With so many floor treatment options available, it's important to know what to do and not do when caring for floors. The treatment for one kind of floor could do irreparable damage to another flooring material. Take our quiz to ensure that you treat your flooring the way it is designed to be treated.
Having the proper tools is important, as is reading label instructions, but you have to know what a floor is made of to ensure safe use and to avoid problems with your floors.
In a ½ gallon of cool water, add ¼ cup of low-suds all purpose cleaner and one cup of ammonia. Caution: Wear rubber gloves and work only in a well-ventilated area when using this powerful mixture.
The correct process is to apply the solution to your floor with a clean sponge mop, rinse with cool clear water and dry with a soft cloth. Caution: Flooding a floor with cleaning solution or leaving it soak on a floor will cause problems on wood, most man-made tile and sheet flooring.
Asphalt tiles are easily damaged by petroleum or solvent based cleaners and abrasive cleaners or powders. If you damp mop your asphalt tile floor once a week you will not have to wash it and apply wax more than every couple of months.
If you damp mop the floor with a solution of one cup of fabric softener in a half pail of cool water you will bring out a shine. You can achieve the best results by freshening up your floor in this way once a week.
The best way to care for a brick floor is to keep it sealed and waxed. Only use a commercial sealer on your brick floor as neither varnish nor lacquer is recommended for sealing on this type of floor.
The best way to remove dust and dirt from a brick floor is with a vacuum cleaner. Follow-up your vacuuming job by sponge mopping the floor with a solution of one cup of vinegar to half a pail of warm water.
Solvent-based wax may be applied over water-based wax but you should never apply water-based wax over solvent-based wax. Solvents in solvent-based waxes dissolve the old layer of wax, so there will be no wax buildup.
Glazed ceramic tile flooring is virtually stain proof for life and will not require waxing. To preserve the glazing never use abrasive cleaners on your glazed ceramic floor.
Unglazed (matte) ceramic floor tiles require proper sealing and waxing on a regular basis. Ceramic tile floors should be damp mopped and dried with a soft cloth.
Grouting is best cleaned with a floor scrubber using commercial ceramic tile cleaner according to instructions and never use bleach or ammonia to clean floors as it will discolor grouting. Non-epoxy based grout should be sealed only with silicone-based sealer.
Unsealed cement floors are very porous, so they soak up spills quickly and leave a hard-to-clean stain behind. Your biggest challenge will be to wipe up any spills immediately and oil or grease on a garage floor is not usually detected until it is already too late.
Dry clay kitty litter is highly absorbent and it will absorb oil or grease faster than a concrete floor. Simply spread some kitty litter over any spills and sweep up for disposal after 24 hours.
Epoxy based concrete floor paints will give your floor a nice designer finish that is durable, easy to clean and long lasting. You can accomplish the same protection with clear silicone-based floor sealants without changing the natural color of concrete.
It is mandatory that flagstone and slate floors be sealed with a commercial sealer specifically designed for that purpose. After your floor is sealed, it will require waxing on a routine basis.
Apply two coats of liquid acrylic wax with a long handle wax applicator fitted with a lambs wool pad. Remember that every few months you will need to strip wax buildup with a stripper before applying fresh wax.
The best way to clean a linoleum floor is to mop it only with commercial water based all-purpose cleaner. You should never use solvent-based cleaners, as it can soften and damage the linoleum flooring.
All of these flooring materials must be sealed properly after installation to insure protection from stains and ground in dirt. You can use paste wax on these floors to prevent buildup but it is important to test for discoloring in a corner first.
Rubber tile flooring has an anti-static property, so it is a great choice for computer rooms or home offices.
No-wax vinyl flooring comes in rolls, so most installations are seamless, and it requires little care. You can wash a no-wax vinyl floor with almost any all-purpose cleaner and you will never need to wax this floor.