Below are flooring maintenance tips to help you keep your new floor in great shape for years to come!
Excessive amounts of water and wood don’t mix. Wood is a natural material that swells when it absorbs water and shrinks when it dries out. Even though some finishes are resistant to water, there are seams where boards are put together. Wipe up liquid spills before they soak down into these seams and your floor will remain unmarked, smooth, and level. Only use cleaners made by the manufacturer of your wood or laminate floor. Never use a damp mop to clean a hardwood floor.
Avoid furniture glides and spike heels. Those round-headed domes on the bottom of furniture legs make heavy furniture easy to slide around. But glides can tear up any floor while sliding, or dent the floor permanently under a stationary leg. All the furniture’s weight is concentrated on a tiny point, sometimes as much as 500 pounds on a 1/16-inch circle. Narrow ball rollers and spike heels are just as bad.
They strike a wood floor with more force per square inch than an elephant’s foot. Spread the weight. Use wide, flat, smooth plastic caps or rollers instead. You won’t dent or gouge your floor if you use the proper leg rests. Put a piece of carpet or fabric under furniture to move it. Grit is one of the biggest dangers to your floor. Tracked-in dirt is like sandpaper on a hardwood floor. Use a walk-off mat or rug at every outdoor entrance to catch the grit. Be sure to vacuum or shake it out regularly.
Hardwood Cleaning do’s and don’ts.
- All floors with a urethane finish should never be waxed and require cleaners that won’t leave a film or residue.
- A hardwood floor cleaner is useful in removing occasional scuffs or heel marks. Merely spray some cleaner on a cloth and lightly rub the stained area. Sticky spots can be cleaned with a damp towel or sponge.
- Do not use ammonia cleaners or oil soaps on a wood floor, as they will dull the finish and performance of your floor. These products will also affect the ability to recoat your floor later.
- Since wood naturally expands when it is wet, never wet mop or use excessive water to clean your floor. Large amounts of water can cause the wood to swell and may cause your floor to crack or splinter.
- Being a natural product, hardwood will expand and contract due to moisture level changes. Minimize water exposure to hardwood floors and clean up spills as soon as they happen.
- Mats (heavy bristle) at all entrances help keep dirt and moisture from being tracked in.
- Area/throw rugs are recommended in high traffic and spill prone areas (i.e. under sink in kitchen). Rugs should be slip-resistant with a backing that will not discolor the floor. (Rubber, foam backed or plastic are not recommended.)
- Proper floor protectors under furniture will help reduce the risk of indentation by distributing weight. For furniture that will be moved often, protectors made of carpet or felt are recommended to help prevent scrapes and scratches.
- Stiletto or spike heel shoes, especially those in poor repair, will cause denting and damage to your floor. Loads in excess of 2,000 pounds per square inch can be produced by such footwear even when worn by a slight person. Manufacturer will not accept claims for damage from such exposure.
- Vacuum regularly (low height setting without beater bar). This is the best way to remove dust and dirt before it gets walked into the surface of the wood.
- Sweep and/or dust mop (as necessary).
- Wipe up spills promptly. Slightly damp (not dripping) cloth is acceptable.
- Cleaners only. For other floor care information, refer to your manufacturers’ floor care guide. The type of finish on your new floor will dictate the type of floor care and products required.
Hardwood Care products are available at all Coles locations. These products are made for hardwood floors to restore the original luster of your wood. Use the restoration product designed for your particular floor.
To help you understand this product, its limitations, precautions, and maintenance procedures, please read the following information.
- The newly installed tile must not be walked on for the first 24 hours. This time is necessary to allow proper curing and bonding of the tile adhesive.
- Finding the grout rough and gritty following installation is not uncommon. Damp water mopping daily for the first week or so will help cure the grout to its full strength. With age and time, all grout will smooth and change color somewhat from its original appearance.
- Furniture, chairs, and appliances should be properly supported and protected at the floor level to reduce possible tile damage. We strongly urge you to evaluate these conditions in your home and take corrective and preventive measures where reason and judgment would dictate.
- Concrete is subject to expansion, contraction, settling, and cracking, which may cause cracks or hollow spots or both in a ceramic tile installation. These conditions can be neither controlled nor warranted by the tile contractor. These conditions may occur and are assumed risks of the homeowner or builder.
- Grout materials cannot be expected to look as even and uniform as a painted color. Grout is color pigmented cement and is subject to shading, mottling, and color drift. Exact color match to samples cannot be guaranteed.
- The use of silicone, or lacquer sealers is considered optional principally because they do not seal to the extent that the word “sealer” might imply and also because they are not permanent and require future reapplication. They can, however, prevent some discoloration and staining of the grout.
Manufacturers of glazed tiles typically do not recommend the use of sealers simply because it is not necessary. Since glazes are made of glass-like materials, they do not take on stains and are easily cleaned. Some glazed tiles, however, do have crazed, or finely pitted surfaces, by the manufacturing process, which may justifiably require a sealer.
Once the job is done and cleaned, the grout joints can be sealed. A once-over with your sealer according to instructions will do the job. If your tile is glazed, these sealers will not harm the surface, as long as they’re wiped clean. Should you elect to use a sealer, allow two weeks from the date of installation before application.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Any product failure or dissatisfaction resulting from the use of a sealer would rest entirely with the customer and /or the sealer manufacturer.
Regular cleaning Procedures
Ceramic Tile is among the easiest surfaces to keep clean. It is important to regularly vacuum tile floors, particularly glazed ones, to remove gritty particles that might scratch them. Routine cleaning requires only washing with hot water and a mild detergent, such as Armstrong’s Once N Done floor cleaner or a good Ceramic Tile Cleaner.
After washing the tile, rinse it thoroughly to remove detergent film. To prevent stains, wipe up spills as soon as they occur. For stubborn dirt, scrub tiles with a white cleansing powder (colored powders may tint the grout) or a concentrated solution of all- purpose cleaner. Always rinse it thoroughly to remove detergent film.
Be sure to always read the directions and precautions on the label before using. Some tile cleaners have harsh acids that will etch glazed tiles if left on the surface too long.
In addition to routine cleaning, you can keep grout looking new by scrubbing it occasionally with a toothbrush and household bleach or tile cleaner. If your grout is colored, test these cleaners in an unobtrusive place before you use them. Predicting how the chemicals will react with the pigment in the grout is difficult.
The previous statements are intended to be general and informative. They are, by no means, inclusive of all possible circumstances. Our hope is that this information will be of assistance to you in the enjoyment and use of your ceramic tile.
TEXTURE SURFACE RETENTION
Carpet in heavily traveled areas receives the most wear. For better appearance and longer carpet life, try to reduce the amount of traffic on these areas or use small rugs in front of heavily used chairs or furniture. Remove and clean these rugs while vacuuming the primary carpet or rug. You should occasionally move furniture and reverse area rugs. Although some change will eventually occur in the texture of your carpet, reducing the wear on paths and in front of furniture will slow this change.
Crushing is the loss of pile thickness because of foot traffic. Crushing is not considered a manufacturing defect unless it is specifically cited in the manufacturer’s warranty. Regular vacuuming may help reduce crushing that results from traffic. Manufacturers’ definitions of crushing may vary.
DEPRESSIONS OR INDENTATIONS
The weight of heavy pieces of furniture can cause indentations in carpet. Some depressions may be permanent. Use furniture glides or cups under the legs of heavy pieces, or move your furniture a few inches backward or sideways so that the weight is not concentrated in one place. To remedy depressions, work the carpet pile back into place with your fingertips or the edge of a spoon, then, dampen the area and heat it with a hair dryer, working the fibers with your fingers or a spoon.
FADING OR COLOR LOSS
Give your carpet the normal protection from direct sunlight that you would give to any colored fabric. Emissions from heating systems or chemicals, such as pesticides, household cleaning agents and other household items, can also result in color loss.
Filtration soil may appear as dark or grayish lines on carpet along walls, stairways and under doors. It is caused by airflow over and through carpet, allowing fine soils to settle on the surface. It is often caused by an improperly balanced ventilation system, when the volume of air entering a room exceeds the system’s capacity to remove air from the room. Excess air then seeks exit sources in gaps along walls and stairways. Prevent the airflow through carpet and carpet edges by sealing openings through the carpet and under doors and baseboards. Keeping the air in the area clean and using good filtration in your heating and cooling systems and vacuum cleaners can help. Filtration soils may require special cleaning treatment for effective removal. Contact a carpet-cleaning professional for assistance.
FLUFFING AND SHEDDING
The balls of fluff, or loose fibers, found on carpet or in the vacuum cleaner bag are the normal result of fiber left in the carpet from the manufacturing process. Removing these loose fibers does not affect carpet life or appearance. Because of their large size, these fibers are too big to become airborne or to be breathed in. With proper vacuuming and using a quality vacuum cleaner, most shedding gradually disappears within the first year after installation.
Manufacturers’ definitions of matting may vary. Matting is usually the result of the untwisting of the yarn and the intermingling of the yarn tips through foot traffic. Matting may be caused by various factors, including an improperly specified cushion, cushion failure, or improper maintenance. Matting is not considered a manufacturing defect unless it is specifically cited in the manufacturer’s warranty.
MOTH, BEETLE AND FLEA CONTROL
Most wool and wool-blend carpet made in the United States is permanently treated to prevent moth damage. Carpet and rugs of manufactured (synthetic) fibers are naturally resistant to insects, because such fibers are not a food source and are resistant to beetles, commonly called carpet beetles. However, beetles already in the home may lay eggs in the carpet pile and hatch in 8 to 15 days. Pet owners also may find fleas on their carpet. Fleas will not damage the carpet and will die there, unless they find another animal to sustain them. Frequent vacuuming aids in the control of fleas on carpet; just be sure to change the vacuum bag often. For assistance in removing beetles or other insects, contact a professional pest control specialist.
During and immediately following the installation of your new carpet, there may be a slight odor, which may result from the removal of your old carpet and cushion or from the new carpet, cushion, adhesives or seaming tape. Ventilation with fresh air is recommended. Ideally, windows and doors should be opened, and the HVAC system should be operated at maximum capacity for 48 to 72 hours.
Maintain the beauty of your carpet by cleaning it regularly before it becomes excessively soiled. Dirty, airborne particles may be deposited on carpet, causing dulling. Dulling is caused by the deposits of all types of soil. For example, a delicate rose color may gradually become a neutral taupe because of soil, while light blue may take on a dull, gray-green hue. Red clay soil also can cause a pronounced change in some colors. In spite of such phenomena, the original color of a carpet is not lost; it is still present under the soil. Oily soil may be very difficult to remove after it has been on the carpet for a long time, and it may be actually absorbed into the fiber, causing the carpet to have a yellow cast. Frequent cleanings are important to avoid this problem. Entry mats at doorways trap soil, and combined with routine cleaning and vacuuming, provide extra protection for all floor coverings.
Occasionally, a yarn tuft will rise above the pile surface of a carpet. Just snip off these tufts to the level of the other tufts. DO NOT PULL THEM OUT. If this problem persists in a localized area, contact your flooring contractor or manufacturer’s representative.
Almost all carpet manufactured today has finishes that make it more stain- and soil-resistant, but no carpet is entirely stainproof. It still requires care. Remove spots and spills promptly. If spills or soils are allowed to remain, they may become permanent. Call the phone number normally found on the carpet warranty to obtain specific information about cleaning the carpet.
Topical treatments include soil retardants, stain repellents, antistatic treatments and deodorizers. The use of after-market, topical treatments without the express approval of the carpet manufacturer prior to application may void applicable warranties.
Most carpet manufacturers offer “wear” warranties of various time lengths. According to these warranties, “wear” is defined as the loss of pile weight or pile fiber (usually 10 percent) due to abrasive loss of fiber by weight. What appears to be wear, or pile fiber loss, may actually be matting, crushing or permanent fiber damage caused by soiling rather than loss of fiber. There is seldom actual loss of pile fiber. (See also Matting, Crushing.)
WRINKLES, RIPPLES AND BUCKLES
Wrinkles, ripples and buckles in carpet are most often caused by a failure to stretch the carpet correctly using a power stretcher, the use of an incorrect or failed cushion, or excessive temperature and/or humidity. Ripples can be caused by a combination of any of the above. If ripples or buckles develop, consult your carpet retailer. Generally, the problem can be corrected by a qualified carpet installer who reinstalls the carpet with a power stretcher.
Do not move furniture on the floor for 24 hours. Avoid heavy foot traffic, during this time to allow the adhesive to dry. If the floor has been seamed, do not disturb the seam sealer for several hours so it can set up. Damp mop the floor the day after installation using clean warm water, to remove any loose dirt as well as the black face markers. For future maintenance care follow the steps listed below.
- A soft broom or dust mop. Sweep the floor daily to prevent accumulation of dirt or grit that can scratch or dull its surface. Spills should be wiped up promptly before they become sticky or hard.
- Damp-mopping- when your floor starts looking slightly dirty all over-
- Sweep or vacuum thoroughly.
- Damp-mop with a sponge mop and warm water, pressing hard enough to loosen the surface dirt. A small amount of white vinegar can be added.
- Do a small area at a time, wringing the sponge out frequently to be sure you’re picking up the dirt and not just redistributing it. For a large floor, change the water several times so dirt doesn’t get re-deposited on the floor.
- Washing your floor- when damp mopping no longer does an adequate cleaning job, its time to wash the floor. Begin by sweeping or vacuuming the floor. Now you have a choice:
A. Use Armstrong Once ‘n Done No-Rinse Floor Cleaner or Mannington Rinse Free Cleaner. It’s specially formulated for use on all vinyl floors. Once’n Done does not need to be rinsed when used as directed except when used full strength. (When used full strength, it must be rinsed.) For slightly soiled or frequently washed floors:
- Use 1/4 cup of Once ‘n done per gallon of water. For heavily soiled floors:
- Use one cup of Once’n Done per gallon of water.
- Change cleaning solution frequently
- Apply with sponge mop or cloth. Scrub difficult spots.
- Wipe up liquid, rinsing out mop in the cleaning solution.
B. Wash the floor with a cleaning solution made according to the label instructions on a general-purpose liquid detergent.
- Ideally, you should use one sponge mop and bucket to wash the floor and another mop and bucket for rinsing. If you use only one mop, no matter how much you wring it out, you won’t get all the detergent out of the sponge, and a dulling film will be left on your floor.
- Dip your sponge mop into the cleaning solution, and without wringing it out, spread the cleaning solution on a small area of the floor (about 3′ x 3′). Relax for a minute, and let the cleaning solution do the work for you. The detergent action will loosen a lot of the dirt and keep it suspended for easy pickup.
- Now go over the area again with the sponge mop, scrubbing hard enough to loosen the remaining dirt. If you have a mop with a nylon-scrubbing pad, you can get up hard-to-remove marks with the nylon pad.
- Wring out the sponge mop thoroughly, and take up the cleaning solution left on the floor.
- Take a second bucket of clean warm water and a “rinse-only” mop, and rinse thoroughly. Often, general- purpose detergent directions will say rinsing is not necessary. While this may be true on other surfaces, it’s not true on floors-any detergent left on a floor will hold tracked-in dirt and dull the surface.
- Repeat this procedure of washing and rinsing one area at a time until the whole floor is clean. Note: NEVER USE HARSH ABRASIVE CLEANSERS OR “SOFT” ABRASIVE CLEANSERS THAT WILL SCRATCH THE SURFACE.
Normal Care For High-Gloss Floors (Urethane Finishes)
- If the luster diminishes, application of a high quality acrylic emulsion floor polish such as Armstrong Shine keeper or other manufacturers’ equivalent is recommended. Never use one-step cleaner/polishers.
- Never use mechanical buffing equipment, steel wool or any type of abrasive cleaner on high-gloss floors.
Normal Care For Standard- Gloss Floors (Vinyl Finishes)
- With regular cleaning, standard-gloss floors have an attractive finish that requires a minimum of maintenance. Use of a mechanical buffer with a lamb’s wool bonnet or pad is recommended for maintaining this finish and providing an extra degree of luster. The floor should be clean and completely dry before buffing. Note: High-gloss floors should never be buffed.
- Frequency of buffing depends on the amount of traffic your floor gets and how much shine you want. In low traffic areas, you may only want to buff once every couple of years.
- To avoid loss of gloss use the least abrasive method of cleaning that works. When wet cleaning, as required to remove soil, use Armstrong Once ‘n Done cleaner or liquid dish washing detergent and rinse. Bon Amie Polishing Cleanser may be used to remove stubborn soil or scuff marks (not recommended f6r use on high-gloss floors.)
Moving Furniture And Appliances
Heavy furniture, stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, etc., should be moved with care to avoid gouging your floor covering. Do not attempt to push or pull them without protecting your floor. An easy way to move heavy objects is to slide them across strips of tempered Masonite. Saw a piece of 1/4″x4x4′ tempered Masonite into four one-foot wide strips. Lay two strips on the floor in the direction the object is to be moved. Slide the object on the strips to their ends. Place the other two strips tightly against those on the floor and continue to slide the object in this manner to its place in the room. Save the strips for future moving use. As an alternative, rent an appliance dolly. Most rollers used under appliances are designed to move straight forward or backwards. Provide protection and exercise care when moving sideways.
Floor ProtectionHeavy furniture and appliances can cause indentation in your floor unless they are supported with wide-bearing, non-staining floor protectors. The maximum surface load per square inch must not exceed 75 lbs. Weight should be evenly distributed to prevent permanent indentations. Narrow, metal dome furniture rests should be replaced with the wide- bearing devices. The ideal size of floor protectors is at least 1 inch square (or diameter). Hard plastic protectors are recommended. Make sure any metal protectors are rust proof. The protectors must rest flat on the floor, not at an angle.
Keep high heeled/narrow tipped shoes off your floor. They are harmful to all types of flooring material including carpet, wood and ceramic tile. Unfortunately, sheet vinyl is no exception. Here’s why: an average- sized woman wearing high heels exerts about 30 times more pressure (per square inch) on a floor than a full-sized refrigerator. So indulge that impulse to kick off your shoes when you walk through the front door. You’ll feel better and so will your floor.
- Certain substances such as oil, fertilizers, asphalt from driveways, driveway sealers with an asphalt or coal tar vase, and some carpet dyes can cause permanent stains, especially in traffic areas.
- Using mats with a soft backing may help prevent these tracked-in stains. Don’t use rubber backed mats (they’ll stain) or coco-fiber mats (they’ll scratch). When mats get heavily soiled, replace them.
- Normal sunlight exposure will not affect most vinyl floors. However, exposure to excessive direct sunlight through glass sliding doors, for example, can cause fading or discoloration. To protect your floor from extreme sunlight, close your drapes during times of direct sunlight exposure.
- The Silicone sealer used at the tub and shower junctions can dry out in time and needs to be cleaned & reapplied to keep the vinyl from curling.
While your new laminate floor is highly durable, it still requires care and maintenance in order to keep any warranties intact. Take care of your laminate flooring investment and it will reward you and your home for many years to come.
Laminate floors are beautiful and very durable but not indestructible. Floors can dull when unattended dirt acts as an abrasive on its surface. This can be avoided by sweeping, dust mopping or vacuuming regularly to remove loose dirt and grit.
You can use a broom or, to make the job faster, a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar is also recommended. Vacuum cleaner attachments are useful to pick up dirt from between planks or along edges. An occasional damp mopping is also suggested. However, your laminate flooring can expand if excessive water is used while cleaning. After damp mopping, a clean dry cloth should be used to wipe your floor thoroughly. Placing doormats or walk-off mats at each entryway will collect excessive moisture and dirt before they enter your home.
- Glides or floor protectors on the bottom of your furniture will prevent possible scratching or abrasion.
- It’s important to lift heavy furniture instead of dragging or pulling them.
- Use pieces of carpet face down under heavy objects when moving them across your floor. Get a small army of helpers to move that pool table.
- Spot cleaning and occasional complete cleaning of your laminate floor can be done using the manufacturer’s recommended products.
- Never use abrasive cleaners, steel wool or scouring powder.
- Do not use soap-based detergents or “mop-and-shine” products.
- Never flood your floor with water or cleaner.
- Do not wax or polish your laminate floor.
- Never try to refinish or sand your laminate floor.
- Durable but not indestructible, your laminate floor can be damaged by stiletto heels.
- But the good news is that the finish on your laminate floor can help protect the floor from sunlight and the typical fading you find with aging hardwood floors.
- Keep in mind that if a repair is necessary in the future, the replacement product may be a slightly different dye lot and/or texture than the initial installation.
- However, with time and usage, the repair will blend in with your original product.
- For additional care procedures please refer to the manufacturer’s care and maintenance instructions and recommendations.
With proper care and regular maintenance, Four Seasons Flooring is confident that your laminate flooring will provide you and your home with many years of beauty, warmth and durability.