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vinyl flooring care & cleaning

One of the most compelling reasons to choose a vinyl floor is how little you'll have to do to maintain them. High–quality vinyl flooring can be kept looking great with the minimum of effort. The manufactured nature of vinyl flooring means you won't have to face many of the challenges that come along with floors made from natural materials. This makes maintenance very straightforward.

Vinyl floors are able to handle standing water better than other types of flooring, which makes the list of potential problems you face with your vinyl floors fairly short. You'll find it easy to clean your vinyl floors when necessary. Always use a manufacturer–recommended cleaner so you don't take any unnecessary risks with your vinyl flooring.

Vinyl Floor Care Products

Prevention and Maintenance

  • After your vinyl floor is installed, avoid walking on the seam sealer and any seamed areas for the first twelve hours. Avoid rolling heavy objects over the floor, as doing so could leave permanent compression marks.
  • If you want to prevent dirt, grime, and stains from marring your vinyl floor, start with the finish. An enhanced urethane coating will resist stains from many household elements. Vinyl floors with this finish can be kept clean with sweeping and the occasional mopping with water and vinegar or a floor cleaner that the manufacturer recommends.
  • If your vinyl floors have seams, be sure to immediately clean any spills near them. Water could damage the subfloor if it reaches it. While seam sealer will weld the seams together, leakage is still possible if applied improperly.
  • Avoid using rubber–backed mats, as they could alter the color or damage the floor. Check the tag to see if they are safe for vinyl floors.
  • When vacuuming, avoid using a vacuum with a beater bar, which could scratch your floor.
  • Place mats at each entrance to keep excess dirt from being tracked into the house. Look for mats made specifically for vinyl floors.
  • Don't use abrasive cleaners or scrubbing tools, as they can scratch your floor.
  • A new coat of manufacturer–recommended floor polish is a good way to keep your floor looking glossy and provide extra protection against wear.

Care and Cleaning

  • Vacuuming and sweeping will rid your vinyl floor of dirt.
  • Hard to clean dirt can be removed with a damp mop or Swiffer®.
  • Use the cleaner your manufacturer recommends. Make sure it's "self–cleaning", or rinse free cleaner, so wax doesn't accumulate on the floor.
  • If there is no manufacturer–recommended cleaner, use one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap or clear ammonia combined with a quart of water.
  • Spills should be wiped up immediately with a clean cloth. Then rinse the area thoroughly with water and wipe it dry.
  • If you use a standard floor wax or polish that isn't recommended by manufacturer, be sure to stay away from paraffin–based products. Paraffin will settle into the embossing and attract dirt to your vinyl floor.

For immediate help from a flooring professional or fellow remodeler, you use our Flooring Forums.


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