The luxury vinyl flooring is a great choice for flooring due to its longevity and lifespan, without the costly overhead of tile. But making sure that you maintain the flooring will give it a lifespan way past it’s warranty.
Do you have kids? You’ll want to read my secret tip below.
I’ve been in the flooring business for 16+ years and working in home renovations, you see how much it costs to buy porcelain tile. Some of my quotes I bid for tile projects, like a bathroom renovation scare even me. Thousands of dollars can be spent in a blink of an eye when installing tile and many customers are interested in this lifeproof flooring called LVT, LVP or just Luxry Vinyl Tile to cut cost.
I’m here to help you understand the most common questions and concerns people have when it comes to maintaining LVT. Will it hold up as well as tile? What happens if something scratches it? What is the best way to clean LVT?
Do you wax LVT? Simple answer. No, Never, and Don’t.
A lot of people wonder if you have to buff and wax LVT flooring, surprisingly you never want to do this. Why? Floor wax is mainly made from carnauba wax which is going to require buffing with special tools and equipment each application. Remember being in school or going to a hospital and seeing the janitors waxing the floors with the buffer? That’s basically the concept, but that is done with products like true linoleum or vinyl composite tile or VCT.
Can you apply a finish to LVT? No 99.5% of the time.
Very seldomly do vinyl manufacturers recommend using any form of acrylic finish. Normally, manufacturers that do recommend applying a form of finish are in extremely heavy areas prone to high foot traffic, scuffing or scratches. These are normally only for commercial floors and with the way wear layers are it is not a requirement.
I cannot stress this enough before buying or considering applying any sort of acrylic finish to make sure to contact your LVT’s manufacturer about it.
With the way warranties are make them sign documents stating whatever you’re considering to apply to the floor will not void their warranty. Chances are this wont happen as applying any sort of finish has the ability to void your warranty. They may recommend a different product or not even consider applying an acrylic finish at all as many of the products already have a lifetime warranty on their LVT’s wear layer.
LVT Floor Cleaning Vacuums
Whenever a customer of ours gets a new floor, such as LVT or Hardwood, we highly recommend adding on a robot floor vacuum like, my Shark IQ R101AE, with the self emptying base. My shark works like a dream in our house and it does such a fantasist job picking up the dog hair that I wish I bought one the day I found out about it!
After financing it this thing costs less than a cup of coffee and worth every penny!
Do you have kids? You’ll love my Secret Cleaning tip!
If you’re a parent buying a floor cleaning robot is absolutely must whether you have LVT, Hardwood, carpet or any type of floor of that matter.
Seriously, it doesn’t matter what type of floor you have if you have kids.
Think about bout the name of this creation, the Shark Robot Vacuum. The look on your kids faces when you tell them this vacuum is about to eat all of their toys that have been lying on the ground for the last 3 months and we’re about to take it for a test run to see what it chomps up. Priceless.
Now think of the time you’ll save and all the headache’s you’ll avoid making. This opens up so many possibilities.
So after you tell this to your kids imagine going to the kitchen to grab that much deserved wine you’ve been dying to drink and pour it into your favorite glass. You’ll get to hear the kids scrambling to clean their rooms like they’ve never cleaned before!
Ahh… the sweet taste of victory and don’t forget to mention that the robot will go under their beds (Before or after they hide most of it under there is completely up to you Ha! Ha!).
Be like other mother’s and father’s to band together to tell their young children if their rooms are not clean that this little robot will eat any toy left on the ground.
So there you have it. My ultimate secrete tip to cleaning LVT floors. Enjoy!
LVT Scratches and Repairs
Another common question is what do I do about scratches and scuffs. Areas in your home that get a lot movement, doors constantly opening and closing even moving stuff around will damage your floors overtime. Dry mopping, broom sweeping and vacuuming are ways to help remove all the grit and dirt that over time can scratch or scuff up your floor.
Our Favorite LVT Scratch repair kit
For deeper abrasions in the floors, like gouges, applying a vinyl floor sealer or a spot repair kit can do that job for most vinyl planks. Before doing this contact your manufacturer to make sure what repair kit is recommended, but we suggest Dr Schutz Scratchfix kit. It is an excellent LVT repair kit to use and before applying the Scratchfix buff down the gouge with some steel wool to help hide the damaged wear layer.
Sometimes the scratches or damage is so deep the only way to really get rid of it is to replace the whole plank or tile. Some scuffs are similar to scratches, now whatever is causing the scuff (shoes, chairs, etc) can cause friction that can damage the wear layer. What the wear layer is the top layer of the tile that adds durability. This layer is normally a clear urethane base coat. If we’ve installed your floor simply give us a call and we will set a time to repair this for you!
LVT Cleaning Made Simple
So you wanna clean your luxury vinyl tile? It’s super simple, a two bucket system is the best solution. One bucket contains a neutral cleaner or an all purpose cleaner. Neutral cleaners aren’t as abrasive as other cleaners and won’t mess up the gloss or polish of painted surfaces. I would use simple green. It’s more of a natural clearer that’s biodegradable so when you’re done with it you can flush down the toilet. Of course there are other natural cleaners that are neutral but simple green is in my opinion the best one. Now the second bucket is just gonna contain clean water. What this does is help prevent the spread of dirt that could eventually scratch up your floor. The trick is to not use a lot of water. Make sure to wring your mop out so there is very little water and/or cleaner being used at any given time. You do not want to soak the floor for long periods of time.
Many customers buying LVT ask if certain floor designs can hide dirt and wear easily. Think about carpets, a white carpet will show dirt easier as a darker carpet will show lint but hide the dirt longer than the white would. Now with luxury vinyl tiles there are some designs that can hide imperfections easier than others. Multiple colors or shades in the tiles can hide traffic lines dust or scratches, now because you have a way to hide these imperfections still clean it. Unlike a carpet though cleaning spills, dirt, etc will be easier by far.
Cleaning the dirt up immediately would be best, especially in high traffic areas.
At the end of day like everything we own, natural wear and tear will happen. Sometimes you can’t avoid it and that’s life but by taking the time to clean these tiles after a party or a day with people coming in and out of your house or business will help extend the lifespan.
It’s take 10 minutes out of your day to mop and clean tiles properly once a week. Investing a little extra for a robot floor vacuum is the way to go and you’ll thank me when you get one because it pays for itself and is way cheaper than repairing a section of floor that was damaged by little bits of grit or rocks. Trust me at the end of the day you’ll be happy how your tiles or planks look and your pockets will happier that they’re still full!