As you work to prepare your home for listing and sale, you may suddenly realise that your carpeted rooms look dirty and dated. Home stagers face this problem almost daily. Carpet was once THE flooring choice. Nowadays, most people prefer durable, cleanable hard flooring.

This is a discussion you should have early-on with your home staging professional. It’s quite possible that your dated carpeting will be seen as a detriment in selling your home. If the flooring is apt to become a price-negotiation point, it could be a good business decision to replace your dated carpeting with an alternative flooring option.

Hardwood floors are elegant and extraordinarily beautiful. They can be difficult to preserve, though. Particularly if your housemates are hard on floors, a laminate alternative may be the best way to go. The new laminates are becoming so beautiful that it’s difficult to tell the difference between them and the real thing. More and more homeowners are choosing laminate floors over other, more expensive flooring.

A good laminate floor can add beauty and the warmth of wood to a home. Home stagers often recommend laminate flooring as an easy-to-clean, durable option in a home where children, dogs, and busy adults live and work. Unfortunately, laminate floors can be quirky to clean. Here are a few tips for keeping your laminate floors looking lovely.

Dust Often: Dirt and grit are the sworn enemies of any hard flooring. The longer dirt is allowed to remain on the surface of the floor, the more opportunity there is for those gritty bits to scratch and gouge your flooring making it look dull and lustre-less. Use a dust mop, soft-bristled broom, or a vacuum with the hard-floor attachment. You don’t want the floor scratched or scraped by implements that are overly scratchy. You could also use one of those disposable paper-fibre systems if you prefer.
Watch the Water: Too much water is a big-time problem for laminate floors. Over-wetting your flooring can cause water to seep down between the planks, causing the laminate materials to swell and buckle. This damage is permanent, so use extra caution when mopping.

Cleaners: You may think that the best, most expensive cleaning solutions will be kind to your laminate floors. Not necessarily. Too much of anything liquid can cause damage, as we outlined above. Too much cleaning solution can also lead to streaks that will attract dirt like a magnet.

Sometimes spills and stains require a heavier-duty cleaning solution. Most generally, though, the best way to clean your flooring is the simplest. Warm water mixed with two or three tablespoons of household glass cleaner, or a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent, can clean up just about any dirt that clings to your floor. Think of cleaners that are formulated to rinse clean and not leave streaky-residue. Use your cleaner sparingly – spritz it on from a squirt bottle as needed, and allow your damp mop to do the rest.

Mopping Instruments: In terms of mops, make sure that the one you use doesn’t harbour little shards of grit. A rag mop or even a sponge mop can work like sandpaper unless it is very clean. Choose a mop with a removable cleaning surface that can be laundered between uses. You can also use one of the new systems with disposable pads for cleaning if you prefer.

As with hardwood floors, take extra care to avoid scratches and gouges on your laminate floor from sliding heavy furniture across it. Put furniture pads under the feet of heavy pieces and replace them when they become thin or worn. As a bonus, these little pads make the furniture easier to move if you’re a furniture rearranger.

If you are planning to sell your house and find that you must replace the flooring in any or all of your rooms do consider laminates. They are inexpensive, yet the good ones can look like top-end flooring. They can be installed over a weekend by a DIY homeowner and, if properly cared for, they can stay beautiful for years. Home stagers assure us that a good quality laminate is a way to impress potential buyers for less.

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