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Carpet and Vinyl Installation and Repair

Cleaning Linoleum and Vinyl Floors

Proper care of your floor prevents damage, extends its life and keeps it looking new for years.
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.

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.

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.
Applying a self-cleaning floor wax or finish can protect from gritty dirt that will eventually scratch the surface. It will also prevent wear in traffic lanes.

Linoleum-Care and Cleaning

Always vacuum or dust hard floor surfaces before mopping. Linoleum floors generally require only warm water for cleaning. Keep standing water away from seams and edges. To preserve the linoleum floor you may wish to add a capful of baby oil to the mop water.

Most detergents won't rinse clean leaving behind a sticky residue. That residue becomes a magnet, attracting dirt off the bottom of your shoes. 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 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. Black heel marks? Spray a little WD40 on a towel, lightly rub and they disappear without scrubbing. Rinse thoroughly with sudsy water or the floor might be slick.

Removing Old Wax

If too many layers of wax build up, especially in non- traffic areas, the 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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. Then rinse with 1/2 cup of vinegar per gallon of water. The vinegar removes any lingering ammonia.
  7. Be sure to apply a fresh coat of wax after the floor is dry

Wax a thin coat of self-polishing wax on dry, clean floor. 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. Good floor wax can be found at janitorial supply stores. You pay more, but the finish lasts a long time without yellowing. Apply the wax with a clean dishtowel. Let the first coat dry several hours, then apply a second coat. Do not machine wash a towel you have used to apply wax. The wax sticks to the side of the washer and can damage future loads of clothing.

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What is vinyl flooring and how is it made?

Also known as resilient flooring, vinyl floors are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They are generally composed of three layers. The bottom or backing layer is made from either fiberglass or felt which adds structural strength and durability. All vinyl floors have a cushion backing, which comes in variety of thickness. This property is valuable especially when vinyl is installed in the kitchen where there is a higher tendency of dropping breakables. Unfortunately, the thicker the cushion backing is, the easier the floor can suffer from dents. To solve this problem, you can choose textured vinyl surfaces to camouflage the dents. The thicker the backing, the more durable the product is. On top of that is the printed designs and patterns. And finally, there is a protective wear layer. The wear layer is either clear urethane or vinyl. Clear urethane gives the flooring a glossier no wax covering. The vinyl type is more resistant to stains and scratches. However the vinyl type can lose its gloss more easily than the urethane protective topping. Both types of protective toppings can wear in time and may become dull unless wax is applied regularly.

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What is the difference between Linoleum and Vinyl flooring?

Linoleum and Vinyl flooring are sometimes thought of as the same thing. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a fundamental difference between the two. Linoleum is produced by mixing linseed oil, cork or wood flour, ground limestone, tree resins, and organic pigments that are pressed onto a jute support. On the other hand, vinyl is made from petrochemicals. With time, you’ll notice that the patterns on the vinyl flooring have become faded or damaged. This happens when the vinyl sealant is spent. Direct exposure to the sun and foot traffic cause the sealant to wear away. Linoleum flooring, on the other hand, tends to respond better to such exposure. Because of vinyl flooring's composition, you can choose from a wide variety of designs. Linoleum flooring typically is produced with only a single pattern or color. Linoleum requires more maintenance than vinyl and you’ll definitely need some elbow grease to apply either a wax or a polish on the floor. The frequency of doing this is more often than if it were vinyl. Linoleum floors can last for as much as forty years if properly maintained. Vinyl floors hardly last a third of this time, even with proper care. Of the two flooring surfaces, linoleum is the least affected by scratches and nicks.

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Who is vinyl flooring best for?

Vinyl flooring offers a great variety of choices. You can replicate the look of ceramic tile, stone and hardwood floors. Vinyl flooring is best for someone who is looking for inexpensive and very versatile flooring. Vinyl flooring is a very durable substance and is an excellent choice for high traffic areas or in areas with moisture, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms. Vinyl flooring is also for someone looking for a floor that is easy to clean and maintain.

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What are the advantages of vinyl flooring?

One of the advantages of vinyl flooring is that it's an inexpensive way to get the look of materials like hardwood and ceramic tile. High quality vinyl flooring can last over 30 years.

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What are the disadvantages of vinyl flooring?

The adhesive on vinyl flooring is sometimes water-soluble and should not be exposed to water for an extended period of time. Vinyl flooring does not add as much value to your home as other natural products. Once vinyl flooring is nicked or scratched, the damage cannot be repaired but can sometimes be hidden or covered. All vinyl floors are affected by direct sunlight and color can fade. It is recommended that you close blinds or drapes on sunny days to protect your vinyl flooring. Glossy floors can get slippery and can be hazardous especially when used in the bathroom.

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Where can I install vinyl flooring?

Vinyl flooring can be installed in almost any situation, above, below, or on grade. It is okay to use in bathrooms and basements, however the adhesive on vinyl tile is sometimes water-soluble and should not be exposed to water for an extended period of time. You can install vinyl flooring over concrete, hardwood, or plywood, but not over carpet, chip board, or particle board. Installing vinyl flooring over existing vinyl is possible but it is not recommended that you install over two or more pre-existing layers. Make sure that you install over a subfloor that is free of bumps and imperfections as these will often show through your vinyl flooring.

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What is the average lifetime of a vinyl floor?

Vinyl flooring can last anywhere from 5-30 years. There are differences in quality between vinyl flooring products that can make the lifetime vary greatly. Care and maintenance are also very important factors in the life of your vinyl flooring

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What are the different installation methods for a Vinyl floor?

There are three installation methods. All methods will result in a satisfactory flooring installation. The preferred method for your installation will be determined by the existing conditions of the area.

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What type of chair protectors can I use on vinyl flooring?

Support furniture with wide-bearing, non-staining floor protectors. Ideally, the protectors should be at least one inch in diameter, made of non-pigmented, hard plastic and rest flat on the floor. Non-staining felt protectors are also acceptable. Casters with a minimum 3/4" flat surface width or floor protectors are recommended for all moveable furniture. Make sure any metal protectors are rustproof. Replace your narrow-dome furniture rests with wide-bearing ones.

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What type of mat can I place on my vinyl floor?

Use doormats outside each entrance to your home to prevent dirt, sand, grit and other substances such as oil, asphalt and driveway sealer from being tracked onto your floor. Staining can occur if there is a dye transfer from an object that has been laid on the floor. Be sure to use rugs or mats that are labeled "non-staining".

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