Pets can do considerable damage to floor coverings whether they are carpets, vinyl or wood. Ceramic flooring is less likely to be damaged by a pet; however, the grouting is easily stained and discolored if not taken care of properly. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and care.
Do not allow pets to dig and paw at floor coverings. This will damage to appearance of the flooring and will not be covered under the “Limited Warranty”. Abnormal wear and tear, stained areas, etc. are homeowner’s responsibilities.
Owners of even the best-trained pets will occasionally encounter pet accidents. Often, the urine is not discovered until long after the accident. The types of damage from pet stains can be diverse and are dependent upon the makeup of the urine. Urine content will change over the pet’s life because of the pet’s diet, medications, age, health, sex, and reproductive cycles. Because of these variables, some urine stains may not be removable.
To treat urine-stained areas:
Blot damp areas as soon as the urine is detected, with plain white paper toweling.
Apply a solution of ¼ teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent (non-bleach and non- lanolin) with one cup of lukewarm water. Do not use automatic dishwashing detergent or laundry detergent.
Absorb the moisture with the paper towel, rinse with warm water and repeat the application of detergent. Continue rinsing and blotting with the detergent solution and water as long as there is a transfer to the toweling or improvement in the spot.
Follow the detergent application with a solution of one cup white vinegar to two cups water, and blot dry.
Apply a half-inch layer of paper towels to the affected area, and weigh down with a flat, heavy, non-fading object. Continue to change paper towels until completely dry.
Urine can affect the dyes used in carpets, although not all occurrences will result in a permanent stain. Success is dependent upon the content of the urine, the dyes and finish used, and the time elapsed after the deposit. Some urine spots may be immediately noticeable, while others may take weeks or months for a reaction. The dyes may change color immediately after contact with urine.
When urine spots develop slowly and are noticed after much time has elapsed, the dyes and carpet fibers may be permanently damaged. In beige carpet, blue dyes are attacked by pet urine, leaving behind the red and yellow dyes with a resulting stain appearing red, yellow, or orange.
Pet urine, left unattended, can damage carpet in several ways. Moisture can weaken the layers of the carpet, allowing separation or delamination of the backing material. Seam areas can be particularly damaged and can separate.
Another problem, especially with cats, is odor. Unless the cat urine can be completely removed, complete odor removal is unlikely. A number of products are available to combat odor, but may simply mask the odor, and, in times of high humidity, the odor may reappear. Recently, enzymes, available at pet stores and veterinary offices, have been developed that are more effective; but they may be better used by a carpet cleaning professional. If odor cannot be removed, the damaged area of carpet can be replaced with a piece from reserved scrap. If carpet replacement is necessary, then replacement of padding and sub flooring may also be necessary.
Some carpet manufacturers have developed backings that resist spills and even prevent the spillage from penetrating the carpet into the carpet pad and, perhaps, the sub floor. Check with our Design Studio about these products.
Always follow manufacturer’s recommendations as far as maintenance and cleaning of your floor coverings.
MAINTENANCE & CARE
In caring for hardwood floors, a routine of preventive maintenance is the primary goal. The homeowner is responsible for this routine maintenance.
Sweep on a daily basis or as needed. Never wet mop a hardwood floor. Excessive water causes wood to expand, possibly damaging the floor; it is imperative that water be cleaned up immediately. Do not use water-based detergents, bleach or one-step floor cleaners on hardwood floors.
Wood floors will respond noticeably to changes in the humidity level in the home especially in the winter. A humidifier will help but will not completely eliminate this reaction.
Use protective mats at the exterior doors to help prevent sand and grit from getting on the floor. Gritty sand is one of wood flooring’s worst enemies.
New Wood Floors
When new, splinters of wood may appear. Dimples or scratches can be caused by moving furniture, dropping heavy or sharp objects, high heels, etc. Some shrinkage or warping can be expected, especially around heat vents or any heat producing appliances. Warping will occur if the floor becomes wet repeatedly or is thoroughly soaked even one time. A dulling of the finish in heavy traffic areas is likely; a white, filmy appearance is caused by moisture (often from wet shoes).
If the floors are coated with a polyurethane finish, in six months to a year you may want to have an extra coat of polyurethane applied. This should be done by a qualified contractor. The exact timing will depend on your particular lifestyle. If another finish was used (Glitza, for example), please refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Keep high heels in good repair. Heels that have lost their protective cap (thus exposing the fastening nail) will exert over 8,000 pounds of pressure per square inch on the floor! That is high enough to damage hardened concrete; it will mark your wooden flooring!
Food spills should be cleaned up immediately using a very dry cloth. Use a vinegar and warm water solution for tough food spills.
Waxing and the use of products like Murphy’s Oil Soap are neither necessary nor recommended. Once you wax a polyurethane finish floor, recoating is difficult because the new finish will not adhere to the wax. The preferred maintenance is preventive cleaning and annual recoating to maintain the desired level of luster. This should be done according to manufacturer’s instructions. For more information, please contact your flooring distributor.
Install proper floor protectors on furniture used on hardwood flooring. Protectors will allow chairs to move easily over the floor without scuffing. Clean the protectors on a regular basis to remove any grit that may accumulate.
Burns from cigarettes can be difficult or impossible to remove from your hardwood flooring. Small burns can be removed by sanding lightly and staining the area with commercial wood stain. Large burns should be referred to a flooring professional.
Yellowing and Warping
Be aware that yellowing and warping of the surface can result from rubber backing on area rugs or mats.
CERAMIC & PORCELAIN TILE
The ceramic/porcelain tile installed on walls or countertops in your home may be washed with any non- abrasive soap or detergent; abrasive cleansers will dull the finish.
Ceramic tile floors are one of the easiest floor coverings to maintain. Simply vacuum as needed. Occasionally wet mopping with warm water may be appropriate. Avoid adding detergent to the water. If you feel a cleaning agent is required, use a mild solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid. Rinse thoroughly.
Grout that becomes yellowed or stained can be cleaned with a fiber brush, cleanser and water. Grout cleansers and whiteners are available at most hardware stores. Also, be careful what you use to clean the flooring; it may have a tendency to stain the grout since it is not sealed.
Expect slight separations to occur in the grout between tiles. These slight separations in the grout are commonly due to normal shrinkage conditions. This grout is for decorative purposes only; it does not hold the tile in place. Cracks in the grout can be filled by using “tub caulk” or premixed grout that can be purchased from flooring or hardware stores. Follow package directions. This maintenance is important to protect the underlying surface from water damage.
Sealing grout is a homeowner’s decision. Once sealed, ongoing homeowner maintenance of that seal will be necessary. Please be aware that sealing grout will void the warranty coverage on such grout.
STONE TILE CARE & MAINTENANCE (ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION BELOW)
Marble, granite, travertine, limestone and slate are quarried products. Stones are a natural honed or polished rock, not factory-made or fired. No two pieces are alike and there are inherent variances in all stone. These characteristics may be color and shade variations, irregular markings, voids, pitting, veins, and differences in density causing sheen variations. It is a standard practice to repair some of these variations by one or more of the following methods; waxing, grinding or filling. Due to normal wear, cracks and voids may appear; these can be readily repaired using floor grout and/or epoxy. All of these variations and characteristics are common and present, to some degree. However, these characteristics are part of the natural beauty of the stone and will not impair the function or wearing qualities of the material. To avoid damage caused by tracked-in dirt, place floor mats inside and outside of exterior entryways. Sweep or vacuum regularly to prevent loose dirt from abrading your floor. Tracked-in dirt is abrasive and can mar the flooring surface.
A regular maintenance regimen will help your natural stone be more resistant to scratching and wear. Natural stone, especially polished stone, is sensitive to harsh chemicals. We recommend wiping or mopping stone surfaces with warm water or a pH-balanced neutral cleaner. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing and dry with a soft cloth. Change the rinse water frequently. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface. Do not use vinegar or any cleaners containing acids or strong alkaline agents. Whether a stone product is sealed or unsealed, all spills must be cleaned up immediately to avoid possible staining and acid burns from citrus juices or acidic liquids. Acid-based foods, such as citrus or tomatoes, can etch into the polish of more delicate stones, like marble and onyx. Do not place hot items, such as pots and pans, on any stone. As a safety precaution, use coasters on countertops. To prevent alkaline and soap-scum buildup, use squeegees in shower areas. Other large surfaces, such as flooring, are best cared for by a licensed maintenance company to protect the natural stone.
A quality impregnating sealer penetrates stone, allows the stone to breathe and permits more of the stone's natural beauty to shine through. Unsealed stone is more susceptible to absorbing moisture, dirt and cleaning chemicals. Most licensed fabricators strongly recommend that a penetrating sealer be applied soon after installation of slabs.
Arizona Tile makes no recommendation for, or against applications to seal. Each job is unique and custom not only to the product selected, but to the application as well. The buyer should discuss with the contractor/builder the necessity of sealing. An aftermarket service and maintenance program is best administered by a licensed stone restoration company.
Arizona Tile carries a complete line of cleaning and sealing products.
PORCELAIN & CERAMIC TILE CARE & MAINTENANCE
To avoid damage caused by tracked-in dirt, place floor mats inside and outside of exterior entryways. Sweep or vacuum regularly to prevent loose dirt from abrading your floor. Tracked-in dirt is abrasive and can mar the flooring surface. Normal maintenance for glazed or unglazed floor tile is damp mopping with a pH-balanced neutral cleaner and warm water. Thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after washing. You should not use a detergent on glazed tile, since soap film will give a dull appearance to the tile. No need to wax, polish or buff. Simply wiping glazed tile with a damp sponge or mop will maintain the luster. Do not use scouring powders; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface of the tile. Do not use vinegar or any cleaners containing acids or strong alkaline agents.
A variety of cleaning products are available and will vary depending on the application, amount of traffic and use.
It is recommended to clean up spills on the tile as soon as possible. Use floor protectors on furniture legs. Do not push or pull your furniture or appliances across the floor without first protecting. To protect countertop surfaces, use coasters, trivets or placemats. Should your porcelain or ceramic tile become broken, chipped or damaged, it is possible to have it repaired. It is highly recommended to keep extra tiles from the original installation for future repairs.
Grease Spots: Use Goo Gone and denatured alcohol, then wipe it clean with water
Glue Products: Use a straight razor, along with a small amount of denatured alcohol which can be applied with a towel, to gently scrape off the glue/adhesive, then wipe clean with water
Grease Pencil: Using a white cloth, gently apply Flitz Polish, then wipe clean with water
Sharpie: Using a towel, gently apply denatured alcohol, then wipe with water
Below are some specific examples of what NOT TO DO:
DO NOT use these products, which can cause hazing, cloudiness or worse:
Natural Stone Polish
Bleach Windex (has wax)
Bar Keepers Friend
Heavy Solvents, such as bleach or acetone
Scotch Brite pads