This client from Silverdale had called us over to renovate their 12-year-old Amtico vinyl floor that runs from the back door, through the kitchen and then over to the dining room. Although modern brands of Vinyl are much more durable than in the past, they do require a sealer to protect the
Proper care of your floor prevents damage, extends its life, and keeps it looking new for years. So how do you properly care for your flooring? Learn to prevent unnecessary dirt, grime, and damage, and regularly clean your floors with the proper solutions and methods.
What You’ll Need:
- Warm water
- Ivory liquid soap
- Clean towels
- Spray bottle
- Nylon bristle brush
- Floor wax
If you enjoy going barefoot or even if you don’t, kick your shoes off at the door. Why remove your shoes? Well, if you have a rough board that needs smoothing you grab a sheet of sandpaper for the job. Guess what’s on the bottom of your shoes? Sand and dirt that will grind away at the surface of your flooring, causing them an early death.
A closer look at the bottoms of those shoes and you’ll also find oil, dirt, and heaven only knows how many tidbits of unknown substances. In cases like this, it’s a small wonder why your floor stubbornly refuses to come clean. Aim to wear only slippers or socks inside. The oil from the bottom of your feet can also dirty your flooring. Using socks and slippers can also keep your feet much cleaner at the same time.
Always vacuum or dust hard floor surfaces before mopping.
Linoleum floors generally require only warm water for cleaning, as most detergents won’t rinse clean and leave behind a sticky residue. That residue becomes a magnet, attracting dirt off the bottom of your shoes or slippers. It builds up, deteriorating the sealant and leaving you with the hard job of stripping and waxing.
If you find your floor requires a cleanser, use Ivory liquid dish soap. Fill your sink with suds, mop away, and then rinse with a clean towel. Ivory rinses clean so the sticky buildup never causes problems. Other detergents can be too harsh for the floor so stick to Ivory. You can also mix Ivory in a spray bottle of water as a floor pre-spray or all-purpose cleaner. It’s inexpensive and quite good.
Some linoleum floors have grooves so deep you can sink a submarine. Grab a nylon bristle brush, fill your sink with warm water, add a good squirt or two of Ivory dish soap, and scrub the floor. Other brushes might scratch your flooring so take extra caution when choosing the right one. Rinse again with a clean towel. Your floor should only need this deep cleaning twice a year or so.
Black heel marks? Not a pretty sight. To get rid of them, spray a little WD-40 on a towel and lightly rub. They should disappear without scrubbing. Rinse thoroughly with sudsy water or the floor might be slick.
If your floors still don’t pass the white glove test, it may be time to strip and wax. Open the windows, turn on the fan, put on some marimba music, and prepare for a good workout. Use straight ammonia and a towel for this. Pour the ammonia in one area and spread around with a dishtowel, letting it set for 15 to 30 minutes. After 15 minutes treat the next area. Go back to the first spot and scrub with a nylon brush, and repeat until you finish the floor. Mop up the ammonia with a clean, damp terry towel. Then, rinse with 1/2 cup of vinegar per gallon of water. The vinegar will remove any lingering ammonia.
Good floor wax can be found at janitorial supply stores. You will pay more, but the finish lasts a long time without yellowing. Apply the wax with a clean dishtowel. Let the first coat dry for several hours before applying a second coat. (Do not machine wash a towel you have used to apply floor wax. The wax will stick to the side of the washer and can damage future loads of clothing.)
Vinyl tiling can be used for a broad variety of applications in your home, most commonly your floors, but if you want a more unique approach, you can put peel and stick vinyl tiling on your walls. This is commonly done in the bathroom or kitchen to enhance the decor and make the walls easier to clean, but you can make your choice on what room you want it in. Peel-and-stick vinyl tile comes in a broad variety of different colors and a broad variety of different designs. You are sure to find one that matches what you want in your home. Remember to bring samples home to see how it would look on your walls. Here are a few tips on applying peel-and-stick tiling.
Clean Walls Well
This is one of the most important tips. Make sure that your walls are nice and clean. Scrub them with a very good cleaner and make sure that they are very clean and free from any wetness or stickiness before you install the tiles. If the wall is wet, the tiles will not stick. It is a good idea to clean them the night before you plan to do the tile. Do not clean them with a solution that is gritty or has crystals in it, as that could mess up the adhesive in the tile backing.
Many people think that with peel-and-stick tile, you should not have to use adhesive at all. The truth is that over time, the adhesive that is already on the back of the tile can wear off. Make sure that you pick out a decent adhesive that will help the tile stick. Only put a thin layer of adhesive down and allow it to almost dry before placing your tiles. Make sure that you pop a chalk line before laying your tiles so that your tiles are straight and look good in your room.
Buy Decent Tile
Peel-and-stick vinyl tiling can be very cheap, but it is best to avoid the really cheap kind. The cheaper kind can break and fall off your walls, which can lead to you having to replace the vinyl within a short amount of time. Check the tile to see if it comes with a warranty. If it comes with a warranty, chances are that the tile is decent, and you will have customer support whenever you need it. Shop around before deciding on one particular brand of tile, as this will help you find the perfect tile for you walls and your home.
Taking on a tiling job can be quite a task, but armed with the proper tools and knowledge, you can easily install a tile wall in no time. If you need further assistance, there are many shows and videos online that will let you see exactly how the peel-and-stick vinyl tiling is installed. This is great for people who are just starting out and are unsure of what to do and how to install the tiles.
Most people don’t realise this but Amtico recommend their floors are protected against scuffs and scratches with a sealer or floor care dressing as they call it and like any product you apply to a floor it will wear off over time due to the constant abrasion of floor traffic. This is very
Use the mildest method you can to make the floor look clean again. Vacuum or sweep regularly to remove dirt before it gets ground in. Wipe up spills at once. When soil won’t come up with vacuum, mop with damp mop squeezed out of cool to lukewarm water. Rub only enough to remove dirt on surface.
Wash only when dirt will not come off by milder methods listed above. Use solution of warm (not hot) water and detergent; apply small amount with mop or sponge, rubbing only enough to loosen dirt; take up with mop or sponge. Rinse off all solution thoroughly with clean, cool water; always rinse well no matter what the detergent or cleaner says about not rinsing. In cleaning, try to remove soil without destroying the wax film on the floor so rewaxing does not have to be done too often.
Removing Old Wax
If too many layers of wax build up, especially in non- traffic areas, floor may discolor or look yellowed. Removing all the wax requires harsher cleaning than ordinary cleaning, and should be done no oftener than once a year, and not that often when not necessary. You can buy commercial wax removers, some made to remove certain types of waxes, or use a homemade solution. If you know the brand of wax on the floor, follow directions on its label for removal.
If you want to make a wax remover:
- Mix from 1/2 cup to 1 cup of ammonia (start with less and add more if needed) and one cup laundry detergent in 1 gallon warm water.
- Test in an inconspicuous area to see if it softens the wax film. After several minutes, the area where the solution has been applied with a sponge mop should turn cloudy and soften.
- Then scrub that area with a stiff brush, electric scrubber or very fine steel wool pads to loosen old wax. 4. Repeat process in another area until entire floor is stripped of wax. 5. Rinse thoroughly with clean, cool water. 6. After drying thoroughly, apply one or two coats of wax depending on conditions of floor, drying between coats according to wax instructions.
Wax a thin coat of self-polishing wax on dry, clean floor, when washing does not bring back shine. Wax flooring when new, and always keep it protected with a coat of wax. Regular wax will give more protection and shine than one-step wax-and-clean products, but will build up over time.
Polishing wax (solvent based) to be buffed with electric polisher, may also be used on vinyl if desired. It must be thoroughly buffed, following directions on wax label. It will not build up.
Linoleum-Care and Cleaning
Linoleum is an older floor covering that may be found in some older homes. It needs waxing to preserve its surface, usually water-based self-polishing wax, but solvent-based wax to be polished with electric buffer can be used. It dents easily, and is badly damaged by alkalis.
Damp mop using a mild detergent and water for day to day cleaning. Keep water away from seams and edges to prevent loosening of the tiles. To preserve the linoleum floor you may wish to add a capful of baby oil to the mop water. Clean with a mild detergent and water solution and rinse thoroughly. Do not use ammonia or strong alkalis. If water-base wax has to be removed, use Isopropyl Alcohol . To remove old wax by mopping, mix a solution of 3 parts water to 1 parts rubbing alcohol. Scrub this in well and rinse thoroughly. Be sure the area is well-ventilated and wear gloves.
For Rubber Tiles : Mild Detergent. Avoid oils, solvents, and strong alkalis as they will harm the surface. Wash with clear water, a mild detergent, and a clean mop.
Cleaning Vinyl No-Wax Floors
A vinyl or polyurethane finish has been applied on the surface to keep a shine without waxing; the urethane is more durable. To keep it shiny, keep it clean. When washing with a detergent solution, be very sure to rinse it all off. One-step “clean-and-wax” products may leave a film that covers the shine; test if using them. Occasional buffing will heighten the shine.
Eventually all finishes will lose some of their shine as the finish coating wears. Renew it by applying a water-based self-polishing wax. Special vinyl floor finishes sold at flooring stores may also be used, but usually cost more. If a sculptured pattern, apply thinly so no pools of wax collect in low spots. Club Soda. Remove buildup by pouring a small amount of club soda on a section. Scrub this in well. Let it soak in a few minutes and wipe clean. or Vinegar. A few drops in the cleaning water will help remove grease panicles. Dull, greasy film on no-wax linoleum can be washed away with 1/2 cup white vinegar mixed into 1/2 gallon water. Your floor will look sparkling clean.
Applying a self-cleaning floor wax or finish to the “no-wax” vinyl floor can protect from gritty dirt that will eventually scratch the surface. It will also prevent wear in traffic lanes. Removing dirt promptly with vacuum and damp-mopping when necessary will also help reduce scratching of the surface.
Thinking about replacing the floor in your bathroom, kitchen or mudroom? If you are, you might want to consider vinyl flooring as an option. Sure vinyl flooring has been around for years, but even after all that time it still retains the practical characteristics that have made it a popular flooring choice for homeowners for years. Consider that vinyl flooring is easy to install (both glueless sheets and self adhesive tiles are available), versatile (can be used in almost any room in your home and will blend with any color scheme), low maintenance (only needs sweeping and an occasional damp mopping) plus, it keeps its original appearance for along time. Here’s some insights on vinyl flooring.
Vinyl flooring comes in a number of formats
- Traditionally vinyl flooring came in sheets 6′ or 12′ wide and was provided in rolls. Since the narrower stock is easier to work with, it’s probably more appropriate for a DoItYourself’er, but the wider 12′ stock helps minimize seams and joints in a floor.
- Vinyl floor tiles (12” or 18” squares) or planks (similar to laminate flooring) are now also commonly available. The planks are often made to look like hardwood, while the tiles come in a wide spectrum of colors as well as stone surfaces look alikes.
How it’s made
- The main components of vinyl flooring are PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) or plastic (a petroleum based product), and plasticizers that give the flooring it’s flexibility.
The PVC is laid onto a backing then covered with a clear ‘wear layer’ to help the flooring maintain its ‘like new’ appearance.
- Different looks of the flooring are achieved by either inlaying colored vinyl particles directly onto the backing material (so the color goes right through the flooring), or overlaying a printed image onto the backing (similar to the process used to manufacture laminate flooring).
Wear layer makes it hard wearing and long lasting
- The clear top layer or wear layer is what gives vinyl flooring its ability to resist wear and maintain its appearance.
- Depending on where you plan to install your vinyl flooring (and the amount of use/abuse it will get), the wear layer classification can help you make the best (and most economical) choice for your particular application. There are three basic classifications of wear layers
- Vinyl No-Wax is the least durable and may require some vinyl polish be applied periodically to maintain its appearance. This should be your least costly alternative and works well in a low traffic application like a laundry room perhaps.
- Urethane finish. This labeling tells you the wear layer is made of hard wearing, moisture proof urethane that will provide great stain resistance as well as resisting scuffing and wear. Usually more expensive than vinyl no-wax it’s designed to be used in high traffic areas.
- Enhanced coatings are available that provide even more wear protection than urethane. These wear layers use products such as aluminum oxide to provide an extremely hard wearing surface and provide the best choice for long life in high traffic areas like kitchens or mudrooms.
Vinyl tile adhesive is a substance that you use to properly install any type of vinyl tile. When you do this type of job, there is a good chance that you will get some of the adhesive on top of the tile or on some other surface. Rather than scrape it off and potentially ruin your tile, you can easily remove the vinyl adhesive with regular cooking oil. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you tackle this project.
Saturate the Spot
To begin, completely cover the area that has the excess adhesive with oil. Be generous with your application, but you do not need to cover the whole floor. The oil help dilute the adhesive. Most vinyl tile adhesive is oil-based, so if you add more oil, it will lessen the effectiveness of the adhesive overall.
Let It Soak
Once you apply the oil to the top of the adhesive, allow time for it to set. It needs a few minutes to dilute the oil in the adhesive before you can move forward. You might need to give it about 10 or 15 minutes before moving onto the next step.
For the next part of the process, you will need a knife or a scraper. Work very gently to scrape the adhesive from the tile. Vinyl is durable but it is also fairly soft. This means that if you push the knife to hard down into the vinyl, you will most likely cut into it. You could also scrape off the top layer of the vinyl. Take your time to gently pry the adhesive off of the surface of the tile.
After you have successfully removed the vinyl tile adhesive, you need to clean up your mess. Start by using a paper towel to wipe up all of the extra oil. Then you can start cleaning the area with soap and water to remove all of the oil residue from the spot. This way, you will not be left with any slick or greasy spots on your floor. Finally, follow it up with another paper towel so that the area will be completely dry.
Vinyl floors are often the choice for kitchens and bathrooms when an economic choice is required without sacrificing too much style. Vinyl floors are the least expensive flooring you can find and are known for their ability to be cleaned easily. Vinyl floors are resistant to stains, but dirt and grime can sometimes be a problem, as can oil. Vinegar is a great green cleaner that will not only remove stains and oil but also disinfect the area you are cleaning. Vinyl floors have a thin layer of wax on them so that the design stays intact and the tiles are protected from water. Vinegar is one of the few products that can be used on vinyl flooring in order to keep it clean and keep the wax where it belongs: on the tile. The article below will share techniques you can use to clean vinyl floors with vinegar.
Use the Right Vinegar
You cannot use just any type of vinegar to clean. Red wine vinegar includes acids and solvents produced in the making of wine. These byproducts can actually stain the vinyl floors instead of cleaning them. These same byproducts also weaken the wax on the vinyl and the vinegar itself. The same applies to white wine vinegar as well as so-called “cooking wine.” Cooking wine is nearly the same as red wine vinegar but can be created with other alcohols. These have a tremendous salt content, which will also damage the vinyl. Use only white distilled vinegar as a cleaner. This is pure vinegar and is the most potent.
Wipe and Don’t Scrub
Owners of vinyl floors often scrub vinyl as they would countertops or porcelain tile. This is a mistake. Scrubbing vinyl floors will remove the wax coating, which leaves them open for water damage and scuffing. The best thing you can do is simply wipe off the vinyl floors with very minimal pressure.
Another problem that you have with cleaning vinyl floors is what you clean them with. Vinegar is the substance, but the tool matters as well. Never use anything that is stiff or overly coarse, as this will easily damage the vinyl floors and its wax coating. You can use a brush with soft bristles, such as a soft toothbrush, but the best tool at your disposal will be a terrycloth towel. These towels are very soft and can easily be cleaned in the washing machine to use later.
Soak the Vinyl
Everyone is in a rush these days. No one actually wants to spend the entire day cleaning. This is understandable. Scrimping on cleaning time will, however, cause the vinyl floors not to get properly cleaned. The vinegar needs time to work on the stain before being wiped away. You cannot simply spray on vinegar and then wipe the spot and expect it to be clean. This especially applies to such things as blood and scuff marks. Allow the vinegar to soak on the vinyl flooring for several minutes prior to wiping it down.
If you have recently spilled oil on your vinyl floors, you do not have to panic. Here are a few materials and steps that you can use to get that oil off the floor quickly and safely.
What You’ll Need:
Step 1 – Use Warm Water
The first thing that you want to do is try warm water. You can either wet the sponge with warm water or use a rag. Wipe down the spot to get as much off as possible without rubbing it in too much. You basically want to try to soak up as much as you can. Use paper towels to make sure that any excess water gets soaked up with the oil as you go along.
Step 2 – Use Vinyl Cleaner
When choosing a vinyl cleaner you may want to first speak with the company or store where you bought your flooring for a recommended brand. Otherwise you can find a generic or other vinyl cleaner at most grocery or general stores. You want to make sure that it is specifically for vinyl instead of a multi-purpose cleaner as you will end up soaking the area and will not want to ruin the floor around the spot that has the oil spill while cleaning. Once you have cleaned the stain off with water as much as possible, you can try using a vinyl cleaner. If it is a spray nozzle then you will just want to spray until you cover the area completely. If you need to pour or squirt, then use about a quarter size and rub it into the area. Let this solution sit and soak for about 15 to 20 minutes depending how big the stain is. Then use a sponge or rag again to wipe off the oil in a circular motion being careful not to spread it any further. Be sure to keep washing off and rinsing the sponge or rag.
Step 3 – Continue with Warm Water and Repeat
Once you have gotten a good amount of the oil out you can use a warm rag again to mop off the spot. You will want to continue these steps until the oil is completely off of the floor. You may need to do it a few times, make sure that each time you use the vinyl cleaner you let it soak long enough and then after you wipe it off you wash the area with warm water.
These steps should help you to remove any oil from your vinyl flooring. You want to keep in mind that if this does not work you can use a sponge that is a little rougher however you do not want to use steel wool or anything that is going to harm the surface of your flooring. The best way, although it may be time consuming, is to continue to soak and wipe off the area until it is completely clean.
Vinyl tiles can make an attractive addition to your floor. A special type of plastic or polyvinylchloride (PVC) is used to produce the tiles. Vinyl is often used as a substitute for leather in many applications. It is also referred to as faux leather. With the various options of flooring material available on the market, one may wonder which is best. Below are some of the key benefits that come with a vinyl floor.
Ease of Installation
The self-adhesive backing on most vinyl floor tiles makes it easy to install. You simply peel off the backing and attach the tiles to the floor. No specialized skills or tools are required. Installation can be completed much faster than other floors requires. It helps to keep your construction costs down.
Vinyl floors have minimal maintenance needs. Simply sweep the floor when dirty. You can mop once a week or as the need arises. Vinyl is water and stain-resistant which contributes to its low-maintenance nature.
Vinyl has a high resistance to water. This makes it suitable for use in the kitchen and bathroom. The water-resistant nature of vinyl also adds to its durability. Flooring materials that have low water-resistance do not last as long as vinyl. Repairs and replacements ultimately add to home maintenance costs. The impervious nature of vinyl floors spares you from the common problems of mold and mildew that develop under floors.
Vinyl flooring is relatively inexpensive. Yet it offers one of the greatest selections in styles and designs. Flooring can take up a considerable portion during home construction, especially for large floor spaces. With an option like vinyl, you can complete your home project on schedule without budget restrictions. Should you desire a change, the affordability and ease of installation makes it easy to accomplish. It makes a cost-effective choice.
Vinyl flooring gives you a virtually unlimited variety in design and styles. Tiles are available in various sizes, colors, textures and patterns. Vinyl flooring can be customized. Varieties that resemble expensive flooring such as marble or intricate wood designs can be produced. Texture is also created to match a particular floor type. This enables homeowners to achieve whatever style they prefer. Vinyl also blends well with various décors. Where the budget cannot allow a certain floor, vinyl can prove to be a suitable substitute.
The soft feel of a vinyl floor adds to room comfort. Yet it provides great support for the feet. The floor doesn’t feel as cold as some other flooring materials can be. Noise generated from vinyl floors is minimal. This contributes to the overall comfort indoors.
Vinyl flooring is one of the widely recognized resilient flooring types. It can withstand heavy use and foot traffic over long periods, yet remain in good shape. The moisture and stain resistant properties add to its durability. Water and stains often contribute to high wear and tear of flooring. When properly installed and well maintained a vinyl floor can last several years.