13 Cleaning Tips That Keep Your Luxury Vinyl Floor Looking New

luxury vinyl plank floorLuxury vinyl floors are a popular choice these days. These floors are water-resistant, durable, and look great (just like wood and tile). They are a great addition to any home’s décor because they’re gorgeous—and can keep looking as striking as the day they were installed IF you use these cleaning tips.

Preventing Damage

  • Place mats and rugs by the door and in high traffic areas to protect the floor from dirt and chemicals that get tracked in.
  • Train your pets to stop at the door so you can wipe their paws off before they come in.
  • Attach felt pads to furniture to avoid scratches and damage to luxury vinyl flooring.
  • When moving furniture and appliances, sweep the floor and place the furniture on cardboard to avoid scratches. Lift—don’t drag—the furniture and appliances as much as possible.
  • Clean up spills as soon as possible to prevent stains.
  • Keep your luxury vinyl floors looking like the day they were installed by purchasing window coverings (and keeping them closed when possible) to avoid fading.

Vinyl Floor Maintenance

Cleaning Tips

  • Do not clean the vinyl floor immediately after installation; wait 48 hours (ask your installer for an exact time frame) to allow adhesives to dry before you mop the floor.
  • Only use manufacturer approved cleaners so you don’t void the warranty (visit your local flooring pros to find out what cleaners are approved and purchase them).
  • Use non-abrasive, gentle cleaners on luxury vinyl floors.
  • Always sweep the floor before you mop.
  • Vinyl floors are water resistant, but don’t use too much water as you mop. When you are finished, make sure there are not water puddles left on the floor.

How often should I clean my wood floors?

picture of kitchen remodel with wood floors that need to be cleanedYou chose your wood floors for a reason. Wood floors are warm, classic, cozy, durable. These popular floors raise the value and the look of your home to a new level. Wood floors look great. If you want to keep them looking great, regular cleaning needs to be a part of the cleaning routine. What does regular mean? How often do wood floors need be cleaned?

The answer depends on the room; a mud room or living room that is heavily used is going to need more regular cleanings than an office that is infrequently used. However, there are some general guidelines you can use to keep those wood floors in top shape.

There are three types of wood floor cleaning tasks: sweeping and vacuuming, mopping, and a deep clean. If your floor finish looks dull or damaged (even after cleaning), your floor may need to be refinished for full protection.

Sweeping and vacuuming

The first step, and most regular cleaning task, should be a sweep and vacuum. On a daily basis (or as often as possible), you should sweep and vacuum (or a vacuum cleaner attachment) to pick up any small stones, gravel, or debris that could scratch your floor.

In between sweeping and vacuuming, make sure you wipe up any puddles or mud that gets tracked in (by pets and people!). Standing water (and mud) can permanently stain and damage the floor. Place mats and rugs by all the doors and in high-traffic areas (i.e. hallways, foyers, mud rooms) so you can pre-emptively catch any debris before it ends up on your wood floors (and so you don’t have to clean it!).


In a high traffic room, a wood floor needs to be mopped on a monthly basis (less often for spaces that are not used as much). If there are any scuff marks and stains that you are worried about, ask your local flooring experts for tips on removing marks and stains so you can avoid scratching or damaging your wood floor.

Use a wood cleaner approved by the floor manufacturer; using household products can negatively impact any warranty claims you may make and damage the finish on the floor. To find out what cleaner is recommended by your floor’s manufacturer, visit or contact your local flooring store.

As you mop, thoroughly wring out the mop. Try not to leave puddles; standing water can damage the floor. If your floor is incredibly dirty or hasn’t been cleaned in awhile, you may need to get on your hands and knees with a soft cloth (or hire someone who can deep clean your floor).

When you are done mopping, make sure the floor completely dries. If the weather is very humid (like during one of our hot summer days), use fans to dry your floors out.

Deep cleaning

Dealing with a floor with a build up of dirt and grime? Schedule a deep clean with a professional cleaner. Don’t try to tackle the problem on your own with a steam cleaner. Steam cleaners can damage the floors and void the warranty on the floor—exactly what you don’t want when trying to care for your wood floor.

Luxury Vinyl Plank Floors: Is this flooring right for your home?

luxury vinyl plank floorIt’s part of every kitchen, bathroom, living room, or bedroom remodel: choosing flooring. That choice comes with a long list of practical wants that depend on the room. For a bathroom, the flooring should be water and humidity resistant. In a busy household, the floors need to be durable enough to withstand heavy foot traffic. For a family with an eye on the budget, the right floor is affordable. If there is a member of the family that is handy, do-it-yourself installation is at the top of the list.

Once you have a list of criteria for your new floor (i.e. durable, water resistant, budget, DIY), it’s time to sift through the options: carpet, hardwood, engineered wood, laminate, vinyl, carpet tiles, tile. Often, one of the newest floors on the market, does not appear on the list: luxury vinyl plank.

Style-wise, luxury vinyl plank floors mimic the look of wood or tile flooring and come in a variety of colors and size options. For the look of wood, today’s luxury vinyl plank floors come in wide-plank, traditional, rustic, or even reclaimed style. If tile is the top choice, luxury vinyl plank floors come in all shapes and colors. Beyond style, luxury vinyl plank floors come with a list of other benefits.


Luxury vinyl plank floors are ideal for busy households with pets and kids. These floors are ideal for high traffic areas (or high traffic homes) without a constant fear of damage and staining.

Water resistant

Water is a part of a busy household, especially in laundry rooms, foyers, kitchens, and bathrooms. Luxury vinyl plank floors are water resistant, meaning that luxury vinyl floors are not as likely to be damaged by water puddles.

Easy to clean

Water spills and pet accidents are a common occurrence in a busy household. When either occurs in a home with luxury plank floors, the clean up is easy—as well as the maintenance to keep luxury vinyl floors looking great. Any messes can be easily wiped or swept up, and regular cleanings with approved products can keep the floor in like-new shape.

Easy to install

If you’re a handy person who has tackled do-it-yourself projects in the past, ask your salesperson about luxury vinyl plank floors that can be installed. Similar to laminate floors, some luxury vinyl planks can be snapped together. For a stone look, luxury vinyl planks can be installed with or without grout.

Basement approved

Hardwoods are not recommended for basements because the concrete slab is porous, exposing the wood to moisture. For the look of hardwood flooring without the risk, ask your flooring salesperson to see luxury vinyl flooring for a basement rec room, playroom, man cave, or craft room.


Luxury vinyl plank floors come in a variety of styles—and in a variety of prices. Follow local flooring pros on social media to take advantage of the latest sales on luxury vinyl floors or stop in to check out the prices (and styles) for yourself.

6 Tile Home Design Ideas that Wow

bathroom with tile around tub and on floorInspiration. Everyone needs it at times—especially when we’re staring at an outdated room, trying to find anything that inspires us. We stand there looking at a blank canvas thinking, “How do I want my new kitchen to look? What design would make my bathroom stand out? Where do I start?  What inspires me?”

If a bathroom or kitchen is your blank canvas, one of the easiest places is to find inspiration is the biggest part of the design: tile. There are so many fantastic tiles on the market today, and so many different ways to use them to make your bathroom or kitchen look like a unique work of art.

If you’re searching for tile inspiration, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of home tile design ideas that can get your creative process started—and end with a beautiful new room.

Neutral bling

stone backsplash in neutral tones with gloss

The term “neutral bling” may seem like an oxymoron, but today’s tiles come in a variety of neutral designs that are anything but boring.

Classic subway tile

kitchen back splash

If you’re looking for a look that’s as classic and clean, ask about classic subway tile. Today’s subway tiles come in different sizes with unique variations that give every bathroom and kitchen a one-of-a-kind look. To add a punch of color, ask about distinctive tile patterns or mosaic tiles that can be installed with your choice of subway tile.

Tile walls

bathroom mirror in front of tiled wall

What rule says you can’t install tile behind your mirror or from floor to ceiling? If you want to include a feature tile wall in your design, make sure you consult a designer or talk to an expert who can help you coordinate your floor and wall tile for a coordinated look.

Tile patterns

tile floor in bathroom with white vanity and tile shower

Another trend that inspires (and frankly, is incredibly exciting!) is the new patterns that tiles are installed in—or the combination of patterns that set a bathroom or kitchen apart. For a new take on a classic tile, ask the tile pros about installing your floor or surround tiles in a chevron, diagonal, or stacked pattern for a bigger statement.

Classic Clean (and white!)

bathroom with tile floor that can handle water

When it comes to tile, white is the new black. It’s easy to see why: white tiles give any room a fresh, clean look. Depending on the look you’re going for, ask your tile pro about using a non-traditional color grout for a starker contrast or a classic grout color for a room with a traditional design.

Neutral statement

tile flooring in entryway with front table and lamp

No matter the color or design, tile makes a strong statement. This kind of flooring is also incredibly durable and water resistant, making it ideal for any room. Make your room feel welcoming by choosing a tile that gives the room a warm and cohesive look. If you’re completely lost on what tile fits those criteria, ask a designer for their recommendation.

Where do I start my remodeling project?

remodeled kitchen that adds valueRenovating the bathroom. Remodeling a kitchen. Finishing the basement. Updating the laundry room. New home remodeling projects are exciting. Just the thought of the finished room can give you goose bumps (and lots of oohs and ahs when the project is done!).

What your home renovation shouldn’t bring is buyer’s regret. Before you take your first sledge hammer swing, use these planning steps to make sure you’re happy with the finished project.

Decide what you want from your new room.

Before you look at flooring or choose a color for the walls, think about what you want from your new room. Do you need a more functional layout? Are there any things about your current room you really hate? What do you want out of the new room?

For example, if your bathroom is your next remodeling project, think about functionality. Do you need room for a bath tub? How many people are using the bathroom? Do you need a luxurious master bath? Or a more functional bathroom for your kids? Does your guest bathroom need lots of storage for your out-of-town guests?

Finishing a basement can come with even more questions. What do you need the space for: storage, rec room, media room, game room, man cave, craft room, bedroom?

Asking yourself these questions can help you as lay out the room and make decisions about materials for the room. If you are remodeling a bathroom for small children, look for materials that are durable and water resistant (for all those fun bath times and impromptu water fights!). For a basement media room, soundproofing is the theme as you sort through your options for insulation, flooring, and furniture.

Get ideas.

Don’t feel you have to wrack your brain for an original new layout or design. Look up ideas for your project on the internet (such as Houzz). Make a list of your favorite ideas or bookmark rooms that you like. If you want to find in-person inspiration, head into your local tile or flooring store to see materials. For advice from a pro, choose a store that has a designer on staff that can lend their expertise to your project.

Set a budget+.

The answers to your questions may guide your material decisions, but your budget has the final say. Decide how many funds you want to allocate to your project. Don’t shy away from your project if your budget is not overwhelming; little changes (such as painted cabinets, new flooring or tile) can make a big difference. If your room is large, such as a basement, ask your store about discounts for volume purchases. Be sure to include funds in the budget to pay for any surprises that can arise along the way, such as rewiring, plumbing, water damage, or anything else that could come up during the renovation.


Decide whether you are going to tackle the project (or parts of the project) yourself. As you shop, ask about discounts for materials you can buy yourself (and use this list of floors you can install as a DIY project). If you are feeling less than handy, choose simpler projects that you can easily complete.

If just the term do-it-yourself makes you cringe, or you don’t have time, add ‘look for a local contractor’ to your to-do list. Ask your friends and family for recommendations, or look for a list of local contractors online. If they have a website or social media page, browse through their gallery, reviews, and testimonials to get an idea of the quality of their work. Vet your contractors carefully; you are trusting your home and funds to this person. Ask them these questions:

  • Do you have any past clients I can contact for testimonials? (Make sure you ask past clients for information about payments and if they are satisfied.)
  • How long you have you been a contractor?
  • Have you completed a project like mine before?
  • Will you get permits for the project?
  • What is the timeline for the project?
  • How do you handle payments? Do you require a down payment?
  • When can you get started?
  • Do you have any ideas for my project? (Don’t forget to ask this. Experienced contractors have seen it all and can give you great ideas for your project.)
  • When will I hear from you again? Do you need anything from me?

Finalize your plan.

Once you’ve done your research, finalize the plan for your new space (you’re on your way to the finished project!). If you haven’t done so yet, head into your local stores to choose flooring, cabinets, window treatments (or to ask a designer to find the right design that fits your needs and preferences). Most importantly, make sure your layout is set; making changes to the room layout can incur significant costs that can increase your budget. Once you’ve got all the details set, it’s time to dream of the final project and look forward to enjoying your finished space.

Ways to Save Money on Basement Flooring

family in basement media roomFinishing your basement involves a lot of steps: waterproofing, framing, drywalling, lighting, plumbing (if needed), flooring, furnishings. All those steps add up, both in terms of energy and funds (especially if you get expensive surprises along the way!). If you find those costs are adding up OR if you’re looking for ways to stretch those budget dollars, use these tips to save money on one key part of your basement project: flooring.

Invest in carpet remnants.

Carpet is one of the most common choices for basement flooring; it’s soft, affordable, and comes in a variety of piles and colors. Carpet also comes with a low-cost option: carpet remnants. Carpet remnants are what’s left of a roll of carpet and are usually sold at a discount at your local flooring store. The only draw back is that remnants usually are smaller and fit only in smaller rooms. However, carpet remnants are still perfect for smaller bedrooms, craft rooms, offices, or any other basement space. Ask your local flooring pros what size remnants they have available that fit in your basement.

Buy a DIY floor.

If you want to save on labor costs (and feel fairly handy), choose a flooring that you can install yourself. Wood floors should not be installed in basements (here’s why wood floors and basements should not mix), but engineered wood and luxury vinyl tile can be installed as a floating floor. Head into your local flooring store to ask them to show you DIY floor samples you can install yourself and fit your budget.

Look into carpet tiles.

Carpet tiles offer some of the same benefits of carpet, but with a do-it-yourself option. Carpet tiles are not installed with a padding which makes it less complicated than carpet installation. Another benefit of carpet tiles is that if one is damaged or stained, it can be replaced with another carpet tile. Carpet tiles come in a variety of colors and patterns, giving you plenty of options for a custom, unique flooring design. If you want to save money on more than installation, head into a local flooring store and ask about a discount for a volume purchase.

Waterproof, waterproof, waterproof.

When you finally complete a basement installation, it’s an accomplishment—especially if you finish under budget. Don’t expose yourself—or your budget—to the added expense of replacing the floor. Make sure your waterproofing job is complete. If you have any doubts, install a floor that is not easily damaged by flooding: vinyl (we’ve even seen vinyl flooring survive being submerged under flood waters in a basement). Ask your flooring salesperson to recommend vinyl floors that can hold up to water and look great, then sit back and enjoy your finished basement (done under budget!).

What flooring can I install in my basement?

carpet in basement that can handle basement moistureFinishing your basement is an exciting project. There’s so much empty space and so many possibilities. From top to bottom, there’s a million decisions to make: paint color, furniture, trim color, flooring. The last item on the list, flooring, comes with a small twist.

That small twist is water. Because basements are below ground, moisture seeps through the walls and floors. Not all types of flooring can take the moisture, leaving you with damaged and stained floors that you need to replace within a few years.

We’ve divided your basement flooring options into two categories: DIY & installer (schedule an installer by contacting local professionals). The DIY basement flooring options allow you to save money by installing the floors yourself. You can find these floors at your local flooring stores (ask about a discount for buying in bulk). Use these tips to guarantee a successful basement floor installation.

DIY Options

Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl can check off a lot of boxes for basement flooring: the product comes in planks that can be installed as a DIY project, isn’t affected by moisture, and comes in a variety of looks and colors. These floors come in long tiles that give the floor a modern look, wood that looks like genuine hardwoods, or in a stone pattern that looks like slate or porcelain.

Engineered Hardwood

To be clear, hardwood floors should not be installed in a basement because of moisture. Water seeps up through the basement slab, warping and damaging wood flooring. If you still want wood flooring in your basement, choose the next best thing: engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood is made up of many layers, including the top layer which is 100% wood. Because of the construction, engineered wood is safe to install over a concrete slab. (Many engineered hardwood floors can also be installed as a floating floor.)


Porcelain and ceramic tile looks great in any basement, and are available in long slats, square tiles, colors, and patterns. Tiles are a natural conductor of heat, which make them a great flooring to install over radiant heating. Today’s tile products look like stone or wood and can be installed with or without grout lines.

Carpet tile

Carpet tile is an ideal option for basements. They offer the softness of carpeting, a custom design, and a unique way to clean-up. Depending on the carpet tile you choose, carpet tiles can be laid out in any pattern you want. If a carpet tile gets dirty, it can be cleaned or swapped out with another carpet tile. Carpet tiles are ideal for office spaces, rec rooms, day care spaces, and game rooms.

Installer Options


For homeowners who don’t want to take on a do-it-yourself project, carpet is a great choice for basements. Carpet is soft, easy-to-care-for, and a warm barrier over a basement concrete slab. Today’s carpet comes in almost every color and style, and can fit any budget. If you’re worried about the latter, consider purchasing a carpet remnant. Carpet remnants are the “leftovers” from a roll; these pieces can be fairly large and are sold at a discounted rate. If you’re considering a remnant, visit your local flooring store to see what options are available for your basement.


Vinyl flooring can handle all the water in your basement; we’ve even seen some vinyl floors survive after being submerged under water (perfect for a basement that is prone to flooding-make sure you tell your flooring salesperson that your basement floods). Vinyl floors are typically glued down and come in a variety of colors and patterns.

How do I keep my hardwood floors looking new?

wood floors in home with grand piano and furnitureHardwood floors have been installed in homes, it seems, since the beginning of time. You can see why: they’re beautiful, stunning, a selling feature, and the source of many compliments. Hardwoods are also a considerable investment, which is why it should be the goal of every homeowner to keep their floors looking like the day they were installed.

Keep the grit and water away.

There are two enemies of hardwood floors: debris and water. Debris (think stones, gravel, and other debris that gets tracked in) can scratch your floor. Water can warp and leave permanent water stains (as well as doing long-term damage). If you want to keep your hardwoods from getting damaged from either of these culprits, prevent the damage before it occurs. Place rugs by all your exterior doors to catch all the debris and water that your pets, family, and guests track in.

If you would rather that your family and guests leave their shoes by the door, provide adequate space for their shoes in an organized mud room. Train your pets to stop inside the door so you can wipe off their paws before they run onto your hardwoods.

Regularly sweep and dry mop your floors.

For any grit and water that slips past your rugs, follow a regular schedule of sweeping and dry mopping your floors. If you see a water spill, dry it up immediately; never leave water sitting on your hardwoods, which can warp or stain the wood.

If you want to use a vacuum cleaner, stop in at your local flooring store and ask for recommendations for a vacuum cleaner that won’t damage the floor or void the warranty. Some flooring manufacturers won’t honor the warranty if you don’t use a vacuum they recommend.

Be careful with a steam cleaner.

Steam cleaners may seem like the answer to your hardwood deep cleaning, but proceed with caution. Because steam cleaners use steam (water!) to clean the floors, they can cause unforeseen damage to the wood. Any damage from a steam cleaner is usually not covered under the warranty by the flooring manufacturer.

Schedule a regular deep cleaning for your hardwoods.

Even with the most consistent hardwood floor cleaning and maintenance, hardwood floors can still develop a coating of dirt and grime. You may not even notice it, but it still needs to be removed for the long-term health of your floors. Schedule a regular hardwood floor deep cleaning to remove any dirt, allergens, or residue. Deep cleaning your hardwood floors can also restore the shine of your floors and make them look brand new again—just like the day your floors were installed.

Floor Cleaning Tips that Get You Through the Holidays

holiday tree, fireplace with stockings in homeThe holidays are time of holiday gatherings, decorating for get-togethers, and cleaning for holiday parties. Add in our winter weather, and you can see that the holidays are really hard on our floors. That’s why we’ve put together these floor cleaning tips that get your flooring through the holidays without looking like it was trampled on by Santa and all his reindeer.

Protect your floors from your Christmas tree.

A real Christmas tree can be a beautiful holiday decoration, but the water in the stand can be hazardous for your floors. Before you put up your Christmas tree, put a tray under the stand to ensure that water does not spill and damage or stain your floor.

Don’t skimp on the rugs.

Everyone tracking snow and water in and out of your home may be part of fun holiday gathering, but it can do real damage to your floors. Put down rugs by every door to catch anything your guests track in. If you want everyone to leave their shoes by the door, organize an area for your guests so they can easily leave and find their shoes when all the fun is over.

Make sure you are protected from scratches with felt pads.

One of the best ways to protect your wood and laminate floors is by putting felt pads on the bottom of your furniture (couches, table, chairs, etc.) Felt pads do wear down, so make sure you replace the felt pads with new ones from time to time.

Be careful using a steam cleaner on wood floors.

Steam cleaners can be tempting when you’re trying to give your floor a deep clean for your holiday gatherings, but be careful. Steam cleaners can damage wood floors, and many of the top wood floor manufacturers do not recommend using a steam cleaner on wood flooring. The manufacturer’s warranty can also be voided if you clean a wood floor with a steam cleaner.

Keep a cleaner and rag close at hand.

Water spills (like melted snow) can damage laminate and wood floors. Soda and wine spills can leave a permanent mark on your carpeting. Be ready to clean up those flooring stains with a soft rag and cleaner that you can grab quickly every time you see a spill (and make sure you blot, don’t scrub, at the spill).

Don’t test out your floor cleaner for the first time over the holidays.

To avoid carpet discoloration and damage, make sure you test out your cleaner on an area that’s not visible to your guests. Test your cleaner in a closet or corner so you can be confident in your cleaner every time you clean your carpet. If you want a floor cleaner that the pros would recommend, stop in at your local flooring store.

Make sure you include vacuuming and dry moping in your holiday clean-up.

Regular maintenance is the key to keeping your floors look like new (and can be invaluable if you have to file a warranty claim). When all the holiday fun is over, make sure you vacuum and dry mop so your floors look like the day they were installed.

Schedule a post-holiday carpet clean.

After all the holiday gatherings are over, have your floors professionally carpet cleaned to rid your floors of any dirt that came from an entertaining holiday season. A professional carpet clean can also remove allergens, giving you and your family a fun winter even after the holidays are done.

Questions to Ask Before Buying New Carpet

bedroom with new carpet and fresh home decor ideasThere are many different kinds of carpet on the market (and we don’t just mean different colors!). It can be challenging to choose the right carpet for your home—and, if you’re like most people, it’s not a decision you take lightly. No one wants to invest their time and effort into buying new carpeting only to replace it within a short time.

The first step to buying the right carpet is to find floor experts to help you with the decision. Talk to local pros to find out what carpet is right for your home. Give them information like what room you want the carpet for, if it’s a high traffic area (that gets a lot of foot and paw traffic), estimated size of your room, and any other information that would play into your decision. Once you start looking at carpet samples, ask your carpet salesman:

Is the carpet water-resistant?

This is a question you should ask if your carpet is near an exterior doorway or bathroom. Water-resistant carpet can also come in handy if you have to deal with frequent spills and accidents.

Is this product meant for high traffic areas? Does this carpet have any built-in protection for stains?

If you have a busy household, this question is a must. Some carpets are produced specifically for high-traffic households. Look for carpets that have durability features, such as water-resistant or air-freshening. Unfortunately, you may have to steer away from shag carpets which do not always hold up the best in high-traffic households.

What kind of upkeep does this carpet require? What is the warranty?

No one wants to think about their new carpet under-performing, but this question can save you from a lot of stress later. Evaluate how much upkeep you can provide (vacuuming and carpet cleaning), and choose a carpet that matches your time and effort. For example, if you want carpet for a playroom but don’t have a lot of time for maintenance, ask about carpet tiles that you can pull up and replace when they get damaged or stained.

To prevent any damage, also ask your salesman about your vacuum cleaner to ensure that your appliance won’t damage your new carpet. The type of vacuum cleaner you use may also come into question if you need to use the warranty.

Don’t hesitate to ask your carpet salesman for a carpet they’ve seen work in other local homes. A good carpet retailer can tell you has worked and hasn’t worked at other customer’s homes.

What is the total cost (with installation, carpet pad, etc.)?

If you’re on a tight budget, ask your salesman to give you an idea of the total cost. Remember, this is only an estimate; you’ll get a better idea when an estimator comes to your home and measures the room. Your estimator can also give you an idea of any additional costs, such as doors that need to be modified or thresholds that need to be replaced.

There are other questions that you can ask your salesman, such as asking about a softer carpet recommendation or a carpet that can be made into an area rug. Once your new carpet is installed, you can relax and be grateful you asked all those questions.