When buying a house, its flooring is among the key deciding factors. A building with damaged floors is not appealing, which is why its market value will drop. Many people swear by hardwood for its traditional beauty and prestige, while others prefer synthetic tiles because they are economical, easy to maintain, and customized.
Replacement of old flooring or installation of new floors can add up to thousands of dollars, depending on the type of material you choose and the square foot area to be covered. No matter what kind of flooring your house has, you can make it last a long time by conducting proper maintenance.
If you are buying an old house, or your own home hasn’t undergone a renovation in over a decade, the worn-out floors will be among the first things to make you cringe. However, the pre-installed floors were chosen for one or more reasons, so you shouldn’t straightaway think about demolishing them.
They probably suit the overall theme and decor of the house; thus, you should consider a deep cleaning and restoration project. This is highly recommended if you don’t actually have the budget for extensive remodeling.
You can easily increase the value of your real estate by making minor improvements, rather than incorporating costly changes. If your floors look fine at the moment, but you are planning to sell your place in the near future, you should concentrate on keeping it in top-notch condition.
The same cleaning practices are not suitable for every floor; thus, you will need to be careful to avoid causing damage or corrosion. Good cleaning and maintenance practices will keep your floors looking as good as new, as well as prevent slip and fall accidents. If an outsider incurs injuries because of your poorly maintained flooring, you could end up in a premises liability lawsuit.
If you want your floors to be spick and span, you first need to acknowledge what you are working with. How you will achieve immaculate flooring depends upon the type, structure, and/or amount of damage done.
Wood flooring is expensive, yet it is among the most popular flooring options worldwide. Both hardwood and softwood are used for flooring, but hardwood excels because of its durability and hardness.
Softwood is lighter and somewhat more susceptible to damage, but it works fine if you don’t bring shoes into the house (spiked shoes and heels will leave marks or scratches); it is not a good choice if you have kids and pets in the house. Generally, the harder the wood, the higher the cost and the longer its life.
Moisture is bad for wood, as it leads to water retention, swelling, decomposition, discoloration, and splintering. Therefore, never use a drenched mop to clean wooden flooring. Commercial cleaners and detergents are also not suitable because the chemicals in them will damage the surface.
Vacuuming your wood flooring every day or sweeping with a feathery broom is enough to keep it dust-free. If something spills and stains, take care of it immediately. Use a slightly damp soft cloth to scrub the stain; you can spray a dilute solution of mild detergent for spot-cleaning if the stain persists.
If your wood floors have lost their luster and pigmentation over the years, you can easily restore their former glory by applying some wood stain and polish. Staining and polishing require inexpensive supplies and you can do it yourself if you have the time and patience. Consider sealing your hardwood floors to preserve their current form and integrity.
2. Vinyl and Laminate
Vinyl planks are quite economical and they even manage to look as appealing as real hardwood floors if you purchase quality ones. They are much more resistant to moisture and corrosion than regular wood, but excessive use of water for cleaning is discouraged.
It is best to vacuum and use a slightly damp non-abrasive mop for cleaning. Stains can be removed by applying a mild floor cleaner to the spot and scrubbing with a microfiber cloth.
The properties of laminate are quite similar to vinyl, so you can mop it with a mild floor cleaner every now and then (once a week is a plenty). Laminate is typically made from melamine resin and fiberboard, with a protective layer of aluminum oxide on the top.
It is manufactured to mimic wood; it is not as good-looking as the real deal, but pretty good value for the money. Removing stains is very easy because the protective layer prevents the absorption of any substance into deeper layers. You can use a light broom or vacuum to get rid of daily dust and debris.
3. Concrete and Terrazzo
Concrete and Terrazzo floors are naturally porous; thus, it is best to protect them with a sealant if you don’t want them to erode over time. Moreover, moisture and other contaminants might accumulate in the gaps, causing surface roughness.
You should dust or vacuum before washing the surface with your regular household cleaner. Wax the floors annually to retain the smoothness and shine. You may transform your old flooring by using a layer of concrete floor paint and epoxy paint over the sealant.
4. Ceramic or Porcelain
Ceramic or porcelain tiles are widely chosen for their convenience. They are available in endless designs (and colors) and are very easy to install. They are water-resistant, so the traditional mopping and washing methods are applicable.
You should use a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide for grout cleaning; leave the mixture in the crevices for an hour and then scrub with a hard-bristled cleaning brush.
Marble floors are beautiful with their intricate patterns and variety of shades. However, they need to be sealed because the material is porous in nature. You will need to vacuum and mop marble floors at least 2-3 times a week to maintain their smoothness and shine.
A pH-neutral detergent or cleaner is recommended to prevent discoloration. A bit of polish can make your marble lavish and shiny, but don’t use too much as it can get very slippery.
6. Linoleum or Cork
Linoleum or cork floors are a huge favorite for their natural softness and warmth. These floors make the least noise against shoes and they are not slippery, which is a plus for children and seniors.
You can mop these floors with a regular floor cleaner, but for best results use a mixture of hot water, dishwasher soap, and vinegar. You can bring back the shine of your linoleum by applying floor wax once or twice a year.