The bottom line for caring for your floors

The bottom line for caring for your floors

Floors come in a wide variety of materials, patterns, and colours. How you care for your floors is going to depend entirely on their material.

  • Some, like shiny, sealed floors, take less effort to keep clean than unsealed ones. More delicate materials like wood or laminate need some special care.
  • Tile, stone and wood floors need to be cared for differently in order to bring out their characteristic highlights and avoid damage.

Cleaning tile floors

  • Mop the floor after sweeping or vacuuming. Start at one end and proceed toward the door. Mop in a wavy line, without lifting the mop from the floor. For very dirty floors, you may have to change the cleaning water.
  • Choose a sponge mop for cleaning tile floors; they do a much better job of cleaning seams and small irregularities. For extra stubborn dirt, use a scrub brush and wash the tiles by hand — sometimes there's no substitute for elbow grease!
  • Make stains from liquids (e.g., tea, coffee, cola, red wine, fruit juices, and ink) disappear from porous tiles by dabbing them with a little regular stain remover available at any drugstore or home supply centre.

Caring for stone floors

  • Coat porous terracotta and unglazed natural stone tiles with linseed oil immediately after installation, and avoid mopping for two weeks. You can use this type of waterproofing for areas that are subject to heavy use, such as entryways and the kitchen.
  • Clean stone floors by adding a small amount of ammonia to the wash water. This combination also makes dull tile floors shine like new.

Fixing scratches on wooden floors

  1. Rub out scratches with some fine steel wool. Take care not to rub too deeply, or you could damage the surrounding wood.
  2. Mix a little medium-brown shoe polish with some basic floor polish.
  3. Rub the mixture into the wood until the colour matches the floor.
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