Hardwood Floors, Laminate Flooring, Bamboo, Wood Flooring

Floor Care Guide

With the proper care, your floors will stay beautiful for many years to come. Common sense and some preventative steps can lengthen the life of your floors. A regular cleaning routine will simplify your floor care. Good preventative maintenance lengthens the time between major renovations, such as re-waxing, re-coating and refinishing. Everyday dust and dirt are your floors worst enemy. It is essential to dust, mop, vacuum or sweep regularly.

So, how do you keep your floors as beautiful as the day they were installed or refinished? Follow these easy steps and always use the manufacturers' recommended cleaning product.

Excessive amounts of water can cause your wood floor to swell and cup. Use a slightly damp mop (we suggest the Sh-Mop) to clean your hardwood surfaces.

* Vacuum beater bars can cause damage to your floors' surface. If possible, turn off the beater bar, or use the hose or wand attachment with a soft upholstery nozzle for your hardwood or polished stone surface.

* Never use household dust treatments or furniture polish on hardwood or highly polished floors These may cause your floor to become slick or dull the finish.

* Under NO circumstances, should your laminate floors ever be sanded. Remember, the laminate floor is only a photograph applied to a high-pressure laminate backing. Avoid using harsh abrasive cleaners, waxes, polishes, urethane or lacquer on your laminate floor.

* Never place potted plants directly in contact with your flooring, even if they are placed in waterproof saucers. Condensation can develop under these saucers and damage your flooring. To avoid this, place your plants on trivets or stands so that air can circulate underneath.

* Dog and cat nails can scratch and dent your floor's surface. Keep nails trimmed regularly. Immediately clean up pet urine, as it will damage the floors' finish if left to dry.

* Never use acidic cleaners or household products, such as vinegar, on polished surfaces like marble, as these will etch the stones' surface.

* Use dirt-trapping walk-off mats at all exterior doors to prevent dirst and sand (which can act like sandpaper) from entering the building. Vacuum, sweep or dust mop as needed to remove dirt and grit prior to cleaning your floors.

* Use area rugs on high traffic pathways and pivot areas such as the ends of steps and near doorways. All rugs should allow floors to breathe. Avoid rubber-backed or non-ventilated rugs.

* Wipe-up food or other spills immediately, using the manufacturers' recommended cleaner and a soft cloth. Use a vacuum or broom for dry spills and abrasives.

* Keep high heels in good repair. Heels that have worn down or lost the protective cap, exposing the steel support rod, will dent and pit wood, fracture ceramic tiles or stone and perforate vinyl. A person in stiletto heels, weighing 125 lbs. exerts approx. 2000 lbs. of pressure per square inch.

* Certain chemicals in wood and natural stone oxidize in strong light causing the floor to change color. To avoid an uneven appearance, move area rugs occasionally and drape or shade large sun-facing windows.

* Always put Flor Stor felt protective pads on the legs of your furniture. They allow the furniture to be moved easily without scratching or denting your floors' finish and can also provide a sound deadening barrier. Replace your felt pads when they become wornasdirt and grit can become embedded in them.

In conclusion:

There are many types of finishes on hard surface floors today. Sometimes, different finishes are used in different rooms, so the type of care required may vary. It is important to know how your floors were finished so that you can apply the proper floor care product. Your builder, Realtor or flooring installer/finisher should be able to tell you what type of finish is on your floors.

In choosing the proper product, you must first determine if your floor has a urethane, acrylic or wax finish. The care for a wax floor finish is very different from that of a urethane finish. Therefore, it cannot be emphasized enough that you know what type of finish is on your floor!


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Stages of Floor Shopping

When you embark on your mission of selecting your new floor covering there are several stages that you pass through almost without exception. These stages are brought on, not by chance or choice, but rather are the result of a predictable shopping experience when considering a new flooring purchase. I decided to explain these steps in an effort to guide you through them. If you first know what you are getting into, your focus can be adjusted to prevent the unpleasant aspects of floor shopping.

There are four fundamental stages in shopping for a floor that the majority of consumers face:

Stage 1 - Excitement

Your entry into Stage 1 is based on excitement at the prospect of being able to improve your home by replacing your floors. The old worn floorcovering that you wish to improve or remove has long been on your to-do list. The time has arrived to take action and get that job done. This is the high point in your floor covering experience. The exhilaration is soon replaced by the longer lasting Stage 2.

Stage 2 - Exploration

Not long after making your choice to select new flooring, you start to research flooring options. You probably are near a home store like HOME DEPOT and figure that you need to buy a hammer so why not start looking at flooring? This logic makes perfect sense on the surface. But it's not long before you run into the vast abyss of the non-existent customer service at these kinds of stores. Next, you decide to stop by a couple traditional carpet stores to look at different flooring and it is at that point that Stage 2 reaches its pinnacle. As you skip from one store to the next in confusion, you encounter the feeling of being overwhelmed. There are more choices than you ever imagined and figuring out which selection is right for you is not an easy task. Don't worry about Stage 2 because Stage 3 is worse and lasts longer.

Stage 3 - Frustration

You start to become totally frustrated and all seems lost here in Stage 3 because the conflicting information each store salesperson gives you is enough to drive you crazy. Why does one store tell you one thing and another give totally different information? In fact, different salespeople in the same store give you different answers to the same question. How is that even possible? Almost 30% of floor covering shoppers stop right here and end the entire process. They go home, try to forget they ever started this ordeal, and go out and buy a new TV to cheer themselves up.

Because some kinds of "information" are abundant, you can expect to receive more than you want and probably more than you need. The problem with the "information" is that it is usually incomplete and often wrong. For instance, instead of giving you a copy of the warranty for a product before the sale, the sales person will summarize the warranty. As we all know, the highlights of the warranty are typically misleading, which results in establishing unreasonable expectations about a potential purchase.

For those shoppers who stick out the process of Stage 3 they proceed to the final stage, Stage 4.

Stage 4 - Decision

The decision stage. You have reached this stage despite anxiety, a tedious unknowing, and now you are questioning if you made the right flooring decision. This uncertainty makes even the final phase of shopping for floors a complete displeasure. As you sign a contract with possibly misguided expectations, you are determined to make sure you get your money's worth.

If all goes well, you will have a nice completed project in the end. The best feeling is the day you return home from work, bursting with exuberance, to see your new flooring, only to find out that the job is going to take an extra day and a couple hundred extra dollars.

Regardless of the fact that this may seem like one perpetual stroke of bad luck, you should feel better about the fact that you are not alone. The majority of floor shoppers face these steps each and every day.

FINAL ANALYSIS My basic idea in outlining these Stages is to inform you, the consumer, about the process of purchasing flooring. My feeling is that if you know what you are up against, then you are better equipped to handle the process. If you are lucky and well informed, you may be able to skip some of the bad parts.

I believe that if the industry could first present vital information and then make sure it is in a consistent format, the process of buying flooring would be easier for all consumers. I have created a Web site, our vendor partner, which is the first step in that goal. My company, our vendor partner, presents all kinds of information directly from the manufacturer about care, maintenance, warranties and other general knowledge. We will help you know what a 15-year warranty really means before you buy the product. The fact that we give you access to the full details about the products online means you can investigate the specifics about the flooring at your leisure. This is the first key to your flooring satisfaction.

I hope that you will use our vendor partner as a source of information and, if we do our job well, perhaps we will earn the opportunity to sell you the flooring. Please explore the Web site today - we may save you MORE than money. We may save you Stage 3, and that is priceless.

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Updated: Thursday, 2017-01-19 7:51 Pacific Standard Time