How to Maintain Varnished Floors

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Photo: BONA

Floor varnish is one of the most common wood surface treatments. Varnish is available in several gloss levels from completely matt to glossy. A varnished floor is highly resistant to abrasion and chemicals. It’s important that you Dust, Clean and Maintain your varnished wood floors in the right way.

Dust and Clean

Here are some things to think about when you dust and clean your varnished wood floor.

Protecting your wood floors is simple. By routinely cleaning, you remove dust and dirt before they scratch and dull the finish, or wear the floor.

Always keep water to a minimum when cleaning your wood floors. If you spill food or drinks, wipe up immediately to prevent any permanent damage or staining.

Sweep or vacuum your wood floors as often as needed. Use Bona’s mild, specially formulated Wood Floor Cleaner for best results.

Don’t use “all-purpose” cleaners on your wood floors as they tend to leave a dull residue and you end up using too much water, which is damaging to your wood floors.

Maintain

If your wood floors are starting to look dull or have small scratches, you can use a refresher to revive them.

Polish and refresher add lustre to your dull wood floors and act as a layer of protection against wear and tear.

If you have laid a wood floor in an area where there is a high risk of spilling water, like in a kitchen or bathroom, apply a polish or refresher to add a layer of protection to your new wood floors.

Polish or refresher can be applied as needed but usually a few times a year. Always make sure the wood floor is cleaned before re-applying.

Source: BONA

Cleaning Your Laminate Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

  • Do not use steam cleaners or wet mops, which may cause irreparable damage to your floor.
  • Use a damp cloth to blot up spills as soon as they happen. Never allow liquids to stand on your floor.
  • For tough spots, such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, ink or tar, use acetone/nail polish remover on a clean white cloth. Then wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.
  • Sweep, dust or vacuum the floor regularly with the hard floor attachment (not the beater bar) to prevent accumulation of dirt and grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.
  • Periodically clean the floor with cleaning products made specifically for laminate floor care.
  • Don’t wash or wet mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent or any other liquid cleaning product. This could cause swelling, warping, delamination, and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.
  • Avoid using steel wool, abrasive cleaners or strong ammoniated or chlorinated type cleaners.
  • Don’t use any type of buffing or polishing machine on your laminate floors.
  • For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  • A more frequent dust-mopping or vacuuming schedule may be required in very sandy areas such as a beach-side home.

Source: Shaw Floors

How to Take Care of Laminate Floors

Laminate floors are beautiful and very durable but not indestructible. Floors can dull when unattended dirt acts as an abrasive on its surface.

This can be avoided by sweeping, dust mopping or vacuuming regularly to remove loose dirt and grit.

You can use a broom or, to make the job faster, a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.

Vacuum cleaner attachments are useful to pick up dirt from between planks, tiles or along edges.

An occasional very light damp mopping using laminate floor cleaner is also suggested. However, your laminate flooring can expand if excessive water is used while cleaning. Your mop should be damp, not wet.

After damp mopping, a clean dry cloth should be used to wipe your floor thoroughly.

Placing doormats or walk-off mats at each entryway will collect excessive moisture and dirt before they enter your home.

Do’s and don’ts you should know about.

  • Glides or floor protectors on the bottom of your furniture will prevent possible scratching or abrasion.
  • It’s important to lift heavy furniture instead of dragging or pulling the piece.
  • Use pieces of carpet face down under heavy objects when moving them across your floor.
  • Spot cleaning and occasional complete cleaning of your laminate floor can be done using the manufacturer’s recommended products.
  • Never use abrasive cleaners, steel wool or scouring powder.
  • Don’t use soap-based detergents or “mop-and-shine” products.
  • Never flood your floor with water or cleaner. In all cases, less is best, especially when it comes to water.
  • Don’t wax or polish your laminate floor.
  • Never try to refinish or sand your laminate floor.
  • Durable but not indestructible, your laminate floor can be damaged by heavy or sharp objects.
  • But the good news is that the finish on your laminate floor can help protect the floor from sunlight and the typical fading you find with aging hardwood floors.
  • Keep in mind that if a repair is necessary in the future, the replacement product may be a slightly different dye lot and/or texture than the initial installation.

For additional care procedures please refer to the manufacturer’s care and maintenance instructions and recommendations.

By understanding and following these basic care guidelines you can be confident that your laminate flooring will provide you with many years of beauty and lasting performance.

 

Carpet Warms and Insulates a Room

 

Photo Courtesy Shaw Floors

Photo Courtesy Shaw Floors

The warm comfort that carpet provides is not just your imagination. Unlike other types of flooring‚ carpet is a natural insulator‚ providing additional warmth in cold seasons. The use of carpet in a wall–to–wall application actually increases the R–value‚ or insulation level‚ of the carpet area‚ potentially saving homeowners like you utility costs while reducing energy use.

The R value (thermal resistance) measures how much a material resists the movement of heat through a ceiling‚ wall or floor in a building. The higher the number‚ the more effective the insulation.

Recently‚ tests carried out at the Johns Manville Technical Center Thermal Labs‚ one of the most sophisticated laboratories of its kind in the world‚ confirm carpet and pad significantly increase R–value compared to other flooring materials. Results varied according to the carpet’s construction‚ with heavier products generally providing higher R–value.

Carpets were tested with and without cushion‚ and the combination maximized the R–value. Carpet really is warmer. Test results from the different carpet constructions were compared to three hard surface products – ceramic tile‚ laminate‚ and engineered hardwood – and the differences were dramatic:

  • Carpet vs. engineered hardwood: (From 3 to 7 times the R–value)
  • Carpet vs. laminate: (From 4 to 8 times the R–value)
  • Carpet vs. ceramic tile: (From 8 to 17 times the R–value)

Carpet with cushion represents a clear advantage in insulation capability over hard surface flooring. Of course‚ potential energy cost savings by using carpet and cushion in lieu of hard surfaces will vary widely. The type of floor construction, local energy costs‚ climate‚ and carpet/cushion type all affect how significant these savings could be. Obviously‚ savings would be greater in colder regions of the country.

Source: Shaw Floors

Keep Your Hardwood Floors Looking New

Photo Courtesy: Bona

Photo Courtesy: Bona

All hardwood floors should be cleaned regularly. Simply sweep, dust mop or vacuum the floors with the beater bar turned off to remove dirt and grit from between the floorboards.

Avoid using a wet mop on hardwood floors as it can dull the finish or even damage the wood over long periods of time. Place scatter rugs at all entrances, avoiding those with rubber backs, which can discolor wood floors. Special rug mats that protect your floors from discoloration can be purchased from a wood flooring retailer. Scatter rugs will help keep outside dirt and other debris from scratching the floors. Scratches can also be prevented by placing floor protector pads on the bottoms of the legs of any furniture that come into direct contact with the floors.

When spills occur, they must be cleaned immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Allowing spills to remain on wood floors could damage the finish and possibly the wood. Avoid walking on floors with sports cleats or high heel shoes that are in disrepair. These can scratch the finish and even dent the floor.

Finally, when the floor begins to look a little dull, a recommended wood flooring cleaner should be used to renew the luster. Be sure to use the product as directed and verify it is compatible with that particular wood floor. Using the wrong type of cleaning product could damage the finish and possibly damage the wood, as well.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association

Bamboo Floors: Good Environmental Option

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Rainy Asian jungles, wild monkeys and exotic birds. That’s probably what comes to mind when you think of bamboo, right?

The fact is that bamboo is a rapidly growing hollow grass (not wood) that can be harvested every 5-7 years, unlike tree wood, which can typically be harvested only every 15-100 years. When bamboo shoots are cut, their roots remain intact and new sprouts grow in their place.

As a result, bamboo flooring is an environmentally friendly product that provides an excellent alternative to tree wood. It will provide the same natural beauty and feel in your home as hardwood.

Don’t worry, bamboo flooring is panda friendly too. Since the bamboo used for flooring (commonly called “moso” in Chinese) has no leaf growth on the first 16 feet of the stem, it isn’t a source of food for the panda. The particular species of bamboo used for flooring is grown in select groves of Southern China. It’s 27 percent harder than Northern Red Oak, 13 percent harder than hard maple and can be nailed-down or floated. Not only is bamboo durable, it’s frequently favored for its resistance to fire, insects and moisture.

Bamboo comes in different patterns and plank sizes to complement a variety of decors, from casual to formal and contemporary to traditional. If you’re considering hardwood floors, consider bamboo. It’s a great environmental option and is offered in both solid and engineered construction.

Source: World Floor Covering Association

Ceramic Tile Cleaning Tips

Ceramic Tile PhotoIt’s important to sweep a tile floor regularly. Dirt can adhere to the surface of tile, particularly styles with a textured surface. Regular sweeping loosens and removes most of this dirt.

Don’t forget those labor saving devices, either. Feel free to use a vacuum cleaner to sweep, but be sure to use one without a beater bar to avoid dulling and scratching the tiles.

However, the attachments that accompany vacuum cleaners are useful to collect dirt along edges or in between tiles.

Don’t let dirt have its way.

Be sure to use walk-off mats to minimize and contain dirt being tracked in at entryways. And shake them often.

This reduces the amount of dirt being tracked across the tile floor, and reduces the wear to the finished surface.

Ceramic tile floors should be damp-mopped regularly using the manufacturer’s recommended grout and tile cleaners.

For heavier soil, you can spot clean the floor with a sponge or clean cloth using the recommended cleaners.

Rinse well and wipe dry for more shine. Textured tiles may require mild scrubbing with a soft brush or electric polisher/scrubber.

After cleaning with a mild detergent rinse thoroughly with clean, warm water to help remove any leftover residue. If needed, wipe dry with a clean towel to remove any film.

For soft water situations you may need to use an all-purpose cleaner.

Apply to the floor, let stand for three to five minutes, lightly scrub with a sponge, rinse well and you’re home free – dirt free too.

For heavier cleaning tasks there are cleaning products available that can be used to remove soap scum, hard water deposits, and mildew stains.

You’ll want to consult the cleaning product’s instructions to make sure the product is compatible with your type of tile.

After cleaning, rinse well and wipe dry for optimum shine. And maximum pride. 

Source: MODA Floors & Interiors