New flooring, in rooms of any size, is a significant investment. And after spending time researching the type of floor that best fits your needs, it’s understandable that you’d want it to last for as long as possible. Maintaining your flooring is the best way to do this. Removing unwanted dirt, dust and other contaminants before ensuring you take proper care every single day. That’s what this guide is about. We’ll give you all the tips and advice we’ve gained from years of experience to ensure your floors look beautiful today and years on from now.
People choose carpets for a multitude of reasons. It keeps rooms warmer, offers a layer of insulation and feels comfortable underfoot. There are a variety of options out there, including both natural and synthetic fibre designs. More luxurious carpets are made from fibres including wool and silk with a support layer. Their high fibre density not only gives them an impressively opulent feeling but also makes them a challenge to clean. Here are our top tips.
Prevention is always the key when it comes to maintaining flooring – especially carpets. And, you’ll want to make sure this attention to detail is actioned from the moment it is installed. During the first few weeks, vacuum daily to remove loose fibres. If any fibres stick out higher than the general layer of your carpet, make sure to cut these instead of pulling. After the first few weeks, you’ll want to vacuum regularly to remove dirt build-up.
Be cautious of chemicals
There are many carpet cleaning products out there. But you need to be cautious of the impact these can have on your fibres. Make sure to only use appropriate cleaning chemicals that have been designed for your type of carpet. For example, bleach should only ever be used on 100% polypropylene carpets. Otherwise, it will lift dyes, cause staining and leave a pathy finish.
Clean up stains quickly
Don’t allow soils to sit as they may stain the fibres. Do your research and ensure you use the right method. General stains can be removed with white vinegar, dish soap and water – this works well on tougher stains like wine. Carpets stained by animals should be cleaner with an enzyme-based solution that is deemed suitable for your fibres.
It is good practice to steam clean your carpet on a bi-annual or annual basis. They use vaporized air which breaks down excessive dirt build-up. Before doing so, remove all furniture from the room and clean around the edges. Start in the corner furthest away from the door to prevent stepping on wet carpet. And, make sure it is fully dry before replacing furniture.
Consider foot traffic
In areas of high traffic, it’s advisable to avoid certain carpets. Those made of natural materials are truly beautiful but don’t offer the same durability as other synthetic options. Repeated wear in one specific area is likely to wear down the fibres and cause it to look dull.
As we mentioned at the beginning, prevention is everything. Doormats at all entry points provide a reminder to guests to remove outside dirt and debris before entering. We also recommend asking guests to remove their shoes.
Vinyl flooring is known for its durability and budget-friendly design. It comes in a wide variety of colour and style options while also suiting a variety of rooms. Caring for it takes knowledge – you want to avoid significant harm in the first place as it can be difficult to repair. Here are our tips for maintaining vinyl:
You want to ensure that dirt and debris isn’t left to sit on your vinyl flooring. If it becomes trapped under moving furniture or stepped on by guests, it can cause irreparable scratches and dents. Sweep, daily if you can, to remove as much of this as possible.
Use a doormat
It is important to minimise the amount of dirt that is left on vinyl flooring and, as mentioned above, one way to minimise this is with a doormat. Grit and sharp dirt particles will cause the same damage as sandpaper. And certain external grounds, such as asphalt, can cause vinyl flooring to change colour.
While vinyl can stand up to the demands of a busy house, it is not durable to withstand harsh cleaning. Avoid excessive chemicals and vacuum with a gentle attachment.
Wipe away spills immediately
Vinyl is installed with bonding glue. If spills or moisture is allowed to sit on the surface, it can break down this bond and cause the corners to curl. This is also applicable when mopping.
Use protective furniture feet
Feet on sofas, television units or storage boxes can scratch vinyl if they are pulled around. While lifting is the best option when larger items need to be moved, it’s also smart to fit protective feet. Avoid rolling castors as these can do more damage than good.
Laminate flooring is highly popular due to its natural durability and hardwearing nature. It is used all over the house and favoured for its easy-clean surface. However, as with other options on this list, it still requires good care to keep it looking its best.
Prevention is key
Eliminate the chance of damage happening to your floors as much as possible. Remove shoes, use doormats in high-traffic areas and consider the most appropriate place to have it installed. While laminate can be repaired, keeping it in the best possible condition reduces this financial burden on you.
Avoid excessive moisture
Laminate flooring is not waterproof. Excessive moisture can cause it to warp, move and dislodge from it’s fittings. For this reason, clean up spills immediately. Never use a steam mop but opt, instead, for a flat-headed spray mop which will still allow you to lift soils.
Use repair kits
Instead of investing in the labour and expense of new laminate floor planks, you can buy repair kits. These allow you to fill in scratches and dents and are more cost-effective. Before doing so, ensure the surface is clean and the marks aren’t just caused by the build-up of dirt.
Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) are one of the newest entrants to the flooring world. They have been designed to offer exceptional durability, style and versatility around the home. This hardwearing nature also means they are easy-to-clean but do have specific requirements when it comes to appropriate maintenance. Our top tips are:
Prevent slips as much as possible
If guests slip, while wearing shoes, they can cause damage that cannot be repaired. Using non-slip backing on rugs will prevent them from sliding and minimise the risk of this.
While this is true of most flooring options, LVT tiles are a significant investment. Never drag furniture as this can cause scratches or dents. Either use wooden planks underneath the feet to maneuver the item out or lift it with help.
LVT tiles are low maintenance – one of the reasons they are so popular. Focus on removing dirt by sweeping, mopping and vacuuming regularly. We recommend washing the floor on a weekly basis with a well-wrung out cloth or mop.
Use specialist chemicals
There are a number of LVT-approved chemicals available on the market that have been specially designed for this purpose. You’ll want to avoid aggressive agents that can do significant damage. Remove any stains or soils immediately to prevent these from becoming more permanent. Do not use waxes – they will make the floor slippery and can dull the tiles appearance.
Use LVT Repair Kit
To avoid costly replacement, you can purchase LVT repair kits to fill in smaller scratches and dents. This will prolong the lifespan of your tiles and keep maintenance costs to a minimum.
One of the more luxurious options on our list, wooden flooring is an investment that just keeps giving. It is warm, comfortable and versatile – suitable for every space from the bedroom through to the living room. With wood being a natural material, it’s important that you can for your flooring right. Our top tips include:
Spills = warping
No matter how high-quality your wooden flooring is, if it comes into contact with excessive water, it will warp. This will produce an uneven floor and a significant safety hazard for the entire family. Wipe up spills instantly. Avoid drenching mops in water and clean up any excessive product build-up to prevent this. Never use a steam cleaner for the exact same reason.
Protect the lacquer/oil
Hardwood floors are treated with either a lacquer or oil for added protection. Over time, this will wear off. It is important that you replace these. With both types, you’ll need to sand the floor’s surface lightly and then reapply the chosen product. For larger or deeper dents, just use a slightly more abrasive sanding technique.
Consider the shoes you allow to walk around your flooring. High stiletto heels or football boots both have sharp points which can dent and damage wooden planks. Ask guests to remove them and use doormats to remove excess dust and dirt from other’s shoes.
Clean in the direction of the grain
Remember that wooden floors are made from a natural material and should be respected for that reason. When cleaning, use a microfiber cloth and PH neutral cleaning spray. Clean in the direction of the grain to prevent damage and use a soft bristle brush to remove lighter surface dirt. Furniture polishes will only leave a slippery residue which can cause damage over time so they are best avoided.
Here at Virtuoso Flooring, we have an extensive range of high-quality flooring solutions to suit your needs. And we want you to invest in solutions that last and give you true value for money. Our top tips above have been gathered by our experts. If you have any further questions on how to care for your specific flooring type, please get in contact today.