Vinyl flooring (or “linoleum” as we once commonly called it) has evolved into one of the easiest floor covering products to maintain. Most vinyl floors are installed in rooms that do require some extra care, such as kitchens, bathrooms and mudrooms. Since items like tomato sauces, hairspray and grit and sand cause some concerns for vinyl floors, proper daily care is required.
Keeping the floor clean is not hard, but there are some guidelines to increase the life of your flooring.
Dust, sand and grit particles are the enemy. Sweep or vacuum frequently. Don’t use a vacuum with a beater bar as it may scratch your floor. And don’t use scrub brushes.
When sweeping or vacuuming does not remove the dirt, mop the floor with clean warm water. Rinse the floor thoroughly with fresh water.
If water alone does not clean the surface, use cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer. Most -no-rinse- cleaners will work just fine.
When all else fails, use your head. No – not like that, silly! An ounce or so of liquid detergent or ammonia in a gallon of water will work, but you will need to rinse the floor well.
Do NOT use detergents, abrasive cleaners or “mop and shine” products.
And always toss in an ounce of prevention. Mats or rugs in front of outside doors will help keep the dust and grit from getting to the floor in the first place. Be sure the mats and rugs you buy are for vinyl floors. Some rubber-backed mats may leave stains or marks.
General daily maintenance requires vacuuming, sweeping and dust mopping. Several generic cleaning solutions are also available to clean vinyl floors. Most major vinyl flooring manufacturers have their own cleaning products with complete instructions. Also, most manufacturers have a two or three-part maintenance package, which includes a cleaner, stripper and refinisher. The cleaners are designed for regular use. Typically, this product is used as weekly cleaner that is diluted and mopped onto the floor. The “stripper” is used once or twice a year, to remove any soapy residue, that slowly builds up over time. The “refinisher” or “dressing” is done rarely, but it does help to restore the original luster to the floor. It is very important that you follow the maintenance schedule of the product you purchase. Ask your retailer or manufacturer on the specifics of maintaining your floor, as your warrantee will likely depend on it.Vinyl flooring can be damaged fairly easily. Care must be taken to use felt, or other types, of chair and furniture pads. These pads will help to prevent damage to your flooring caused by moving furniture. Most manufacturers recommend that chairs with rollers not be used on sheet vinyl flooring. If a floor does get damaged and a small cut is visible, manufacturers suggest using a small amount of seam sealer to close the gap and protect the floor from further damage. The seam sealer is normally used to bond two pieces of vinyl flooring together. The best way to keep your vinyl floor looking its best is to understand its limitations. You must follow the maintenance techniques and schedules of the flooring you purchase. You should also use floor protectors (felt or other) under chairs and other furniture on the flooring. As stated earlier, vinyl flooring is a durable flooring option, however, it can be damaged. With proper care, you will enjoy your vinyl floor for many years to come.
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