7 Tips When Caring For New Floors

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7 Tips When Caring For New Floors

7 Tips When Caring For New Floors

One can’t really quantify the excitement that comes with installing new floors. That charm they bring to the space, how you took your time and money to find the right installation that matches your décor preferences – the floors are an investment. Sure, they are supposed to be walked on – but you can’t deny that you want them to keep looking new for as long as they can. Fortunately, a lot of this is in your power, especially with regards to the floor cleaning and maintenance. Here are 7 tips that will enable you to keep your floors looking their optimal all through:

  1. Sweep/dust/vacuum the floor regularly

Dirt and debris accumulating on the floor will be the first threat it faces. People walking on the gritty particles, grinding them against the floor surface, increase the level of scratching and scuffing that results. Regular sweeping, dusting or vacuuming the floors will reduce the rate at which the build-up happens. As a welcome bonus, you will have much less work to do during the routine floor cleaning. For hardwood, laminate, and vinyl floors in particular, these should only be vacuumed with the bare floor setting. Vacuuming with a beater bar will damage these floors, as well as using the rotating brushes. 

  1. Get mats for the entrances

One of the main causes of dirt in the household is all that soiling that gets tracked into the premises. Having a mat at the different entrances will give people coming in the opportunity to wipe off their shoes. Even better, get them to take off the shoes altogether, and switch to a pair of indoor sandals or flip flops. Remember that some particular types of shoes – like high heels or the soccer cleats, add to the strain of the floor – such as in the case of hardwood installations where this kind of footwear causes dents. 

  1. Clean up spills as soon as possible

The last thing you want on your new floors is large patches of unsightly stains. Every second that spills are allowed to remain increases the chances of this happening. This is particularly problematic with hygroscopic floors like hardwood installations, and porous surfaces like natural stone floors. Even vinyl, which has a higher resistance to water, will end up getting stained if you leave spills on the surface for too long.

Blot up the spills using an absorbent cloth, then use the appropriate cleaner to clear away the rest of the spot. Note that in this case there will be two factors to consider: the effectiveness of the cleaner when dealing with the particular kind of stain that has been formed, and the compatibility of the formulation with the floor. 

  1. Mopping – your type of floor matters

While for some floors like porcelain tiles you can go ahead and wet mop without any problems, when it comes to hardwood this can cause serious damage. Standing water is also an issue, where it can cause water damage or staining, depending on the floor in question. So, your flexibility with the amount of solutions used for the floor cleaning will be restricted to the particular floor in question. 

Working with equipment like microfibre mops come in handy in reducing how much solution is used. Here, the microfibre uses mechanical forces of attraction to pick up the dirt particles from the surface – and this can be so effective that even in many cases you don’t need to wet the mop. Additional features seen with tools like spray mop – where the floor cleaning solution is housed in a cartridge, and only a little product is misted out onto the surface at a time – allow you to control just how much product ends up being used, and avoid the risk of water damage at the same time. 

  1. Steer clear off harsh chemicals

Only use floor cleaning products that are specific to your particular kind of installation. What works for cement or ceramic tiled floors is different from what will be effective on hardwood or natural stone floors. Issues like the pH range of the cleaning agent will be critical. You don’t want a case of the installation getting its surface layers dissolved because of reacting to strong acids that are used on it. Some soapy products on the other hand leave behind a filmy residue on the floor surface – which is essentially a dirt magnet, trapping particulate matter from the surrounding environment, while in other cases the residue will be slippery increasing the risk of accidents. Even ‘similar’ surfaces like wood furniture and floors are cleaned with different products. 

Ammonia and bleach are some of the chemicals that are known for their damaging effects on floors like marble, granite, solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. These, as well as lemon juice and vinegar, are popular cleaning agents used on other surfaces around the household, will wreak havoc on the floor. 

  1. Minimise effects of the sun

Some types of floors are susceptible to prolonged sun exposure, which causes them to fade or get discoloured. These are the likes of hardwood floors and luxury vinyl installations. Here, measures like closing the curtains or blinds during those sections of the day where sun exposure is at the highest will enable to reduce the effects. Having area rugs in place will also protect the floor. Treatment products used can also have an effect here. For instance, oil-based lacquers on woold floors have a tendency of developing a yellow hue over time – which is attributed to the sun’s effect. Opting for water-based lacquers that are resistant to UV-radiation for the floor treatment will keep that result look for longer. 

  1. Take caution with the furniture

Always lift – never drag. Dragging those heavy sets of furniture over the floor is a sure way to create scratches, and in some cases, it can dig out gouges in the floor. Even when stationary, the furniture also poses a threat – especially those favourite sofas that are frequently used. Miniscule movements as everyone sits and rises from the chairs, the very weight of the furniture causing indentation in the floor – these effects can be minimised by having felt pads for the furniture. 

7 Tips When Caring For New Floors

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