Monthly Archives: December 2017

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.