As much as you might wish that your flooring flaws won’t be noticed, they tend to draw the eye. Even high-end flooring types don’t last forever without some good old-fashioned elbow grease and care, and if you neglect your floors and carpets, it doesn't take long before they start looking shabby.
Whether you have newly installed luxury vinyl tile, hardwoods or plush carpets, there are always ways to help keep your flooring type looking as good as the day it was installed. Here are some simple tips to help you preserve your investment.
1. Enforce a ‘no-shoe’ rule
Shoes are wonderful things, but let them do their job outside your home. The more you keep shoes off your flooring (this goes for anything from carpet to tile), the better shape it’ll be in down the road, according to experts at Giant Carpet One.
"Though tile and stone are usually resistant to grime and dirt, the grout between the tiles is like a magnet pulling it in. This same dust and grime can form an abrasive layer on hardwood, laminate and vinyl flooring that can scratch and dull these floors," the company reports.
High-trafficked areas particularly suffer from wear and tear that is exacerbated by shoes. But, when you enforce a no-shoe rule in your home, you’ll preserve your flooring and carpets by reducing dirt as well as wear over time.
2. Keep it clean
Few things preserve the life of a floor more than proper cleaning maintenance. Most carpets require a professional-level cleaning every 18-24 months to prolong the life of your carpet. If you have young children or pets, the frequency of a professional cleaning should increase — and don’t forget to vacuum daily. As for mopping up spills, Martha Stewart Living gives the first rule for cleaning carpets as blot, blot, blot. Blotting over rubbing will preserve the integrity of the carpet fibers and prevent matting while bringing out the stain as much as possible.
Promptly wipe up any spills on laminate or hardwoods to prevent swelling or damage. Tile can withstand liquids for a longer period, but the sooner you wipe up the mess, the better it is for your flooring.
3. Use area rugs correctly
Rugs can be a great help to preserving any flooring type, but only when used properly. For instance, hallway rugs for high-traffic areas may prevent wear, but the rugs need to be regularly cleaned to prevent damaging the flooring beneath. This especially goes for rugs over hardwood flooring. Lauren Flanagan at The Spruce recommends using rugs for high-traffic areas with a rug pad underneath that won’t stick or leave residue on the wood below. Ask your local flooring expert about what types of rug pads will work with your hardwood flooring.
4. Protect from the sun
The sun's rays are one source of flooring damage that most people don’t consider. Everyone loves to have sunshine streaming into their houses, but there are ways to keep things bright without the sun damaging your floor. Certain vinyl flooring types may even need a full replacement if they are exposed to the sun for too long.
The solution usually comes in the form of carefully chosen window treatments. Blackout curtains are a good idea for bedrooms, offices and home theaters, while a simple UV protective coating (sometimes referred to as Low-E) will do to protect your carpets and furniture from sun damage. Angie’s List also points out that Low-E coated windows can save you on your energy bill as well. Blinds and normal curtains will work fine for most flooring types, but be sure to get and use a darker drape for windows in front of vinyl floors.
5. Ensure proper installation
Proper installation the first time is the best way to keep your carpets, tile and other flooring types looking great. DIY housing projects are all well and good until you end up doing something that costs you more money in the long run. Professional carpet layers and flooring installers know how to seal vinyl tiles and hardwood as well as how to tuck edges of carpet. If your carpet is coming out at the edges, it might just need some TLC from a certified installer. Carpets may fray and flooring may crack over time, but problems like these often originate from poor installation in the first place.
6. Invest in new flooring
It’s not always easy to admit that you need new flooring, but once you discover how much it improves the look and feel of your home, it’s worth the cost. Old and stained carpet can only be cleaned so much before you realize it’s time for a change. Scratched or cracked floors can also be a hazard. Luckily, new flooring looks great to start with. With help from Giant Carpet One, you can enjoy the comfort and increased home value that comes with beautifully installed quality flooring.
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