Care & Cleaning
Once your new carpet or flooring is installed, it’s important to properly care for it. With proper care and cleaning, your floor will continue to look great and last for many years to come.
As soon as your flooring is installed, the installer should give you the warranty, cleaning instructions and a sample of cleaner. You should always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines so you don’t void the warranty.
Here we cover some basic care and cleaning tips for each type of flooring we sell.
*Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines so that you do not void your warranty.*
Sheet Vinyl/Luxury Vinyl
Keeping your vinyl flooring clean is not hard, but there are some guidelines that will increase the life of your flooring. Dust, sand and grit particles are the enemy. It’s important you sweep or vacuum frequently. Don’t use a vacuum with a beater bar as it may scratch the floor, and don’t use scrub brushes.
When sweeping or vacuuming does not remove all the dirt, mop the floor with clean, warm water and rinse thoroughly with fresh water. If water alone does not clean the surface, you can use cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer. Most “no-rinse” cleaners will work just fine.
When all else fails an ounce or so of liquid detergent or ammonia in a gallon of water will work, but you will need to rinse the floor well. DO NOT use detergents, abrasive cleaners or “mop and shine” products.
Preventing dirt from getting on the floor is always a good thing to do. Mats or rugs in front of outside doors will help keep the dust and grit from getting to the floor in the first place. Be sure the mats or rugs you buy are safe for vinyl floors. Some rubber-backed mats can leave stains or marks.
For spots or spills, wipe them up immediately and use the same technique on the spot as you would for the whole floor.
It’s just a fact of life that time and traffic will take their toll on your carpet. Carpet manufacturer warranties have very specific instructions on the type of professional cleaning necessary to keep the warranty in force. Refer to that material. Then, when necessary, call on a reputable carpet cleaning service to restore your rugs to their original luster. The knowledge, commercial equipment and experience of a professional can go a long way toward removing stubborn stains and keeping your home beautiful.
Carpet is a textile. Different fibers, styles and finishes require specific care. Read and follow the suggested guidelines provided by the manufacturer. You’ll be glad you did.
Heavy furniture, potted plants and other home décor can crush carpet pile and leave compressions that you may not notice until you redecorate or move. It’s a good idea to rearrange the furniture occasionally; your carpet will thank you.
Buy a good vacuum and use it often. You can choose between the old fashioned upright or one of those fancy robotic models that requires little more than the push of a button and the occasional emptying of the filter. Frequent vacuuming sucks up the dust and loose dirt, refreshing your carpet and extending the life of your investment.
Again, you always want to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines so you do not void the warranty of your hardwood flooring. Once you read those, you can follow these basic tips.
Giving your floors a good dusting with a microfiber mop or cloth will be your best daily defense against scratches and surface damage. Microfiber cleaning pads often use static electricity to trap dirt, particles and other household allergens. Using a broom can be effective as well, but using a broom only pushes the dirt around. When you want to clean your floors without damaging them, avoid lifting your microfiber mop up off the floor when you clean—this way you keep the dirt trapped on the pad.
Weekly maintenance will deal with the harder to reach areas that a daily dusting can’t reach. Vacuums and wet mops are ideal for getting dirt out of trouble areas like corners and the spaces between each piece of hardwood. However, using vacuums and mops come with extra caution when you want to clean floors without damaging them.
If your vacuum has a beater bar, make sure it doesn’t hit the bare floor. Also, the wheels on a vacuum might damage the floor. When you’re using a mop, remember that water and wood don’t mix! Avoid putting excess liquid on your floor. Lightly misting your floor with a hardwood floor cleaner will be enough to give it a great clean. A gentle touch is one of the best ways to clean hardwood flooring. Use proper tools to clean your floor: a mop paired with a machine washable, microfiber pad for dusting and cleaning. Electrostatic action attracts dirt, micro-particles and common household allergens.
Avoid using water and vinegar, soap-based cleaners, wax or steam cleaners on your hardwood floors. Vinegar and water actually dull the floor’s finish over time, while soap and wax leave residue. Steam cleaners put heat and excessive water on your floor, which can lead to cupping and long-term damage.
Regular dusting and cleaning keeps hardwood floors looking new, but protective mats can further your floor’s life. Use natural rubber rug underlayments with a waffle pattern in entry ways or high traffic areas, and use felt floor protectors on furniture.
Regular care and maintenance will keep your ceramic tile floors looking their very best for years to come. Here’s some advice on cleaning and caring for your new ceramic tile flooring.
Dirt adheres easily to the surface of ceramic tile, especially styles with textured surfaces. Regular sweeping loosens and removes most dirt. A vacuum cleaner can also be used to sweep, but make sure you use one without a beater bar to avoid dulling and scratching the tiles. Vacuum cleaner attachments are great to suck up dirt along edges or in between tiles.
Use doormats to keep dirt from coming into your home, and shake them out often. This will reduce the amount of dirt being tracked across your ceramic tile floor and will reduce the wear to the finished surface.
Ceramic tile floors should be damp-mopped using manufacturer-recommended grout and tile cleaners. For heavier soil, spot clean the floor with a sponge or clean cloth using the same recommended cleaners.
Mild scrubbing with a soft brush or electric polisher/scrubber may be required for textured tiles. After cleaning with a mild detergent, rinse thoroughly with clean, warm water to remove leftover residue. If necessary, wipe the tile dry with a clean towel to remove any film.
For soft water situations, an all-purpose cleaner may be necessary. Apply it to your floor and let it stand for 3-5 minutes. Then lightly scrub with a sponge, rinse well and you’re good to go.
Cleaning products available from your local grocery or hardware store can be used to remove soap scum, hard water deposits and mildew stains from ceramic tile. Be sure to consult the cleaning product’s instructions to ensure the product is recommended for your type of tile. After cleaning, rinse well and wipe dry for a sparkling shine.
- Do clean up spills as quickly as possible so your grout won’t become stained.
- Don’t use steel wool, scouring powders or other abrasives that can scratch the finish of your ceramic tile.
- Do remember that while ceramic tile is very durable, it’s not indestructible and may crack or chip under extreme force.
- Don’t use bleach or ammonia-based cleaners: these products can discolor your grout if used too often.
- Do take the proper precautions when moving heavy objects across a ceramic tile floor.
- Do cover furniture and table legs with protectors to guard your floor against scratching.
- Do remember that if a repair is necessary, the replacement product may be a slightly different dye lot and/or texture than the original tile; however, with time and usage, the replacement tile will blend in with its neighbors.
Caulking and Sealing
Once your tile has been laid and grouted, it’s a good idea to regularly inspect areas that may be exposed to water. Caulking will prevent expensive subsurface damage and keep the tiled areas looking as good as new.
Depending on your lifestyle, sealing your tile and grout may also be an option. After installation, sealing the grout and tile can provide protection from dirt and spills by slowing down the staining process.
Grout colorants can transform the original color of your grout and, in some cases, can act as a form of sealant. Be aware that non-epoxy grout joints should be treated with a silicone sealer.
If you have questions about the care and cleaning of your carpet or flooring, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions. If you no longer have the information that came with your flooring, you can call the manufacturer directly to request it or get additional information. Below are the phone numbers for the manufacturers we carry.