How to maintain your flooring to make it last longer

Flooring is an often overlooked part of our homes but it's also one of the things that really makes a room look tired if it's not kept in good condition. Here are some tips to maintain your floors and save money in the long term...

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Let’s face it, flooring isn’t cheap. Whether you’ve gone for carpets, vinyl, tiles, wood or laminate, it’ll probably have cost you hundreds of pounds to install it. So, the best way to protect your investment is to maintain your flooring in order to get your money’s worth from it.

Don’t just lay your floorboards or install your carpet and then leave it to deteriorate. Aside from regular sweeping or vacuuming and wiping your skirting, there are many things other you can do to keep your floors in tip-top condition. These hacks will help to prolong the lifespan of your flooring so it’ll be many, many years before you need to replace it, bringing the cost-per-use right down.

Laminate and vinyl flooring

These types of flooring can begin to look shabby rather quickly if left uncared for. So, make it part of your house cleaning to-do list to regularly clean the floors with a cleaning product that’s specifically designed for the type of flooring you have. And don’t get laminate flooring wet! Here’s why:

The biggest threats to laminate and vinyl flooring are staining and moisture ingress, which can blow apart laminate planks and cause vinyl to lift. This makes your floors look very tired and you may even need to replace the whole floor as you can’t just remove and replace a small section.

So, the key here is to act quickly when spillages occur. Don’t allow water to sit on the surface of laminate flooring and definitely don’t allow it to seep into the cracks between the planks. Rush to the kitchen and grab a cloth to mop it up immediately!

It’s not just water that can ruin laminate and vinyl flooring – dropped foods can leave their mark pretty quickly and the stains will remain for many years to come. So, again, clear up any mess immediately to keep your flooring looking good.

Carpets and rugs

One of the most difficult types of flooring to look after is carpet. But, it feels really cosy underfoot so there’s no need to forgo comfort for practicality if you look after it well. Regular vacuuming will help to clear away the dust and dirt particles that make carpets look tired and dull the colour.

Pay attention to areas underneath furniture that can harbour dust (a key part of my 14 days to a tidy home challenge) and don’t forget to use a small suction head around the skirting. Take extra care when vacuuming close to the skirting boards, as you don’t want to dent the surface or chip the paintwork with vigorous vacuuming!

A tip for removing pet hair from a rug or carpet is to run a rubber glove over the surface, which will bring up clumps of fluff! Depending on your type of carpet, you can freshen it up by occasionally using a carpet cleaner to remove marks and odours. You’ll also need to treat stains as soon as they occur, using the correct methods for your type of carpet.

For example, some carpets are pre-treated with a stain-resistant coating, so you shouldn’t shampoo carpets like this as it will remove the protective treatment. Plus, wool carpets are also more delicate than synthetic carpets so you shouldn’t use a carpet cleaner on these either.

You can investigate using a steam cleaner to sanitise these types of carpets as part of your spring cleaning routine or have a professional clean your carpets for you. Be sure to ask your carpet supplier about the suitable cleaning methods for your particular carpet so make sure you don’t do more damage than good!

Wooden flooring

While wooden flooring is super-practical, is it still possible to cause problems if you don’t look after it well. For example, did you know that stiletto heels can cause divets in the wood? Sure, you’ll have to be jumping around to cause such damage (beware the house party!) but once those marks are there, you won’t be able to get rid of them easily.

Wooden flooring tends to have larger gaps between the planks than laminate flooring, so it’s more likely that any spillages will drip through to the joists below. Moisture can cause the planks to swell and, even though the flooring will probably dry out and return to normal, you might end up with a damp, fusty smell coming from the gap below the floorboards.

So, wipe up spills and food stains as soon as they occur to keep your wooden flooring looking great day-to-day. Long-term, you can always sand back the surface of your wooden flooring and refinish it. Even though it’s a laborious process (and you’ll get dust everywhere!) it’s like having a brand new floor once you’re done.

Tiled floors

Usually, it’s the grouting around the tiles that begins to look tired first. In rooms with a lot of moisture you might see mould growing on the grouting and, on floors, muddy footprints and spills can stain the grout lines. So, keep the flooring clean with regular mopping and scrub the grout to remove mould or stains if needed.

If the grouting crumbles out of the gaps, don’t leave it to loo shabby. Instead, set aside a couple of hours and scrape out the old grouting and replace it with fresh grout. This will make the whole floor look as good as new – and you could even use a darker coloured grout to reduce the effect of staining in the future.

I hope these ideas will help you to prolong the life of your flooring and help your home to stay looking neat and clean. Let me know your own flooring cleaning hacks in the comments below, I’d love to hear your ideas for carpets, laminate, wood and tiles.

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This article is sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

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Cassie Fairy
Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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