Luxury flooring requires maintenance and care. Learn how to clean and maintain flooring for longevity, shine and comfort.
Adding luxury flooring to your home is a great investment! In fact, high-quality flooring, like hardwood, can add 2.5% to your home’s value. When you invest in a luxury flooring upgrade you can expect to get a return on investment (ROI) of close to 70 or even 80 percent.
However, you’ll only get your money’s worth if you take good care of it! Before you spend your hard-earned money, you’ll want to learn the ins and outs of how to maintain flooring so it looks as good as new when you’re ready to sell your home. Take a look at this guide that will teach you how to maintain luxury hardwood and vinyl flooring.
How to Maintain Flooring When You Choose Hardwood
Since hardwood flooring remains the most popular luxury option among homeowners, we’ll start here. If you take good care of your hardwood floors, you can expect them to last for 25 years or even longer.
Start by following these important maintenance tips.
1. Sweep and Vacuum Often
Every time people or pets come into your home from outside, they track in dirt and debris. These particles are abrasive and will scratch the surface of your hardwood floors, just like grit on sandpaper.
Sweep or use a canister vacuum with a very soft bristle round head to clean the dirt off your floors once a day.
2. Recoat When Needed
Wood floors tend to wear unevenly, and you can’t spot-fix them. When you start noticing small areas of wear, it’s time to recoat your floor before the spots wear through. Although your floors will last for decades, the finish rarely lasts more than 10 years unless it’s periodically refinished.
The key here is to take care of this as soon as the floors start to look dull or scratched, instead of waiting until it’s worn through to bare wood. In high traffic areas, like kitchens, that aren’t swept often, the coating might need to be re-done every year. Low-traffic areas, like a spare bedroom, might go as long as 15 years without needing to be recoated.
3. Use Floor Protectors
Any furniture that moves, like chairs, couches, and beds, should have floor protectors on the legs. This will help you avoid unsightly scratches.
If you have any furniture with wheels, add some caster cups for additional protection and/or buy some plastic floor protectors.
4. Keep Water Away
Never (ever!) steam or wet-mop hardwood floors. This will cause irreversible damage, like causing your floors to swell and become uneven. If you absolutely must, you can wash the floor on your hands and knees with a carefully wrung-out sponge – but it’s really not a great idea.
5. Choose Your Cleaners Carefully
Be very careful with the cleaners you use on your hardwood floors. Never use vinegar, furniture polish, pine cleaners, ammonia, or Murphy’s Oil soap. There’s a good chance that all of these cleaners can dull or damage your flooring.
Make sure your choose a cleaner that’s specially made for the type of wood flooring in your home. It’s a great idea to check with the manufacturer and see what they recommend.
6. Be Careful with Plants (And Pets!)
If you’re going to keep plants on your floors, do so with caution. Use plant stands to ensure there’s enough air circulation. Even a “waterproof” pot can attract condensation if it’s placed directly on the floor, which will lead to unsightly stains.
If you have pets, make sure they don’t damage the flooring by keeping their nails trimmed and always cleaning up their accidents right away.
Tips for Maintaining Luxury Vinyl Flooring
Many of the tips above apply to luxury vinyl flooring as well. The two major differences are the way you’ll clean it and how you’ll handle scratches and scuffs.
Cleaning Luxury Vinyl Floors
Since vinyl flooring is a bit more delicate, you’ll want to make sure you use a soft bristle broom when you sweep.
To clean the floor, it’s best to use a two-bucket system. Wash the floor with a sponge mop covered with a microfiber bonnet applicator. Fill one bucket with clean water and a gentle natural cleaner. Then fill the other with clean water.
Apply the soapy water, then rinse with the clean water. This will limit cross-contamination and help keep you from spreading dirt around on your floor.
Always avoid harsh or abrasive cleaners. A pH-balanced cleaner will give you a streak-free finish with no residue or dulling. These formulas are safe to use weekly or even daily and will quickly and easily restore your floor’s shine.
Dealing with Scratches and Scuffs
Even if you take the recommended steps to protect your luxury vinyl flooring from scratches and scuffs, there will be times when they will happen anyway.
Take care of it by cleaning the area and then applying a vinyl floor sealer or finish. This is best for small or medium-sized scuffs. You may also want to try a spot-repair kit.
A deep scratch – like a dent, gouge, or cut is more difficult to repair. In most cases, you’ll have to just replace the plank or tile.
Upgrade Your Flooring Today!
If you want to seriously improve the value of your home while giving it a high-class look and feel, new flooring is your best bet. Now that you know exactly how to maintain flooring so it maintains its value, you’re ready for an upgrade.
At National Floors Direct, we have a huge selection and allow you to buy direct without ever having to go to a store. Whether you’re looking for hardwood, luxury vinyl, or carpeting, we’ve got you covered. Take a look through our current offers, then browse through our inventory.
Have questions? Contact us today. We’re here to help!