Choosing the Right Floor Cleaning Supplies

Knowing the right floor cleaning supplies to use will help maintain the quality and look of your floors. Different floor materials require different cleaners and tools.

For all floor types, sweeping regularly will reduce the build-up of dirt and grime. On tile and laminate floors, dirt and dust that remain on your floors will mix with water or other liquids that are spilled and will create dirt spots and stains. On wood floors, dirt and sand particles can actually gouge, scratch and dent the wood, causing permanent damage that can only be fixed by sanding and refinishing. In selecting a broom, choose one with stiff but flexible bristles that will cling to dirt. For particularly soft wood floors, a synthetic broom is preferable over a corn broom, as the latter tends to be very stiff and can scratch floors. Another way to help protect floors is to use small rugs at entry points or in high-traffic areas. Rugs will help collect and trap the dirt, keeping it off of the rest of the floor.

Even if you sweep your floors often, you will still need to mop them on occasion. In recent years, you have the choice of using an all-one-tool that has an absorbing, scrubbing pad and a cleaning liquid that is dispensed with the push of a button. These work fine on laminate floors, or as a quick cleaner for tile floors. However, these tools do not usually reach the grout on tile floors. To clean your tile floors, a good mop, with either cloth strips or coiled yarn, will effectively scrub at tough spots on both the tile and the grout. In terms of cleaners, you can use just a simple vinegar and water solution or you can use a solution made of floor cleaner and water. Follow directions on the bottle based on how dirty your floor is.

To clean your wood floors, stay away from oil-based soaps. You also do not want to use a large amount of liquid on your floors, as they can warp the floors and leave stains. If you have stains or stuck-on dirt, use a wood-floor spray and a damp rag to clean the spot. Never use the same mop, sponge or rag on your wood floors that you use with harsh cleaners, unless you have washed it thoroughly. Chemical cleaners will strip wood finish and cause damage to your floors.

Is Carpet or a Hard Surface Floor Better for Your Home If You Have Pets?

There are lots of floors that are pet friendly. Hard surface flooring has its advantages though is more expensive. Carpet is a cheaper product but not as good for having animals. Why is this? Carpet is usually manufactured with what is known as a cut pile or a loop pile. If you are buying carpet for your pets, either a cat or a dog, then a loop pile carpet is not a good choice. You will want to stick with a cut pile style of floor covering or a hard surface, such as vinyl, ceramic tile, porcelain tile, or hardwood flooring.

Pets have been known to chew and scratch looped pile styles of carpet so it is best to stick with a hard surface floor. Vinyl flooring mimics hardwood flooring in look and is water resistant as well as super simple to clean up. You can simply sweep up vinyl floors and if your puppy has an accident during training, you simply mop it up and then dry it with a towel.

You will be very pleased with how your hard surface flooring holds up to pets. While the extra expense of vinyl floors or tile floors is a factor in the beginning, your carpet will look really bad over time with having a pet in the home. The smell will start to be noticeable as well as the constant hassle of having to sweep carpets. Installing a vinyl floor will save you tons of hours in cleanup time as well as replacement costs.

So what is the best flooring for Pets?

If you can spend a few extra dollars in the beginning, about $1-3 per square foot, then vinyl flooring will be your best value, whether it is the peel and stick plank vinyl or the rolled vinyl. The rolled vinyl may not cost much more than carpet. You will never have to vacuum your floors again and will never have the smell of your stinky dog in the house either!

You can also install ceramic or porcelain tiles but the problem there is you have about a $5 per square foot installation cost. It is cost prohibitive to put this in throughout your entire home. I would stick to vinyl floors if any type of liquid, spill, or other type of water may come in contact with your floors. Hardwood is always an amazing choice since it is the best, but it cannot get wet and needs resurfacing every few years.

With vinyl flooring you never have to worry about resurfacing, fading, scratching, or water problems. If vinyl gets wet you just wipe it up and there is no aftermath to deal with.

When shopping for the right vinyl flooring, keep in mind that you want to pick a slightly lighter shade for your home than you think. Take a piece home and put it on the floor and you will see it is darker than you thought. Make sure the vinyl is the right type of pattern you like as well. If you have never installed vinyl flooring, make sure you get a good installer too since it is a special type of flooring.

In summary, the best carpet pales in comparison to vinyl flooring if you have pets and can afford just a slightly more expensive floor for your home. Vinyl can be installed wall to wall just like carpet, and can even go in your bathrooms, unlike carpet.

Considering Wooden Flooring

Wooden flooring could almost be seen as a new product considering how many improvements there have been in recent years. However, many people don’t even consider a wooden floor, regardless of all the advantages. Due to many old misconceptions, some which were true but are no longer, and some that really never were, lots of folks dismiss wooden floors outright. Let’s see what’s changed by taking a look at some of those old ideas.

Is Wooden Flooring Difficult To Maintain?

This may have been the case with the wooden floors of yesterday, but no longer. Newer, quality wooden flooring has a top coating that is made to be refinished, but even that is not always necessary. In reality, even the cheapest wood floors can be kept looking nice with strategic use of area rugs, and being sure to always use floor protectors with furniture. The only real concern with a modern wooden floor that is not always controllable is moisture.

Wooden Flooring Is Expensive

Like anything quality, wood floors can end up being costly. To say that wooden flooring is the most expensive of all floors is not necessarily true, however. Since this product comes more directly from a natural source than many other types of flooring, the region in which you live can have a large impact on prices. There are also aesthetic considerations that really don’t exist with many other types of flooring. If wooden floors seem extremely pricey, be sure that you’re comparing apples to apples. You may find that you’re comparing different quality floors altogether.

Isn’t Wooden Flooring Bad For The Environment?

This is one of the biggest myths surrounding wooden floors and, ironically, is also the furthest from the truth. We all know that wood comes from trees, and that, in recent years, trees have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Well, this is what we think we know, anyway, because we see trees being bulldozed and hear all the reports of doom from the media. The truth is, there was actually less standing hardwood timber fifty years ago. This is due to careful management of forests that are grown specifically for this purpose. No other type of flooring comes directly from a resource that can be, and is, simply regrown.

Isn’t Wooden Flooring Bad For Allergy Sufferers?

You’re probably used to being attacked by pet dander and dust when you go into homes with wooden floors if you have carpet in your home. However, the home is properly taken care of, wooden floors are actually a lot healthier than any carpet. This is due to the fact that just about anything that causes allergy issues that can float about can also contaminate carpet. Dust, dust mites, toxins, and mold that collect on our clothes every day will inhabit carpeted floors. All that needs to be done to clean a wood floor is a good sweeping. In fact, wooden flooring is nearly impervious to all contamination, unlike just about every other type of flooring.