded or refinished and never
use a wet or jet mop when cleaning.
Mark, as KMS posted, there is no laminate flooring system that suggests a steam mop. Do not fall for all that advertizing that is saying steam mops can be used on these types of floors. Good luck from the mop company getting them to fix your swollen floor edges when you find the flooring company will not warrant the floor. Perhaps if you used it once every few years or so it would not be an issue. But using this type of invasive method of cleaning, on a daily or weekly basis, your floors will be messed up within a few years time, if not sooner. Another myth on most laminate floors is that they can be installed below grade. Simply not true. Below are two recent photos of a house that were currently working on in my area. All had laminate. Destroyed by a small water leak. The bottom line is water and wood do not mix, unless it is the bottom of a boat where you want the wood to swell to keep the water out.
I have always felt that laminates are "disposable" floors. I have never seen one look decent after 3 or 4 years. The culprit is always the seams. In the case of most the "plank" look is to duplicate regular strip flooring with a 2 1/4" strip. this pattern is printed on the laminate for 3 courses...then you have a seam and the pattern repeats for another 3 courses. The pattern on each "plank" looks fine. Its just that the seams separate and get soiled so you end up with a mixed pattern of the "outline" of each laminate piece...plus the Printed pattern on each plank. It totally looks like crap.
I would find a real "hardwood" floor far more appealing even if it was in a total worn and distressed state...to me that still screams REAL HARDWOOD...not some fake plastic.
I got the gist of the reply. I'm running the site off my iPhone and its not fitting the screen but anyway I don't think warrenty says anything about steam mops being used and if you think using cold water won't work I've installed countless laminate jobs and have not had any call back when I tell them it's safe to use steam mop.
A regular mop is a no no but steam works as long as your not soaking the floor it's fine.
Steam is concentrated moisture in a vapor form. What it does is concentrate and penetrate the surface as it is used. You have been lucky with not having any call backs, but it may be because not everyone uses these types of mops to clean, and even a smaller amount use them long or often enough to see any real issues with the floor as the swelling is so slight, it may take years for it to show up. The only method to clean the floor is what the manufacture says to use. If you were to make a claim about a damaged floor, and said you cleaned with anything other then what the manufacture says you should use. You would be out of luck.
I used to install laminates...but no longer do. I feel my clients deserve something better. Having refinished my first hardwood floor back in 1983 I'm in for the long haul. I want my work to outlive ME...and laminates will not do that. I have tile installations and real hardwoods that are going on 20 years+ and still look great. I did some minor cosmetic work on my brother floor that was 90 years old and still going strong. Quality materials last....Period
Laminates have their place. In my opinion there fine in a flip remodel, or in a home with aging adults were there is little real traffic or abuse. Some of the higher end floors do have a pretty good life span, but nothing beats the warmth, feel and quite like a solid wood floor does. Engineered floors come close, but give me solid floor anytime.