Buying flooring for your home is definitely an investment. This is something you’re going to live with for five, 10, even 15 years. You don’t want it to start looking drab and worn after just a few years. So how can you make sure your flooring is going to look great for a long time? The first step is to make sure it’s installed properly. An improper installation can lead to fraying, warping and other damaging effects that can force you to replace your flooring way too soon. But assuming you’ve done everything right, here’s what you need to know to keep your flooring looking great for years to come:

Carpet: There is no such thing as “too much vacuuming.” The more often you vacuum your carpet, the better. Why? When you continually step on dirty carpet, you’re grinding dust, dirt and other particles into the pile of the carpet. While it’s still loose, it’s easy to vacuum it up, but once it’s become embedded, it can quickly degrade the appearance of your flooring. Try to vacuum 1-2 times every week for best results.

But be careful about which vacuum you use. Believe it or not, some vacuums can actually invalidate your manufacturer’s warranty by stripping away the facing of your carpet and causing damage. And it’s not just inexpensive vacuums either; some surprisingly expensive models can do the worst damage. To make sure your vacuum is in-warranty, contact your carpet manufacturer or check this list from the Carpet and Rug Institute to see if your model has their seal of approval.

To further reduce dust and debris, keep mats just inside all exterior doors and encourage everyone to wipe their feet—or better yet, remove their shoes.

Hard Surface Flooring, Including Hardwood Flooring:  With hard surface flooring, particularly hardwood flooring, the key is keeping your finish looking great. The finish’s greatest enemy is, again, dust and dirt. In this case, particles won’t become embedded in the flooring, but will instead scratch the finish. Imagine each grain of dirt as a tiny shard of glass. Every time you scrape it across the floor, you’re leaving a microscopic scratch there. You might not notice it today or tomorrow, but one morning you’ll wake up and wonder how your flooring got into such a state. Combat it with frequent sweeping—again, once or twice a week.

The other best defense against floor damage is common sense. If your child skateboards in the house, you have a big dog with big claws or put your flooring up to other kinds of abuse, it will wear out more quickly than it otherwise would. If that’s worth it to you, go for it. But if you’re in it for the long haul, show your flooring a little TLC.

Proper maintenance can keep floors looking great for a long, long time. Your flooring installation team should provide you with full information; if they don’t, you can always contact the manufacturer. At Tish Flooring, we always make sure you have the tools to preserve your flooring for years to come. Want more information? Call 317-879-8474.