Top secrets to spotless floors

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Let’s be honest, showing off a beautiful house to friends and guests feels really good. Flaunting your striking wallpaper, boasting about your Italy-imported dining table… and then turning around in horror to see dirt smudges all over the kitchen floor. Definitely a less great feeling. 

Although we cannot influence your guests’ likes to match up with yours (or to fall in love with what you deem the ideal interior decorations), we can, however, help you get through this difficult time of discovering more dirt and grub on your stylish floors. 

Be it tile, wood or stone, there’s a secret for every surface. So, let’s take it from the top and review these simple tips and tricks to spick and span floor surfaces

Hardwood floors

Ah yes, wooden floors. A dream to have in your house, a nightmare to clean. Or is it? Speed up your cleaning process by first using a mop that has been treated with a dusting agent, which will allow it to pick up dust, dirt and pet hair that might scratch the surface. 

For regular cleaning: Vacuum with a floor-brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner (or an electric broom). Don’t use one with a beater bar attachment, as that can scratch the wood. For quick dusting, opt for disposable electrostatic clothes, available at most grocery stores (save money by using both sides of the cloth). 

For deeper cleaning: Use a wood-cleaning product diluted according to the label instructions. Soak a sponge or rag mop in the water, but wring it almost completely dry to leave it only slightly damp. Mop the floor with this, ensuring that you don’t leave any excess water on the wood. Rinse with a clean mop dampened in clear water (but only if the cleaning product requires it).

Laminate flooring

Spoiler alert: That striking appearance of a laminate floor is due to a photographic reproduction, layered inside protective plastic coatings on a supporting core of wood-based material. So, even though a laminate floor might look like a good-old fashioned hardwood floor, it’s not – which mean it cannot be refinished. 

Therefore, rather invest in some regular TLC to keep your laminate floor clean and free from damaging grit and moisture. Take care of your floor by regularly sweeping, dusting or vacuuming up loose dirt. Any spills should be wiped up right away (light damp mopping will help if simple wiping doesn't do the trick). 

Do not use a wet mop, as water can seep in behind the baseboards. And refrain from using wax or acrylic products, as they can damage the floor’s finish. 

For optimum stain removal, keep a manufacturer-approved cleaning solution nearby.

Resin floors

When installing your resin floors, welcome them to their new home by treating them to a proprietary floor cleaner. After that, keep an eye on them to ensure a striking quality. 

Before starting any cleaning, first sweep the floor to remove any loose debris. Then the floor can be cleaned by using a non-alkaline cleaner. If your floor has a high gloss finish, it is acceptable to lay a layer of an acrylic polish, which will keep that glossy finish intact, add a hard-wearing surface to it, and also help with the removal of surface scratches or blemishes (while still keeping an anti-slip surface). 

After this, your resin floor will require regular cleaning, either with a neutral or mildly alkaline floor cleaner, depending on the type and level of soiling encountered. 

And for spillages? Wipe them up immediately, followed by a regular cleaning routine using your standard floor cleaner.

Non-ceramic tiles

rustic Kitchen by Equipe Ceramicas
Equipe Ceramicas

Masia Olive, Cream , Decor Jewel Cream 7,5x15

Equipe Ceramicas

Tile floors generally present the easiest surfaces in terms of cleaning. Whether you have a granite-floored kitchen, porcelain-surface bathroom, or a terracotta-space porch, a little soap and water goes a long way in quickly removing any spillages or smudges. 

Hardcore stains or really dirty tiles can be treated to a sponge soaked in warm water to which a few drops of white vinegar have been added.  

From the floor to the wall, we bring you some: Inspirational Wall Tiles Designs.

Ceramic tiles

modern Kitchen by FingerHaus GmbH
FingerHaus GmbH

VIO 302—Küche mit Kochinsel

FingerHaus GmbH

Ceramics are made from natural particles that are shaped and fired in a kiln at extremely high temperatures. This process creates a durable and resilient material that outmatches most other flooring surfaces. When glazed, ceramic tiles also form a protective barrier against dirt, water, stains and chemicals, making them even more resistant to the elements. 

Your ceramic tiles are held in place by grout, which is typically white. Time (and exposure to life) means that this colour can become a bit tarnished, lowering the beauty standard of your floor. Therefore, your grout needs to be taken care of as well. After installing the tiles, seal it to keep stains, dirt and water from penetrating that protective barrier. 

Should you inherit a ceramic tile floor with dirty grout, mix some hydrogen peroxide and water in equal parts, apply to a toothbrush, and brush that dirt to remove the stains.

Polished concrete flooring

A polished concrete floor adds a seamless beauty to your home’s floor space. Even though its maintenance is much easier than that of tiles or wood, it still deserves your loving attention every now and again. With proper TLC, your concrete floor can last a lifetime. 

To clean, simply sweep your floor to remove all loose debris. Run your dust mop over the floor to pick up any dust particles. Fill a bucket with about 4 litres of warm water and a small amount of mild cleaner / dish soap mixed in. Stick to neutral-pH cleaners. 

Be sure NOT to use ammonia or vinegar, as these may damage the finish. 

Dip your mop in the cleaning solution and wring thoroughly. Mop the floor in small sections, rinsing and wringing repeatedly. When finished, refill the bucket with clean warm water and mop again to rinse away any remaining soap.

Intrigued? Then check out our: Guide To Concrete Flooring.

Natural stone

Orford | A classic country kitchen with coastal inspiration: classic Kitchen by Davonport
Davonport

Orford | A classic country kitchen with coastal inspiration

Davonport

A coating of natural stone in a house (whether it’s on the staircase, living room floor, or kitchen countertop) adds a striking touch that is a mix between raw material and glamorous surface. However, apart from its cost, buyers pose another question before purchasing this material: cleaning. 

Whether you have a granite, marble, sandstone or slate surface in your house, water with some pH-neutral soap (like the one used in dishwashers) is your best defence against dirt. Water and a small amount of ammonia or bleach can also be used. Ammonia would be the better option, as it is not an acidic product, but a base, and does less damage to stone. 

Never mix ammonia and bleach, as this will release toxic gases.  

Then simply continue with your cleaning using a sponge, soft cloth, or a very soft brush to avoid scratching the stone surface.

Which floors do you have in your house? Have your tried any of our suggestions? Share your good tips with us!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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