How to Maintain and Clean Your Floors [2023]

Cleaning flooring

How to Maintain and Clean Your Floors [2023]

Maintaining floors is a key part of maintaining your home. As flooring is a significant investment that can transform the beauty of your home, you need to maintain it properly so it can live up to its full potential. There are a few simple practices that help your floor retain its beauty for generations.

Why is this important?

  • Longevity of your floor – we say flooring can last a lifetime, and with proper maintenance, it’s true.
  • Cost-benefits – for timber floors, looking after them well means they do not need to be sanded or polished as regularly.
  • Value of your property – well-maintained floors will increase the value of your property dramatically.

Part 1: Cleaning Your Floors

Regularly Vacuuming or Sweeping

If you don’t regularly clean your floors, dust, sand, and dirt will accumulate on the surface. Over time, these can potentially scratch your floors and wear away at their protective surface layer.

Whilst vacuuming may seem tedious, it’s actually very quick once you get into the routine. If you don’t like vacuuming, you could consider investing in an automatic vacuuming robot.

Slightly-Damp Mopping

For a deeper clean, you can consider mopping your floors with a slightly damp mop. You can use a normal damp mop or use cleaning liquids (professional or even vinegar) in the water. Make sure the mop does not leave any excess water because it could get through the cracks and damage the floors.

Part 2: Maintaining Your Floors

Keep Doormats At Every Door

It makes a lot of sense to put doormats at every entrance of your home. This will help prevent dirt, sand, grit and other unwanted substances from entering your home and damaging your floor surfaces.

Take Precautions When Moving Heavy Objects

Sometimes, a need to move heavy furniture and heavy appliances arise. In these cases, you need to do every single thing possible to avoid scratches.

Support Furniture With Floor Protectors

Make sure that your floors are properly protected from heavy furniture and their metal leg bases or rollers. You should use protectors such as felt pads or hard plastic.

If you have Pets, choose Pet-Friendly Flooring

Do you have pets or, maybe, you are planning to have pets in the nearest future? Keep in mind that the claws of cats and dogs could scratch the floor, and your pets may also urinate onto the floor. That’s why it would be better to consider pet-friendly flooring options. [Link to Pet-Friendly Flooring article]

Be Wary of Your Footwear

Always take your shoes off when you enter your home. This will not only help stop dirt from entering your house, but also protect from certain footwear. It’s also important to note that shoes with metal heels and boots can cause severe damage to the flooring surface.

Don’t Allow Sunlight and Heat to Damage Your Floors

Extreme heat and sunlight (particularly in Australia) can cause floors to expand, contract, discolour and fade over time. Use blinds and curtains to shelter your floor from direct sunlight.

Clean Spills Immediately

Water damage can cause expansion and bulging of the floorboards. A fast response is the best cure for a spill. Wipe up the mess immediately, begin at the other edge and work towards the centre to prevent the spill from spreading further. Rainwater is also a common cause of floor expansion; ensure all windows are closed during severe rain.

Part 3: Maintaining Particular Flooring Types

Different types of flooring have different maintenance practices. Now, let’s dig deeper into maintaining the most common types of flooring.

Hardwood & Oak Timber Flooring Maintenance

In general, it’s quite easy to maintain real timber flooring. Solid timber, hardwood and engineered oak requires cleaning methods with little moisture. All that you need to do is to sweep and mop floors on a regular basis. This will help you remove dirt from the flooring surface.

It’s a great idea to do slightly-damp mopping for timber floors. This will help you keep your floors clean and free from sands that may scratch the surface.

Also, hardwood floors may be refinished every 3 – 5 years. After a sand and polish, your floors will look brand new again.

As real timber is less durable than most other floors, it’s a good idea to take all the maintenance tips above into practice – doormats, no hard-heeled shoes, protective mats, no water, regular cleaning.

Finally, make sure to limit direct exposure to sunlight (particularly in Australia) with curtains and blinds, because timber floors may darken or discolour over time.Timber flooring

Engineered Hardwood Flooring Maintenance

Engineered timber floors should be maintained in the same way as Sold timber floors (above).

Engineered flooring feature an upper layer of real timber, which is softer than their laminate, bamboo and their vinyl plank alternatives.

This means care needs to be taken when walking with high-heeled shoes, moving furniture and regular removal of dirt is required. Additionally, water is a big problem for engineered hardwood floors. So, if you see water spills on the surface of a floor do your best to remove them as soon as possible.

Laminate Flooring Maintenance

Laminate flooring tends to be easier to maintain because of its superior durability. In saying this, they still need to be maintained carefully.

The greatest danger to laminate floors tends to be water. Make sure to clean up spills immediately and close all windows when it rains. When mopping, only use a very slightly damp mop.

As always, take all the maintenance tips above into practice – doormats, no hard-heeled shoes, protective mats, no water, regular cleaning etc.

Hybrid & Vinyl Flooring Maintenance

Hybrid and vinyl floors are also very easy to maintain and clean. Like any type of flooring, hybrid floors regular cleaning and maintenance can extend the life of the floors.

Hybrid floors can be swept, vacuumed or mopped on a regular basis. This allows you to clean the buildup of dirt on the surface of hybrid floors. Put floor mats with a non-staining and non-marking backing at entrances to keep dirt as well as sand out of your house.

Hybrid floors have the benefit of being waterproof, but too much moisture can seep underneath the floor, and result in the growth of mildew and mould. It’s still a good idea to clean up spills as soon as possible.

Otherwise, make sure you don’t use harsh cleaners, steel wool or splash too much water onto the floor.

As always, take all the maintenance tips above into practice – doormats, no hard-heeled shoes, protective mats, no water, regular cleaning etc.

Bamboo Flooring Maintenance

Bamboo flooring is also fairly easy to maintain. Just regularly clean them with a broom, slightly-damp mop or vacuum on a regular basis and you should be fine. e.

Spills and stains have to be cleaned as soon as possible. Use a sponge or dry microfiber cloth to remove spills from bamboo floors. After spills have been removed, use a soft towel to dry the area.

sweeping and cleaning floors

Part 4: Enjoy Your Beautiful Floor

Thank you so much for reading this floor maintenance guide. Follow our tips to maintain your floors in the right way. This will help you preserve the beauty of your floors for a long time. But most importantly, you’ll be able to increase the durability of your floors significantly. Best of luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Laminate flooring is easier to maintain than most because of it’s durability. However, it can be damaged by water. To avoid water damage to your laminate flooring, ensure that any spills are cleaned up immediately and windows are closed during periods of rain. When mopping the floor, make sure the mop is damp but not dripping wet. 

If you are looking for more information, we have an article which explains the best practices on how to clean laminate flooring.

The easiest types of flooring to clean and maintain are porcelain and ceramic tiles. If you are looking for a wood-look floor, the best option would be hybrid flooring. These boards can easily be swept, vacuumed, or mopped regularly. While they are resistant to water damage, make sure you don’t use harsh cleaners, steel wool, or excessive water on the floors.

The first step in cleaning timber flooring is to use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brushed head. This removes the dust and specks from the floor without scratching the top layer. Once the vacuuming is complete, a warm moist mop can remove the grime build ups. Take care in making sure the mop is not dripping wet as solid timber is not completely waterproof.

Light golden yellow like blackbutt to a moderate brown coloured flooring are best at hiding dirt and grime. Generally you would want to avoid using a white as they show dirt the most, however dark browns and black may show scratches easier.

Regular cleaning should stave away the grime regardless of flooring colour, and proper maintenance will keep them looking beautiful.

Besides a routine clean up, maintaining a clean and healthy floor should not be too much of a hassle. Things you can do to keep your floors looking as good as new include keeping doormats at every entrance, being cautious when moving heavy objects, using floor protectors, finding pet friendly flooring, reducing excessive sunlight exposure and cleaning spills up as soon as possible. Abiding by these tips should greatly increase the lifespan of your floorboards.

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