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Purple Glow

Choosing a hard floor that’s right for you

Updated: May 7, 2023



Cotswolds is a beautiful area to live and work. For us, as floor cleaning and maintenance specialists we love nothing more than a call to come and take a look at an old original floor and provide guidance around its upkeep and how to continue caring for it with today’s products.

Carpet has its place, but a beautiful hard floor can be simply exquisite. Whether your choice of material is purely for practical reasons, or you’ve selected a style based on its beauty and design; how it’s used and cared for will impact the way it looks and how long-lasting it is.

In this article we explore different types of materials available and share some of our expertise when it comes to cleaning and caring for your chosen hard floor.

Carry on reading to understand:

· What’s ‘good’, and what’s ‘bad’ about hard floors?

· What should I use to clean my floor?

· When should I seek professional advice?

· What hard floor materials are available?

· What are the specific advantages and disadvantages of each material?

· How do I care for my hard floor to get the best results?


What’s ‘good’ and what’s ‘bad’ about hard floors?

Let’s be clear here, in the right place, a hard floor can be both practical and beautiful. They are generally easier to keep clean, and wear and tear has a much lower visual impact than that of a carpet or rug.

However, they can be very cold – especially in the winter months. If you’re making a new purchase, consider who will be using it most, and how the room will be used in different seasons. It’s important to consider how you will keep it feeling warm and cosy (if applicable) when it’s cold inside as well as out.

Is there a solution for every budget? Absolutely - underfloor heating, plush rugs or a nice pair of cosy slippers? Ok, it’s not hard to come up with those suggestions, but they are relevant all the same.

If you’re making choices as part of a new purchase – warmth in winter should really be a factor in your decision, so don’t forget to consider the impact of your choice on your winter bills!


What should I use to clean my floors?

As a professional, expert cleaning company, we would love you to come to us for guidance and advice on how to keep your floors looking their best. Yes, we’d love a booking from you, but more than that we are passionate about floors – and we want them to be looked after, so they serve you for many years to come.

In most cases, the best way to care for your floors on a regular basis, is to sweep away any loose dirt and then use warm water and a soft mop, sponge or cloth to wipe the surface clean. However, it is ESSENTIAL that you DO make sure your floor is professionally sealed on a regular basis to protect it from moisture, spills, and daily wear and tear.

Whilst off the shelf solutions are available, professional cleaners have the knowledge and tools necessary to clean and protect your floors, using safe solutions and techniques to eliminate dirt, stains, and bacteria. Specialist training coupled with extensive experience, means that professionals are understandably best placed to address any staining or discoloration. We ensure that the solutions used are:

· Right for the type of floor they are being used on

· The best product to tackle the type of stain that has been presented



When should I seek professional advice?

So often, our expert opinion is called for when the damage is already done – and by that we don’t mean the spillage or the stain, we mean a generic cleaning product has been used, to treat something that needs more specialist care.

In some cases, we’ll be able to recommend a cost-free, simple solution, or at the very least offer you some advice on what NOT to do in the interim period, while you speak with professional cleaning companies to understand their fees.

Whilst off the shelf solutions are available, professional cleaners have the knowledge and tools necessary to clean and protect your floors, using safe solutions and techniques to eliminate dirt, stains, and bacteria. Specialist training coupled with extensive experience, means that professionals are understandably best placed to address any staining or discoloration. We ensure that the solutions used are:

· Right for the type of floor they are being used on

· The best product to tackle the type of stain that has been presented


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“Our aim is to protect the compound make-up of your floor to maintain and preserve its durability and enhance its natural beauty. We want it to have the life it deserves! That’s why we sprinkle all of our customers’ floors, with a little bit of Costwold Magic!”

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What hard floor materials are available?

Now let’s explore the options. They are noted below in alphabetical order to make it easy for you to head straight to the one or two you are most interested in.


Ceramic

Versatile, affordable, and low-maintenance, ceramic flooring is made from clay and is available in a wide range of colours, shapes, and designs to suit.

Advantages

· Ceramic flooring is affordable, versatile, and low maintenance.

· It is resistant to moisture, stains, and scratches, making it a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

Disadvantages

· While ceramic tiles are durable, they can crack or chip if subjected to heavy impact and replacing individual tiles can be a challenge.

Caring for your ceramic floor

Grout lines between tiles can be prone to staining and require periodic cleaning and resealing to maintain their appearance.


Concrete

Concrete is an increasingly popular choice for commercial and industrial settings as it’s very hardy. It is versatile in terms of design, with various staining and polishing techniques available to achieve a range of colours and finishes, and can provide a modern, sleek appearance.

Advantages

· Polished and stained concrete flooring is a durable, low-maintenance option.

· It can withstand heavy foot traffic and resist wear and tear

Disadvantages

· Due to its coldness, as with most hard floors, you might want to consider underfloor heating, a rug or a nice pair of cosy slippers in the winter, as it can be cold and hard underfoot.

Caring for your concrete floor

On a day-to day basis there is very little maintenance required to keep your concrete floor looking its best but do be sure to reseal it as needed to get the best out of it and protect it from wear and tear.


Flagstones

Flagstones are irregularly shaped and flat. They are often used outside for pathways and patios to create a more a rustic and natural look but can also be used indoors to create impact.

Advantages

· Flagstone is low maintenance and can withstand heavy foot traffic. It’s known for its durability which makes it a great, long-lasting choice for hallways, kitchens, and rooms in constant use.

· It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and its irregular surface provides a natural slip-resistant quality.

Disadvantages

· This beautiful flooring can be expensive to install due to its irregular shapes and the labour-intensive process involved.

· Some types of flagstone are porous – so do be sure to check.

Caring for your flagstone floor

Some types of flagstone can be porous, requiring sealing to prevent staining and moisture absorption, so if you’re caring for your floor yourself, make sure you know which type you have.


Granite

Granite is a brilliantly durable and visually appealing natural stone. It’s often used in high-traffic commercial spaces and is available in various colours and patterns to suit different design preferences.

Advantages

· Granite is particularly durable and is highly resistant to scratches and stains.

· It requires minimal input in terms of maintenance once sealed.

Disadvantages

· Granite is porous and can be easily damaged in moisture-prone areas if not expertly sealed.

· It is expensive to purchase and install, with the cost varying depending on the quality and rarity of the stone.

Caring for your granite floor

Warm water and a soft mop, sponge or cloth, is the best way to care for your granite floor yourself, but DO make sure your floor is professionally sealed regularly to protect it from moisture, spills, and daily wear and tear.


Laminate

Synthetic flooring material which is often designed to resemble wood, stone, or ceramic, while providing durability and easy maintenance.

Advantages

· Laminate is generally a very cost-conscious and hard wearing material for the home.

· It can be easily fitted by a DIY able homeowner, without needing specialist help or tools.

· It’s suitable for areas prone to moisture such as utilty rooms, kitchens and bathrooms

· Laminate rarely shows scratches and general wear and tear.

Disadvantages

· It is perhaps less hardy for commercial areas prone to a lot of footfall.

· Laminate can tear easily if something hard or sharp is dropped.

· It can also fade over time in strong sunlight.

Caring for your laminate floor

Regular mopping is the best way to care for your laminate floor yourself (assuming no troublesome stains have appeared). Be cautious about the volume of water though, as this can seep into the seams causing damage.


Limestone

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of calcium carbonate. It provides a warm, earthy appearance and is brilliantly durable. It can be used indoors or outdoors so is also very versatile.

Advantages

· Its natural appearance, and earthy tones complement many interiors and exteriors so its easily adaptable.

· Its durability means it is relatively low maintenance, easily withstanding wear and tear from foot traffic.

Disadvantages

· Limestone can be porous and susceptible to staining if not properly sealed, requiring periodic resealing to maintain its safeguarding and beauty.

· It is also prone to scratches and can be damaged by acidic substances, which can cause etching.

· Additionally, limestone flooring can be expensive to install and may require professional installation for the best results.


Caring for your limestone floor

Provided it has been sealed, then Limestone needs very little maintenance, other than resealing it again when the time comes!


Marble

Marble is a popular, elegant natural stone flooring option known for its unique veining and colour. It generally adds a touch of sophistication to the space it’s in and is often used in kitchens and hallways of domestic and commercial properties.

Advantages

· It is a durable, natural stone that also has a natural cooling effect, which can help to regulate indoor temperatures in warmer climates.

Disadvantages

· Marble is a porous material that requires regular sealing to prevent staining and moisture absorption.

· It is also prone to scratching and etching from acidic substances, which can mar its appearance.

· Marble flooring can be expensive to purchase and install and may require professional installation for the best results.

Caring for your marble floor

For day-to-day cleaning, a simple damp cloth or mop is the best course of action but do make sure that its regular resealed to repel stains and prevent moisture damage.


Porcelain

Porcelain is a type of dense, durable ceramic tile with low porosity, often used in high-traffic areas due to its resistance to stains, scratches, and moisture, and generally comes in a wide range of colours, sizes, and designs, providing versatile design options.

Advantages

· Porcelain flooring is highly durable, scratch-resistant, and water-resistant, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas or moisture-prone spaces like kitchens and bathrooms.

· It requires minimal care to maintain its appearance.

Disadvantages

· Porcelain flooring can be more expensive than other types of floor tile, such as ceramic, and may require professional installation due to its dense nature.

· If a tile is damaged, it can be challenging to replace without disturbing the surrounding tiles.

Caring for your porcelain floor

Porcelain tiles don’t need much in the way of day-to-day care. A simple weekly wipe with a soft mop, sponge or cloth and a few drops of water is really all that’s needed.


Slate

Versatile and resilient - natural stone flooring often features a distinct, textured appearance and is is available in a range of colours and patterns to suit your tastes.


Advantages

· Slate is super-durable and resistant to stains, water, and scratches, making it suitable for various indoor and outdoor solutions.

Disadvantages

· Slate flooring can be more expensive than other flooring options, and professional installation is often recommended due to its weight and the need for proper levelling.

· Some types of slate can be porous, requiring regular sealing to prevent staining and moisture absorption.

Caring for your slate floor

For day-to-day cleaning, warm winter and a damp mope, cloth or sponge are perfectly adequate, but make sure it’s regularly resealed to protect it from stains and moisture, and to ensure it ‘lives its fullest life’!


Terrazzo

Terrazzo is a composite material made of chips of marble, quartz, granite, or glass, typically set in cement or epoxy resin, creating a decorative and durable flooring option.

Advantages

· Terrazzo flooring is a durable and highly customisable, allowing for unique patterns and colour combinations.

· It is low maintenance, with a polished surface which means it’s resistant to stains and scratches.

Disadvantages

· It can be expensive to install due to the labour-intensive process involved in creating custom designs.

· The surface can become slippery when wet, potentially creating a hazard, in moisture-prone areas.

Caring for your terrazzo floor

Warm water and a soft mop, cloth or sponge are your best bet for a weekly clean, however a heavily soiled terrazzo floor will require a mechanical buffer (available from your local professional floor cleaners)!


Travertine

This is a type of limestone and it’s often used in outdoor spaces due to its porous nature and natural slip resistance.

Advantages

· Its natural slip resistance makes it a popular choice for outdoor spaces such as patios and pool decks.

· Travertine is versatile and can also be used indoors (if sealed).

Disadvantages

· Travertine flooring can be prone to staining and moisture absorption due to its porous nature, requiring regular sealing to maintain its appearance.

· It can also be susceptible to scratches and chipping, so it’s advisable to seek professional installation for the best results.

· Travertine flooring can be expensive to purchase and install, depending on the quality of the stone.

Caring for your Travertine floor

A weekly clean will do the trick – a simple sweep followed by a warm water mop or wipe over will suffice providing it’s sealed and there are no stubborn stains that need taking car of.


Vinyl

This is a cost-effective and low-maintenance flooring option, available in various designs, including ones that mimic natural materials like wood and stone. It’s hardiness and versatility mean it can go pretty much anywhere indoors.

Advantages

· Generally considered to be one of the cheapest flooring options.

· Vinyl is water resistant and doesn’t need sealing or treating in any way.

Disadvantages

· Although generally hardy, it’s easy to damage or puncture vinyl if something hard or sharp is dropped onto it.

· It can also fade over time in strong sunlight.

Caring for your vinyl floor

Vinyl is generally hardy enough to withstand most cleaning products, but as with most floor types, a damp mop, cloth or sponge should do the trick – unless there’s a stubborn stain to tackle!


A free sprinkle of Cotswold Magic

So, there you have it. That’s the ‘Cotswold Magic’ guide to hard floors and caring for them.

When we said we’d rather you call us for guidance than try ‘whatever’s in the cupboard’ – we meant it. We are more than happy to offer over-the-phone suggestions when there’s been a problem spillage – we didn’t do all that training for nothing! And what’s more – that advice is totally free!

Did you also know we offer free surveys too? Submit your details to request a free quote. Let us know the area/s you need tackling and we’ll come and take a look. It couldn’t be easier. There’s no obligation to use us – so there’s nothing to lose.




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