Clean Up This Spring

Ring a ding a ding time! The birds are chirping, grass is growing, trees are beginning to bud, it's finally spring! It's time to store away those winter shoes, the same winter shoes that have been walking all over your beautiful floors all season long through the long, dirty, cold, and unforgiving months of winter. Winter not only pummels the outdoors, but mud and dirt are tracked all over your home, leaving a mess on your floors. With spring comes everyone's favorite spring time activity, spring cleaning.

Here are some spring cleaning tips to get your floors back in tip-top shape. Break out the dust rag, broom, mop, and vacuum for the annual deep-clean. We know it can be overwhelming to face all the dust and clutter that has accumulated over the cooped-up winter months--simple maintenance care can help make this spring cleaning easier. 
Help your floors keep their beautiful looks with these spring cleaning tips for carpet, hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and tile!

Freshen Up Your Carpet
Regular maintenance throughout the year can help make spring cleaning a breeze, but it's ok if you didn't. We've got you covered. First, choose a good quality vacuum and keep your vacuum's filter clean-it can help make all the difference when tending to your carpet. If spot cleaning is needed, try to remove the stain by using water before moving on to harder cleaning solutions-remember to blot rather than rub the stain.

No matter what type of carpet you have, prompt attention to spots and spills is vital.

Here are a couple tips for cleaning your carpet:
~~Vacuum at least once a week and more often in heavy traffic areas, paying special attention to areas where people sit and move their feet.

~~Be prepared with the proper tools to clean up accidents quickly and that you know the right way to spot clean. Otherwise, you may cause more harm than good to your carpet.

~~Place mats at the entrances of your home's carpet areas - this can help absorb moisture and help prevent soiling.

~~Have your carpet cleaned regularly. Spring is a great time to plan for a professional cleaning. We recommend a hot water extraction method or "steam cleaning." The manufacturer warranty that comes with your carpet requires that it be cleaned by a certified professional. Most carpet manufacturers stipulate a specific schedule for this in order to keep your warranty valid.

Keep Hardwoods Beautiful
Typically, sweeping and vacuuming can be enough to refresh your hardwood floors. However, when it comes to spills and stains, you may need to use an only slightly damp mop. 
Here are some other helpful cleaning tips to keep your hardwood floors looking great for longer:~~Wipe up wet spills and tracked-in dirt should be wiped away immediately.
~~Sweep, dust, or vacuum using a hard floor attachment at least once a week. If you use a vacuum cleaner, be sure to either use the hard surface attachment or turn off the beater bar.

~~Use a cleaner made for hardwood flooring, such as Bona, to help clean more stubborn soil.

~~Add protective pads to furniture legs.

~~Don't use buffing machines as they can damage hardwood floors.

~~Never use a steam mop on wood floors. The high temperature of the steam will damage the wood.

~~Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for optimal cleaning tips.

~~For sticky substances, harden the spot with an ice cube and lightly rub with a dull plastic scraper. Do not apply too much pressure as this could damage or scrape the floor's finish.

Long Lasting Laminate
Laminate pairs the beauty of natural wood with easier maintenance. However, it requires proper regular maintenance not only during spring cleaning, but throughout the year as well. When cleaning for spring, keep these simple tips in mind:~~Only use soap-free cleaners.

~~Remove loose dirt with a dust mop or a gentle vacuum without a beater bar.

~~Wipe up any spills immediately.

~~Use a quality laminate floor cleaner.

~~Do not use excessive water, as it could cause buckling or separation.

~~Never wax, polish, or use buffing machines.

~~Don't use steam mops. The high temperatures can cause damage to laminate.

~~Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions.

You can get years of beautiful performance from your laminate floor with a little preparation and understanding of proper cleaning methods.

Durable Tile
Ceramic and Porcelain are beautiful, durable and easy to clean, but daily maintenance is needed to keep your floors looking great. When beginning your spring cleaning, here are some simple instructions to help you care for your tile floor:

~~Always sweep or vacuum first to get up loose dirt and grit, then:

~~Clean with a damp mop to avoid buildup of mold, mildew, and grime.

~~Dry tile thoroughly with a clean towel or cloth.

~~Never use detergent or soap-they can dull the tile's surface.

~~Place mats at doorways to help trap soil and other substances.

~~Avoid steam mops. High temperatures can cause damage to grout.

~~Read the manufacturer's instructions before cleaning.

Versatile Vinyl
Vinyl is an up and comer in the flooring world. The product known as LVP, or Luxury Vinyl Plank, is great looking and most are waterproof. It is laid in planks like wood, or occasionally in tiles like porcelain or ceramic.

Pointers for keeping it clean are similar to other hard surfaces: 

~~Sweep or vacuum frequently to get rid of grit, the worst enemy of all finishes.

~~Use a barely damp mop, with a cleaner made for vinyl.

~~Vinyl will scratch, so use protective pads on furniture legs.

~~Steam mops are not recommended for vinyl floors.

~~Check manufacturers recommendations before using wax or other finishing products on vinyl.

Whether you have carpet, hardwood, laminate, vinyl or tile flooring, it is important to understand how to properly care for your floors.

There are some universal "rules" no matter which floor works best for you. Use doormats outside every exterior door. Keep the grit and dirt swept or vacuumed up.  Heed the manufacturer's instructions regarding regular professional cleaning. For porcelain and tile, use an upgraded grout to prevent mold, mildew, and stains (We STRONGLY recommend Pro Fusion Grout with our tile installations), and the best tip off all- no shoes inside the house! What are you waiting for? Get started with YOUR Spring Cleaning!

Design Tip
Painting your cabinets is a way to totally change the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank. White is the color most often chosen, but also look at shades of blue, green, and black.  Using two different colors for your cabinets is also worth considering, either lighter upper and darker bottom cabinets, or your island a different color than the wall cabinets.

How Much Does It Cost?
Every kitchen is different, but most cabinets can be professionally painted for $3500 to $4500.  Antiquing and glazes add to the cost. If your cabinets are in good shape and the footprint works for you, painting is a great option to update your look.