Unless your home’s brand new, there’s a chance you could look down at your flooring right now and feel certain that it’s seen better days. Has your family has worn a clear-cut path through the middle of your living room carpet? Does the hardwood in your kitchen have the sheen of an 19th century saloon? Has the grout in your tiled bathroom floor gotten so dingy you’d rather just move than get on your hands and knees with one more scrub brush? Are you suffering from dull flooring?
Because let’s face it: the floors of a home literally bear the weight of a family. Moving furniture, the click-clack of your dog’s long toenails, your daughter’s impromptu tap performance, a few forbidden games of indoor basketball…it all takes a toll. Running out of time (and energy!) to clean on a regular basis can hurt, too: for carpets, ground-in dirt and debris can actually wear down carpet fibers quicker than usual, giving it that sad, worn look it might have right now.
Let’s take a look at some of the contributing factors of the dreaded 3 Ds that can befall your flooring: dullness, dinginess and dirtiness.
Carpets & Rugs
It’s a great way to warm up a home and make it feel cozy, and for people living in colder climates, carpeting can be a welcome addition in winter months. But for anyone who’s ever taken a rug outside and given it a good beating, you have a clear idea of what can actually lodge itself in your carpets and rugs. Pet dander, dirt, must mite feces, insect parts, soil, skin flakes, dust, food particles, hair, pet waste…the list goes on.
If not cleaned regularly (and properly) carpets and rugs become a repository for every bit of airborne debris that circulates in our home. This debris settles on surfaces, and the floor is (arguably) the biggest surface in a home. When granules of sand, dirt or soil get deep down in the fibers of a carpet or rug, it creates a friction that breaks down the carpet fibers faster, which can impact the overall look, color and shape.
And while it won’t change the appearance of your carpet, odor is an unwelcome side effect of everyday life, too — and carpets are pretty absorbent. Smoke, cooking odors, pet smells — it all lingers within the fibers of your carpet!
One of the best and most foolproof ways to protect hardwood flooring in your home is to institute a “no shoe” policy indoors. Home design website Houzz.com says that, “Not wearing shoes in the house is one of the best ways to significantly reduce dirt, scuffs and daily wear and tear, and lessen cleaning time.”
The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) recommends to “avoid walking on…wood floors with sports cleats and high heels in disrepair. A 125-pound woman walking in high heels with an exposed heel nail can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact can dent any floor surface.” The NWFA also advises against using cleaning products meant for vinyl or tile flooring. Self-polishing acrylic waxes can cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly.
Other things that are hard on wood flooring? Pets with long or thick toenails can also dull wood floors over time, as can scuffs from shoes and moving furniture, scratches from children’s toys, and any kind of spill or water damage.
Tile & Concrete
According to Better Homes and Gardens, you should sweep or vacuum tile floors regularly to keep them from getting dull. Tiles can be resistant to dirt, but sand and grit can dull glazed surfaces. Bhg.com recommends cleaning tile with mild detergent and clean water, and using a rag or chamois-type mop rather than a sponge mop; the sponge mop pushes dirty water into grout lines, making them harder to clean.
Polished concrete floors are relatively easier to maintain. ConcreteNetwork.com notes that you can protect concrete floors with a good film-forming sealer and a coat of floor finish or wax, which can help make them even more resistant to stains, chemicals and abrasion.
Laminate & Vinyl
A popular and affordable flooring choice for many, vinyl and laminate flooring can provide the look of hardwood without the cost or upkeep. Still, there are factors that can contribute to the decline in overall quality of vinyl and laminate flooring. Bob Vila recommends trying to minimize dirt, stains, and abrasions before they occur. Over time, he points out, dirt and dust can wear down and degrade the finish on any type of flooring, including vinyl tile or laminate.
When you move furniture, Vila suggests using vinyl coasters under the feet and legs of furniture in order to better protect against scuffs and indentations. Sweeping often is a good idea, and for mopping, it’s as easy as using plain water and a sponge mop.
The FloorPro by Aerus is convenient, streamlined and easy to use, and features a balanced triple-brush system to effectively shampoo, wax or polish your floor surfaces. Its unique Circular Dry Foam Method of cleaning removes more soil with less water, so when it’s used with Turbo Shampoo, it provides a quick-dry solution that helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew, and keeps flooring residue-free. Whether you have carpet, hardwood, marble, tile or vinyl, the Lux Floor Pro can shampoo, wax or polish all your floors beautifully.