Maintenance of Sheet And Soft Tile Flooring

  • 01 of 04

    Vinyl Flooring

    vinyl flooring
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    Benefits: Durable, waterproof, and resistant to oils and fats. Vinyl flooring is considered an all purpose home flooring material that can be used in medium to high traffic areas throughout the home.

    Wear: Over time, natural wear and tear will leave vinyl flooring looking shoddy. For this reason certain precautions must be taken against agents that can damage a vinyl installation.

    Staining Agents

    Rubber: The antioxidants found in rubber materials such as shoe heels and rubber backed rugs can cause...MORE permanent stains in vinyl flooring.

    Cleansers: The use of bleach, liquid based abrasives, scouring powder and strong detergents can also permanently damage the surface of vinyl.

    Holes and Depressions: With some vinyl flooring, especially cushioned vinyl, you may have to worry about permanent imprints in the material from spiked heals, or the moving of heavy furniture.

    Other staining agents include citrus juices, tar, syrup, paint stripper, nail polish remover, kerosene and mineral spirits.

    Cleaning Instructions

    For general maintenance clean vinyl flooring with a damp mop and a mild detergent solution. Make sure that you rinse the floor thoroughly after cleaning it to ensure that you don’t end up with a buildup of detergent that can cause a haze across its surface.

    A vinyl floor needs to be swept or vacuumed regularly in order to remove sand and grit that can be abrasive, and wear down the surface of the material. In entryways, the use of a non rubber backed mat can help to cut down on dirt that may be tracked onto flooring surfaces.

    Vinyl flooring can also be polished using a water-wax emulsion polish. Just make sure that the polish you use does not contain solvents of any kind.

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  • 02 of 04

    Cork Flooring

    cork flooring installation
    © Bigstockphoto

    Benefits: Cork is a popular home flooring choice for low traffic low wear areas in the home due to its mold resistant properties, its natural characteristics, its sound dampening abilities, and its soft feel underfoot.

    Wear: Over time grit and dirt will break down the seal over cork flooring, allowing moisture to penetrate its surface. This can lead to pitting in the material, or can cause it to crack and begin to break down. Cork is also particularly susceptible to burns such as from cigarettes.

    Initial Maintenance

    A new application of cork flooring needs to be sealed with a chemical agent, a wax-polish treatment, or organic primers. In some cases cork flooring may come pre-sealed. However another application of sealant should be applied after installation to adequately protect the joints between pieces.

    Whenever the surface sealant treatment begins to show signs of wear it should be reapplied in order to maintain the floors moisture barrier.


    Grit and sand can cause the seal over a cork flooring installation to wear down over time making it susceptible to water penetration. In order to prevent this, the floor must be swept or vacuumed on a regular basis.

    A damp mop can be used to clean the surface on occasion however avoid harsh cleansers and try to avoid using too much water and letting it sit in puddles.

    Spills should be absorbed with a paper towel immediately in order to prevent permanent stains.

    In some cases the surface of a cork floor can be lightly sanded to renew the finish and eliminate the presence of surface stains.

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  • 03 of 04

    Rubber Flooring

    rubber flooring tiles
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    Rubber flooring is susceptible to stains from harsh solvents and fats. In general synthetic rubber flooring will be more resistant than natural rubber.

    Cleaning: The surface of a rubber floor should be mopped with a mild detergent to free it of stains and germs. After washing it, use a mop rinsed in clean water to go over the entire surface of the floor. You want to make sure that you completely remove any detergent from the material or it can leave a filmy residue behind.

    Detailed Rubber Flooring...MORE Information

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  • 04 of 04

    Linoleum Flooring

    linoleum floor tiles
    © Bigstockphoto

    A durable and resistant material, Linoleum flooring is popular in mid and high level traffic areas throughout the home.


    Linoleum floors need to be regularly vacuumed or swept to keep them free of abrasive dirt that can cause scratches in its surface. It can also be mopped using a mild detergent.

    This material is resistant to most stains and mild burns can be buffed away. Despite this, when spills occur you should still wipe them up immediately.

    Buff the surface of the floor with an...MORE emulsion polish to give it a glistening complexion. This polish will need to be stripped and reapplied on a regular basis.