5 Common Questions on How to Clean and Maintain Luxury Vinyl Flooring

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Among the biggest benefits of selecting luxury vinyl flooring as part of your interior design project is its qualities related to cleanability and maintenance. Not only is the long-term durability and stability of your flooring selection dependent upon this, so too is its long-lasting look and feel.

But figuring out how to clean vinyl flooring to ensure it lasts well beyond its warranty can feel complicated. The reason is there are a lot of questions that end users must ask to guarantee their flooring choice is protected for years to come. The following are answers to five of the most common questions on how to clean and maintain luxury vinyl flooring.

1. Do I Need to Wax Luxury Vinyl Flooring?

No. An important thing to realize about luxury vinyl flooring is that it doesn’t require the application of wax. It does however benefit from the use of an acrylic finish. And there’s a big difference between the two. Floor wax, which is generally derived from carnauba wax, requires special buffing equipment per application. In essence, wax is what custodians back in the old days applied to VCT floors in school and hospitals in multiple coats to make them appear shiny and clean.

Acrylic finish is more of a liquid based substance that is applied using a mop and bucket, unlike wax which is more solid and buffed onto the flooring surface. Using a finish is recommended by the manufacturer for areas prone to scuffing or scratching. While it is not a requirement by any means, when applied correctly acrylic finish provides a protective barrier that adds shine and longevity to the floor.

2. Should I Use a High-Speed Burnisher on My Acrylic Finish to Bring Out the Gloss?

No. A high-speed burnisher will penetrate the wear layer into the film of your flooring, thereby destroying it. High-speed buffing can also cause the layers to separate, as well as cause delamination. It is recommended you buff the acrylic finish on your luxury vinyl flooring at a slow speed in order to bring out the shine.

3. What Do I Do About Scratches or Scuffs on My Floor?

Take measures to prevent surfaces scratches from happening by dry mopping, broom sweeping and/or vacuuming daily to remove debris and grit that could otherwise be ground into surface and cause scratches. If there is a scratch or a scuff, then some light buffing may do the trick. Other simple fixes include:

  • Applying finish or vinyl floor sealer (after washing) will hide most small to medium scuffs.
  • A spot-repair kit can also help.

If it’s a deep scratch — like a gouge, cut or dent — it is best to replace the plank or tile, which is a relatively easy process. Scuffs are similar to deep scratches because whatever is causing the scuff (i.e. shoes, chairs, carts, etc.) can create a heat transfer that can damage the wear layer. Also similar to deep scratches, gouges and dents, the solution is to simply replace the damaged plank or tile. Other solutions include learned tricks such as rubbing the scuff mark with a tennis ball attached to a stick or using a red pad to rub the scuff away. Deep scuff marks that damage the wear layer can be treated using an acrylic finish, which when applied correctly can help minimize the visual damage.

4. What’s the Best Way to Clean Luxury Vinyl Flooring?

The traditional two-bucket system has proven to be an effective way to clean your luxury vinyl flooring. While there is a tendency to rely on the one-bucket system, that method essentially involves washing your floor with dirty water. A two-bucket system allows you to wash your floor with one bucket filled with a neutral cleaner and another bucket filled with clean water, thereby limiting cross contamination and ensuring you’re not spreading around dirt.

5. Do Certain Flooring Designs Help Hide Dirt or Wear?

Though it’s best to clean up any dirt as soon as possible, in high traffic areas having a flooring product that can hide minor imperfections is crucial. For example, a white-colored carpet is going to show dirt easily and though a black carpet may hide dirt, it will show lint easily. As more spills and traffic are added into the mix, dirt will be even more visible on both carpets. With LVT, there are many design options that aid in hiding imperfections. Using luxury vinyl that has either multiple colors/shades or textures in its pattern is a great way to help visibly hide traffic line, scratches or dust. Of course with a light or dark-colored LVT product you’re bound to run into the same issue as mentioned above with carpet—however, the difference is that LVT spills and dirt can be wiped up with ease.

An important thing to remember is that luxury vinyl flooring, like all other hard flooring products, is susceptible to the normal wear — especially in areas of high traffic. However, unlike the many other flooring products out there today, luxury vinyl flooring is easy to clean — no matter if it’s spills, stains, scuffs or scratches. The key is to find ways of minimizing the damage by relying on quality finishes to protect your flooring and following routine maintenance recommendations.

Contact us today to learn more about why we’re an industry leader in crafting plank and tile flooring with a strong focus on clarity, durability and stability. Sample flooring is also available upon request.

Note: Prior to performing any of the techniques listed above, refer to your flooring manufacturer’s technical manual. For Parterre maintenance instructions, review our General Maintenance Manual.

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