Hardwood Floorcare - First Two Weeks
The maintenance is the key to lasting beauty of your wood flooring. However, cleaning the wood floor is no more effort than vacuuming carpet or mopping vinyl. And wood floors don't need to be shampooed periodically.
First two weeks
For the first two weeks floor is still curing, so:
- Be gentle when moving back furniture.
- Install proper felt protectors under ALL furniture.
- Wait with replacing area rugs.
- Avoid using water or any cleaner during this period.
- Avoid heavy traffic.
Long term maintenance
Long term maintenance of your floors:
According to Oak Flooring Institute, "a good rule of thumb is to vacuum or dust weekly." After vacuuming or dusting, use recommended flooring cleaner for spills and general cleanup on floors which have non-waxed polyurethane or Swedish finish.
Floor Care - General
- Never wet-mop a wood floor. Water and wood do not mix well together. Use recommended flooring cleaner.
- Wipe up food and other spills immediately with a dry or slightly dampened towel (wipe dry).
- Keep high heels in good repairs. An unprotected tip will dent any hardwood floor.
- Using a humidifier or dehumidifier in conjunction with a furnace or air conditioning system to maintain relative humidity in the home at 35-50% will maintain the moisture in the wood and minimize cracks between the boards.
- Put felt or fabric-faced glides under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching.
- Kitchen floors experience the most traffic in a home. Place an area rug in front of the kitchen sink and stove. Shake out or vacuum the rugs frequently.
- When moving heavy furniture, protect wood flooring by slipping a piece of cloth or blanket under the legs.
- Do not use wax, oil soap, pledge or other household cleaners.
- Finally, urethane finishes eventually will show wear patterns from surface scratching. When high traffic area begin to look dull it is time to recoat or restore the finish.
Prevention and Maintenance
- After your vinyl floor is installed, avoid walking on the seam sealer and any seamed areas for the first twelve hours. Avoid rolling heavy objects over the floor, as doing so could leave permanent compression marks.
- If you want to prevent dirt, grime, and stains from marring your vinyl floor, start with the finish. An enhanced urethane coating will resist stains from many household elements. Vinyl floors with this finish can be kept clean with sweeping and the occasional mopping with water and vinegar or a floor cleaner that the manufacturer recommends.
- If your vinyl floors have seams, be sure to immediately clean any spills near them. Water could damage the subfloor if it reaches it. While seam sealer will weld the seams together, leakage is still possible if applied improperly.
- Avoid using rubber–backed mats, as they could alter the color or damage the floor. Check the tag to see if they are safe for vinyl floors.
- When vacuuming, avoid using a vacuum with a beater bar, which could scratch your floor.
- Place mats at each entrance to keep excess dirt from being tracked into the house. Look for mats made specifically for vinyl floors.
- Don't use abrasive cleaners or scrubbing tools, as they can scratch your floor.
- A new coat of manufacturer–recommended floor polish is a good way to keep your floor looking glossy and provide extra protection against wear.
Care and Cleaning
- Vacuuming and sweeping will rid your vinyl floor of dirt.
- Hard to clean dirt can be removed with a damp mop or Swiffer®.
- Use the cleaner your manufacturer recommends. Make sure it's "self–cleaning", or rinse free cleaner, so wax doesn't accumulate on the floor.
- If there is no manufacturer–recommended cleaner, use one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap or clear ammonia combined with a quart of water.
- Spills should be wiped up immediately with a clean cloth. Then rinse the area thoroughly with water and wipe it dry.
- If you use a standard floor wax or polish that isn't recommended by manufacturer, be sure to stay away from paraffin–based products. Paraffin will settle into the embossing and attract dirt to your vinyl floor.