How to Clean Different Types of Flooring in Your Home

Confused about which cleaning method is best for you floor? Some cleaning solutions can work wonders on one kind of floor and wreak havoc on another. We thought we’d make it that little bit easier. So whatever your floor type, check out our top tips on how to keep them ship-shape.

Carpets and Tiles

Regular vacuuming is essential for carpets, as it prevents loose dirt and grit from working into the carpet pile where it will damage the fibres. Upright vacuum cleaners are best, especially those with revolving brushes to dislodge embedded dirt. Use the suction head for loop-pile carpets, as beater brushes and heads can cause the carpet to bobble. Manufacturers recommend an annual steam clean. Clean according to wear. Whether you do it yourself or call in the professionals, high-traffic areas should be cleaned once every two years.

Natural remedy

Remove wine or grease stains from carpet by lightly sprinkling area with baking soda. Dab it up and add a little more if necessary. Leave on until the wine is absorbed, then vacuum up any residue left.

Natural Flooring

All good quality natural floorcoverings should have a substantial latex back to prevent dust and debris falling through and ensure easy maintenance by vacuuming. A cylinder-type vacuum cleaner without brushes is the best choice for natural floorings to avoid damaging the fibres.

Most high quality natural floorings are sold with a stain inhibitor that protects them from dirt and prolongs there life, so ask your supplier for details of cleaning products for natural fibres. These should be used on stains immediately – not once the stain has been absorbed. Mop up with a clean cloth or kitchen paper. Don’t use carpet mousse or shampoo as these can cause natural floorings to shrink.

Consider hiring a professional cleaning company if you want to give your flooring a thorough clean, but make sure they use a dry-cleaning system as opposed to a wet on. Ask your retailer to recommend a firm

Wooden Flooring

Sweep wooden floors regularly, or use a vacuum cleaner with a brush setting. Mop once a week or so with a well-wrung mop, using soapy cleaner specifically for use on wood. Don’t saturate the floor or allow water to stand on it as this can cause damage. Wet-clean waxed boards sparingly and wax polish them to improve the patina. Dirty wax build-up should be removed with white spirit and the boards re-waxed. Treat engineered boards with oil or lacquer reviver, applied with a soft cloth.

Natural remedies

Remove scuff marks from wooden floors by rubbing them gently with a pencil eraser.

Bring out the natural colour of your wood flooring by wiping the surface with lemon oil and a dry cloth. However, this only applies to natural and waxed flooring, not varnished floors.

Laminate flooring

Laminate should be swept or vacuumed regularly. Using a damp cloth is fine, but never soak the floor with water – they’re designed to be water resistant. Most spills on laminate can be removed with household cleaners but, if the stain is lipstick, ink or permanent marker, try acetone. Never use scouring pads to remove stains on laminate flooring, and remove any liquid stains from the floor as soon as possible.

How to clean tiles and stone flooring

Stone floors

Stone will often have been treated before it left the factory. If not, it will stain easily so it’s important to seal it with a proprietary sealant or, for terracotta and slate, use linseed oil. Once sealed, clean it with a mix of mild detergent and water. However, it will need re-sealing at regular intervals to keep it looking its best.

Immediately wipe away any acidic spills.

Reconstituted stone needs to be sealed with a stain inhibitor then impregnated with a top coat of water-based sealant. It’ll need re-sealing every two years. Ask your manufacturer or suppler for specific care advice and suitable products.

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles can be cleaned with a mild detergent and water solution and do not require sealing. Damp-mop your ceramic tile with a standard, all-purpose cleaner. Dry the floor with a soft cloth to avoid streaks.

Never use harsh abrasive cleaners that might scratch the glaze.

Flagstone, limestone, slate

Damp-mop flagstone or slate floors using either clear water, an all-purpose cleaning solution in warm water, or water to which fabric softener has been added. Wring the mop until it doesn’t drip, and apply it to the floor in slow, even strokes. Ask the manufacturer for recommend the appropriate cleaning product.

Wipe up spills on unglazed floors immediately or they might cause a stain.

Remove stubborn marks with white spirit, but always do a spot test first.

Flexible flooring

Vinyls, linoleums and rubber are hard wearing and easy to care for. The amount of cleaning and maintenance depends both on your lifestyle and the colour of the floor. Vacuum or brush regularly to remove dust and grit that might lead to your floor being scratched, and follow with a weekly wipe with the cleaning agent recommended by your supplier.

Remove scuff marks by gently rubbing with a scouring pad – the sort you would use to clean non-stick cookware.

Clean the floor with mild detergent and water. Don’t use abrasive cleaners, which may leave a dull film on your floor. Be careful with spray polishes and other silicone-based products as they can make your floor very slippery, as can white spirit.

Karndean Vinyl Flooring – Quite Possibly a Perfect Floor

Karndean vinyl flooring is one of the most exciting new floorcovering options available in the market. Karndean creates vinyl planks and tiles that realistically simulate natural materials such as Wood, Stone, Slate, Ceramic and Marble. With recent breakthroughs in technology, these luxury vinyl planks and tiles look so amazingly real it will surprise you.

These floors are very different from sheet type vinyl. As the floor is installed piece by piece, it gives a handcrafted look just as hardwood or real tile floors would appear. Karndean also manufactures these tiles and planks with semi random patterns so there are no repeating patterns to cause the floor to look cheap or like standard vinyl resilient flooring. A unique feature of Karndean is the coloring of the floors. Slight changes are made to the vinyl coloring to give a slight random color difference. By doing this, the floors look like the real thing and there are no dye lot issues if you ever need to replace a plank or tile. There are six distinct reasons why Karndean luxury vinyl tiles and planks are considered by many to be the perfect floor.

1. Karndean vinyl floors are stain proof against pretty much everything except petroleum based spills. This includes everything from red wine to pet urine.

2. These vinyl tiles and planks are waterproof as well. If you have a leak in the kitchen or bathroom, the water will not damage the vinyl. This is a very distinct advantage over true hardwood flooring and laminate. If you have a leak under the dishwasher, and you have hardwood or laminate, you will have to replace part or all of the floor at a huge expense. With Karndean, the worst case is you may have to have the floor reinstalled.

3. This flooring is hypoallergenic as well as mold and mildew resistant.

4. Luxury vinyl planks and tiles are very hard to scratch compared to laminate and hardwood. If you have pets, you absolutely cannot install a better floor than luxury vinyl.

5. Karndean tiles are almost impossible to chip or break when compared to ceramic, slate, stone and marble tiles. If you drop something heavy on them it may cause a slight indentation. Of course if you have real tile, it will probably crack or chip and will have to be replaced.

6. Cleaning is a snap. Dust mopping regularly and an occasional damp mopping is all that is needed. There is never a need to reapply any finishes or buffing needed.

Now that you know why Karndean is so close to perfect, what are some of the styles that are offered? There are 6 different series offered from Karndean.

1. The Van Gogh lines has 22 variations of Wood planks. Almost every color and species imaginable are available.

2. Art Select vinyl from Karndean has 11 options to choose from between simulated Wood planks and Limestone modular tiles.

3. Da Vinci is one the more popular styles for luxury vinyl tile. With over 33 selections of tiles ranging from 16 inch to 12 inch in Ceramic, Slate and Sandstone you can find about anything you desire. Wood planks are also part of the Da Vinci series.

4. Knight tile has 33 choices of tiles and planks. Terra Cotta, Marble, Slate, Stone and Wood round out Knight tile.

5. Karndean’s Michelango line is a unique product line of tiles for a distinct décor. There are 12 products including Italian Mosaic, Spanish Pebble and even a Metallic tile.

6. Renoir is the last series of vinyl plank and tile flooring from Karndean. Renoir has 13 different types of Wood, Slate and Concrete tiles.

Laminate Flooring How To – Covering Concrete Stairs With Laminate

You have a beautiful laminate floor and you’re wondering if you should finish the concrete stairs in laminate to give the space a cohesive, designer feel. First of all, is it possible? Can you cover concrete with laminate? The answer is yes. In fact, if you’ve ever covered wooden stairs, the process is similar, except that the nosing installation is a little trickier.

What You’ll Need

To accomplish this task you’ll need:

  • PL200 or stronger construction glue
  • Skill saw for cutting laminate
  • Chop saw for cutting metal nosings
  • drill with a concrete bit
  • electric screwdriver
  • plastic plugs
  • broom

I recommend using metal nosings as these are stronger, and will hold better on concrete stairs. (Laminate nosings that come in a kit are also trickier as the tracks need to be in exactly the right spot, and there isn’t a lot of standardization–every manufacturer makes a slightly different size/style of laminate nosing).

What to Do

Start by sweeping the stairs and cleaning up any shavings or dust. You’ll need a clean surface for the glue to adhere properly to the concrete and laminate. Once the area is clean, start with the risers first.

Measure, mark and cut each laminate plank to fit the riser with the groove side facing downwards. Glue the riser and the back of the plank, and secure the plank in place, again, making sure that the groove is at the bottom of the riser. Once all the risers are glued, you’re ready to start on the nosings.

Begin by measuring and cutting the metal nosings to fit. Mark on the concrete where the screws will go, then using a drill with a concrete bit, drill the holes. Place a plastic plug in each hole. Number the nosings so that you match each one to the correct tread when you screwnail them in later.

Measure, mark and cut each laminate plank to fit the tread with the groove side facing inwards to meet the bottom of the riser. Arranging the planks so that the groove on the riser meets the groove on the tread makes for a clean, professional edge in the corner. Glue the tread and the back of the plank and secure the plank in place, making sure that groove faces inward.

Stair nosings are intended to finish the look by capping the lip of the stair. Unfortunately, with concrete stairs this can be a little tricky as the lip on the stairs is often thicker than the actual stair nosing. If this is the, cut a laminate plank so that it’s wide enough to cover the the concrete lip, and glue it to the face of the lip on each tread. Then secure the nosing over top by screwnailing it through the laminate tread into the pre-drilled holes in the concrete. (If you’ve already covered the lip-face with laminate, you can glue the nosing to the laminate for extra adherence, and then screwnail the top of the nosing into place.)

How to Repair High Gloss Laminate Flooring Scrapes and Scuffs

Laminate flooring is enjoying unprecedented popularity because of its exceptional ability to resist fading, staining, and deterioration due to normal wear and tear. When you add affordable prices and easy DIY installation to the mix, the result is a winning combination that is irresistible to consumers.

As great as today’s high gloss laminate products are, however, they are not completely impervious to all minor damage. Over time, you might start to notice some scrapes and scuffs spoiling your floor’s appearance, chiefly in areas that are frequented by pets and small children.

Fortunately, you don’t have to pull up the blemished planks and replace them with new ones. Instead, you can repair high gloss laminate on your own using the following everyday items that you probably already have on hand.

  • Pencil eraser. Skid marks left on laminate flooring by certain types of shoes and toys can often be removed by rubbing a pencil eraser over the area using gentle, circular strokes. In lieu of an eraser, you can use the rubber sole of a tennis shoe for the same purpose.
  • WD-40. While most folks are aware of the lubricating properties of WD-40, not many realize that it is also a terrific household cleaner. To remove scuffs from your high gloss laminate, apply a bit of WD-40 to a soft cloth and lightly scrub until the marks disappear. Be sure to wipe up the lubricant residue with a wet rag to prevent any potential slip-and-fall accidents.
  • Baking soda. Baking soda is celebrated for having a multitude of uses, so it should come as no surprise that it helps remove scrapes and scuffs from laminate flooring. Mix a couple tablespoons of baking soda with some warm water until you end up with a pasty substance. Next, use a cloth to dab paste onto the scuff marks and rub them away.
  • Toothpaste. If you don’t have any baking soda at home, there’s no need to run to the store. You can often get the same effect by using plain toothpaste to touch up your floor.

The methods listed above work best on light scuffs, scrapes, and skid marks. For deeper, more stubborn blemishes in your laminate flooring, you might have to turn to commercial cleaning products to get the job done. Many manufacturers now make nonabrasive cleansers especially for high gloss laminate, so you don’t have to worry about damaging the finish.

Don’t let minor scuffs and scrapes turn your floor into an unattractive mess. Instead, you can restore its natural beauty in no time by treating the problem using these simple solutions!

What’s The Best Saw Blade For Laminate Flooring? You Might Be Surprised

The right saw blade for cutting laminate flooring like Pergo is not the one that came on your saw, or any other miter or table saw that’s sold. One common misconception is that an original equipment blade is good for just about anything. Another is that laminate flooring is wood: it’s not.

Let me relate a true story to illustrate the results of these mistaken ideas.

The flooring contractor working at the house I was renting was using a nice DeWalt bench-top table saw, with a standard DeWalt blade on it. It might have been the original, an exact replacement or maybe a step up in tooth count, but apparently he thought a DeWalt saw needs a DeWalt blade. A crazy idea, when there are so many other aftermarket brands that are a lot better.

Anyway, I watched in horror as he tried to cut a piece of laminate flooring, lengthwise. I could smell the smoke and hear the scream of the blade from a distance, and from closer I could see the sparks flying. And the saw was straining just to cut through that thin board.

Why? That blade was shot, duller than a butter knife. And I’d guess it was that way from about the third or fourth cut on laminate flooring he made with it. Keep in mind, this was a professional contractor, using a blade that was ready for the dumpster.

Different Materials Call For Different Blades

You see, laminate flooring will destroy a wood cutting blade with alternating top bevel (ATB) teeth in no time at all. The sharp points on this type of blade can’t handle anything that hard – they dull quickly and those tips are what the blade uses to cut cleanly through wood.

Another thing that happens is, when the glue that holds the flooring together gets hot from using a dull blade, it sticks to the sides of the carbide tips and gums them up. Obviously, that makes the cutting even harder for the saw.

There are many different types of saw blades, designed for cutting different materials. If you just make sure you’re using the right type before starting your project, you’ll get much better performance out of your saw and make the job go much better.

Now, what kind of blade should be used for cutting laminate flooring? I’ll give you a hint: most laminate flooring brands have aluminum oxide in their makeup. And the material itself is about as hard as metal.

Karndean Flooring Exposed – Information About This Type of Flooring

To most people Karndean Flooring is this beautiful looking designer flooring and you would be right, however people also associate Karndean flooring as an individual type of flooring – this is definitely not the case!

Karndean is a brand name of the flooring product Luxury Vinyl Tiles, there are 100’s of brands out there selling luxury vinyl tiles, the well known brands such as Amtico, Polyflor, Marley, Project-Floors and obviously Karndean.

Karndean claim to be the manufacturer, however this is not the case as nearly all luxury vinyl tiles in the UK are manufactured in China, Taiwan etc. and are re-branded and brought into the UK. Therefore Karndean spend over £1 million each year on establishing their brand so that people become aware of the products they sell. So this is why Karndean is more expensive, as a lot of what you are paying for, is the brand awareness, which has been costed into the product.

If you are reading this article and are interested in buying Karndean, think again, here is a good tip for you, go to Google, or any other search engine facility and search for luxury vinyl tiles (LVT’s), you will find suppliers selling LVT’s very similar to Karndean for a fraction of the price. You can still create borders and features in these floors, the only difference is, you guessed it – the brand name. Like when you go to the supermarket and they have branded peas and unbranded peas, they both look the same when you take the packaging away and taste the same, because they are the same thing! this is the same with Karndean and LVT’s if you market it well and make it look nice it sells better – typical evaluation of marketing. However save yourself a small fortune and find an LVT with a cheaper price tag, odds are they are still top quality just cheaper due to the company selling them having a low marketing budget.

The quality of an LVT is measured in the wear layer, most have a wear layer of between 0.3mm and 0.7mm, the thicker the wear layer the better the quality, however a 0.3mm wear layer is a domestic wear layer and is suitable for all domestic areas, a 0.5mm wear layer and above can be used for commercial installations.

So now i have explained that Karndean is a luxury vinyl tile, lets discuss the possibilities and strengths of this type of flooring compared to alternative flooring products:

1. Durable – unlike ceramic tiles or solid wood, luxury vinyl tiles (LVT’s) will not split, chip, crack or splinter and will stand up to most things being dropped onto them. Most LVT’s come with gurantees between 8 and 20 years.

2 Realistic – they are designed to replicate natural products and are designed to a very high realistic standard.

3 Designer – luxury vinyl tiles (LVT’s) are one of the most bespoke, designer looking flooring available, using borders and strips you can create a floor that fits in perfectly with your interior needs.

4 Easily Maintained – cleaning LVT’s is very easy, unlike natural wood floors, you wont need to sand and seal every couple of years, instead you can just mop the floor with hot water and a splash of LVT routine cleaning solution.

5 Waterproof – To a certain degree luxury vinyl tiles can with stand water a lot better than a laminate or wooden floor can, it can be mopped and cleaned a lot easier.

6 Quiet and Warm Underfoot – unlike ceramic or stone tiles or laminate flooring, luxury vinyl tiles are quiet and warm underfoot.

These are just a few benefits of using luxury vinyl tiles opposed to natural flooring products. So when you hear about Karndean remember that it is an LVT and to always look for a luxury vinyl tile first so you can see the price comparison. Luxury vinyl tiles like Karndean are a great product to use as they have more benefits than any other type of floor covering, however for them to look good and perform how they should, you also need to prepare the floor as per the installation instructions given by the manufacturer. As a perfect sub floor is one of the most important aspects of the job.

Remodeling Your Floors With Hardwood Flooring

When remodeling a house one of the most important decisions to make is what type of hardwood floors to use. Though other alternatives may seem like a bargain at first, wooden flooring is less susceptible to cracking and other forms of duress but has also been shown to greatly improve your home value. Not only does hardwood timber flooring make your house’s market price greatly increase, it also has a nice polished professional look to it that will impress both guests and yourself. While it may seem overwhelming at whether you home should have engineered flooring or solid wood floors, the choice is easily decided on by what you want the final product to accomplish.

If you want a nice rustic look to your house, than timber floor boards are a great pick for you. Despite being more difficult to install, the charming naturalistic look of timber floor boards will make your house truly feel new. The comfort and nostalgia of going with a timber floor board is one of the most satisfying home choices that a remodel can bring. Though solid timber floors require a good deal of maintenance, it will be worthwhile when you take in the lovely aesthetics they add. If you decide to go with timber floors, you will probably need to get assistance in the installation because they can be cumbersome to install without proper equipment.

When choosing your solid timber flooring houses often use a type of oak floors as they fit with the neighborhoods’ style and the area’s culture. Though the types of oak flooring vary depending on the area, European oak floor is by far the most common. The reason behind this is European oak flooring has a subtle yet sophisticated look making it very appealing to those interested in adding a refined taste to their house during their remodel. Even if you’re only interested in increasing the resell value of your house, oak flooring houses sell for much more than the cost of the investment. If you aren’t interested in installing oak floor buyers may also enjoy the textured look of Distressed Wood flooring. So don’t be afraid to experiment and deviate from the traditional method as the distressed look may go well with the rest of your interior.

If you want to enjoy the look of wooden floors without the maintenance and upkeep, then you may want to consider engineered wood flooring. While it doesn’t have the same thickness and form factor of hardwood floors, it is much easier to both manage and install. If you prefer to do all of your remodeling yourself, than engineered oak flooring is probably the right choice for you as it is much more straightforward to place down. Regardless of whether you choose to go with natural timber floors or engineered flooring, the look will be just the thing to make your remodeled house feel new and beautiful.