New flooring is a significant financial investment, so getting the greatest longevity from your existing floors is important, whether they’re new or have a few years of wear on them. The subject of this guide is how to make your floors last longer.
How to Get Maximum Wear from Your Flooring
Let’s look at today’s most common flooring types with “do’s and don’ts” for keeping them in good condition for many years to come.
TLC for Carpeting
The key to long-lasting carpet is to keep it clean and go as easy as possible on it. Here’s how:
Carpet Care Do’s:
- Vacuum the carpet at least weekly and as needed with a unit equipped with a powerful motor and rotating brush to remove deep-down dirt.
- Shampoo the entire carpet once or twice per year, and treat spot stains as needed.
- Place pads on furniture feet to prevent deep impressions in the carpet – especially on metal feet because they will rust and stain the carpet.
- When spills occur, first, learn the proper techniques for cleaning them up; Secondly, clean them up immediately, right now, pronto and post haste.
Carpet Care Don’ts:
Don’t let pets within 15 feet of the carpet until they are house trained; The same goes for toddlers – in fact, it’s not a bad idea to keep adolescents and teens off the carpet too.
Don’t overdo the steam cleaning because some carpeting shrinks, and the seams pull apart
Vital Vinyl Floor Care
Whether you have inexpensive sheet vinyl flooring or upscale luxury vinyl tile (LVT), these tips will keep it looking better longer:
Vinyl Care Do’s:
- Sweep or vacuum and damp mop vinyl for general cleaning.
- Use warm water to loosen stuck-on stains.
- Remove excess water from LVT to keep it from seeping into seams.
Vinyl Care Don’ts:
- If you vacuum the vinyl, turn off the rotating brush, aka beater bar, because it will mar the surface.
- Don’t use harsh chemical cleaners on vinyl unless you’re tired of it and want to ruin it as an excuse to replace it with some gorgeous natural hardwood flooring.
Lessons for Laminate Flooring
Treat laminate flooring like vinyl flooring, and definitely don’t use a steam cleaner on it. The harsh chemical cleaner trick isn’t as effective, but dropping lit cigars on laminate and removing minor stains with a belt sander will surely do the job.
Hardwood How-to’s and How-not-to’s
Solid and engineered hardwood are gorgeous, elegant and luxurious, which is to say “we like them very much.” Take care of hardwood, and it will go 20+ years before needing to be refinished. Refinish it, and hardwood will look like new at a fraction of the cost! These hardwood floor care tips will help you keep the wow-factor on your hardwood floors.
Hardwood Care Do’s:
- Sweep at least weekly and use a damp cloth on dirt spots as needed.
- Turn the rotating brush off if you use a vacuum to sweep.
- Keep wet, dirty shoes off the hardwood.
- Switch to slippers or socks indoors.
- Add protective pads to the feet of all furniture placed on hardwood flooring.
- Pick up furniture when moving it rather than sliding it over the flooring.
- Use a humidifier when running a forced-air furnace to maintain adequate moisture content in the wood and keep it from shrinking and causing gaps.
Hardwood Care Don’ts:
- Don’t use mats with rubber backing because they will trap moisture against the wood.
- Don’t use wax on wood unless you want a dull, grungy finish that collects dirt and debris.
- Don’t use a steam mop because the hardwood will absorb the excess moisture, swell, split, buckle or exhibit other nasty reactions.
Common Sense Floor Care
They say that common sense is quite uncommon these days, but we don’t buy that, and we doubt you do either. That makes it easy for us to recommend common-sense floor care that begins with carefully following the floor maintenance tips provided by the manufacturer for your flooring. These floor care how-to instructions can be found online if you don’t have them. Beyond those guidelines, if your flooring…
- Isn’t visibly dirty or dull
- Doesn’t darken white socks or bare feet
- Doesn’t smell bad
- Isn’t coming apart at the seams
…then you’re probably taking good care of it. Don’t overdo it, keep the motto “as needed” in mind, and you’ll do a great job getting maximum longevity from your flooring.