Monthly Maintenance Reminder - Floors

Monthly Maintenance Reminder - Floors

Flooring
By Dikran Seferian December 23, 2021

Regardless of how durable they are, floors are not immune to getting dirty. Bear in mind that they are the ground we walk on practically every day. And nothing kills the aesthetic appeal of an interior more than an unclean floor. Many factors can keep the ground from looking fresh. These include constant foot traffic, stains from spills, and the overall atmosphere of the living spaces. Cleaning procedures, however, will vary according to the type of flooring. Vinyl, for instance, requires a different method than stone. In any case, keeping your floors well-maintained is key to preserving the aesthetic value of your home and prolonging the lifespan of the flooring.

Why is Floor Maintenance Important

The flooring is often the first part of an interior a person notices when entering a house. Therefore, the first impression of a home’s cleanliness usually depends on how clean the floor is. A dirty or dust-covered floor can have a guest assuming that your sanitation standards aren’t too high. Besides the visual appeal, a well-maintained floor also improves safety and hygiene. A buildup of dirt, grit, or grime on the ground can pose a tripping hazard. Moreover, the lack of sanitation can create a haven for germs, putting your family’s health at risk.

Another benefit of a well-maintained floor is the longevity of the flooring itself. A floor that’s gathering dust and other impurities eventually deteriorate in quality. Also, the more you put off maintenance, the harder it becomes to actually get rid of the dirt. Giving your flooring the care it needs ensures that it maintains its quality for as long as possible.

Benefits of Keeping Your Floor Well-Cleaned

Benefits of Keeping Your Floor Well-Cleaned

How Often Should You Do Floor Maintenance

How often you should clean your flooring depends on several factors. Generally, you’ll want to account for the activity levels as well as the messes that are left behind. Another important factor to consider is the type of flooring and how resistant it is to stains and dust.

If you’re living by yourself, your floor probably doesn't get as much foot traffic as it would otherwise. You may still have to give it some attention, however, if you want to maintain its prime condition. Even if there’s nobody else navigating the living spaces, the floors may eventually gather dirt and dust — especially if you tend to keep the windows open throughout the day. Sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming the floor once a week can be enough to keep it looking fresh and spotless.

Another factor to account for is whether the flooring is sealed or not. Unsealed hardwood flooring, for instance, needs more frequent cleaning than the sealed type. You may also want to work faster with unsealed hardwood flooring since it's not as water-resistant.

Spaces with more constant foot traffic will generally require maintenance more often than less-visited rooms. Hallways, for instance, tend to be busy areas and could use a swipe of the mop every two or three days. Rooms that are idle most of the time can be kept once a week.

Your flooring will require more attention when there are children or pets in the house. For instance, you may want to consider wiping the entryway floor immediately after your kids rush in on a rainy day. If you tend to cook at home, cleaning the kitchen floor frequently can be a good idea.

Floor Maintenance Tips Per Type of Flooring

Stone Flooring

Stone floors are known for their elegance, aesthetic appeal, as well as durability. You can find them in several varieties including marble, granite, limestone, slate, sandstone, and travertine. Their durability means that you can use them for exterior flooring as well. Nevertheless, giving your stone flooring proper maintenance is key to preserving its appeal.

Consider sweeping your stone floors on a regular basis to get rid of any accumulated dust, and follow it up by mopping. You can wet-mop your stone flooring with warm water and dish soap or a neutral all-purpose cleaner. Avoid using acidic or wax-based products and other abrasive cleaning agents. Acidic chemicals tend to damage the natural stone whereas wax can make marble flooring dangerously slippery. You may also want to avoid using steel wool as it can scratch the surface. To remove stains, consider using a sponge or a soft rag with water and baking soda solution. You can alternatively use a coating-friendly marble cleaner. Tougher stains will need a solution of talc and water applied to the area, covered, and left for 48 hours.

On a periodic basis, consider re-sealing your marble floor using a low-acid product of high quality. Go for an alkaline-based sealer for a more lustrous finish.

How to Maintain Your Marble Floor’s Shine

How to Maintain Your Marble Floor’s Shine

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood is one of the most classic as well as timeless options for flooring. It can be made of either beech, oak, walnut, cherry, ash, maple, or teak wood. To keep your hardwood flooring clean at all times, consider sweeping it regularly with a microfiber dry mop. You may want to sweep the floor gently as the combination of dust and friction may cause scratch marks. When vacuuming, make sure to use a suitable vacuum head such as the one with soft-bristle edges.

Hardwood flooring isn’t the most waterproof option. Should you be wet-mopping the floor, make sure to use a mop that’s only slightly damp so that the surface dries quickly. You can mix the water with a pH-neutral product specifically intended for hardwood flooring. Avoid using acid-based products or those that contain ammonia as they can degrade the quality of the flooring material.

As long as you’re using the appropriate cleaning methods and products, no further maintenance will be needed for your hardwood floors. Consider hiding minor scratches — if any — by coloring it with a brown crayon of a similar shade and polishing it off with a cloth. 

Laminate Flooring

An identical alternative to hardwood that’s easier to maintain and lower on the price spectrum is laminate flooring. It essentially consists of multiple layers fused together in the lamination process. A photographic layer just beneath the clear surface coating simulates wood and sometimes stone.

Laminate flooring is generally known to be scratch and dent-resistant. You may, however, want to avoid wet mops and steam cleaners as the moisture can damage the surface. Instead, consider using a microfiber mop to get rid of dirt and dust.

You can carry out a deeper cleaning once every two weeks by using the same products and methods as you would for hardwood floors. You may also want to avoid using products that are acid or ammonia-based as well as abrasive materials such as steel wool. Wax-based products are not recommended either.

Vinyl Flooring

The durability of vinyl flooring allows it to withstand a great deal of foot traffic. Nevertheless, you will still need to clean it when necessary in order to maintain its good condition. You can prevent stains by immediately wiping up any spills with plain water. Consider carrying out a more thorough cleaning once a week.

Begin by vacuuming or dry-mopping the floor to get rid of dust and debris. Then you can move on to using a wet mop and a cleaning agent. While you could go for a commercial vinyl cleaner, a homemade alternative involves using a solution made of hot water and apple cider vinegar. Use a damp mop to apply the mixture to the floor, occasionally rinsing the mop with clean water. For a shiny finish, consider adding a few drops of baby oil to the solution. Avoid using wax-based polishes as they can leave a dull film on the floor. You may also want to stay away from steel wool and abrasive brushes as they can leave scratch marks.

To get rid of common stains caused by acidic substances such as ketchup or juice, a simple hack involves applying a paste of water and baking soda. Simply rub the mixture on the stain with a towel until it disappears.

Maintenance Tips for Vinyl Flooring

Maintenance Tips for Vinyl Flooring

Concrete Flooring

Concrete flooring has recently seen a surge in popularity and is a common choice in industrial interior design. It is an absolute champion in durability — more so if it is properly sealed (unsealed concrete floors are prone to scratches, dents, and chipping).

Consider sweeping your concrete floor on a regular basis to remove any dust, and move on to mopping. You can mop the flooring using a pH-neutral product that doesn’t cause etching. Make sure to steer clear of harsh chemicals — such as bleach — that damage the sealing on the floor’s surface. Abrasive materials like steel wool and scouring pads are also not recommended.

Periodic maintenance for concrete flooring may involve resealing and waxing. This is especially important in rooms with constant foot traffic.

Ceramic Tile Flooring

Commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms, ceramic tiles are one of the most practical options for flooring. They are ideally resistant to stains and humidity.

For glazed varieties, you can mop the ceramic floor with a simple solution of lukewarm water and an all-purpose cleaner. Unglazed ceramic flooring, however, can be rather porous and should be cleaned with the same method as stone flooring. Avoid bleach as it can lead to discoloration.

The main challenge that comes with tiles is cleaning the grout lines. This is mainly because grout is white and porous; the dirt it absorbs is hard to ignore and tricky to remove. A smart way to clean grout lines, however, involves an old toothbrush and a homemade mixture of baking soda and water. Simply apply the solution on the grout, brush it thoroughly, leave it overnight, and wipe it with a damp cloth the morning after.

Keeping Your Ceramic Flooring Clean and Fresh

Keeping Your Ceramic Flooring Clean and Fresh

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian