Ways to care for your floor
To keep your hardwood floors looking beautiful year after year, it's important to treat them right by using the correct floor care products and cleaning techniques. By following this simple guide to hardwood floor care, you'll ensure that your gorgeous floors last for the entire lifetime of your home!
Everyday Hardwood Floor Care
There are a few simple things you can do every day or every week to keep your floors in great condition. First, of course, you will want to keep dust, grime, spills and stains at bay by sweeping and dust mopping frequently. A good-quality vacuum cleaner is also a great tool in your arsenal, but make sure to buy one with a special hardwood floor setting. Dirt particles tend to erode a hardwood floor over time, so daily cleaning can really extend the life of your floors.
If your floors need a bit of extra care, consult the manufacturer's suggestions to find out if you can damp mop, wet mop or use some other technique. You'll also want to check to find out what type of mopping solution to use depending on the type of wood and sealant on your floor.
Deep Cleaning and Hardwood Floor Repairs
From time to time, it might be necessary to perform a deep cleaning on your hardwood floors to restore them to their original condition. Floor buffers are special devices that carefully remove dirt from your floor and buff the surface to make it gleam. However, if the finish on your hardwood floor is in poor or worn condition, you will want to wax instead of buff. Floor waxing adds a light layer of durable, waterproof coating to your floor that will make it look great. For touchups, simply buff the surface of the floor wax to make it shine.
For a severely worn or damaged hardwood floor, you will need to use a more extensive repair and cleaning process. Floor repairs, such as replacing damaged floorboards and filling holes, cracks and gouges, should be undertaken first by a qualified professional. Once the damage has been addressed, floor sanding will strip the old wax and other buildup from the surface of the floor. While the floor repair professional may also offer sanding, it will likely be cheaper to simply rent a floor sander and do it yourself. With the old surface completely removed, you now have fresh wood to coat or stain, seal, wax and buff for a floor that looks brand new.
Caring for Other Types of Floors
Hardwood is probably the highest maintenance flooring type, but other flooring materials also need regular cleaning and care. Like hardwood, laminate floors should be swept or dry mopped regularly and may also be vacuumed on the hardwood floor setting. Laminate, however, resists much of the damage that hardwood is prone to (dents, scratches, etc.) and is also designed to maintain its shine, so deeper cleaning and repairs are seldom needed.
Properly sealed tile flooring can be wet mopped and may benefit from bleach or a household floor cleaner to remove harsher stains. Grout can also be cleaned with bleach or cleaner and a soft-bristled brush.
Epoxy floors may need to be resealed and waxed on occasion to keep them shiny and strong.
Perhaps the easiest material is vinyl flooring, which can be easily swept or wet mopped every day or so and cleaned every week or two with regular household cleaning products. Older vinyl floors may need to be waxed on occasion, but most newer models are designed to keep their shine without waxing.