Congratulations! You’ve just installed your new floors. And while floors are made to be walked on, no one can blame you for wanting to keep them looking brand new for as long as possible! Here are 10 tips for keeping your floors looking great for years to come.
Put down mats at all entrances
Tracked-in dirt, debris, and other grime can do a number on just about all types of flooring. Make sure everyone wipes their feet when coming into your home. Better yet, take off your shoes when you come inside, especially if you’re wearing cleats or high heels, as they can dent or damage certain kinds of floors.
Clean up spills immediately
In addition to preventing accidents like someone slipping on a slick surface, cleaning up spills immediately goes a long way toward ensuring your floors don’t warp, stain, or sustain water damage. For spills on carpeted floors, absorb the spill with a dry, white cloth or paper towel, then blot the area with a small amount of carpet cleaner. Do not scrub the spill – this can damage or fray your carpet’s fibers. Once the stain has been cleaned, blot the area with water to remove any carpet cleaner residue.
Sweep or dust mop regularly
Getting rid of dust, dirt, debris and pet hair will keep your floors looking pristine, as well as help prevent scuffing, scratching or staining. The National Wood Flooring Association recommends doing this every day.
Vacuum hard surfaces with care
If you have hardwood, laminate, or vinyl floors, only vacuum using the bare floor setting. Using a beater bar on these floors can damage them and make maintaining new floors extra difficult.
Consider vacuuming daily in high traffic areas of the home, like entryways and hallways – especially if you have carpet. If you don’t, dust and dirt can get trapped in the fibers, making the carpet look dingy and posing problems for people with asthma or allergies.
Wet mopping? Proceed with caution
Some surfaces, like luxury vinyl or porcelain tile, can be wet mopped without any problem. But almost zero types of hardwood flooring (or laminate, for that matter) are waterproof—so using a wet mop can seriously damage them. Standing water can also discolor or dull your floor’s finish. Your retailer might stock manufacturer-recommended flooring cleaners, so ask him or her about what they have in their store.
Avoid harsh chemicals when maintaining new floors
Products with ammonia, bleach, or other harsh chemicals can discolor or damage many types of floors. Stick to product-specific cleaning solutions when your floors need a deeper clean. Many manufacturers sell their own cleaning products recommended for use on their hardwood, laminate or vinyl flooring—ask your retailer if they keep any in stock.
Deep clean your carpet
The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends having your carpet professionally deep cleaned every 12 to 18 months, which removes embedded dirt and grime.
Use window treatments
Some products, like hardwood and luxury vinyl, can become faded or discolored from prolonged sun exposure. If your new floors are in an area of the home that gets a lot of direct sunlight, make sure to close the curtains or blinds during periods of the day where sun exposure is highest. You can also use area rugs to help prevent fading, or choose flooring options that are UV-resistant, such as laminate.
Mind your furniture
Avoid scratches by lifting and carrying furniture over your floors – never drag it! To prevent indentation, use floor protectors on heavier pieces of furniture or appliances.