Best cleaning techniques for the 9 most common floors

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Our floors are one of the most hard-working features within our homes. Not only is the floor the workhorse of a dwelling, but it provides us with a long lasting material upon which to house our furniture. Without out floors we wouldn't have a home, they are undeniably a large yet essential investment. Unfortunately, as floors bear the brunt of daily life, they also require regular maintenance in order to stay stylish, sophisticated, clean, and usable. Depending on the floor you have within your home, and the material it is made of, it will likely have different cleaning requirements. 

Let's face it, cleaning floors is one of the less desirable home chores. Getting down on one's hands and knees often feels as though it is a mammoth task, with no real easy of simple solution. Here at homify we have gathered together the 9 most common domestic floors and searched out the best way to clean and maintain them.

If you need a little encouragement, or some helpful cleaning advice, then take a peek below, and begin your residential refresh today!

Clean that grout!

Gwel-An-Treth, Sennen Cove, Cornwall Laurence Associates Modern houses White
Laurence Associates

Gwel-An-Treth, Sennen Cove, Cornwall

Laurence Associates

Grout—the little lines between your tiles that seem to endlessly acquire detritus and dirt deposits. 

Use: As grout gets dirty easily and quickly it is important to regularly clean it. Invest in a grout brush or use an old toothbrush to scrub the lines between your tiles. Buy a purpose-made grout cleaner, or try a phosphoric acid cleaner. Furthermore, as a last ditch effort, you may want to try grout whitener to boost your floor's brightness. 

Look out for: When cleaning grout it is fairly important to use a clean rag or scourer to scrub away the dirt. As grout has a sandpaper texture it tends to 'grab' dirt, dust and grime from the sponge you are using to clean it!

Laminate floors

Laminate is a hard-wearing and touch timber veneer flooring. Although these floors aren't rue hardwood they still require maintenance and smart cleaning. 

Use: A purpose-made laminate cleaner. These are usually available through the supplier who sold you the floor. If you didn't install the laminate, you can simply purchase a normal floor cleaner from the supermarket. As laminate is easy to clean, a simple detergent/water mixture is usually sufficient. 

Look out for: Don't use a soaking wet mop that will drown the floor. Dryer mops are better and will provide an improved result too. 

Concrete floors

If well-maintained concrete flooring can be a hard-wearing and long-lasting material for your home. It does however require regular cleaning. 

Use: Vacuum regularly to remove dust build up, and then mix up a bucket of mild detergent or floor cleaner and water. If you have a high gloss finish you will probably want to polish your floor with a microfibre cloth or dry mop. 

Look out for: Avoid all acidic washes, solutions and cleaners as this will break down the surface of the concrete, expose the pores, and you will lose the polished finish. 

Small tiles

Small tiles can collect a build up of dirt and grime. The problem with small tiles is you want to clean the tile, and often not the grout. Additionally, the grout can cause mould build up, especially if the tiles are located in the bathroom

Use: Get tough with your tiles and opt for a bleach/baking soda combination. You can add vinegar to the mix too, and this will provide a strong acidic ingredient for cleaning both the tiles and the grout. 

Look out for: If your tiles and grout are old you will want to ensure you steer clear of lime and mineral scalers as these can cause deterioration of the materials. 

Light tiles

Light tiles suffer horribly from dirty grout. Grab that grout brush and get to work! 

Use: Bleach is a great option as it will lighten your tiles and grout while you wash the floor. Mix this bleach with warm water until it dissolves and read the label for dilution quantities. Apply a decent amount without flooding your floor, leave for a little while, and clean with a strong brush. 

Look out for: If you have patterned tiles consult the manufacturer for details on cleaning and the usage of bleach. 

Dark tiles

Dark tile cleaning is similar to light tiles, with the added benefit of the dark grout and tile hiding the dirt. A blessing and a curse, this can mean it is difficult to see where the dirt is situated. 

Use: Vinegar is a great solution, and naturally good for the environment. Wipe down your tiles and use a vinegar/water solution to wash the floor. 

Look out for: Avoid using too much water as this will cause extra dirt to flow into the grout areas, causing extra cleaning and work.

Parquet flooring

One of the hardest floors to clean, parquet tends to dull if not kept clean and polished. 

Use: Vacuuming is essential, and helps remove dust and dirt that can become trapped over time. Invest in a good cleaner that has been designed for parquetry. And finally, use a dry mop to clean the floor, and a chamois to polish. Wax can also be added, but should be tested on an inconspicuous patch of floor first. 

Look out for: As with all polyurethane floors, you should avoid harsh acids that can cause the polish to dull. 

Hardwood floors

Lucky 4 Ranch Uptic Studios Rustic style living room
Uptic Studios

Lucky 4 Ranch

Uptic Studios

Hardwood floors are one of the most common floors, and also one of the hardest to maintain. Many hardwood floors lose their sheen and shine over time, contributing to a look of general wear and tear. 

Use: Remember to vacuum regularly, and apply a wax to retain the floor's natural shine. Use a dry or damp mop to clean marks, and dry once complete. Chamois cloths can be used to give that extra shine once the wood is clean. 

Look out for: Vinegar, ammonia, or solutions that contain acid. This can damage the polyurethane coating and cause the floor to dull. 

Large stone tiles

Large stone tiles come in many different shapes and forms, and it is important to determine the style and composition of your tile before cleaning. If you are able to chat to a professional, get some advice and safeguard against incorrectly treating your stone floor. Composite stone tiles are hard-wearing and can withstand many different substances. 

Use: The simple solution to cleaning stone tiles is to purchase a stone soap and dilute it in water. This can be easily mopped over the floor to renew its cleanliness and shine.

Look out for: Products that contain lemon, vinegar, or other acids that might damage the stone. 

Natural stone tiles

Natural stone can be slightly trickier than composite stone as it is often porous.

Use: A specialised stone cleaner that has been certified for use on your particular variety of stone. 

Look out for: Test a small patch before washing or cleaning the entire floor to ensure it is safe and will not hard the colour or condition of your stone. 

We hope this provided you with some helpful hints and handy tips! If you would like to continue reading, check out: Caring for hardwood floors

Do you have any tips, tricks, or floor-cleaning stories for our homify community? If so, we'd love to hear from you in the comments section below!

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