Nothing in your home endures stress and wear quite like the floor. Between constant foot traffic, spills, and moving heavy furniture it can be difficult to maintain your floor’s vibrancy and shine. Fortunately, not all floors require the tedious work of waxing, buffing, and periodically refinishing as hardwood does, or the frustrating cycle of scrubbing out stains and steam cleaning carpet requires. In fact, there are several low maintenance flooring options that are as attractive as they are practical.
Many homeowners overlook vinyl as a flooring option, considering it to be unfashionable and outdated. However, new technologies allow for the creation of vinyl that realistically mimics the appearance of ceramic tiles, natural stone, and hardwood and it is perhaps the most easily maintained flooring option available. Abrasive chemicals and vigorous scrubbing are not required to keep vinyl clean and lustrous – in fact, they can be damaging to vinyl! Instead, it should be swept regularly and stains should be removed as soon as they occur with a damp mop and mild soap. Excess water can cause vinyl floors to curl at the seams and heavy furniture can leave dents in the floor, but by mopping up spills quickly and putting felt pads on the bottom of furniture legs, homeowners can extended the life and beauty of their vinyl floors.
Laminate is an inexpensive and easily installed alternative to hardwood that, when cared for properly, requires low maintenance. Like vinyl, laminate should be swept regularly as small particles can cause scratches – fortunately, any superficial scratches that occur can be easily concealed by the homeowner with a laminate touch-up kit, which can be found at most home improvement stores. Laminate should not be cleaned with soap and water, which can leave a residue, but with a manufacturer recommended laminate floor cleaner. Homeowners should also take care to avoid excess liquid on laminate floors as it can warp the boards or cause mold to grow.
Ceramic is not easily damaged by exposure to water, making it a preferable low maintenance alternative to vinyl and laminate for bathrooms and kitchens. Ceramic can be wiped clean using only water and a rag, and the grout between tiles can be cleaned as necessary with an inexpensive grout stain remover. Using a ceramic tile sealer periodically (often as infrequently as every 4-5 years) will increase the resiliency of the floor and protect the grout from stains. In the event that the floor does becomes stained or chipped, any damaged tiles can be removed and replaced individually.
On the whole, carpet is not a lower maintenance flooring option, but many homeowners feel that the extra work to maintain a carpet is well worth the softness and warmth it provides. Twist carpets tend to require less maintenance than loop or texture carpets as they do not show patterns of wear, which must be removed by vacuuming. Furthermore, selecting a carpet with a speckled or multicolor pattern can help mask small stains.
Your home should be a place of comfort, not a “To Do” list. Tedious floor maintenance does not have to be a constant chore! Contact us today at Carolina Flooring to learn more about our low maintenance flooring options and how we can help create a home that works for your lifestyle.
Photo courtesy of: Erich Ferdinand