When we normally speak about flooring, it is usually in the context of having it installed, choosing the right floor type for your home, or refinishing techniques. Today, however, we take a break from the usual chatter and look at some helpful flooring maintenance and cleaning tips!
Floor Maintenance Advice
No matter what type of flooring you have, making sure it lasts beyond its shelf life is an important aspect many homeowners tend to overlook. Extending the lifespan of your floor – no matter if it is hardwood, carpet, ceramic or laminate – is not only important from an aesthetic perspective, but is a smart investment as well. The extra care you take now will save you from having to replace your flooring in the future.
Follow the Instructions
No matter what type of flooring you get, following the cleaning and maintenance guidelines that come with it is of the utmost importance. The manufacturers of your floor material have dedicated many hours (and a lot of money) researching how to increase the lifespan and protect the durability of your flooring choice, and ignoring their advice would not be wise for your (flooring’s) safety!
Clean Your Floors Regularly
Floors suffer an amazing amount of wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas, such as doorways and common walkways. This is especially true if you have children and pets. Alongside mud and dirt, children and animals track in a wide variety of outside elements, including dust, mold spores, bacteria, and all manner of liquids.
For hardwood floors, you will want to clean then daily. Your best option is to either sweep or vacuum them. If you choose to vacuum, opt for a cleaner that has a felt or brush head (versus a beater head bar). Take a few moments to clean the wheels of your vacuum cleaner at least once a week to ensure you do not scuff your floor or leave behind any errant dirt.
Other floor types, such as ceramic or laminate, only need to be cleaned once a week (though you can consider more frequent cleaning if you have a full house, such as during the holidays or special occasions).
For carpets, vacuuming once a week is ideal for normal areas, and twice a week for areas of high traffic. In addition, you will want to call in the professionals for serious spot removal issues, and also from a preventive maintenance standpoint. Professional carpet cleaning services should be called out at least once every two years. If you can fit it in your budget, calling them out every 12 months is even better.
Other Flooring Care Tips
While it may seem like a no-brainer, cleaning up any spills immediately after they occur is a must. For hardwood, use a soft cloth and whatever cleaning product your floor’s manufacturer suggests. Avoid using water or mopping any hardwood floor, as this could result in further damage and, ultimately, dull the finish of the hardwood flooring.
Ceramic tile floors should be cleaned with a mop and whatever cleaning solution your flooring instructions suggest. Be sure to go over everything with a final sweep of clean water and dry with a clean towel to remove any leftover cleaner.
With laminate floors, you will want to avoid detergents, wax products, polishes and excess amounts of water.
Finally, use common sense when it comes to protecting your flooring. Avoid wearing sports shoes (think cleats) and high-heeled stilettos on your floors – leave them at the door!
If you have heavy furniture resting on your floors, use furniture pads to avoid any damage they may cause, either through movement, or over time.
For high-traffic areas use rugs and welcome mats to reduce the impact of busy feet and persistent weather (think about the effects of opening your front door during a strong rainstorm).