This post includes a product review, for which I was compensated with free product. I am very choosy about the products I review, and I will always give my 100% honest opinion on the product. I promise!
The Big White Box is getting new floors!!! We are making excellent progress on our DIY floor install and are about 75% finished with the ground floor. I couldn’t wait to get my sofas and rug arranged on the new living room floor this week! I am really enjoying just looking at the beautiful laminate and seeing how it flows from room to room, even though it’s not completely finished.
Yes, they are LAMINATE! I don’t think they look it, but they are!
I love these floors so much I actually WANT to clean them! So I’ve been researching and experimenting with how best to take care of the new floors, because I know firsthand the cost and work involved in getting new flooring. So today I’ve put together a few tips and ideas for taking great care of your laminate and hardwood floors so they will go the distance while retaining their beauty.
Protecting Your Floors
First tip is to keep your floors clean – duh! Keeping your floors clean is the best way to protect them from damage, and there are a few ways to do this. First, definitely clean up any spills immediately, especially liquid, as it will seep into the joints and bow your beautiful floor in no time. I can’t stress this enough. If you procrastinate, you will regret it.
If you have an ice/water dispenser on your fridge, it’s a good idea to put down a small throw rug in front to catch those sneaky ice cubes that escape from the freezer when no one is watching. Also, a mat in front of the kitchen sink with catch drips as you wash dishes and/or load the dishwasher.
Another tip is to take your shoes off at the front door or entry point you use. This one is going to be an adjustment for me. It may be helpful to have a bench to sit on with baskets underneath for shoe storage, similar to the one I shared in this post.
Lastly, you can protect your floors by using rugs in high traffic areas and entry points. Namely, at the front door, back door and mud room or garage door, you will want to put down small rugs to catch dirt and gravel that come in from the outside.
It’s also a good idea to use large area rugs in family and dining spaces, as these tend to be high use, high traffic areas that get subjected to a lot of spills. Many of us do a lot of eating on the sofa (you know who you are), and the floors around the sofa can get damaged if there isn’t a rug to catch spills. A great rug pad should be used under all rugs to again, protect the floor, and also to prevent the rugs from slipping around, which can be a safety hazard, as well as just plain annoying.
I’ve got several great rug pads from Rug Pad Corner and they are really great pads. Unlike most rug pads, they are nice and thick, so they make the floor area around the sofa much more cushy and comfortable. I really like this feature, because I have a toddler boy that thinks its the greatest thing to run and jump on the sofa, which of course, always leads to falling off the sofa. I feel a lot better knowing he has some cushion under him.
Also, the rubber backing on these things is amazing – those rugs are not going anywhere. RugPadCorner stocks rugs for every type of flooring, including for those with radiant heat flooring, so whatever you have, they’ve got you covered. Also, their rugs are made with natural recycled felt or natural untreated rubber, never any chemicals, glues or adhesives, and utilize only American made fibers and materials. They are 100% American-made!
Lastly, they cut each rug pad to order, so if you want a pad for a 5×8′ rug that’s just a bit smaller, you can choose to have them trim it down when you order; you can really customize the size, which is great. Head over and check out their selection and features at rugpadcorner.com.
Cleaning Your Floors
Cleaning laminate floors especially can be a bit tricky if you haven’t done your research. Laminate these days is highly durable and scratch resistant. One thing it’s not is water resistant. The smallest bit of water sitting on the floor can warp the boards. So I’m gonna put this in all caps and bold it to emphasize it’s importance:
DO NOT MOP LAMINATE FLOORS WITH REGULAR MOPS AND WATER!
The key to cleaning laminate and hardwood floors effectively, yet safely, is to use the right products with a scant amount of water. You just want the slightest bit of dampness to pick up dirt and sticky stuff. If you have a spot that really needs some scrubbing use a damp cloth and scrub with your hands. Otherwise, clean the floor as follows.
Use a non-brushing vacuum such as stick vacuum to get all the dirt and food particles up; or just do it the old-fashioned way with a broom and dust pan. Next, get a microfiber or cloth mop such as this one that I have. Mix up your cleaning solution according to the recipe below in a spray bottle made for cleaning solutions.
Mix in a spray bottle:
– 32 ounces water
– 1/4 cup vinegar (2 oz)
*Ratio of vinegar to water is 1:16 – use this ratio to mix in any quantity you want.
You will use this solution by spraying the mop directly, not the floor, and then using the mop to clean the floor. This is how you get just enough dampness to clean but not enough to risk any damage to your floors. I’ve also found that if you use too much solution, you get a little film on the surface as well. If you do get a bit of film, go back over the floor with a clean, dry mop head or even a Swiffer with a dry sweeper pad on it, to sort of buff out the film, and give a nice sparkle to your freshly cleaned floor.
So go ahead and try this cleaning method and let me know what you think. Got any other tips or ideas for laminate or hardwood floors? Let me know in the comments below!