Floor Care and Cleaning
How to Assess Those Gaps in Your Hardwood Flooring
If you’re in the market for new hardwood floors, you might face the decision of solid hardwood vs. engineered hardwood. Like any flooring product, both have their pros and cons, but when it comes to matters of the home, these will be specific to each individual household as you take into account budget, lifestyle, and needs.
Hardwood floors are a big investment, so it’s important to factor in the possibility that over time, your hardwood might experience gaps in between the planks.
Why Does Your Hardwood Floor Have Gaps?
Gaps in hardwood floors are a common occurrence over the course of a wood’s life. As the weather and seasons change, hardwood is susceptible to expanding and contracting from heat, causing gaps. If your floors have been exposed to water-damage, boards are more likely to form gaps in between the planks as the wood shrinks when it has dried out.
The Solution for Preventing Hardwood Floor Gaps: Engineered Hardwood
Hardwood floors in the home are sought out by many homeowners, but to combat the possibility of gaps developing in the floor, engineered hardwood is a great alternative. This type of flooring can reduce gaps between planks, allowing the layers of plywood to shift and move more easily when adjusting to humidity changes.
How to Find the Right Hardwood Floor for Your Home
If you decide to have hardwood floors installed, it is important to have your installer perform a humidity level test and to acclimate the hardwood to your home. This will be incredibly important if you live in a humid area, as it can cause warping, bowing, splitting, and gaps. By measuring your home’s humidity levels, your installer will be able to recommend the best floor for your home. Your hardwood will also have to acclimate to your home’s humidity and temperature, which means that your new flooring has to rest inside your home for up to a week and a half before it can be installed.
For more information on our beautiful and reliable hardwood selection, visit our hardwood flooring page!
When it comes time to choose flooring for your kitchen, one of the most important first steps to take is to consider the function of the room and how you use it.
- Do you enjoy cooking?
- Do you host a lot of parties?
- Do you have kids or pets running around your house?
If you can answer yes to any of these, it will be important that your kitchen floors be able to withstand spills, heavy foot traffic, and dropped dishes.
With that in mind, luxury vinyl, laminate, and tile are all great options, but it will be your lifestyle needs and personal preferences which will help in your decision.
What is the Best Material for Your Kitchen Floor?
Make sure that you keep function and durability a top priority in the decision making process.
Luxury vinyl is ideal for those prone to making a mess in the kitchen. It’s durable, holds up to scratches, and it is waterproof, making it one of the best flooring options. Vinyl flooring’s protective top layer allows for ease of maintenance and makes clean-up a breeze.
Laminate is a great option for a kitchen that gets a lot of love, as it has 4 layers that will absorb heavy foot traffic and protects against stains, burns, and spills. It is affordable, easy to install, and comes in a variety of styles, making it a great option too.
Lastly, tile is another solid choice for your kitchen. It’s scratch resistant and incredibly easy to clean, but it is also very cold and does not have the softest cushioning to allow for comfort when standing for long periods of time.
Which Kitchen Flooring is the Most Durable?
Tile will be the most durable flooring choice due to its long wearing durability, ease of maintenance, and resistance to moisture. It’s resistant to scratches, so it’s great in those moments when pots are dropped.
With its ability to look just like hardwood, ceramic, or stone, laminate is a great flooring option for those high traffic areas in your home. Laminate is incredibly durable and easy to maintain, however just like any type of flooring, it does require regular cleaning.
Can You Really Clean Your Laminate Floors with Vinegar?
Vinegar can be used to clean laminate flooring and is great for bringing the shine back to your floors. To create your cleaning solution, use 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Spray the solution in small areas at a time, and clean with a damp cloth or mop. Once finished, dry the laminate and your floors will shine like new!
Tips for Washing Laminate Floors
For general laminate cleaning, we recommend using a dust mop or a damp mop. To prevent dirt and grit from scratching the laminate, vacuuming and sweeping daily is encouraged.
How to Prevent Damage to your Laminate Floors
To prevent damage, it's encouraged to not walk on the floor in spiked shoes or heels. Place doormats at every entrance to keep sand, dirt, and grit from scratching your floor. And lastly, do not use soap, detergent based cleaners, wax-based products, any type of polish, or a steam cleaner.
Check out our hard surface floor care guide for more floor cleaning tips!
There’s no doubt that when it comes to flooring, luxury vinyl tile is a preferred choice. Luxury vinyl is waterproof and durable, making it incredibly easy to maintain. Continue reading for tips on how to keep your vinyl looking shiny and brand new.
How Do You Remove Stains From Vinyl Flooring?
Thanks to the overall stain resistance capabilities of luxury vinyl, most spills and stains will wipe up quickly with a clean white cloth. When wiping up stains, turn the cloth frequently to prevent spreading the stain. Make sure to rinse with clean water and allow the area to dry.
How Do You Make Vinyl Floors Shiny Again?
To prevent your floors from fading or discoloring, make sure to follow these tips:
- Sweep regularly
- Always keep doormats at each entrance.
Proper maintenance will keep your floors shiny. For heavier cleaning, a manufacturer recommended cleaning solution can be used when mopping.
Can You Steam Vinyl Flooring?
It’s best to avoid cleaning luxury vinyl tile with a steam mop, as the steam and water can damage the planks and vinyl, causing your floor to warp and bend.
Whether you already have LVT floors installed or you’re deciding on the best floor type for your next home improvement project, be sure to stay in the know and learn about the benefits of LVT flooring.
Stay tuned for more cleaning tips, and check out our hard surface floor care guide.
Winter months of snow, slush, salt, and mud can wreak havoc on your carpet, so knowing how to keep your carpet clean this winter is crucial to both the longevity and appearance.
Learn How to Practice Quality Carpet Care this Winter
One of the best methods to minimize the possibility of carpet stains is to keep mats at every entrance to prevent debris from being tracked into your home. Keep a durable doormat outside of your entrance, and additional mats indoors for a double duty approach.
It’s imperative to not only clean inside of your house but to make sure that you clean the outside of your home as well. This includes sweeping your porch, deck, garage, and steps to clear away dirt, leaves, and other debris. Here you want to minimize what can be tracked indoors from the wind, your pets, or your shoes.
Once inside, make it a habit to take off your shoes or boots before walking through your house. And don’t forget about your pets! If they’ve been outdoors, dry them off with a towel at your door before you let them inside to run and roll around on your floors. Dirt and mud can get trapped in their fur and paws, so be extra vigilant with dogs.
How Do You Keep White Carpet Clean?
Keeping your white carpet clean, or any colored carpet clean during the winter will require you to vacuum and spot clean as often as possible. Ideally we recommend vacuuming high traffic areas at least twice a week to pick up debris and to prevent dirt and spills from getting ingrained in the carpet. We understand that you don’t always have the time to clean that often, but the more you do, the better off your carpet will be.
How to Clean Your Carpet In Case of a Spill
With it being the season of holiday parties, you’re bound to have spills, but don’t let this worry you. With a proper plan of attack, spills will stand no chance against your carpet. With spills, it will be crucial to act quickly to minimize possible staining. The longer you let a spill sit, the greater chance it has to become a permanent stain on your carpet. For these reasons, it’s important to have a spot cleaner on hand for when any spills occur.
Keeping your carpets clean during the winter is easy. Have doormats on both sides of each entrance, take your shoes off once you enter the house, clean off your pets before they come inside, vacuum at least twice a week, and clean up spills as soon as you notice them!
For more carpet cleaning tips, check out our carpet care guide.
When it comes to our pets, more times than not, they’re the most spoiled family member, and with that, the choices that we make often take into consideration their needs, along with our own. We want a home that is warm and loving for our pets, and also one that is safe for them. That means choosing flooring that will provide comfort and safety for them, while also meeting the needs of the humans in our family.
What are the Best Hardwood Floors for Pets?
There is no doubt that homeowners love hardwood floors and more times than not, want solid wood in their home, but when you own pets, specifically dogs, there are several things to consider. The best pet-friendly hardwood option is a harder species like oak or hickory with a distressed appearance and a tough Urethane finish that will help hide everyday pet wear and tear. Ultimately, at the end of the day, because hardwood is slick, cold, and prone to scuffs, it’s not going to be the best dog friendly flooring option.
What is the Best Laminate Flooring for Dogs?
You might not be able to have hardwood in your home if you own dogs, but thanks to innovative manufacturing, laminate flooring can give you the look of hardwood while also giving your pets more support and comfort than hardwood is able to.
Laminate is constructed of 4 layers which absorb the heavy traffic and day-to-day use of an active family. It is the wear layer that protects the floor from pet stains, fading, and surface burns, making laminate wood flooring and dogs a great mix. The surface is easy to clean and is water resistant, so no longer are pet accidents a big deal, but just be mindful that the slippery surface might cause your dog to have trouble with grip. However, adding rugs to a room with laminate can make it look complete, cozy, and comfortable for your pets.
Is Luxury Vinyl Flooring Good for Pets?
Just like humans, pets aren’t perfect, and sometimes life gets a little messy. For those with pets who are accident prone or messy, vinyl flooring is going to be a great choice for you. Not only is vinyl durable and waterproof, but it’s also incredibly easy to clean up an accident. Vinyl has a protective top coat that provides ease of maintenance, which means that your floors will be resistant to scratches and scuffs and have a wipe clean finish. The rugged versatility and waterproof characteristics make vinyl flooring and dogs a walk in the park.
What is the Best Carpet for Pets?
There is a general consensus that carpet and pets don’t mix. Their fur and the dirt that comes off of their fur can get trapped in the carpet, or their accidents are difficult to get out of carpet. Those are several things that we hear a lot, but there is in fact carpet for pets that can resist stains and accidents.
For a household with pets, it’s best to choose a carpet with nylon fibers, as nylon is the most durable and stain resistant carpet fiber, when treated with stain protection. The best carpet for pets and high traffic areas is going to be carpet that has been treated with static, stain, and soil resistant treatments, making them easy to clean and maintain.
What is the Best Tile for Pets?
Tile may just in fact be the best flooring choice for a household with pets due to its long wearing durability, moisture resistance, and ease of maintenance. Tile is both scratch resistant and easy to clean, making this a practical option; however just remember that it can be hard, cold and slippery for both pets and humans.
When considering the best flooring for pets and your family, you want to take into consideration how easy it will be to clean up messes, but also keep in mind how comfortable the flooring will be for both you and your pets. No matter what type of flooring you choose, there will always be a product that is most suitable for pets, so if you’re set on hardwood, make sure that you talk with a professional about selecting the best product for you and your family.
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