In the past few years, product innovations have offered consumers more and better choices in hard surface flooring, such as hardwood, laminates, vinyl and ceramic. However, keeping floors beautiful can be an ongoing battle. We asked the experts for some helpful advice:
Hardwood flooring has been used since the Middle Ages. In fact, many castles from that era still have hardwood floors intact, while their stone floors and steps have worn away. Hardwood floors of that era were protected with a primitive mixture of boiled beeswax. Today, we don’t have as much time on our hands (or knees), so it’s fortunate that we have more choice and sophistication!
As recently as 10 years ago, hardwood flooring was installed unfinished on site, then stained and waxed. Today, pre-finished hardwood flooring, with its durable finish that can last at least ten times as long as “site finished” hardwood floors, represents about 70% of all hardwood floors in the United States. Most pre-finished hardwood floors have several layers of protective coatings, including a topcoat that can be regularly vacuumed with a soft bristle brush and cleaned with a damp mop and clean cloth.
This synthetic material is rapidly growing in popularity, offering consumers the look of wood for less of an investment. Mop or vacuum daily, more often if necessary, and use a wood cleaner applied with a soft cloth for occasional cleaning of surface dirt. Laminate flooring has a surface finish that’s scratch resistant, not scratch proof! Although its low luster finish means minor scratches are less visible on laminate flooring, the finish will eventually scratch. If an area needs to be replaced, it will blend right in because laminates do not discolor if exposed to UV rays.
Vinyl and No Wax Flooring
Sheet vinyl and vinyl tile are the most durable of all resilient flooring. They will not absorb oil, grease or dirt and require minimum care with the proper products. For regular maintenance, use a neutral cleaner. Although vinyl is very durable, it will yellow with age if poor quality waxes or finishes have been used. If the floor has an old finish, strip and clean according to product instructions. For floors without finish, use neutral cleaner (follow product instructions). Once floor is dry, apply a sealer wax, non slip wax, or for “no wax” floors, use an acrylic finish.
Ceramic Tile, Quarry Tile, Slate and Marble
For regular maintenance, damp mop with a neutral cleaner (follow product instructions) to remove dirt without removing the shine. Remember, “no wax” doesn’t mean “no maintenance”! Even “no wax” floors will lose their gloss over time and need a new coat of finish. For a thorough cleaning, begin by sweeping the floor to remove surface dirt and dust. For finished floors, strip and clean thoroughly, following product instructions. For unfinished floors, use a neutral cleaner before applying finish. Let dry. Use several coats of a sealer finish to achieve desired gloss, drying 30 minutes between coats.
618923 – Clorox Damp Mop Kit
618923 - Damp Mop
653199 - Trewax Acrylic Finish
637378 - Trewax Neutral floor cleaner
627744 - Trewax Instant wax stripper