Hardwood floors have a natural beauty that's hard to beat. In order to retain that beauty, hardwood must be protected from water and maintained properly. Let's take a look at some tips to keep your hardwood floors looking like new.
When it comes to mopping, never mop hardwoods with water or use cleaners that contain detergents, oils, ammonia, or polishes and waxes. Vacuuming for general cleaning is fine, but be sure to use your hard surface setting on your vacuum. Make sure your vacuum has either a felt pad on the bottom or a brush, and be careful when pulling your vacuum so the wheels don’t scratch the wood.
Hardwood isn’t waterproof and is susceptible to swelling, so be sure to clean up wet spills as quickly as possible. Use a clean, soft cloth; if needed, the cloth can be slightly damp but be sure to wipe dry immediately. When more than just sweeping is needed, the best products to use are those made for your flooring. One product that is safe and effective is Bona’s hardwood cleaner. Bona’s hardwood cleaner can be bought in single bottles or in a kit that contains a “Swiffer” style mop.
This kind of mop is ideal for hardwood floors because it’s a very dry mop, and the cleaner dries in only a few minutes. Bona’s hardwood cleaner won’t leave a residue or film like some cleaners. Bona is an environmentally responsible product with an effective, yet non-toxic formulation, guaranteeing its safety to use around the home.
All hardwood, especially the exotic ones, will darken over time with exposure to sunlight. This is a natural occurrence in wood. It’s recommended that you occasionally rearranged the furniture in your living space so your hardwood floors can darken evenly. Don't forget to rearrange your rugs and floor mats as well. If you live in an area with high humidity, you may want to use a dehumidifier to reduce swelling in your hardwood floors.
Other useful tips:
* Don't wear shoes, such as stiletto heels, that can scratch your hardwood floors.
* Use protective pads under tables and chairs.
* Use mats at any entrance doors.
* If you have pets, be sure to keep their nails and claws trimmed.
Floor covering has come a long way in recent years in regard to durability. Still, our floors take a lot of wear and tear from everyday living, and regular care and maintenance is required to keep them in good shape. Let's look at some helpful tips for taking care of two kinds of popular flooring: carpet and vinyl.
When it comes to carpet care, we generally think of vacuuming and the occasional professional cleaning. It’s best to have a vacuum with a brush roll setting to better capture dirt and shedding. Professional cleaning is needed to keep dirt and spills from building up and may be part of your warranty requirements. For more on cleaning specific stains, click here.
In addition to regular vacuuming and cleaning, there are other carpet maintenance tasks that help keep it fresh and beautiful. Furniture and heavy objects often cause depressions or indentations from resting on carpet for long periods of time. To remedy this, move your furniture occasionally. Be sure to work the carpet pile that is indented back into place using your fingers or the edge of a spoon. Also use furniture gliders or cups under the legs of heavy furniture.
Fluffing and shedding (this is the balls of carpet fluff you see sitting on the surface of your carpet) naturally occurs with newly installed carpet. With regular vacuuming, most shedding will gradually disappear within the first year after installation. When new carpet is installed, there may be an odor caused by installation materials or the removal of old carpet pad. Ventilation with fresh air is recommended, and windows and doors should be opened with the HVAC turned on for 48 to 72 hours.
Shifting gears to vinyl, vinyl flooring is very easy to care for, and it stands up to spills and scuffs. A daily sweeping to keep the dirt and grit from accumulating and a weekly mopping are sufficient to keep most vinyl in good condition. For general cleaning, it is recommended that you use the manufacture’s cleaner for your brand of vinyl. For example, Mannington Vinyl Floors have their own Rinse-Free Cleaner.
Other helpful tips for vinyl:
*Use floor mats at the entrance doors.
*Use floor protectors under furniture such as tables and chairs.
*Any rugs should not have rubber or latex backing, this can discolor vinyl.
With today's durable floor coverings, care and maintenance can be a breeze. Always be sure to follow any specific manufacturer instructions and clean up spills and messes promptly. For more on floor care, be sure to visit our website at shopabbey.com.
Tile and laminate are very popular and durable flooring choices for active homes. However, they must be taken care of properly for them to last. Following these tips and any additional manufacturer instructions can help increase the life and beauty of your floors.
Tile is often mistakenly thought of as waterproof; however, it is a strong material and will last a long time if cared for correctly. For general maintenance, sweep or vacuum the tile regularly to remove any loose dirt or grit. When a deeper cleaning is required, mop with water and an added tile cleaning solution. Be sure to follow up with a rinse using fresh water; this keeps the cleaner from building up or leaving a film. It’s not recommended that you use any cleaners that are oil based or have a wax polish as these can cause a film to build up.
Never use cleaners containing acid or bleach for routine maintenance. Don’t use harsh cleaning tools such as steel wool or scouring pads that contain metals. These can scratch and damage your tile. Also, be careful not to use ammonia because this can discolor your grout. Make sure you don't clean your tile for about a week after installation so the grout will have time to set. After installation, grout joints should be treated with silicone to insure they do not chip.
Laminate is a great choice for active homes because it has superior scratch and stain resistance. Laminate is not indestructible though and does require regular maintenance. Dirt that goes unattended can be very abrasive to any floor, and laminate is no exception. For routine maintenance, just use your vacuum cleaner. Make sure to use the hard surface setting on your vacuum and turn off the beater bar.
For both tile and laminate, an excellent cleaning solution is Bona Hard Surface Cleaner. Bona cleaner is easy to use and effective. Bona Kemi Pro Series Hard Surface Cleaner is a Greenguard Certified solution with pH balanced formulation to thoroughly clean grout, laminate, and stone surfaces without dulling finishes. It's also non-toxic, so it safely cleans hard surfaces without leaving behind any residue. Even though the Professional cleaners from Bona Kemi are more aggressive than the original strength Bona cleaners, it is safe for use around children and pets.
If you ever have problems or questions about caring for your floor, consult your flooring specialist or the manufacturer’s instructions. With proper care, you can keep your floors sparkling and looking fresh for years to come.