Many homeowners are opting for a variety of hard-surface floors these days and with all the fabulous styles and types it's easy to see why. There are engineered and solid plank wood floors, bamboo floors, tiles, eco-friendly linoleum and marmoleum, and stone floors. All of these floors have the benefit of being easy to keep clean and dust-free, reducing the amount of allergens that can irritate your family.
If you're looking for a replacement flooring that can add value to your home for your own use or for the purpose of resale, a hard surface floor can be a fabulous selling point. Some hard surface floors, like wood or bamboo can add a natural warmth to your residence while others—like slate—add a beautiful rustic feel to the space.
Not all of these floors can be treated the same; some hard surface floors are more porous or prone to staining than others, while some like ceramic tile can be quite brittle. The best results in maintaining your floors relies on your using the appropriate techniques for the job.
All of the different types of hard surface floors benefit from regular vacuuming and dust mopping to keep grit off their surface. It is well worthwhile to place a floor mat at every outside entrance so that people don't track in dirt on their shoes; it is also a good idea to intact a no-shoe policy in your home to help your floors wear better.
The most basic floor cleaning regime is that for floors like vinyl, ceramic tile, and bamboo floors. Other than the vacuuming, the only real care that they require is a bit of damp mopping with warm water and a bit of soap. If the finish dulls, use a vinegar solution to rinse with.
Hardwood floors are more work to keep clean and good looking than the previous types because wood can swell if it gets wet. Once you've vacuumed the surface use a very dry damp mop to clean the surface; if water is dropped on the floor make sure you wipe it up immediately.
Linoleum and Marmoleum floors are quite a different type of flooring in that they require a polish or wax specifically designed for them to help keep up their finish. These types of floors can last upwards of 50 years though, so they're well worth putting out the effort for.
If you've opted for a stone tile floor like slate, there is a bit different care to keep it looking it's best. Slate is very porous and needs to be sealed; it will also require resealing a few years down the road as well to keep up the look of it. After vacuuming, damp mop it with hot water and a bit of vinegar to keep it looking great. Be aware that due to the porousness of slate, it is very easily stained so be careful with spills.
For some types of floors a steam cleaner is a good option for mopping and removing spills. The steam cleaner has a mop pad and uses tap water in its chamber that heats up and steams the residue off your floors. It's a particularly nice option because you don't need to use any cleaners on your floors. Beware of using it on unsealed wood floors though, as water can make them swell.
Which ever options you use, clean and well maintained floors really add a sparkle to your home; don't hesitate to use a hard surface floor in your new or older home just because you're concerned about it being difficult to clean. Most hard surface floors are easier to clean than carpet and can last so much longer.
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