4 Ways to Care For Your New Wide Plank Floors
There is no question that investing in a new floor is great for your home, both for the aesthetic and financial benefits, so it’s natural to take some time and research the best methods. The care and maintenance methods you use for your flooring really depends on the flooring you choose. Some things to take into account will be:
- What is the flooring made of (hardwood, cork, leather, vinyl flooring, laminate flooring)?
- How was the flooring finished?
- Is there a special cleaner available from the manufacturer?
- Does the floor come with care and maintenance instructions?
- Do the care and maintenance methods you use impact the warranty?
As a consumer, it can sometimes be difficult to identify the exact flooring type that was installed in your home. There are so many different types of flooring available today, some of which carry Manufacturers proprietary names, which can make it challenging to really know what type of flooring you actually have. That is why it is so important to get that information from the retailer or trade professional you purchased the flooring from. Your flooring should come with the manufacturer care and maintenance instructions and (in most cases) a warranty. Understanding the warranty and maintenance instructions that come with your flooring is the best way to protect your investment. One wrong move could make your warranty void, so take the time to read the details.
From there you can follow these four guidelines to keep your floor looking beautiful.
1. LESS IS BEST
When it comes to caring for your new floor, don’t overthink it. Many people mistakenly think you must use a wet mop to clean new flooring, but a vacuum or dust mop is generally sufficient. The goal is to remove loose soil and fine dust, dirt, and sand, which is what can cause the most damage to the flooring. These types of small particles can accumulate and cause scratches in the finish.
As mentioned above, it is important to know what type of flooring you installed, but also what type of finish was used. The finish will determine how easy it is to care for the flooring. You must make sure that the product can be touched up over the years. For example, some floors finished with Aluminum Oxide are very difficult to refinish, so once the finish starts to deteriorate you are left with a sizeable repair or replacement cost. Some manufacturers, have specific kits you can use to maintain the beauty, luster, and protection of the finish. It is a good idea to purchase this product along with the flooring, to have it on hand when you need it.
2. PROTECTING FROM MOISTURE
No matter what type of flooring you have, it is important to control the contact your floor has with moisture. This goes beyond just spills and traffic in the mudroom, bathroom or kitchen. It also includes the humidity that is present in the home or space. You can improve the performance of your flooring when you maintain an even level of humidity, with either a humidifier or a dehumidifier, depending on what your environment and room calls for. Most manufacturers will recommend the humidity range — for all TORLYS floors is 30% to 60%.
Never use wet mops, highly acidic or alkaline cleaners, non-recommended commercial cleaners or polishes, or a treated mop that has been used to clean other floors or furniture.
3. COVER IT UP
Although it may seem odd to cover your new floor after it is installed, it is a simple way to protect your new floor. Ideally, you will use some small, decorative area rug that is made from non-skid cotton. Avoid rubber or fiber backing since this can discolor the flooring and/or finish.
Some of the most important areas to use area rugs include:
- Under heavy furniture
70% to 80% of dirt on the floors in your home is tracked in from the outside. One square yard of matting can capture one pound of soil.
Similar to using area rugs to protect the flooring, some flooring manufacturers recommend certain types of window fashion to minimize color fade. This is something you may want to ask your flooring supplier, especially if you intend to, or have, a lot of natural light in your space. Place felt floor-protector pads on furniture feet and protect your floor from hard castors on moveable furniture.
Once you install your new flooring, and as part of the process of moving in your new furniture, invest in felt bottoms for all chairs.
4. Remove Your Shoes
There is one simple rule that you can implement which will add years to the life of your floor – remove your shoes when you come in the home. Shoes carry dust, dirt, and water. These culprits lead to flooring and finish damage. High heels are especially worrisome so slip on your shoes as you walk out the door. Along these same lines, be sure to keep your pet nails trimmed. Keep everyone pampered to keep your home looking pampered too.
Aside from the best methods to care for your flooring, you also need to know how to repair the flooring should anything occur, either from water, foot traffic, or other day-to-day wear. Some manufacturers, like Torlys Smart Floors, have created a revolutionary system that will allow you to replace just the damaged plank, if damage ever occurs. This can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over the life your floor. Be sure to inquire what the repair process is for the flooring you are considering to ensure it is equally hassle free.