This is a question I rarely hear while helping people decide which floorcovering is the right one for them. I will bring maintenance and cleaning into the discussion but it rarely seems to be a huge concern. Maintenance and floor care should be the first concern and color and aesthetics should follow. I have lived on many different flooring products and I believe that Ceramic or Porcelain Tile is the easiest and require the least amount of effort to maintain. Let’s look at different types of flooring and the maintenance involved.
We will tackle the hardest first. Carpet. Most people don’t even want to look at carpet because they are never taught how to care for it. If proper care and maintenance id followed for carpet it can be the greatest floor product. Abuse it, neglect it, and you will become frustrated and aggravated and change it out sooner then you should have. By price, carpet should be your most affordable option so a little extra cleaning by Professionals would be a wise investment. Your local ProSource Wholesale Floorcoverings Store probably has many Members that are the finest in their field when it comes to getting Carpet Cleaned or stubborn stains removed. Also when purchasing new carpet, consider investing in a Prime Urethane Padding with a moisture proof barrier, this is some of the cheapest insurance you can take out on your new purchase.
What about Pets?
Regular vacuuming is the key to keeping carpet beautiful and new-looking – for heavy-traffic areas vacuum every day if possible and once a week for the rest of the carpet.
Many types of cleaners are available when needed, including dry cleaners, spray-on foam cleaners and wet shampoo. Whichever you choose, make sure it is made for carpets. Always test a cleaner on a small inconspicuous area of the carpet first. Avoid anything meant for hard surfaces such as wood or tile. When choosing a professional carpet cleaner, ask for a reference and/or a firm estimate.
Act immediately! Don’t let the spill set or it might never be removed. Remember these three steps:
Apply-a damp white paper towel soaked in a cleaning solution to the spot (see list of solutions below); never wet the carpet through to the backing.
Blot-press straight down with a white paper towel-DO NOT RUB; place a 1/2″ thick pad of white paper towels with a weight on top and leave overnight if necessary
Scrape-from the outside edge of the spot toward the center
Cleaning solutions to be used to treat spills include:
Detergent-mix 1/2 tsp. clear dishwashing detergent with one cup warm water
Pre-soak-mix 1 tsp. enzyme laundry product (such as Axion or Biz) with one cup water
Hydrogen peroxide-mix 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide (3% strength, available in drug stores) with 1 tsp. household ammonia. Use within two hours.
- Ammonia-undiluted household ammonia
- Dry powder cleaner
- Dry cleaning solvent-non-oily, non-caustic type sold for garment spot removal (caution: may be flammable)
Again, test on a small inconspicuous area first.
When you know your specific stain and need extra help follow the guidance from this Stain Removal Guide. Using the proper method always produces the best result.
How to clean Porcelain Tile:
Porcelain tile is resistant to germs and bacteria and it is also among the easiest of flooring materials to clean. You can clean your porcelain tile with a damp sponge mop. A solution of 1/4 cup of white vinegar to 2 gallons of water works best – allow time for drying. You can also sweep or vacuum.Although porcelain tile is by definition impervious, it is still possible for its surface to discolor. The following instructions explain how to clean porcelain tile surfaces.
For glazed porcelain tiles, use the following instructions for general cleaning:
- Sweep or vacuum loose dirt and dust from the floor. An untreated dry dust mop is recommended instead of a broom.
- Mop the floor with a mild cleaning solution (do not use wax, oil-based, or abrasive cleaners).
- Rinse the tile thoroughly with clean and clear water.
- Drying is also recommended – to increase the shine and to prevent water spots.
A textured porcelain tile surface requires additional cleaning procedures. A standard wet-mopping will not effectively clean a textured surface. For cleaning textured surfaces, follow these instructions:
- Sweep or vacuum dust and debris from the floor. When sweeping, use a soft-bristle broom and sweep in 2 directions. First follow the direction of the tile, and then sweep diagonally. This will ensure the removal of all foreign material that might be residing in the texture.
- Saturate the tile with a neutral cleaning solution, such as vinegar, with hot water and stir. Allow the cleaning solution to remain on the floor 5 – 10 minutes. Scrub the floor with a brush; again using a two-direction method.
- Rinse the floor with clean, clear water to remove the cleaning solution.
- For high traffic locations, it is recommended to clean the floor at least once per day and wet mop at regular intervals.
- Do not clean porcelain tile flooring with ammonia or with cleaners that contain bleach and/or acid. Acid and ammonia based cleaners may modify grout color.
- Do not use wax, oil-based, abrasive cleaners, or sealants.
- Agents that contain any dyes or colors are not recommended.
- Use rugs at entrances to prevent dirt and grit from being tracked onto the tile flooring from outdoors.
- Do not use steel wool pads, because loose steel particles may create rust stains in the grout.
What about dirty or stained Grout Joints?
My favorite products for cleaning tile are made by: Custom Building Products. Your local ProSource should have access to all their products. They are very easy to use and by following their instructions you should be able to solve all your cleaning woes.
STRIPPING OR HEAVY SOIL BUILDUP: Mix 1 part cleaner to 2 partswater.Apply solution to surface with mop or sponge. Allow to dwell 3 to 5minutes for cleaning, or 5 to 10 minutes when stripping waxes orfinishes. Agitate with synthetic mop, scrub brush, or scrub machine. Donot allow solution to dry on surface. Mop up dirty solution. Rinsethoroughly with clean water.
Laminate has been the rave for durable flooring for a long time now. Remember, dirt and dust are the enemy. The small particles will act like sandpaper between your feet and the flooring surface. A good dust mop and regular vacuuming will help keep your floors looking beautiful much longer then anything else you do.
How to clean Laminate Flooring:
- Use a damp cloth to blot up spills as soon as they happen. Never allow liquids to stand on your floor.
- For tough spots, such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, ink, or tar, use acetone/nail polish remover on a clean white cloth, then wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.
- Sweep, dust, or vacuum the floor regularly with the hard floor attachment (not the beater bar) to prevent accumulation of dirt and grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.
- Periodically clean the floor with cleaning products made specifically for laminate floor care. For optimum results.
- Do not wash or wet mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, warping, delamination, and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.
- Do not use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, or strong ammoniated or chlorinated type cleaners.
- Do not use any type of buffing or polishing machine on your laminate floors.
- For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
- A more frequent dust-mopping or vacuuming schedule may be required in very sandy areas such as a beach home.
Here are some ideas I borrowed from Armstrong to help keep your Laminate looking good for a long time.
The versatility of laminate flooring is what makes it a favorite with homeowners who want a beautiful floor that’s long-lasting and easy to clean. To get the performance you want from your laminate floor, follow these simple steps.
Routine cleaning for your laminate floor
Caring for your laminate floor
Your beautiful Armstrong laminate floor is extremely scratch- and impact-resistant, but it’s not indestructible. Maximize the durability of your laminate floor by following these care and maintenance tips.
- Place a natural material mat or a mat that won’t fade or bleed color at outside entrances to collect tracked-in dirt and absorb excess moisture.
- Use protective felt pads under furniture legs and appliances. As a general rule, the heavier the item, the wider the floor protector should be to prevent indentation.
- Avoid wearing high heels or shoes with cleats on your laminate flooring, and keep your pets’ nails trimmed.
- When moving furniture, don’t slide pieces across a laminate floor. If possible, carefully lift heavy items when repositioning them. Or use a wheeled dolly after first placing a clean sheet of smooth plywood or large, heavy cardboard over your laminate floor to protect it.
- If you expect an area of your laminate floor will be subjected to heavier than normal foot traffic, use an area rug.
- Occasionally, rearrange furniture to avoid indentation.
- Make minor nicks or scratches disappear with a color-matched correction kit, such as Armstrong’s Laminate Floor Touch-Up Kit.
- Be sure to check the manufacturer’s warranty for additional care instructions and recommendations.
As you can see, it doesn’t take much time or effort to ensure your beautiful laminate floor will look and perform its best year after year.
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