#1 Eco-friendly Carpet Versions Available
Carpeting floors used to mean installing rolls of synthetic materials that were saturated with volatile organic compounds and other toxic chemicals that impair indoor air quality for years after initial installation. Also, health-harming flame retardants are usually found in the foam padding that lies beneath most conventional carpeting. More sustainable carpeting options are available to today’s homeowners. Eco-friendly carpeting materials include wool, wool and silk blends and sea grass. Wool, natural rubber and cotton are a few non-toxic padding choices. Even conventional carpeting materials trap dust and airborne allergens which would otherwise aggravate respiratory conditions. Homeowners can then remove the dust particles by vacuuming with a high-quality vacuum cleaner.
#2 Warmth and Insulation
Very few people enjoy placing their feet on cold, hard floors first thing in the morning. Those who have wall-to-wall carpeting installed do not have to subject themselves to this disagreeable way of preparing for a new day. Carpeting is warmer to the touch than hardwood, tile and stone. When paired with quality padding, it also provides floors with an extra insulating layer that reduces energy bills.
#3 Noise Reduction
The insulating benefits of wall-to-wall carpets also reduce noise levels throughout a home. When carpet is installed on second-story floors, the sounds of footsteps, stereos and television sets are dampened. This feature is particularly noticeable for households that have active children and pets.
#4 Available Colors
The color choices for carpets are nearly endless, and we’ve seen that some interior designers create signature fashion statements through the clever use of color. For instance, they can make large rooms look cozier and more inviting by using deeper hues for carpeting. Also, carpets that display accent colors against neutral backgrounds are on trend.
#5 Wide Choice of Patterns and Textures
We’ve also seen an uptick in professional interior decorators and do-it-yourself remodelers taking advantage of available pattern and texture options for carpeting to add drama to contemporary room designs. In these homes, subtle carpeting patterns coordinate with window covering and furniture fabrics. Designers also create upscale looks by using our textured carpets to provide a contrast for clean-line, modern furnishings.
Many families desire a home that exudes comfort and well-being for all who shelter there. Wall-to-wall carpet, which feels soft and luxurious to the touch, helps to provide that atmosphere. Our clients who have toddlers and small children who are just learning to walk often choose carpeting to cover all or part of their homes’ floors.
#7 The Price Is Right
Carpets can last up to 10 years if they are properly cleaned and maintained according to leading manufacturers of our quality brands. Carpeting installation is usually less expensive per square foot than installing hardwood floors. Also, installing hardwood flooring is more labor intensive than installing carpet throughout a home. While prices vary by region, carpeting can cost between $3 and $5 per square foot; hardwood floor installations cost between $9 and $12 per square foot.
#8 Low Maintenance
We’ve found that busy households need all the help that they can get when it comes to keeping their homes clean and neat. Carpeting is a relatively low-maintenance floor covering that usually requires only weekly vacuuming and yearly professional deep cleaning. Alternately, hardwood and laminate floors must be swept and mopped more often than carpeting. Families with small children and pets often need to sweep hardwood floors daily to maintain tidy homes.
#9 Slip Resistant
Many of our customers are caretakers for aging parents or grandparents as well as for their own children. This is often a contributing factor when they choose wall-to-wall carpet over other floor materials. Carpeting provides a slip resistant surface that reduces incidences of dangerous falls for elderly household members. Wall-to-wall carpets with thick piles are usually more difficult to navigate for those in wheelchairs; we recommend carpeting that has a thinner pile and quality padding to accommodate wheelchair use. The youngest of family members also benefit from floors that resist slips and cushion falls as they learn to walk and play at home.
#10 Excellent Manufacturer Warranties
Deciding to install wall-to-wall carpeting is a significant home improvement investment, and homeowners always want the assurance that they are purchasing the right product for their unique needs. Investigating product warranties often helps them in the decision-making process. Today’s wall-to-wall carpet warranties go beyond the basic wear warranty that just assures that carpets will not fall apart with normal use. Our clients can now get texture retention, fade resistance, soil resistance and stain resistance warranties.
Seven Tips: Add Value, and Help You Sell Your Home
Deciding to sell your home may seem like a massive undertaking. Be prepared to prioritize any necessary repairs to increase the home’s resale value on the market. When you improve the condition of the property, you can maximize your return on investment by quickly closing the deal. This article provides seven helpful tips on the most essential repairs your home might require in order to improve the home’s resale value and generate the most profit.
Considerations for Upgrades
Many sellers are constrained by a limited budget. To get a reasonable return on this investment, you have to make good decisions about any repairs. It will also be necessary to account for multiple variables that affect the home’s overall market value. This includes the condition of similar properties as well as the average value of other homes in the neighborhood.
Most experts advise performing repairs that are consistent with the quality of similar homes, and avoid making any repairs that are too flashy for the neighborhood. For example, if the home is located in an area where there are no swimming pools, installing a pool is unlikely to increase the value of your home relative to the costs of the upgrade. Try to strike a balance between investing in renovations that are cosmetic and structural repairs, which appeal mostly to experienced buyers.
Increase Home’s Resale Value in Seven Steps
1. New Carpet: Enhancing the condition of the carpet is an essential upgrade for any home that is going to be sold on the market. Fresh carpet is appealing because it makes the home feel brand new. Any home that has stains and other dirt baked into the carpet will be perceived as less valuable than a home that has a clean, new look on the floors. The perception of value is as important as the actual market value in many of these cases.
2. Fresh Coat of Quality Paint: A fresh coat of high-quality paint creates a positive first impression, and it can dramatically improve the appearance of a home that requires additional work. Always consider the effect of any sunlight that enters the room when choosing a color, and avoid bright or high-contrast colors. Muted tones work the best, and it gives the impression of a properly maintained space. The scent of fresh paint is an effective way to create an environment that is welcoming to the buyer. Avoid cheap paint whenever possible because this technique will backfire if it starts to peel.
3. Structural and Cosmetic Repairs: Obvious signs of major damage are a big deterrent to most buyers. Roofing renovations can have a large return on investment in these situations. This investment increases the value of the home and increases the prospects of closing the deal. Consider repairing or replacing essential features of the home like the plumbing or HVAC system if you expect to deal with knowledgeable buyers who will have the home inspected before committing to a purchase. If you have any funds left over from structural repairs, consider upgrading the countertops or replacing a key appliance.
4. Insulation Improvements: Insulation upgrades provide a major talking point when a potential buyer is doing a walk-through of the home. Energy-efficient windows are extremely popular with informed home buyers. If the home has an impressive U-factor, make sure that this information is available to the real estate agent in a form that they can use to estimate the monthly cost savings on heating and cooling. Double-pane windows also reduce the monthly utility bills, which improves the buyer’s perception of value. Additional home insulation in the walls can reduce the energy use by up to 30 percent, according to the North American Insulation Manufacturer’s Association, or NAIMA.
5. Replace Old Carpets with Hardwood Floors: Many home buyers prefer hardwood flooring to carpet, so this is an effective renovation that will appeal to these buyers. It is important to make this decision based on the understanding that it will primarily appeal to this group. If you planning to sell your home based on this strategy, make sure that you select a neutral tone of wood to avoid any kind of extreme or overpowering color palette.
6. Tile Flooring: Carpet and hardwood floors appeal to a generic base of home buyers, but tiles express a specific kind of personality. In addition, it is traditional to use ceramic or porcelain tiles for certain rooms inside of the home. You may choose to select an appropriate type of flooring for the kitchen and bathroom areas to provide contrast to the main living room areas. Mute tones that blend in with the paint will appeal to the widest base of home buyers.
7. Clean Entrances: Buyers often make major purchase decisions based on the first impression of the entrance to the home. While the real estate agent is finding the right key, the buyer will be looking around at the condition of the paint, exposed gutter parts, the style of the door and windows, and the front yard. Make this area feel welcoming and warm. Entice your buyers to feel like they would want to experience this place every day.
Additional Considerations to Increase Home’s Resale Value
Classic Floor Designs provides a variety of services and solutions to help you sell your home with the best possible return on your investment. There is no guarantee that any specific renovation will increase the home’s resale value, but there are many ways to improve the odds. For example, the condition of the homes in the surrounding areas can constrain the impact of any curbside improvements. Another point to consider is the overall condition of the home. Some sellers make the mistake of investing in expensive upgrades in a home with a low existing market value. In this situation, the best strategy is to target specific improvements that will increase the value of the home in proportion to the other homes in the area. Contact us today for additional information or a consultation appointment.
Best Flooring for Homes with Pets
Pets are wonderful to have around, but they can wreak havoc on your floors. Pet-friendly flooring is a necessity for any home that has dogs or cats. From tracking mud into the home to scratching the hardwood’s surface, cats and dogs can do an exceptional amount of damage in your home. When you begin to remodel your property, make sure to consider flooring options that work for your pet. Owning a pet does not mean that your home has to be completely destroyed. There are many durable flooring solutions that will not be destroyed by pets and are easy to maintain.
Warm and Durable Solutions
If you live in an all-weather region, you will want a solution that is warm and inviting. The rain and snow that are tracked in also need a type of flooring that can handle the added moisture. As a rule, hardwood flooring is not the most durable choice for pets because their claws can scratch up the wood. Instead, consider carpet-tile for your flooring. Carpet tiles are exceptionally easy to install, and their inexpensive price makes them ideal for any budget.
Carpet Tiles: This option is an excellent alternative to heavy floors. They can be easily assembled in high-use areas in just a day. Best of all, you can pick up the carpet tiles to wash in the sink or the washer. Carpet tiles are an ideal option for the areas that your pets like to be in the most.
Natural, Cool-Looking Solutions for Your Flooring
In warmer climates, homeowners need a flooring option that keeps the heat away. Stone and tile are ideal for these climates. Since these natural flooring options are exceptionally beautiful, they are often used by homeowners who are showing their home to buyers.
Tile: Tile is one of the easiest flooring options because it is simple to maintain and easy to install. For the best appearance, add some stylish rugs into your design. The rugs will help prevent your pets from sliding into the furniture or the walls as they are playing. Plus, a few added rugs will make the ground more comfortable to walk on for older pets.
Stone: Stone has been used as a flooring option for hundreds of years because it is beautiful and easy to clean. This type of flooring is ideal for pet-friendly homes because it is scratch resistant and naturally beautiful. Since it is not as slick as tile, you do not have to worry about your pets slipping around on the floor. Plus, the cool touch of the stone is great for homes in warmer areas.
Concrete: When most people think of concrete, they think of the rough stone that is used in garages and driveways. Over recent years, decorative concrete has developed a new popularity. Unlike the garage floors of the past, the new concrete options can be designed in a variety of different looks. From sleek black flooring to marble-like designs, concrete can be used for any design concept that you are looking for.
Once you install new pet-friendly flooring, it will be a part of your home for years or decades afterward. Due to this, many homeowners are choosing green flooring options for their new floors. Options like cork and bamboo are beautiful flooring options. Best of all, they are ideal for your pets to use.
Bamboo: Bamboo is one of the hardest types of woods, which makes it exceptionally durable. Currently, green companies are trying to figure out ways to tissue culture large bamboos because of their amazing growth ability. Some types of bamboos can grow several feet in a day, which makes bamboo a green alternative to traditional wood floors. Plus, bamboo is water-resistant, exceptionally durable and easy to clean.
Cork: Cork absorbs sound well, which makes it ideal for homes with chattier dogs and cats. This pet-friendly flooring option also has natural antimicrobial properties, so it can reduce allergens and mold in your home. Since cork floors can fade over time, they are best used in rooms or regions of the country that do not receive a lot of sunlight. For the best protection, use a high-quality urethane to coat your floors. By doing this, you can prevent wear and tear over the long run.
Keeping Your Floor in Shape
Before we go through the options for pet-friendly flooring, you should first take some precautions to keep your floor safe. Start by trimming your dog’s nails. This will prevent their nails from scratching the floor and will save you on replacement flooring in the long run.
Meanwhile, move their food, water and toys to a room that is easy to clean. If you keep their food in the kitchen, it will be much easier to mop up any mess that happens. Likewise, you will want to move their toys to a room that can take the abuse or put them outside. This will prevent the floors and furniture from being harmed while your pet plays with their favorite toys.
Near the doorways to your home, place a walk-off mat. When your dog or cat walks over the mat, it will pick up some of the dirt that they drag in. Make sure that you buy a mat that can easily be put in the washer so that you do not end up with an eyesore in your entryway.
Finding Pet-Friendly Flooring Solutions That Last
Your main goal is to find a flooring option that is easy to maintain and durable. The previous options can add value to your home and prevent your pets from damaging the floor. Best of all, many of these options are cheaper than traditional flooring and are mildew-resistant. With the right pet-friendly flooring, you can relax and not worry about the damage that your pet may cause.
Selecting the right hardwood floor color for your home is never as easy as it looks. One color may look amazing at the store, but the lighting and interior design in your home can make it appear completely different. Once your hardwood floor color and finish have been installed, it will be years until they are changed. Due to this, it is important to choose the right hardwood floor color before you spend the time and effort installing hardwood flooring.
The first step in the process is to decide if you want light or dark floors. While both options are beautiful, they have different requirements in terms of maintenance and cleaning. In addition, you will want to make sure that the hardwood flooring matches the interior design and ambiance of your home.
Dark Hardwood Floor Color Options
In recent years, dark wood floors have become a major trend in new properties. The refurbished flooring and vintage material fads have made dark wood highly sought after. From old plantation floors to rich, heart pine boards, dark flooring is coming back in style.
The nice thing about dark woods is that they can work with a number of other colors and designs. You could mix them with earth tones for a bohemian or a natural look. Combined with bright, vivid colors, dark wood floors contrast beautifully for a vibrant living room or dining room. No matter what type of color pallet you want, dark woods can match just about anything.
While many people believe that dark wood is inherently formal, it can actually be used for a comfortable, relaxed interior. If you stain your floors with a darker color, it will make them appear aged like vintage wood. When choosing dark wood flooring, you can use a wood that is naturally dark like walnut or cherry flooring. It is also possible to choose a light-colored floor like oak and stain it to be darker. Basically, you can choose whichever wood fits your budget and style and stain it to match the color that you want.
What Are the Downsides to Darker Floors?
Depending on how sensitive you are to cleanliness, you may want to choose different types of flooring. Throughout the years, children, dogs and general wear can cause scratches to appear on the floors. This process is entirely normal, but it will cause your dark wood flooring to look scuffed up over time.
Fortunately, the scuff marks only affect the hardwood floor finishes that you use. Unless the finish has worn away or something heavy scratches the floor, the scuff marks are unlikely to affect the wood. Due to this, your best option is to choose a flooring that is easy to touch up. There are pre-finished flooring options available that allow you to touch up the finish without having to sand the floor. This simple product makes it easy to remove the dirt, wear and tear that normally happen in daily life.
Places Where You Should Never Use Dark Hardwood Floor Colors
Dark woods have a tendency to make a small room appear even smaller. As a rule, you will want to use a wood that is at least 8 inches wide. In addition to having fewer seams, the wider board will help to balance out the dark color. You may also want to avoid using dark hardwood flooring next to cabinets or furniture that contains dark wood. It can be difficult to get the woods to match up perfectly, and too many dark colors can overwhelm the room. Instead, it may be better to pick cabinetry that contrast with the flooring.
Light Hardwood Floor Color Options
Another option for hardwood floor colors can be found with light wood floors. Strip oak floors have been one of the most popular light wood solutions for the last three decades. These colors work with a variety of interior designs and can be modified to create different looks. In general, floors that have a white finish will match almost any décor. For a different option, light burlap-colored floors can give you the same ambiance without having to install a floor that is actually white.
Beautiful oak and maple floors are some of the most popular light hardwood floor color options available. While these may be the most common, hickory is a gorgeous alternative that is reasonably priced. Unlike dark wood flooring, you will have to select a wood that is already light in color. While you can try staining the wood, it is much easier to start with a hardwood that is already light-colored.
What Are the Downsides to Light Hardwood Floor Colors?
If you want a very light, white finish, it can be difficult to achieve. In some cases, you may have to stain light floors, paint them and add a custom sealer to make sure that the flooring maintains a white color. In addition, you have to be careful to use the right finish to get a whiter tone. Eastern white pine and maple floors should use a clear-based finish to get a light color. If you use an oil-based finish on these floors, they can end up looking yellow.
Places Where You Should Never Use Light Hardwood Floor Colors
In reality, there are very few places where you cannot use a light wood. Light wood floors make it harder to see dust, dirt and debris, which makes them ideal for high traffic areas. In terms of maintenance options, you will want to apply the right sealer to your floor. As long as you have a sealer on your light woods, they will be protected from any spills or scuff marks that occur during daily life.
There are numerous wood types, stains and colors available for your home. Ultimately, your decision is determined by the type of ambiance you want and the lifestyle you live. While light floors hide dust and dirt better, dark wood floors provide a vivid contrast within your home. Take some time to consider the type of wood that matches your interior design because the hardwood flooring could be in your home for decades.
If you’re in the market for new flooring for your home or business and try to lead the most environmentally friendly lifestyle possible, it’s well worth it to explore today’s many stunning, eco-friendly, flooring options. It’s easy to add flooring to the home that is not only sustainable and environmentally responsible but attractive and affordable to boot. Happily, you no longer have to compromise between aesthetics and environmental consciousness when selecting flooring—and you don’t have to spend a fortune to upgrade to green flooring, either.
Eco-Friendly Flooring: The Basics
Like anything that is labeled “green” or “eco friendly,” green flooring is flooring that is healthy for the environment. This may be because it is made out of reclaimed materials, thus preventing them from ending up in landfills. It may also mean being made out of sustainable, renewable materials that don’t have as negative of an impact on the health of the environment. Additionally, green flooring doesn’t contain volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which off-gas into the air and reduce indoor air quality. As a result, it can help improve the overall health and well-being of everyone in the home.
Why Go Green with Flooring?
Replacing flooring in the home gives you the opportunity to make earth friendly choices for whatever you do next. Classic Floor Designs is a major proponent of green flooring, and we offer a wide array of options. Going green with your flooring brings many advantages to the table. By opting for flooring that’s made out of reclaimed or recycled materials, you keep non-biodegradable materials out of landfills. When you choose flooring that’s made out of sustainable materials, you can feel good knowing that the plants that were used to make them will regrow in a timely manner, preventing ongoing damage to the environment. Beyond these benefits, green flooring enhances indoor air quality in a home by eschewing VOCs.
Types of Eco-Friendly Flooring
Now that we’ve got you all excited about eco-friendly flooring, you’re probably ready to learn about the most popular green options. Happily, there are more options than ever when it comes to this type of flooring. Consumers have become increasingly conscientious about carbon footprints and their impact on the environment, so demand has grown significantly for flooring that’s made out of green materials. Some of the most popular options include:
Carpet – Sure, carpet’s been around forever. It can be made out of many different materials, however, and many of them happen to be remarkably good for the environment. If you want carpeting that is easy on the environment, choose a style that is made out of natural materials. Such materials include jute, wool, cotton and sisal—all of which are available in a dizzying array of colors, styles and designs. There’s also polyester Berber, which is made out of recycled plastic bottles. Recycled carpet tiles are another way to go and have the additional advantage of being highly customizable. If one tile becomes damaged, you can easily swap it out for a new one.
Hardwood – There’s no denying the beauty and elegance of hardwood flooring. Hardwoods are non-toxic, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, so they are excellent options for environmentally conscious people to consider. Another increasingly popular option is to use reclaimed or salvaged wood from old buildings and the like. It is then re-milled to ensure optimal quality and beauty. New lumber from dead trees is also a great way to go, as it keeps dead wood from being burned up and contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer.
Bamboo – People often mistake bamboo for a hardwood, but it’s actually a very fast-growing grass. Bamboo for flooring can typically be harvested within five to seven years while hardwood typically requires 50 to 150 years to grow before its ready. It’s available in a variety of colors and grains, so it’s easy to find a unique look to suit your home. As an added bonus, bamboo is naturally resistant to termites and is quite affordable when stacked up against hardwood.
Cork – We’re often greeted with looks of surprise when we recommend cork as an eco-friendly flooring choice. Indeed, many folks are unaware that cork makes for a great flooring material, but that’s undeniably the case. Cork oak trees aren’t destroyed to produce cork. Rather, only the bark is stripped away, and it can then regrow in as little as three years. Cork is comfortably soft to walk on, provides great sound insulation and lasts for 10 to 30 years. It’s also naturally resistant to mold, fire, mildew and termites.
Tile – The previous options aren’t usually suitable to areas of the home that are subject to moisture, like kitchens and bathrooms. Luckily, tile can be every bit as green as the other options; you just have to buy the right thing. Terrazzo tile that’s made out of recycled materials like stone, glass, masonry and concrete is available. It lasts an average of 40 years and is resistant to mold, mildew and stains. When purchasing, make sure that few—if any—VOCs were used in the epoxy to avoid inadvertently introducing them to your home and degrading its indoor air quality.
Go Green with Classic Floor Designs
Enhance the environmental friendliness of your home with green flooring from Classic Floor Designs. We strive to provide our valued customers with the finest flooring options that are available today, and we are the go-to authority for green flooring. As such, we stock a huge array of eco-friendly flooring options, including bamboo, natural carpeting materials and even leather, which is ideal for small, less heavily trafficked areas and is prized for its longevity, elegant aging and green qualities. Our team can help you select the green flooring option that’s perfect for whatever remodeling project you are undertaking, whether it’s in the kitchen, the master bedroom, the bathroom or elsewhere around the home. With so many beautiful eco-friendly flooring options available and so many affordable choices, green flooring is a natural choice in more ways than one.
Hardwood flooring enhances the appearance of any room in your home, but these rugged surfaces represent a big investment. Like any investment, you want to be sure that you get the highest returns possible. When it comes to flooring, proper cleaning of hardwood determines your ability to enjoy their beauty for many years without worrying about damage or repairs.
Here at Classic Floor Designs, we recommend a regular cleaning regimen to maintain the original appearance of your hardwood floors. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about what products to use, what methods to avoid and how often to clean. We hope that these tips will help clear up any confusion and guide you in preserving the floors you love.
Know Your Floor Type
There are two types of wood flooring: solid and engineered. Both offer the beautiful appearance that makes hardwood so attractive, but the materials differ slightly when it comes to routine cleaning and long-term care.
Solid floors are made from single pieces of hardwood that are generally about three-quarters of an inch thick. Most come finished with a protective coating that creates a reflective “high gloss” look. Solid wood is available in many common and exotic varieties that can be sanded and refinished up to ten times over the life of the floor.
Engineered flooring is pieced together from three to five layers of high- or medium-density fiberboard with a thin hardwood veneer on top. Because of the minimal amount of hardwood used, these floors can only undergo one to two rounds of refinishing. However, they tend to be more durable than solid floors when it comes to handling high foot traffic and varying levels of humidity.
Invest in Mats and Rugs
Preventative maintenance cuts down on the amount of dirt and grime that comes in contact with your floors. Place a heavy-duty mat outside your front door for people to wipe their shoes on, and position another mat just inside the threshold. Have visitors and family members remove their shoes before stepping inside. Use a boot or shoe tray to keep footwear organized and away from the wood surface.
Area rugs are perfect for high-traffic spots or rooms where kids spend a lot of time. Rugs keep messes off the floor and are generally easier to clean than the wood itself. Use rugs with backings to reduce the risk of slipping, but make sure that the backing material is something that won’t damage the floor.
Grab a Broom
Quick cleaning on a daily, bi-weekly or weekly basis can be done using a soft-bristled broom and a dustpan. This removes superficial dirt before it becomes ingrained in the floor surface. Small brooms and handheld vacuums are useful for cleaning in corners. To get rid of even more dust and debris, try a sweeper that uses electrostatic dust cloths. Pay special attention to areas where dirt is most likely to build up, such as the kitchen, the front hallway and the bathroom.
Take Care With the Vacuum Cleaner
Opinions differ on how often you should vacuum hardwood floors. For high-traffic areas, daily vacuuming may be necessary to remove deeper dirt. In other rooms, bi-weekly or weekly vacuuming should suffice.
One thing that everyone agrees on is to never use a beater bar. The harsh bristles can damage the finish and leave it looking dull. Instead, use the hardwood floor setting or a floor brush attachment to lift away dirt. Electric brooms are also gentle enough to use for frequent cleaning. Don’t be tempted by the “deeper clean” that floor buffers claim to offer. The abrasive pads can ruin the surface of the wood.
Be Smart About Deep Cleaning
Even with preventative maintenance and routine cleaning, wood flooring still winds up with grime, oil and stubborn dirt on its surface. That’s why it’s important to clean the floor more aggressively once or twice a year. However, you have to use the correct kind of cleaning products and tools. Your goal should be to leave no standing water at all and avoid harsh substances that can scratch or dull the finish.
The best cleaning solutions are mild and include mixtures of dish soap and water; a solution of water, olive oil and lemon juice; hot water and borax; and lukewarm black tea. Apply your chosen cleaner using a damp mop by dipping the mop into the solution and wringing it out until it’s almost dry. Finish off by buffing the floor with a towel. Alternatively, you can place the cleaner in a spray bottle and mist the floor as you go.
Never use any of the following cleaning methods or solutions on a wood floor:
• Wet mopping
• Steam cleaning
• Vinegar solutions
• Ammonia-based cleaners
• Furniture polish
• Wax- or oil-based cleaners
All of these can cause damage or result in slick floors that pose a hazard to you and your family.
Diligence in regular cleaning will prevent the most serious messes, but it’s impossible to completely avoid scuffs, marks and spots. If you discover any blemishes on your wood floor, sprinkle the area with baking soda and clean it with a damp sponge. The dirt should lift right off.
Drips, spills, sticky streaks and food that can dry onto the floor should be cleaned up immediately. If you miss something and find an unidentifiable substance stuck to the wood, use a cleaner formulated to remove tough dirt and wipe with a gentle cloth. Deep stains and spots may require sanding and refinishing to remove.
Following these tips may seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth the effort when it comes to maintaining your hardwood floors. As you begin to incorporate each step into your regular cleaning regimen, you’ll see the true beauty of the wood begin to shine through. All it takes to continue enjoying that beauty is to devote a little extra time each day to proper floor care. In our opinion, it’s time well spent.
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