Not all floors are built equal. If you want yours to last, follow maintenance tips specific to the type of material it is made of.
When it comes to flooring materials, homeowners these days are spoilt for choice. Some like the smooth, cool feel of marble on a hot and humid day; some choose cement for that modern, industrial look; others have laminated floors because it is the most affordable option on the market.
Whatever your preference, you want the flooring material to last for as long as possible. After all, the floor is literally the part of the home we interact with the most — and that is where careful maintenance comes in.
Maintaining your floor is extremely important when it comes to longevity, and different flooring materials demand different types of care. Here are five common flooring materials in Singapore, and how you should go about taking care of them.
1. HARDWOOD FLOOR
The Basics Hardwood floors are popular for their durability — but only if you know how to take care of them. On a day-to-day basis, basic maintenance — like dusting or vacuuming dirt, dust, and other debris — is more than enough. The only thing to keep in mind is to use vacuum with a soft brush attachment, which will prevent damage to the hardwood floor.
Go Deep If you are looking for deeper cleaning, you’ll need an over-the-counter liquid cleaner. A cocktail mix of one-part vinegar and 10-parts warm water should do the trick as well. When mopping the floor, go easy on the water and remember to rinse the head of the mop and wring dry every few minutes. To dry the surface, a soft, dry cloth will do.
2. MARBLE FLOOR
The Basics Marble is as beautiful as it is tricky. As it is a porous material, liquid tends to seep through and cause staining or etching. While basic maintenance like dusting or vacuuming is important, prevention is key. Get sealing done every few months to make your floor more stain-resistant.
Go Deep However, if a spill has already occurred, warm, soapy water is your best bet — and do it fast. Make sure you rinse well, soak up any standing liquid, and dry the surface as soon as possible. And since this is marble, never — ever! — use acidic cleaning agents, which eats through the sealing agent like hot knife through butter.
3. TILED FLOOR
The Basics Maintaining and cleaning a tiled floor is relatively straightforward. Commercial cleaners or even mild acid like fresh lemon juice work just fine. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and buff dry with a clean, lint-free cloth.
Go Deep The grout — the gap between the tiles — are a little trickier. Grouts tend to trap or absorb grease and stains, making them hard to manage. Try a paste of baking soda and water. Rub it on the stain, let it sit overnight, rinse it off in the morning and — voila! — you’re done.
4. LAMINATED FLOOR
The Basics The first rule of thumb is to never sweep your laminated floor with a broom. That’s because traditional brooms tend to leave particles behind, which mayscratch the surface when you go on to mop the floor. A better idea is to use a flat mop, which remains flushed to the ground and better traps dirt and dust.
Go Deep Putting liquid — especially an excessive amount — on your laminated floor can be a bad idea. It may eventually find its way beneath the lamination, causing the floor to swell like boils. Instead, spray just a little water on the section of the floor you want to clean, then buff dry at the end of it.
5. CONCRETE FLOOR
The Basics Of all the common flooring materials, concrete requires the most upkeep. Like marble, concrete is porous and allows liquid to seep through. Furthermore, it can often feel dusty beneath your feet even after a cleaning session. Basic maintenance involves sweeping and vacuuming from time to time, and mop occasionally with a solution of a few drops of cleaner in a bucket of hot water.
Go Deep For more stubborn stains, wet the area and apply abmix of detergent powder and hot water. Let the paste sit on the stain for 10 minutes, then scruff off the residue. A word of warning, though: this may result in a lighter patch of concrete, but at least you know it is clean and the pesky stain has been removed.