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Three Tips for Keeping your Laminate Floors Clean

February 7th, 2017

The floors in your home or business are undoubtedly the most used daily feature. People and pets walk and run on the floors, things get spilled, dust and dirt gets accumulated, furniture gets moved, objects fall- literally anything you do impacts the flooring in some way. It becomes essential, then, to have good quality, durable flooring that is best suited for your needs. There are many types of flooring options available on the market today. From different types of carpets, hardwood flooring, tile, laminate, and more, there is sure to be something suitable for your every need. Laminate floors have become very popular in recent times due to their high durability and versatility.

Why Choose Laminate

Laminate Floors CleanChicago Laminate flooring is one of those very few products that have made a big splash in the home improvement market. It has been marketed as a cost effective, easy to install, and durable choice of flooring. Homeowners who have chosen laminate flooring, have provided great reviews after using it and this has helped it to become more popular. Laminate does seem to live up to its reputation of being a tough material that shows good resistance to scratches, stains, and dents.

Since it does not need to be nailed, stapled, or glued to a subfloor, installation is relatively easy and inexpensive. Unlike real wood, laminate does not expand or contract and it can be used in any area and over just about any substrate, including concrete, wood, and previously installed vinyl flooring. Newer and better textures and designs give laminate a beautiful, real wood look and feel like never before.

Keeping your Laminate Floors Clean

Laminate floors can be easy to clean and maintain with the right tools and the right steps. Here are three useful tips.

Tip 1: Use a microfiber mop to clean your laminate floors. These mops can glide smoothly over the laminate, picking up hair, dust, and other debris. Their swivel handles make it a breeze to clean around furniture. Remember not to use much water or cleaning solution- just dampen the microfiber pad if needed- because water can easily warp laminate flooring. Even if you purchase top quality laminate and have it installed by a reputable installation company such as Classic Floors Chicago, moisture will warp laminate floors over time. Alternatively, you can vacuum your laminate flooring by setting the vacuum on the wood floor setting.

Classic Floors ChicagoTip 2: Sometimes your floors don’t just need dust bunnies and hair to be swept up- spills can happen too. Use a paper towel, sponge, or dry cloth to blot up the spill. To prevent warping, do not let anything wet stay on your laminate floor for too long. With wood floors, you are able to use wax, cleaners, and other chemicals to polish and shine the hardwood. But remember, laminate is not wood, so you should never polish or wax your laminate floors. If you have any questions, call a professional flooring company for any type of service or repair. In Chicago, laminate floors can be expertly installed, serviced, or repaired by Classic Floors Chicago. Just call us at 773-656-1727 to find out more about our products and services.

Tip3: Even with the best of care, you may find yourself facing an especially tough stain, scratch, or other damage to your laminate floor. How do you take care of these? Below is a list of some common stains/marks you may happen to get on your laminate floors, and how to remove them.

  • Grease – This might be a more common stain, especially on kitchen floors. Place an ice pack over the grease to harden it. Once hardened, use a plastic knife to carefully scrape it off. Any remaining residue can be cleaned with a squirt of window cleaner and a damp cloth.
  • Ink – Wipe with a damp cloth, using a little detergent if needed.
  • Nail polish – Use nail polish remover just as you would on your nail. Wipe with a warm damp cloth when you are done.
  • Wine or soda – Wipe with a damp cloth.
  • Scuff marks/ heel marks – Use a regular pencil eraser to rub away the marks.
  • Crayons – Use mineral spirits on a damp cloth and wipe.

With regular cleaning and proper maintenance, your laminate floors can last you for years. You can take care of the floor yourself with easy cleaning steps. But for more difficult problems, make sure to hire reputable professionals to fix the issue.

In Chicago, flooring of all kinds can be repaired, cleaned, and installed by the leading flooring company- Classic Floors Chicago. With 15 years of experience in the industry, we at Classic Floors Chicago strive to provide you with top quality service and gain your trust. With our expert professionals and state-of-the-art equipment, you can be sure of getting the best service.

 

How To Properly Seal Your Hardwood Floor In Chicago

January 5th, 2017

Hardwood Floor In Chicago

A hardwood floor is a fantastic way to finish off your home decor and really bring out the beauty of your home. Whatever your tastes, a wood floor looks amazing. Like all decor, though, it does need some upkeep, but luckily Chicago Hardwood Floors are durable and long lasting. When it does need a touch up though, you need to know how to seal it properly. Here’s the ultimate guide to finishing your floor.

When Your Floor Needs Sealing

Chicago floorsThere’ll be a few times when you’ll have to think about sealing your floor. Firstly, it will need to be sealed when you first have it installed. This will finish the installation and give you the look you were going for with your floor.

You may also need to do a repair job on your floor if a part of it becomes damaged. If it has been scratched or lightly worn, all you will need to do is lightly sand the floor and apply the same top coat that you used when you first installed the floor.

If you’ve had the same floor for a while, or you’ve moved into a home with hardwood floors that are damaged, it will need a total refinish. That means you’ll have to sand the entire floor down to the bare wood, and refinish it properly.

The Types of Sealant Available

When it comes to sealant, there’s a huge range to choose from. Here’s some of the more popular ones around, and how they can add to your Chicago floors.

  • Wax: This was the most popular option before the 1970’s when polyurethanes became available, but it’s making a comeback. It’s great if you want a low sheen finish that’s not harmful towards the environment. It’s best for antique flooring, or anyone who wants an easy way to do touch-ups.
  • Water-based polyurethanes: If you want to stay eco-conscious but want a harder wearing finish, water-based polyurethanes are for you. They’re great as they’re fast drying and can be finished off in three to four coats. They dry clear, which makes them perfect if you want the natural color of the wood to shine through.
  • Hardwood Floor In ChicagoOil-based polyurethanes: These work in a very similar way to their water-based counterparts, and are favored by many as they’re less expensive. They dry yellow which could put some people off, but depending on your wood it may be a bonus. They’re also known to be harder wearing that water-based polyurethanes.

Oil vs. Water-based Sealants

The most popular sealants available are oil and water-based polyurethanes. They both give a strong finish to your floor, so you may be trying to pick between the two. Here are the differences you need to know about to help you decide.

  • Application: Oil-based poly finishes are more forgiving than water ones. Water-based finishes dry quicker, and will show up brush or lap marks more visibly.
  • Color: An oil-based poly finish will dry in a warm yellow color, while a water-based one will dry clear.
  • The environment: Water-based finishes are considered to be more environmentally friendly than oil-based ones.

All in all though, each finish is comparable, so pick the one that has the best features for you and your floor.

How to Seal the Floorboards

hardwood floor ChicagoSealing your hardwood floor Chicago is actually a lot easier than you would think. Here’s a quick step by step guide to help you through the process.

Step One: Sand down your floor. If you’re applying finish to the whole floor, everything will need to be sanded back to bare wood. If you’re doing some repairs, just sanding the affecting area will be fine.

Step Two: Clean the floor. Vacuum up as much dust and grit from the sanding as you can. Go over the floor with a damp cloth to catch any remaining dust.

Step Three: Stain the floor, if applicable. If you’re staining the wood, now is the time to do it. Apply the stain with a rag or paint roller evenly. Allow to dry for at least an hour, and be sure to ventilate the area thoroughly.

Step Four: Apply your finish. Pick the sealant you want to use, then apply evenly with a brush or roller. Let this first coat dry for around six to eight hours. The amount of coats you apply will depend on your sealant, so check the manufacturer’s instructions.

And that’s all there is to it! If you’re still unsure, or want to check with an expert, please do get in touch with us. We know our stuff when it comes to hardwood floors, so we’ll be happy to help. We can do repairs for you if you need them. Give us a call and let’s talk about what you need.

 

Hardwood vs. Laminate Chicago Floors

December 23rd, 2016

Hardwood floors in ChicagoAs a homeowner, the prospect of installing hardwood floors is definitely going to be enticing. They’re beautiful, they’re natural, and hardwood ages much better than carpet. One thing you are probably quite aware of however, is that many people go for laminate over hardwood due to the price difference and the ease of installation. So here’s the question, when you’re installing your Chicago floors, should you go with the cheaper option? Does the aesthetic match the quality? One thing that we want to make abundantly clear is that while laminate was once always considered to be the cheaper option, things have changed significantly.

The lines between expensive and inexpensive are being blurred a bit, and with the advancements we’ve made in technology, that really shouldn’t’ be a surprise to anyone. We’re going to take a quick look at the major difference between Chicago hardwood floors and laminate floors in Chicago. Before we’re done, you should be able to make a decision for your own home or office.

The Making of Chicago Floors

The first thing you need to know is that the major difference here is the material. Wood can be very sensitive, especially if you encounter great amounts of moisture in your home. In spite of that, hardwood flooring is often highly preferred, especially if you’re looking for something a bit more natural. In hardwood flooring, the planks are all made from single pieces of wood which can be purchased in two forms: finished or unfinished.

If you want to take it up a notch you might consider engineered hardwood flooring where the planks are pre-manufactured. So what does all this mean exactly? In the long run, it means that you’re going to get the natural look of hardwood that you’ve always wanted and for many people that makes it well worth it.

Should you choose to go the laminate route, however, you’re going to get a synthesized material designed to look like natural wood. Laminate flooring planks are designed from a fiber and melamine material, and the top is imprinted to look like wood. For most people, it looks perfectly natural but there are quite a few who have the ability to spot a laminate floor from a mile away, making it very difficult for you to settle for laminate flooring if you are such a person.

Durability – An Important Factor

So how long do either of these floor types last? Unfortunately it is very difficult for us to give you an exact number for a few reasons. First of all, it all depends on how the floor is being used. A well trafficked floor is going to see a lot of wear and tear, meaning it won’t last quite as long unless a more durable material is used. Secondly, it depends on the manufacturer and finish. Natural wood can be damaged very easily, but if you have laminate flooring, you typically have a more durable flooring assuming that it is designed for heavy traffic. There are actually several different types of laminate flooring, all designed for different levels of traffic, but we’re going to get to that in another blog.

Laminate Chicago FloorsThe one thing we will say is that hardwood floors may be easily damaged but they are also easily repaired; you see, with a hardwood floor you can simply remove the damaged plant and snap the new one into place; something you could never dream of with laminate flooring. More often than not, laminate flooring is glued down, and you’re going to run into a bit of a struggle getting just one of the planks up.

So how long does it last exactly? Well, laminate flooring needs to be replaced after about twenty years because the surface cannot be sanded, and it cannot be refinished once the wear and tear have set in. Hardwood floors in Chicago on the other hand can be sanded and refinished, which almost makes them preferable to laminate flooring. Laminate, however, is a bit cheaper to replace, usually about 50% cheaper than the hardwood counterpart.

What it all comes down to is preference. Both floors have their pros and cons, and both floors last for a while. If you want something slightly less expensive but still beautiful, laminate flooring is going to be what you need. If, on the other hand, you want to get back to nature, well, hardwood flooring is probably your best choice.