It doesn’t make much sense to invest thousands of dollars in your home’s floors and then neglect to maintain them. Fortunately, basic floor maintenance is pretty straight forward for most types of flooring materials; you just have to invest the time. Care for your floors regularly and you will get the maximum value out of them.
The Basics of Floor Maintenance
Dirt, dust, sand, and grime are your floor’s biggest enemies, regardless of the material you have. It wears down and scratches the finish on hardwood, tile, stone, laminate, and vinyl tile surfaces, and it dirties and stains new carpet. Since most of the dirt and grit in your home is brought in from the outdoors, one of the easiest things you can do to keep your floors looking great is to lay down some natural fiber rugs so dirt doesn’t make it onto your floors in the first place.
Remove your shoes at the door. This seems overly simple, but when you consider that your shoes are the prime carriers of the above mentioned offenders, it’s easy to see why making socks and bare feet the rule in your home is a good step to take in preserving your floor’s original condition for a long time to come. Plus the best flooring maintenance is prevention.
Clean Your Floor Regularly
- Whether you have carpet, tile, hardwood, stone, or other surfaces, cleaning your floor on a regular basis is a must if you want to keep your floor in good shape.
- Clean carpets with a vacuum and sweep ceramic tile and laminates at least once a week. Get in the habit of doing it even more often if you go with less durable materials like stone and hardwood.
- If you have any polished stone flooring in your home, you’ll want to sweep or mop once a day to keep that polish shining.
Prevent Stains on Your Floor
The best way to avoid stains and blemishes is to address them as soon as they happen. For hard surfaces this means grabbing a paper towel or rag and wiping up messes before they have a chance to do damage. If you have carpet, gather up any solids first, then pour warm water over the stained area and soak up the stain, repeating as many times as is necessary until the stain is gone. Never scrub at a new stain in your carpet; it drives the stain deeper in the carpet and helps it to set into the material.
Tile, stone, and hardwood can all be treated with an extra sealant or urethane coating to help prevent scratches and spills from damaging your floor. For carpet, treat it with stain guard or spend a little extra and get a stain resistant variety to begin with. With vinyl and marmoleum floors, regular waxing will help to prevent wear and keep it looking newer longer.
Quick-Fixes for Floor Maintenance
For chips in ceramic tile you have two options: replace the tile or cover the blemish. Replacement is best but if you can’t afford that then get some nail polish that closely matches the color. It’s not fool proof, and you may have to reapply the polish every once in a while, but it’s a cheap solution for those who want to avoid a more costly repair.
Hardwood Flooring Fixes
An inexpensive trick for hardwood floors that are scratched is to find a shade of brown crayon that matches your finish, remove the paper covering, and melt the crayon in the microwave until it is a putty-like consistency that you can use to fill the gash. It won’t be perfect, but it can help put off a larger refinishing job until your floor really needs it.