Homeowners usually select flooring based on the room it will be in and family lifestyle. Flooring such as hardwood looks great in the living room but may not be appropriate in the kitchen. Ceramic tile, with its moisture resistant qualities, works great in the bathroom or laundry room. Vinyl is a favorite flooring type in high-traffic areas. And because not all floors are created equal, cleaning them also depends on flooring type. Homeowners who want to extend the life of their floors and keep them beautiful and looking like new take care to clean floors as recommended by flooring experts. Below we discuss the most popular flooring types and the best ways to clean each.
- Hardwood – Hardwood flooring comes in a multitude of varieties, whether engineered or solid. Different species of hardwood have different levels of hardness, which, combined with a protective finish, affects how well the floor resists scratches and stains. These floors can be regularly swept, dust mopped, or vacuumed. If vacuuming, make sure the vacuum head is brush or felt to avoid scratching the floor. For deeper cleaning, use a microfiber or terry cloth mop and a product made especially for cleaning hardwood floors – do not use water. Apply a specialty hardwood flooring finish if the floor is older and needs refreshing to restore the wood’s natural look and beauty.
- Vinyl, Engineered Vinyl Tile, and Luxury Vinyl Tile – Vinyl flooring resembles wood and stone tile floors, but unlike their natural counterparts, are moisture-resistant and stand up well to daily wear and tear. In fact, vinyl flooring is quite durable and easy to clean. For routine cleaning, vinyl floors can be swept or vacuumed. If vacuuming, use the soft head attachment to avoid scratching the floor.
These floors can also be cleaned by mopping with water or using a specialty no-rinse product made specifically for vinyl floors. If you want to restore or maintain the floor’s original shine, apply a high- or low-gloss floor finish, depending on the floor’s original look. When your vinyl floor is newly installed, you may have to remove grout or adhesive residue. Follow the installer’s or manufacturer’s guidance for cleaning the floor this first time to ensure you do nothing to interfere with the adhesive bonding correctly or grout fully hardening.
- Laminate – Laminate flooring is an economical option to natural wood and stone flooring and holds up well against everyday activity. Laminate is made with a special protective layer that resists scratches, stains, spills, and fading. Laminate flooring can be regularly vacuumed and swept. When vacuuming, make sure to use the brush or felt vacuum head rather than the bar, which could scratch or damage the floor. You can also damp-mop the floor with a microfiber or terry cloth mop and water or with a specialty laminate flooring cleaning product applied directly to the mop cover.
- Ceramic and Porcelain Tile – Ceramic and porcelain tile is used for both flooring and kitchen backsplashes. These tiles resist dirt but, over time, the surface dulls from normal use and the grout, especially if it is white
or light in color, can begin to show dirt. Spot clean spills on tile with a camp cloth or mop and warm water. Routine cleaning can include sweeping or vacuuming floors, but if vacuuming, use a soft attachment. When mopping, use warm water and a bit of dish detergent.
If grout requires a more thorough cleaning, you can make a natural cleaning solution using vinegar and baking soda. If stains are stubborn or mildew has set in, you may need to use bleach or hydrogen peroxide. In all cases, let the cleaning solution set for a few minutes, then use hot water and a stiff brush to clean the grout. Prevent grout from getting dirty in the first place by sealing it one or two times a year.
Take proper care when cleaning floors to receive the best return on your flooring investment. Steve Rush of Sovereign Construction Services installs floors and understands the maintenance required. He has worked with all types of flooring and can make recommendations on the best for each room in your home. For more information or to request a no-cost estimate for your next flooring project, call Steve today at 610-639-2986