Protecting & Maintaining Your Hardwood Floors

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Within your home, the floors are one of your biggest investments. Whether it’s carpet, tile or hardwood floors, the impact of properly maintaining them can be dramatic. Today, we’ll focus on the hardwood floors in your home.

Protect Your Hardwood Investment:

Before you can adequately maintain & protect your floors, you need to know what type of flooring material you have and the type of surface coating. This little knowledge will greatly assist you in fighting the 5 biggest enemies that cause premature and possibly permanent damage to your beautiful floors.

  • Is the hardwood a solid wood material, engineered flooring, or laminate?
  • Is the top finish urethane, oil based, waxed, or photo/laminate?

It’s not exciting. You may not want to spend time researching it, but spending a few minutes to read the manufacturers warnings and maintenance guidelines is critical. This will give you understanding of warranties, guarantees, and limits of liability. If you don’t have the owner’s manuals, contact the installation contractor or retail store that you worked with when buying your floor, or ask Diablo Carpet and Flooring Restoration for help.

Your Floor has 5 Natural Enemies

Dirt:

Foot traffic is how dirt gets on flooring. Limit dirt by using area rugs, walk-off mats, and vacuuming regularly. Microfiber mop/dusting will also reduce the likelihood of dirt abrasions, scratching and premature wear in high traffic areas. Yes, dirt is just like tiny sand. It’s abrasive and damages floors.

Dust:

It’s not possible to prevent floors from getting dusty. If you have animals, it’s worse. It’s an appearance issue, but can become a health issue for people with allergies too. Regularly vacuuming and dusting the floors and changing HVAC filters is a must. Area rugs, runners and walk-off mats help with trapping dust and dirt.

Spills:

Spills are inevitable. The quicker you absorb or remove them, the less likely they’ll cause damage. Hot drinks and pet urine/feces are especially damaging. Spills can cause discoloring or heat damage that affect surface appearances. The first step is to immediately absorb or remove the spilled solution with a clean damp cloth. Then, depending on the size of the spill, you may need to contact a professional cleaner to clean or treat the affected area.

Water/Moisture:

Like any liquid, water can cause damage to hardwood floors. This is especially true in high water exposure areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Moisture can cause floor boards to swell, cup and contract. If you have pets, periodic inspection of litter boxes, area rugs, runners, mats, and other pet favorite areas is a good idea. Water damage can be very expensive to correct, so prevention is key. Regularly check under area rugs, mats and runners to ensure there’s no moisture present.

Sunlight:

If parts of the hardwood floor are consistently exposed to sunlight, they can become discolored. To protect your hardwood from sunlight, use drapes or blinds on windows. Cover areas of the floors that get exposed to sunlight with rugs, mats or even furniture.

 

hardwood floor cleaning guide

Protect Your Hardwood Floors

Now you’ve identified the type of hardwood floor material and the manufactures recommendation for regular cleaning and maintaining, right? If you haven’t yet, spend a minute reading the manufacturer’s and installer’s recommendations. There is normally a “curing” period for new hardwood floor installations that can take upward of three months. Once you know about all that, we’re ready to begin good maintenance practices.

The Cleaning Kit to get you started:

We recommend the following supplies for your basic hardwood floor maintenance:

  1. Bona- Bona has a series of supply kits and cleaning supplies to help you with all of your hard floor maintenance. Many of these can be purchased either through Amazon or at your local home store retailer. If difficult to find, contact a local floor cleaning company for more information. We recommend:
    1. The Professional Bona Hardwood Floor Care Kit. This package has a mop handle for micro fiber products, micro fiber mop, Micro fiber Duster, and Bona Hard floor cleaner.
  2. If you have Oiled or Wax sealed floors you will want to use a cleaning solution designed for this surface. Behlen products are designed for the cleaning and protection of sealed and oiled wood flooring.
  3. Costco distributes a Whole Home Surface Protection Kit, that includes felt pads and furniture movers. This is a wonderful and affordable 268 piece kit.

Regular Cleaning Goes a Long Way

A light wiping of the floors with a microfiber duster or mop is the easiest and best way to maintain the cleanliness of the floor without damaging the wood surface.

Weekly vacuuming, with a non-beater bar style vacuum, goes a long way for the removal of dust and dirt.

Inspecting rugs for moisture related damage, such as pet urine or spills is also wise. Sneaky moisture can be deposited on are area rug or mat and unknowingly leak to the underlying floor. The sooner you find the damage, the less costly the repair.

A note of caution: when applying a cleaning or “spotting” solution to an area rug place a piece of plastic or cloth between the rug/runner/mat and the hard wood floor. Do not trust that a rug pad will shield the moisture from the hard floor. It won’t.

Prevent Scratches

Aside from dragging furniture across our floors, our four legged friends can be the next biggest culprit in scratching hardwood floors. Keeping their nails clipped short and filed smooth will reduce the likelihood of deep scratches. Their claws can really ding up wood floors, especially if it’s a large or heavy breed dog. Cat claws can cause damage to your flooring as well, so consider using claw caps to prevent this from happening. This protects your furniture too.

Placing felt pads on the bottom of chairs, sofas, and tables will also help. This prevents scratches and scuffs that happen when furniture is moved or shifts. Felt pads are available in stick-on versions or tap-in style, and they are an easy and inexpensive way to protect your floors. When moving furniture, try to lift up to move instead of pushing or dragging. This prevents deep scratches.

If it’s too late and the scratch has happened, you can try commercially available color-match pens or crayons. For people who are a little more risk-averse, allow professional flooring restorers to handle it.

 

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Choose the Proper Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

Choosing a vacuum designed with a feature for cleaning hardwood floors is essential. There are some vacuums on the market that do a good job cleaning carpet and hard surfaces. Carefully check the specifications and features of any vacuum cleaner you consider, especially the safety features provided to prevent damage through scratching. Consider vacuums that come with attachments for cleaning underneath furniture. This minimizes the need to move furniture, minimizing scratch risks, too.

Choose Cleaning Products Carefully

When cleaning your hardwood floors, you’re not actually cleaning the wood, but the top coat of finish on the wood. Remember that you can’t permanently change the wood’s top coat appearance through maintenance processes. Waxing, top refresher coats, and other promoted chemical coats are at best a temporary solution. It we want more or less luster or shine, you should consider sanding and refinishing.

What to Avoid:

  • Stay away from vinegar, even if it’s diluted with water. Vinegar is an acid and can etch the top coating of your hardwood.
  • Avoid use of vacuums with beater bars.
  • Don’t use oil-based cleansers.
  • Don’t use wax, polish or strong ammoniated products, which can dull your floor’s finish.
  • Stay away from steel wool, scouring powders or other abrasive cleaners, which can scratch or damage your floor’s finish.
  • Avoid washing or wet-mopping the floors with soap, water, detergent oil-soap, or any other liquid cleaning material. This can cause swelling, warping, delamination and joint-line separation. The residual of water/moisture will damage the surface and edges of the wood and likely leave water spotting and a dull hazy finish.
  • Don’t use of any type of buffing or polishing machine.

To Successfully Maintain Hardwood Floors:

  • Use a soft cloth to blot spills and spots as soon as they happen. Always avoid allowing liquids to stand on your hardwood floor.
  • Sweep, dust or vacuum the floor regularly. If vacuuming, use a hard floor attachment to avoid scratching or dulling your floor’s finish
  • Only use cleaning products that are recommended by the manufacturer or installer. Know for sure what cleaners are safe for your floors, or contact a floor cleaning professional in your area to get help and advice on what kind of cleaners would be best for your home.
  • It’s important to always be cautious about what cleaners are used on your wood floors. There are a number of products that claim to be safe for hardwood floors, but can actually damage floors instead, by stripping off the finish and dulling the shine of your hardwood.

Implement a Maintenance Schedule

Wood floors need regular maintenance to keep their luster, shine, and durability. Aside from cleaning hardwood regularly and properly, you should also plan on lightly sanding and recoating floors with an additional layer of finish every 5 to 7 years. Hardwood floors with a protective layer of wax will likely need to be stripped and a new layer of wax applied once a year or so.

When cared for properly, hardwood floors can last for generations as a beautiful addition to the home. If a house cleaning service is used, make sure they’re provided with instructions and products to properly clean and maintain our floors. Being cautious about how we clean our floors, careful about how we treat them day-to-day, and consistent with a cleaning maintenance schedule can help prolong the life of our floors and keep them looking bright and new.

Whenever you’re not sure what to do to care for your floors, contact Diablo Carpet and Flooring Restoration for help.

Floor Cleaning Basics

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Floors. You can’t avoid walking on them. You can’t avoid looking at them, either.

The condition of your floors really affects the appearance of your entire home. When you have visitors, they notice … whether your floors are clean and tidy and in good condition, and if they are soiled and dirty and in need of repair.

There are all types of flooring in homes today, from carpet and rugs to ceramic tile, luxury vinyl tile, natural stone, wood and more.

Carpet

It’s generally accepted by most that carpet and rugs are easy to care for, regarding routine maintenance. Regular vacuuming does the trick. As a basic rule, vacuum your heavy-use areas once per week per occupant. Yes, your pets count as occupants. That means if you have a family of five with a dog and a cat, you would vacuum every day. Not the entire house, so don’t panic, but perhaps the living room and any other common-use areas that are trafficked each day. The other rooms can be vacuumed perhaps twice per week.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is also easy to maintain. It needs swept and mopped frequently to avoid soil build-up. Use neutral cleaners and follow directions. If you notice any streaking after you clean, follow your normal cleaning with a clear water mopping and get it as dry as you can.

Luxury Vinyl Tile

Luxury vinyl tile, or LVT, can be cleaned like ceramic tile, but consider a two-bucket system. One with neutral detergent and another with clear water.

Wood Flooring

Wood flooring is another matter. Be safe and obtain an approved wood cleaning product from the manufacturer, or you can inquire of your favorite cleaning service as to what you should use. After cleaning, you may need to do a light buffing with a soft cloth, especially high traffic areas. Wood is a bit more sensitive than other flooring types, but small surface scratches can often be buffed out. Larger scratches and damage might need to be professional repaired.

There are other flooring types, of course, and each one will respond well to proper cleaning. Floor cleaning can be challenging, as well as hard work. Why not leave it to the pros and spend your valuable time doing something else you enjoy?

Call Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration today.  After all, it pays to call a pro!​

Keeping Your New Hardwoods Lovely Despite Spills

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You’ve settled in with new luxury hardwood floors, your furnishing plans are complete, and you found the perfect new area rugs. Everything is coming together great, and life is good. This place looks awesome.

So that’s it, right? Your area rugs will keep your new floors perfect, and your duty is done? Sadly, no. Maintenance is important, and knowledge of potential problems is essential. There are still a few emergencies you may have waiting in the future.

 

Threats to Your Hardwood Floors

Recently, we have had a number of calls about pet damage to area rugs. A cat that won’t chuck it’s hairballs on the vinyl or tile, she goes to the area rugs for comfort when she’s in distress.  An older dog likes to lay on the rug and has difficulty making it outside to relieve himself. A puppy that keeps going back to the rugs when the owners aren’t not there to take her out. If you have pets, this is something you should be ready for.

But it’s not only pets. We all have accidents where we knock over a hot coffee or a cool glass of Merlot. It’s just a matter of time.

In any of these spills, the moisture is absorbed by the rug, goes through to the pad, and possibly leaks to the hardwood floors. How much moisture gets through all depends on how large the spill is and what kind of pad we’ve installed. You do have a pad, I trust?

 

There’s an Area Rug Spill, Now What?

When you discover moisture or a wet spill on an area rug that covers hardwood or any hard surface, here’s what to do, step by step:

  1. Start with blotting up the surface spill with a white/non colored towel or microfiber rag. Remember: don’t scrub & do avoid using spot removers until you know what caused the damage, what type of carpet fiber you have, and how far/deep the liquid has gone.
  2. Pull back the rug and pad to inspect for damage. You’ll need to check the hardwood flooring, the pad, and the area rug backing (the fabric on the bottom side).
  3. If there is moisture on the hardwood flooring, immediately remove the wetness and clean the floor. After the floor dries, lay down a dry undyed or white cotton towel and some plastic sheeting before laying down your protective pad.
  4. Lay down your pad and check the backing of the rug. Usually you can see where moisture has penetrated the rug and gone to the pad. Note the boundaries of the saturation and where they touch the pad.
  5. Now the pad. Depending upon the type of spill, you can use a corrective spotter on the pad, clean it, or replace it. Remember, what goes into the pad will likely penetrate, so be sure you protected the hardwood floor as previously suggested with a sheet of plastic.
  6. Congratulations! Now you’re ready to respond to the top surface damage on the area rug!

Before working on the area rug spill damage, you need to put a protective barrier between the rug and the pad, like a dry white cotton towel and plastic sheeting. Notice that this isn’t the barrier under the pad from earlier, now it’s time for a barrier over the pad!

  1. Blot the spill with a non-colored cloth or microfiber towel. Do not scrub. For added pressure, you can step on the towel with your heel.
  2. Keep exchanging your wet towels with new dry towels. Double or triple fold the towel for more absorption. Do this until you think you’ve gotten all the moisture you can out of it.
  3. If you have a wet-dry vacuum/shop vacuum, you can use it to assist with this cleaning/rinsing process. We don’t recommend using multipurpose wet vacuums unless you can control the amount of water being dispersed.
  4. When applying any spot removing agent, apply the solution to the towel and transfer it to the area rug. This may take several applications. With each application, repeat the above suggestion for blotting the moisture. Remember, control the moisture so it doesn’t cause further damage to the pad and your expensive flooring.
  5. Completely dry the area rug, pad, and hardwood flooring before putting them back together.  You can air dry, or accelerate drying with a fan. You can even use a blow dryer to speed this drying process. Remember, the lesson is to not trap moisture and further damage the hardwood flooring.

Get Help with Your Area Rug Spill

If this seems like a lot of work to you, you’re right. It is! Professional services are available to help guide you and even take care of maintenance situations for you. If you need more help, call a professional carpet and floor maintenance service company that is IICRC Certified, like Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration.

Waterproof Flooring (Next Generation)

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For years Bay Area homeowners have struggled through the challenges of keeping their flooring new and beautiful. They’ve been told to vacuum or mop it regularly. In addition, some floorings have been required to be sealed every year or two. Finally, professional carpet cleaning and hardwood cleaning is also recommended on an annual or more frequent basis. However, despite all of this, the unknown spill or pet stain has always loomed as a potential added expense or unknown factor that could ruin the flooring.

Things are changing. In the past six months, many major manufacturers have come out with new waterproof flooring. While this doesn’t take the odor away and is not full proof for everything, it does add a layer of protection which can keep the unexpected away. The flooring has taken on several forms.

Waterproof Carpeting

A few months ago, Shaw Floors, a leading manufacturer, came out with “Life Guard”. This carpeting has waterproof backing and can withstand up to 25,000 pounds of water. A kid’s accident will not penetrate this very easily. Additionally, pet accidents are better protected, although the bacterial infections have to be considered. Thus, the carpet is protecting you from many of life’s spills and accidents. This can help alleviate some of the worry and leave you with just your usual professional carpet cleaning needs.

Waterproof Hardwood Flooring

Carpet is not the only type of flooring getting a fresh approach. Shaw and other manufacturers are also coming out with waterproof hardwood flooring. These types of flooring usually involve a waterproof core. This keeps the liquid from seeping beyond the first layer of flooring. As a result and similar to the carpet, kids and pet stains become less prominent and the unexpected no longer needs to worry a Bay Area homeowner.

Styling Included

A big concern homeowners may have is how stylish is this flooring. The answer is that it’s very nice. However, this is a relatively new product so it doesn’t have the vast diversity of product lines. As a result, it will take some time for the amount of options grows to a reasonable level.

Whether you have this latest style or maintain the traditional flooring, contact your hardwood and carpet cleaning specialists today at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration at 925-833-0408 to help keep your flooring beautiful.

Taking the Haze off of your Hardwood

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You scrub and scrub and clean your hardwood but you notice that there is this haze or cloudiness on the hardwood in the living room. The source of this issue is usually a result of the chemicals and liquids used or spilled on the ground. This is taking away from the beauty and clean lines of hardwood flooring. So what can you do to fix the haze on your hardwood floors?

The following is one approach that could help remove the issue:

Step 1

Use your vacuum or broom to sweep the hardwood floor around the area of the haze. Should your vacuum have a brush head, we recommend using this as this can help dig deep and remove the residue on the floor. This step helps remove the stuff that would be making the floor dirty.

Step 2

The next step is to create a solution to clean the area by combining a ½ cup of ammonia and a gallon of warm water.

Step 3

Use the above formula with a soft cloth mop (i.e. terry cloth) to clean the impacted area.

Step 4

After you’ve mopped the area, you should remove the solution using a microfiber cleaning cloth. This should be followed by buffing the dry floor through circular motions, applying moderate pressure on the hazy areas.

Step 5

Upon completion, let the floor recover by not walking on it for 1 hour.

Lastly, if the problem persists, repeat the above process until the haziness leaves. The following are some additional tips to maintaining your hardwood flooring:

  • On a weekly basis, you should be vacuuming the area with a brush head and using a damp mop. You can even use some mild water with microfiber cleaning cloth.
  • Place hardwood designed floor mats in high traffic areas and have them shaken off each week.

If you are still unsuccessful in getting haze off the floor, contact Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration where we offer professional hardwood cleaning throughout the East Bay.

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.