You don’t always give your floors a lot of thought, but they are a pervasive element in any environment. They stretch out literally wall to wall, and the state and condition of these surfaces can have an impact on the look, feel, perception, and even health of a space. That is why it is important to understand the basic maintenance steps that can be taken to care for these elements, allowing them to last longer and function better throughout their lives and hopefully delay needing to refinish or replace the floor.
All floors will slowly degrade over time. This is a natural process, that will be exacerbated by tiny particles of dirt and dust. These can fall on their surface and then act as abrasive grits, causing every footfall to drag them across the material, leaving behind tiny, often almost imperceptible scratches. However, over time those can accumulate leading to the entire installation getting a murky, aged appearance.
The simple act of sweeping, vacuuming, or, if appropriate, mopping the floor on a regular basis can help to remove these particles. That will, in turn, alleviate the pressures of wear and tear that assault these surfaces on a daily basis, allowing them to look better and last longer.
We often think of floors as being hard, however, most materials used for below foot surface coverings do have vulnerabilities when exposed to liquids and staining agents. Tiles often have to be sealed, both to protect the exposed piece of the element, and to stop anything harmful from seeping down into grout lines. This is a process that should be repeated annually in order to maintain the look of the installation. With wood, polyurethane is generally a one-use product, although it will have to be applied again after any refinishing projects.
Even if a floor is comprised of the most durable and resistant glass glazed ceramic tiles, the lines between those pieces can still be vulnerable to stains and liquid penetration. Grout is a substance that is used to allow for natural expansion and contraction of flooring elements due to changes in temperature. However, its pliant nature also means that it is porous, and can be a way for unintended liquids to assault the underlayment or subfloor below.
Luckily there are a number of grout sealers that can be applied on a semi-regular basis in order to protect them from these dangers. You also have the option of completely removing and reinstalling these lines, without having to move a single tile.
Your beloved furry friends often have rather sharp nails beneath their adorable paws, which can cause scratching issues with certain floors. Cats may be tempted to rip at particularly pliant materials, while larger dogs can cause damage just by the weight of their natural footfalls. With softer flooring, it is important to keep their nails trimmed so that they do not cause unintended harm to products such as cork, padded vinyl, and carpet.
You can’t just pull up your floor and throw it in a washing machine if a mess happens. However, you can do that with floor mats. That is why these handy little decor pieces are a great option for protecting your surfaces from stains, water damage, and regular wear. The best use for them is strategic, placing them in spaces where damage is likely to occur such as at entrances and in front of often-used appliances. Just be careful to regularly clean your throw rugs, and to ensure that they don’t get damp and moldy as that can cause further problems.
Even with manufactured materials, products can have slight variations in color, texture, or design over time. This is much more prevalent when natural elements are used. That is why it is important to retain a few extra pieces after any installation work is done. That will give you the components that you need to repair spot damages that may occur without having to worry about a section looking out of place.