Depending on the material, a floor that’s well taken care of can last longer than the house itself. There are new houses, for example, whose flooring was once the flooring of another house that was demolished. The owners thought the floor was in such good shape that it could stand another 100 years or so in another house! If a homeowner wants their floors to last that long, here are seven simple DIY steps to make it so:
1. Clean Up Spills Right Away
This is probably the simplest action to take to make sure that floors last a long time. Cleaning up a spill may be as simple as blotting it with a clean cloth or piece of paper towel. On the other hand, a dark substance spilled on a light-colored carpet might need a bit more work to completely clean up. The homeowner may have to resort to such humble cleansers as vinegar, baking soda, club soda, pectin, or multiple applications of freshwater until the stain is completely gone.
2. Clean the Floor Regularly
Some home experts recommend that the floor be dusted or broom swept daily, while others recommend this be done every week.
Before using a dust mop, spills and wet areas should be wiped up. The trick is to start in one corner of the room and not lift the mop head up off the floor until the task is finished. After this, some people shake the dirty mop into a bag or even vacuum it.
The floor should be broom swept or vacuumed before using a wet mop. The trick here is to start in the farthest corner of the room and mop out of it while keeping the bucket on a part of the floor that’s not been washed yet. The mop shouldn’t be too wet because it can cause a wood floor to warp or just swirl the dirt around on a stone or tile floor.
Vacuuming a hard surface doesn’t need to be done as often as sweeping or mopping. First, the room needs to be dusted. The furniture, especially delicate furniture, needs to be moved out of the path of the vacuum. As with wet mopping, the cleaner should start at one corner of the room and vacuum out of it. Another trick is to never let the vacuum bag or canister get completely full. A vacuum cleaner with a nearly full bag is not as efficient.
3. Refinish Wood Floors
One of the reasons that hardwood floors are so long-lived is that it’s possible to sand and refinish them. This removes dings, deep scratches, and other imperfections and leaves the floor looking like new. Sanding the floor can be a job of work for a DIYer, and a homeowner might want to leave floor sanding Brisbane professional. But it is possible to do if the homeowner sets aside a long weekend, rents equipment and properly prepares the room.
One thing to know about refinishing wood floors is that solid wood floors can be refinished more than floors made of engineered wood.
4. Shampoo Carpets
Experts recommend that carpets be shampooed every few years, especially if they get heavy traffic. As with sanding a wood floor, the homeowner can shampoo their own carpet if they follow instructions. As with sanding and refinishing, equipment such as a hot water extraction machine can be rented.
5. Use Pads Beneath Heavy Furniture
Pads slipped beneath the feet of a heavy piece of furniture such as a china closet can save every kind of floor. Even a stone floor can be dented after being stood on by heavy furniture for years.
6. Seal Concrete, Stone or Terra Cotta Floors
Concrete stone and terra cotta tiles are porous. If they’re not sealed, they’re at risk of being discolored by stains and even etched by acids as weak as vinegar or lemon juice. Polyurethane finishes can be applied to wood floors to protect them after they’re sanded.
7. Have Everyone Take Off Their Shoes
One of the best ways to care for any type of floor is to have guests and members of the household take their shoes off at the entrance. This protects the floor from damage caused by high heels and from dirt that can be ground into it as people walk through the house.
Jim Pulman has extensive knowledge and experience in Home Building, Construction, and Design. He writes articles in his free time and partners with content creators to share his expertise with the online community.