The Ultimate Floor Cleaning Guide for Tiles, Carpet, Hardwood, Vinyl, Laminate and More!

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Keeping floors clean, safe and hygienic is an essential part of home maintenance. But what’s the best way to clean the floors you have at home or in the office? Here we look at the ultimate guide to cleaning different flooring types to get the best results and outcome for your residential and commercial floors.

Carpet

Clean carpets are one of the defining features that add to a home or business’s appearance, safety and health. On the other hand, dirty carpets are not only unattractive, but can also be unsafe, worsening conditions such as allergies and asthma. Keeping your carpets cleaned should involve a three-pronged approach that includes regular vacuuming, professional carpet cleaning, and professional stain and odor removal.

  • Regular Vacuuming – Regular vacuuming is the first step in keeping your carpets clean and healthy from week to week. Regular vacuuming with a powerful vacuum cleaner helps to pick up dirt, dust and other debris from the floor, and diminishes the buildup of dust mites which can cause allergies. Vacuum once a week, going over the same patch of carpet 3-5 times to lift as much dirt as possible.
  • Professional Carpet Stain Removal – Understanding how to minimize the impact of stains when they first occur at home is a key skill to prevent carpet damage. Blot up as much of the stain excess as possible, you can attempt to remove stains yourself, but the safest bet is to call a professional carpet cleaner to do this for you. They can accurately analyze and diagnose your carpet fiber type, and provide the right stain removal treatment to restore your carpet’s appearance while protecting the carpet from damage.
  • Professional Carpet Cleaning – Professional carpet cleaning is recommended twice a year, to deep clean carpets and remove ingrained dirt, dust, stains, and allergens. If your business has carpet that receives high traffic, you may need to have your carpets professionally cleaned more often. Professional carpet cleaning removes dirt, bacteria, and pathogens, while also freshening carpet, removing odors, and leaving your carpets with a spotless appearance.
  • Professional Odor Removal – Even if your carpets look clean, they may not smell Unfortunately, pet accidents, smoke and cooking smells can seep deep into the carpet layers, lingering no matter how much vacuuming, air freshening and candle burning you do. That’s where professional carpet odor removal comes in. Professional carpet inspection can help to identify the odor problem and diagnose the best solution for fresh results.

Area Rugs

It’s not just wall-to-wall carpet that needs cleaning and maintenance – your area rugs need cleaning and care as well. The most important thing to remember about area rugs is that they are often delicate and composed of materials that need extra care. Each area rug is also unique, and cleaning needs to be tailored to the specific composition of the rug. Just like wall-to-wall carpet, area rugs can harbor dust mites, allergens and germs if not thoroughly cleaned. Area rugs can be kept clean through a combination of regular vacuuming and occasional professional cleaning.

  • Vacuuming – Vacuum your area rug on a regular basis in the same way you would vacuum your carpet. Take care with delicate trims and tassels to ensure they are not damaged by the vacuum cleaner.
  • Professional Area Rug Cleaning – Just like wall-to-wall carpet, area rugs can be professionally cleaned. This process is carefully and meticulously done in order to remove allergens, dust, and pathogens, while also protecting delicate fibers and dyes. In some cases, an area rug can only be cleaned ‘in plant’ to ensure they are specially handled and the dyes don’t run. Area rugs usually need to be inspected before cleaning, to ensure a correct and safe approach.

Hardwood

Hardwood floors are a stunning, classic option, and they are generally easy to keep clean. Hardwood floors are highly valued by homeowners, as with proper care, they can last for decades. Prolonging the life of your hardwood floors and keeping them in pristine condition involves checking your hardwood floor type with a flooring expert, regular cleaning, and occasional professional hardwood cleaning and refinishing.

  • Daily Sweeping – A quick sweep every day keeps your hardwood floors spotless and prevents excess dust and dirt collecting in cracks.
  • Weekly Mop/Vacuum – A weekly mop or vacuum helps to pick up all the extra dust and dirt you may have missed during the week. Check with your hardwood manufacturer or flooring expert about which technique is right for your floor, as some hardwood finishes benefit from a damp (not wet!) mop, while others are best to be vacuumed only. Ensure you have a hardwood fitting for your vacuum before you use it on hardwood floors, as a beater bar can damage your hardwood.
  • Professional Hardwood Floor Cleaning – Occasional professional hardwood floor cleaning protects your hardwoods floors and keeps them looking their best. Deep hardwood floor cleaning should always be done by a professional to prevent damage to floors. The best professional hardwood floor cleaning should involve no harsh chemicals, contain low VOCs and fumes, and be GREENGUARD Children & Schools SM Certified.
  • Sanding/Refinishing – Sanding and refinishing removes deep stains and restores the luster of your hardwood floors. As sanding takes some layers off your hardwood floors, you only need to do it every 3-5 years.

Tiles

Tile floors are attractive, durable and easy to clean, and there is a huge range of materials and designs to choose from to make your tile floors. While keeping grout clean is a priority for all types of tile floors, certain tile types might need other specific care as well.

  • Basic Tile Cleaning – Keep your tiles clean week to week by sweeping or vacuuming daily (without beater bar on the vacuum cleaner) and mopping weekly. Use a gentle detergent and chamois style mop to collect dust and dirt, rather than a sponge type mop that can push it into the grout.
  • Grout Cleaning – One of the most important aspects of clean tile floors is clean grout. Unlike most tiles, grout is porous, which means it readily absorbs dirt and dust and can stain more easily. Keeping grout clean can be a challenge as grout accumulates dirt and mold over time, and many household cleaning products only erode grout when ‘cleaning’ it. The best way to keep grout white and gleaming is to have grout professionally cleaned every 12-18 months. This professional grout cleaning treatment can lift ingrained dirt and deep stains out of grout while protecting grout and tiles, leaving outstanding results without the back breaking
  • Grout Sealing – After installation of tiles, or professional tile and grout cleaning, you should have your grout sealed. This offers the best protection to your grout, limiting the buildup of dirt and dust, and preventing stains affecting your grout.
  • Glazed/Polished Tiles – Glazed and polished tiles include glazed porcelain and ceramic tiles, as well as dense, polished stone or marble tiles. These tiles are usually highly water and stain resistant, and easy to clean as they don’t stain or absorb spills. Glazed and polished tiles can be cleaned with sweeping/mopping/ vacuuming weekly, and professional tile cleaning once a year.
  • Unglazed Tiles – Unglazed tiles tend to be ‘softer’, more absorbent and more porous, including unglazed ceramic tiles and some stone tiles. Because unglazed tiles absorb more spills, they are more likely to stain. Deep professional tile cleaning can lift stains, marks, and dirt out of unglazed tiles.
  • Slate/Stone Tiles – Certain types of stone tiles, such as slate, need to be sealed after installation for protection and water resistance. Sealing helps to prevent slate tiles being scratched or stained. Acid based cleaners can wear away at the slate, so use only gentle cleansers for your slate tiles.

Engineered Wood

Engineered wood provides the look, feel and performance of real wood, integrated with composite materials and a protective polyurethane coating. Engineered wood is easy to care for, durable and practical, and maintaining it is easy too.

  • Regular Sweeping/Damp Mop – Engineered wood floors are more moisture resistant than hardwood, thanks to their finish and high-quality plywood base. Use a cool, damp mop with gentle cleaning agents to wipe away dirt and dust, or a gentle sweep to clear away day to day debris. Never use harsh chemicals (including ammonia or vinegar) or steam on engineered wood floors.
  • Sanding/Refinishing – Some engineered wood floors can be sanded and finished, and some cannot. It’s important to check with your flooring manufacturer or a flooring expert before you attempt to do this. Because the wood layer on engineered wood floors is thinner, even if your floors can be refinished, it can only be a limited amount of times. In some cases, engineered wood flooring can benefit from professional wood floor cleaning, so speak to your local professional cleaning company for more details and an inspection.

Vinyl

Vinyl sheet has long been a popular form of resilient flooring that’s ideal for a range of settings in the home and the office. Luxury vinyl tile is a new innovation that accurately emulates the appearance, texture, and feel of other flooring types, including hardwood, stone, and tile for a fraction of the cost. High-quality vinyl is both water and stain resistant and easy to install, making it an increasingly popular choice for homeowners.

  • Regular Sweeping/Mopping – Regular sweeping removes dirt and grit from your vinyl floors before it gets ingrained. If you have no-wax vinyl, ensure you use a cleaner made specifically for no-wax floors. Older vinyl flooring may require waxing. Only use a damp mop, not a wet mop or a steam mop, and rinse floors well to remove soap residue.

Laminate

Laminate is a synthetic flooring composed of multiple layers of pressed wood or other synthetic products fused with a lamination process. The flooring emulates wood or sometimes stone with a photographic layer under the top protective wear layer. Laminate flooring is easy to clean, and with proper maintenance can last for years to come.

  • Regular Dusting/Sweeping/Vacuuming – Laminate can be kept clean on a regular basis with dust mopping, sweeping, or vacuuming without the beater bar. While you should avoid cleaning laminate with excess water or steam, you can use a specific laminate cleaner to remove tougher dirt and dust. Don’t spray cleaners directly onto laminate as this can stain, lightly spray on a damp cleaning cloth or mop instead.

Commercial Flooring

It’s not just at home that floors need to be kept clean and beautiful, it’s equally important for businesses to keep their floors clean and to the standard expected by their customers and their industry. It’s a good idea to outsource your commercial floor cleaning, whether that’s regular maintenance or professional deep cleaning. Most business owners don’t have the time or know how to clean their business space, and professional cleaning ensures a high-quality and safe result.

  • Floor type and Business Type – The best way to clean your commercial flooring really depends on the business type and your flooring type. Most businesses conduct light cleaning such as sweeping, vacuuming or mopping at least once daily.
  • Professional Commercial Carpet Cleaning – Carpets add comfort and warmth to business spaces, but they also need regular professional cleaning as they can quickly absorb stains and odors. Professional carpet cleaning may be recommended every 4-6 months, depending on the traffic received and the nature of your business.
  • Professional Commercial Hard Floor Cleaning – Hard floors such as tile, laminate, vinyl, and rubber are popular in commercial settings as they are stain resistant and easy to clean. In commercial settings, it is essential that these floors are anti-slip and treated correctly. Professional tile cleaning helps to remove germs, dirt, and mold from tiles and grout, while deep professional commercial floor cleaning treatments can be applied to other types of commercial hard flooring.

While incorrect cleaning can damage your floors, using the proper cleaning technique helps to create clean floors that look and smell better, and keep the users of the flooring safe and healthy. If you’re unsure about the right cleaning for your floors, talk to a floor cleaning professional to learn more or to book a thorough, professional floor cleaning.

5 Questions To Ask Before Refinishing Hardwood Floors

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Refinishing hardwood floors can help to reveal the beauty hiding under old, worn and damaged hardwood floors. After about 20 years of use, beautiful hardwood floors can end up looking tired under scratches, staining, discoloration and wear. Refinishing your floors can reinvigorate them to look like new, bringing them up to date with the latest style. However, refinishing your hardwood floors can be an involved process and there are some important questions you need to ask before beginning the process.

Do You Need Refinishing or Just Deep Cleaning?

Hardwood floors have the option for sanding and refinishing built in, with most full, natural hardwood floors being able to be sanded and refinished 3-4 times. If floors only have light wear, they can be sanded to a lesser extent (a process called ‘screening’), and the floor may be refinished numerous times in this way. However, some floors may not need to be refinished at all, and professional hardwood floor cleaning may be enough to refresh and renew floors. This is especially true for antique wood floors and hard to replace wood stains. If the floors are still in good condition, it’s worthwhile investing in deep professional hardwood floor cleaning to get your hardwood floors clean and shiny, without spoiling the classic stain, or trying to replace a dark stain.

What Type of Wood Floor Do You Have?

Some types of wood floors can be refinished while others can’t. Natural hardwood floors in every wood type can generally be sanded and refinished but it can always be helpful to check with a flooring expert.

On the other hand, engineered wood floors may or may not be able to be refinished, depending on the composition of the floors. Engineered wood floors are designed with a layer of hardwood on top of a base of plywood. The thickness of the wood layer will determine whether or not an engineered floor can be refinished. It’s best to consult your engineered flooring manufacturer for advice or ask a flooring expert. You can also get professional floor cleaning for laminate and luxury vinyl tile floors, but these can’t be refinished.

How Damaged or Dirty Are Your Wood Floors?

The level of dirt, damage and wear on your floors will determine the intensity of treatment needed. Heavily scuffed and gouged floors may need a full refinishing service, whereas only lightly marked floors will look good as new after being ‘screened’ and coated with a new finish. For other floors, a thorough professional hardwood floor cleaning may be enough. Talk to your floor cleaning professional for more advice on the treatment needed for your floor.

Who’s the Right Contractor to Refinish Your Floors?

Once you’ve decided to refinish your floors, finding the right contractor for the job is essential. Industrial floor sanding tools can be very powerful, and improper use can lead to uneven results and an irregular flooring surface. It’s essential to choose an experienced professional to work on your floors and to also check a number of references before hiring.

Can You Move Out During Floor Refinishing?

Floor refinishing can be a loud, dusty and very messy job. The dust released from floor sanding can be bad for you, and living in your home with the noise of the industrial sander can be highly disruptive. While you may be able to stay in your home during some floor refinishing jobs, for more extensive work it will be compulsory to move out at least while the finish dries. Ensure you can take the time to be out of the house during the floor refinishing before you start the job.

Hardwood floor refinishing can completely refresh and rejuvenate your home. Talk to your local floor professional about what kind of floor refinishing or hardwood floor cleaning is right for your floors.

4 Ways To Ruin Your Hardwood Floors With Cleaning

Hardwood floors are an outstanding asset to home’s both old and new. Keeping your hardwood floors in top condition means ensuring they receive proper care and maintenance on a regular basis. However, applying incorrect or inappropriate cleaning techniques to your hardwood floor can end up doing more damage than good.

Often, floor restoration companies are brought in to repair and correct flooring that has been damaged due to inappropriate cleaning. The unfortunate aspect in most of these cases is that the damage to the flooring could’ve been avoided had the proper cleaning techniques been used in the first place. Here we look at which cleaning techniques you should avoid to preserve and protect your hardwood floors while properly maintaining your wood floor’s enduring quality and beauty.

Using Too Much Water

Using a mop that is too wet to clean your wood floors is a quick way to ruin them. Excess water can seep between the cracks and the fibers of the wood in the floorboards. This water can cause the wood to swell, buckle, and become malformed over time. Water damage can also happen when wood floors are steam cleaned, or when excess cleaning solution is not removed from the floor after cleaning. When cleaning your wood floor only use a small amount of moisture and make sure to dry the floor off after cleaning. This helps to avoid water damage to your wood floors.

Cleaning with the Wrong Products

Using the wrong type of floor cleaner can cause immediate damage to your hard wood floor. Harsh cleaners can damage the finish on your hardwood floor or even the wood underneath. Different hardwood floors or engineered wood floors have different finishes, which need to be treated differently. Harsh cleaning solutions may strip the finish or damage the surface of your hardwood floors, leaving you requiring expensive refinishing to get your floors looking smooth and sleek again. Some DIY cleaners also contain wax which might give a shiny finish on first use, but which builds up in a clumpy grime over time. It’s best to always check with a professional hardwood floor cleaner or your flooring installer before using a cleaning product.

Cleaning with Vinegar

Many people think that going natural is always best, so using vinegar on hardwood floors shouldn’t be a problem. Some cleaners even recommend using vinegar. However, because vinegar contains natural acetic acid, this can actually eat away at your wood floor finishes over time. It’s best to avoid using vinegar and choose a recommended wood floor cleaner instead.

Using Harsh Tools or Vacuum Attachments

Harsh tools like wiry brushes, bulky floor polishers, or even the beater bar on your vacuum cleaner can cause heavy damage to wood floors. Wood floors rarely require harsh treatment with cleaning tools, and if you do have problem areas on your floors, it’s best to recruit the assistance of a professional floor cleaner. Rather than trying to clean your hardwood floors with heavy tools, use a soft cloth cleaning pad to sweep and clean your floors. If you want to use the vacuum, disengage the beater bar, or use the ‘hard floor’ setting to prevent damage.

Preserving and maintaining your valuable hardwood floors means this precious asset can add beauty to your home for years to come. Always clean your hardwood floors carefully with the right tools and cleaning solutions, and contact your local hardwood floor cleaners for professional advice on deeper cleaning.

What’s The Best Way To Clean Engineered Hardwood Floors?

Engineered hardwood can provide beautiful yet economical flooring for modern homes. While maintaining this flooring is relatively easy, it’s important to understand the qualities of engineered hardwood flooring and it’s unique cleaning needs. Properly caring for and maintaining your engineered hardwood floor ensures that it offers resilience, durability and an attractive appearance for years to come. Here we look at how to properly clean your engineered hardwood flooring for performance and longevity.

Start With Light Surface Cleaning
It’s important to remove loose dust dirt and debris from the surface of your engineered wood floor. A soft broom can be used to collect art and dust on the surface of the floor, or if you prefer you may use a vacuum. It’s important to use a vacuum without a rotating bristle bar or a ‘hard floor mode’ in order to protect your engineered wood floors. You can also use a slightly damp mop to collect and remove any remaining dust.

Be sure to towel dry your engineered wood floor to ensure no moisture remains after cleaning. It’s important that moisture is not left on the surface of an engineered wood floor. As moisture can get through the surface and into the cracks of an engineered wood floor and cause damage, it’s important to never use a steam cleaner or wet mop. Avoid using ammonia and vinegar when cleaning as these can damage the surface of the engineered wood floor.

Cleaning Up Spills
Because engineered wood floors are not designed for prolonged exposure to moisture, it is important to clean up spills as quickly as possible.  Of course, spills can also cause staining on an engineered wood floor, and cleaning up spills as soon as possible helps to prevent staining. Quickly removing a spill and lightly mopping the area can help to ensure stains don’t take hold.

Protecting Engineered Wood Floors
Protecting engineered wood floors helps them to last longer with a flawless finish. Using area rugs and other protective coverings can help to preserve your engineered wood floors. If your engineered wood floors are looking a little worse for wear you can get them refinished or replaced. The options you have for repairing your engineered wood floors depends on the material that your floors are made of.

Thicker flooring can usually be refinished more than once however thinner engineered wood flooring cannot be refinished and will need to be replaced within 10 to 15 years of wear. It can be helpful to check with your engineered wood flooring provider about what repair and refinishing options are best for your floor. Refinishing and repair of an engineered wood floor should only be done by a flooring professional in order to ensure the best results.

Deep Cleaning For Engineered Wood Floors
You may wish to give your engineered wood floors a deeper cleaning on occasion. A professional hardwood floor cleaner can provide your engineered floors with a deeper clean that preserves their condition and beauty. It’s important to assess whether your local carpet cleaner or hardwood floor cleaner knows how to properly treat engineered and laminate wood floor surfaces. Incorrect cleaning can permanently damage the floors. However, an expert touch can make your floors shine like new.

Engineered wood floors are not only an economical, attractive and environmentally friendly solution to floor covering, they are also easy to maintain. Taking good care of your engineered wood floors helps to ensure they last in excellent condition for years to come.

Why Is Clean Flooring Important for Kids?

Children spend a lot more time close to flooring than adults do. Depending on their age, a child is more likely to sit, lie or crawl along the floor, with their face, hands and mouths close to the floor. Dirt, dust and germs can easily collect in carpet, the cracks in hardwood floors and the grout of tiles and stonework. That’s why professional floor cleaning is even more important when children are around. Professional commercial cleaning is also an essential service for schools and childcare centers where many children share the same environment. Here we look at how clean carpets and floors benefit kids, and why clean flooring is so important.

Reduce Allergies
Carpets, furniture and other soft furnishings such as drapes, pillows and blankets can quickly become reservoirs of dust mites and other allergens. These allergens can trigger asthma attacks, breathing difficulties or even rashes and hives in susceptible children. Deep cleaning with professional carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning is one of the only methods that really helps to extract dust, dust mites, dirt and other allergens from soft furnishings. While regular vacuuming can help to reduce dust and allergen levels, regular carpet cleaning can provide a more effective deep clean for carpets and area rugs. With cleaner carpets and soft furnishings, your kids can run, jump, crawl and roll all over your home while breathing easy and avoiding the risk of triggering allergies.

Reduce Risk of Infection

Dust mites and allergens aren’t the only thing that can live in your flooring. Disease causing pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and parasites can be left in carpet, tiles and floorboards and transferred from person to person. Children who are more likely to spend time in close proximity to the ground, crawling, lying or sitting on the floor, will be more likely to pick these germs up. Children can easily touch the floor and then put their hands in their mouths, making the transfer of these germs easier.

Carpet cleaning and professional tile and grout cleaning helps to remove germs from flooring, making floors more hygienic. Professional floor cleaning is especially important for schools where germs can pass easily from child to child. Thorough carpet cleaning for schools or homes with children should be conducted every 6 months to 1 year to reduce risk of infection.

Instructing Good Hygiene and Cleanliness
Regularly cleaning floors and the environment that children spend time in is not only beneficial for their health and wellbeing. It can help to instruct children about the value of cleanliness and how to maintain good habits. Children learn to appreciate the value of a clean and well-kept environment.

Getting children involved in small cleaning tasks and home and classroom maintenance helps to build a healthy sense of responsibility while enjoying the fruits of their labor. Let children help you with small everyday cleaning tasks and draw their attention to their accomplishment of a clean environment.

Children flourish in clean homes and classrooms, and ensuring your floors and carpet are clean and hygienic is essential. Regular carpet cleaning and floor cleaning can help maintain a healthier environment free from germs and pathogens where children can safely grow and learn.

4 of the Latest Flooring Trends To Watch in 2017

If you’re thinking of remodeling or updating your flooring in 2017, keeping an eye on the latest flooring trends for the new year is essential. New flooring can make your home more functional, easier to clean and more modern, not to mention dramatically improving the appearance of your home. A high quality new flooring installation can also significantly add to the value of your home, both in terms of financial resale value, and the quality of your immediate comfort and lifestyle. Here we look at 4 modern, enduring, and inspiring floor trends for 2017 that you’ll want to try for your home.

Gray Tone, Wide Plank, Matte Wood Flooring
Hardwood floors remain a classic and popular choice for high quality flooring in homes. While gray wood floors were seen to be a passing fad that was trending in the last few years, this trend doesn’t seem to be going away, with the neutral calming gray tones and elegant wide floor boards becoming a staple of modern homes. Matte and low sheen finishes are also popular as they hide minor wear and tear and scuffs without requiring an intense cleaning schedule. No matter what type of hardwood floor you have, professional hardwood floor cleaning is the best way to maintain the hygiene and appearance of your hardwood floors. While dark stained and blond wood floors will still be popular in 2017, gray wide plank floors will be the trend that continues to make an impact.

Back To Nature
Natural tones, textures, and the materials will continue to trend in 2017 as designers and homeowners continue to integrate the natural and built environments. One of the areas where this will influence flooring design in 2017 is carpet style and choice. Soft muted and natural tones utilizing sustainable fibers, integrated in durable, easy to clean carpet brings optimal comfort and warmth to your home. With professional carpet cleaning and area rug cleaning offering the gold standard for keeping your carpeted rooms clean and hygienic, sustainable and easy to clean carpet fibers should be a priority of choice for new flooring in 2017.

Warm Toned Tiles
Neutral, white and cool toned tiles are becoming less popular as homeowners look to warmer toned tiles to brighten living spaces. Warm toned, natural, and matte finish materials such as terracotta are the perfect choice for tiled floors in 2017. Warm toned tiles are rustic and classic, adding a character and warmth to interiors. However maintaining natural tiles can be a greater challenge. Professional tile and grout cleaning once or twice a year keeps your tiles looking like new regardless of the material or color.

Laminate For Price Point And Maintenance
If you want the look and feel of hardwood floors but the price tag is a little out of your reach, laminate floors can provide the perfect alternative. Cost-effective and ecologically sustainable laminate floors are more affordable and are also easy to maintain and clean. For an economical option with a luxury feel, laminate flooring is the perfect choice for your new floor in 2017.

New flooring brightens your home and revolutionizes the look of your interiors, so keep these four flooring trends in mind if you’re thinking of updating your floors in 2017.