Get the most of the investment you made in having a flooring contractor install brand-new floors with regular care and maintenance.
Here are several floor maintenance and cleaning tips by flooring type:
Hardwood Floor Cleaner Care
Regular sweeping or wiping with a dusting cloth is all that’s needed for day-to-day upkeep. When deeper cleaning is necessary, use a product that’s specifically formulated for hardwood and avoid using too much since liquids of any kind in excess can damage your floor. A few times a year, you can polish the floor with a water-based polish that’s formulated not to cause waxy buildups or give off harmful toxins. Don’t use soap-based or steam cleaners, or a water-and-vinegar solution, which can dull the finish.
Ceramic or Porcelain Tile Cleaner Care
These tile floors can stand up to a lot, but they’re likely to need frequent cleaning if they’re in the kitchen or bath. Wipe up spills as they happen, but do test any cleaning products in small, inconspicuous areas to make sure they’re safe for your particular tile. Vacuum or sweep before wet-cleaning, and rinse with clear water after cleaning to ensure you remove any cleaning solution that may be left behind. Grout should have been sealed shortly after your floor was installed; use only those cleaning products that are deemed safe for sealed grout joints.
Natural Stone Tile Cleaner Care
Most stone tile is porous, so you’ll want to care for it differently than you would ceramic tile. Because natural stone can actually be scratched by dirt, you’ll want to dust or vacuum it to make sure no abrasive particles on on the stone when you apply a cleaning solution. As with hardwood, avoid the use of even heavily diluted water-vinegar solutions, which are acidic enough to damage the stone. Neutral cleaners are best and should be formulated specifically for the type of stone you have.
Vinyl Cleaner Care
It’s easy to keep vinyl looking good with simple care. Sweep it frequently to prevent dirt from becoming ground in. Heavy-duty cleaners aren’t necessary, but a cleaner made just for no-wax flooring (older vinyl flooring needed waxing) won’t leave residue. Avoid using too much water, though, because it can seep into seams and edges and break down the glue bond that holds your floor in place.
Laminate Floor Cleaner Care
You may have chosen laminate due to its durability and easy care, but it will need regular attention. Wipe up normal spills with a damp cloth and sweep or vacuum the floor with your vacuum cleaner’s hard floor attachment. Don’t wet-mop or wash laminate with water, oil-soap detergent or any liquid, which could lead to warping, delamination or even the voiding of the manufacturer’s warranty. There are a number of cleaning products on the market made just for laminates.
Bamboo Cleaner Care
Although bamboo has moisture-resistant properties, avoid using water to clean it since excess moisture will dull bamboo’s finish. Clean up spills with a dry mop or towel and never use wax-based products, bleach, abrasive cleaners, ammonia or vinegar. As with most types of flooring materials, there are specially formulated products available to deep-clean your new bamboo floors.
Carpeting Cleaning Care
At a minimum, vacuum your new carpet every week and vacuum more frequently in high-traffic areas and if you have pets. A solution of mild dishwashing detergent in water should take care of most stains, but for heavy stains, a steam-cleaning machine or wet vacuum may be needed. Check the manufacturer’s warranty on how often a professional steam cleaning is required to maintain the warranty; it may be required every 18 to 24 months.
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