Installing quality flooring represents a significant investment. There is also probably no other element of your home that will get more use than your floor. To get the most out of your investment and keep your floors looking brand new as long as possible, you will want to engage in proper care and maintenance. Here is a guide to maintaining all types of flooring from R&S Flooring.
Hardwood floors are among the most durable types of flooring, but they can also be more easily damaged than synthetic flooring. While you may not institute a strict no-shoes policy, you want to avoid walking on hardwood floors with high heels or shoes with hard soles. Unlike the name implies, hardwood floors are actually somewhat soft and can be nicked, scratched and dented easily. You also want to put felt pads on the bottom of any furniture legs. Over time, your hardwood floors will lose their luster. So you’ll want to have them refinished every few years and sanded down entirely every 7 to 10 years. Before cleaning hardwood floors, you will want to determine if they are finished with a polyurethane, shellac, wax, or varnish since the finish will determine the best way to clean them.
Just like with hardwood floors, you will want to avoid high heels or shoes with hard soles on your laminate floors. Cleaners that promise a high shine should also be avoided. Because they will create a waxy buildup over time that will dull your floor’s natural shine. Murphy’s oil soap, which is excellent for hardwood floors, should also be avoided on laminate because it will leave deep streaks behind. Water should be mopped up immediately, so you also don’t want to wet mop your laminate floors. The best way to clean laminate floors is to sweep regularly and use a damp mop occasionally. For tougher stains, you can steam mop on occasion, but you’ll want to use this option sparingly as too much steam can cause your laminate floors to buckle.
Vinyl flooring is one of the most durable types of flooring and one of the easiest to maintain. That being said, unlike hardwood or laminate flooring, when the finish wears off, you can’t just have them refinished. That means you’ll want to be careful what kind of cleaners you use on your vinyl. Just like laminates, using cleaners that promise a high shine can result in a waxy buildup over time that will dull the natural shine of your floor. For daily maintenance, sweeping and damp mopping with plain water works best. For a deeper clean, mix one cup of apple cider vinegar with a gallon of hot water. The acidity in apple cider vinegar is just enough to cut through dirt and grime with no waxy buildup. For a little more cleaning power, you can add a few drops of dishwashing liquid, and for a bit of shine, you can add a few drops of baby oil to the mix.
Before using any cleaning products on tile floors, you will want to sweep or vacuum them to remove any gritty dust or debris. If you damp mop before sweeping or vacuuming, any gritty debris can act like sandpaper that will wear down the finish of your tile. How you want to clean your tile will depend on if it is glazed or unglazed. For glazed tile, you’ll want to use an all-purpose, non-oil-based household cleaner that’s suited to cleaning grout joints. Unglazed tile will require a concentrated tile cleaner that has a neutral pH for regular cleaning. You can also mix a 1/4 cup of white vinegar with two gallons of warm water. Scrub any stained or heavily soiled areas with a soft-bristle brush. Once you have cleaned your tile floors, you always want to rinse them by running a wet mop with plain water over them. It will remove any residue from the cleaners and help keep your tile floors sparkling clean. You can also dry your floors with a clean towel or microfiber cloth.
Following these tips on maintaining your new flooring should have a long-lasting effect allowing you to enjoy your investment for years to come.