Maintenance

VINYL FLOORS

Immediately upon Installation:
Avoid furniture placement and traffic on your new floors for a minimum of 24 hours after initial installation.  The floor should be cleaned the day after installation to remove manufacturer’s markings and residue.  Use clean, hot water with manufacturer’s recommended cleaner and rinse with clean, hot water.  Towel off any remaining water.  This process is generally done by the builder with new construction.

Furniture Placement:
Furniture and/or appliances will cause indentations in you vinyl floor unless proper rests, glides or casters are used.

Types of Load and Solution:
• Heavy or seldom moved: Glass or hard plastic caps with a minimum of 1-1/2 sq inches
of load bearing surface.
• Light Furniture: 1″ to 1-1/2″ glides with smooth, flat bases, rounded edges and flexible
pins.
• Frequently moved: 2″ diameter casters with soft, non-staining 3/4″ rubber treads and
easy ball bearing swiveling action.

Note: Maximum recommend stationary load = 75 lbs. per square inch.

Moving of Furniture and Appliances:
When moving heavy furniture and/or appliances, place plywood or hardboard panel on the vinyl floor and “WALK” the object across the board.  Never slide furniture and/or appliances on a vinyl floor.  No vinyl will withstand this type of abuse, and may tear or wrinkle.

Cleaning Vinyl Floors:
Vinyl wear layers were designed to withstand routine household wear, however they will loose their luster if subjected to sand and dirt ( especially in heavy traffic areas ).  Surface dirt can easily be removed by sweeping, vacuuming, or damp mopping.

To clean, mix one gallon of water to one cup of vinegar for a household mixed cleaner or purchase the recommended cleaning product for your particular floor.  Use a clean sponge mop.  Do not flood the floor.  Loosen ground in dirt with a soft brush.  DO NOT USE ANY ABRASIVE CLEANERS, TSP, SPIC-N-SPAN, Pine sol, ETC.  This will deteriorate the vinyl’s wear layer causing a dull finish.  Should this occur there are products available to return the shine.  Contact Elite Floor Coverings, Inc. for information.  The chart below will show specialty cleaning tips.

Specialty Cleaning of Vinyl:

With Urethane Wear Layer:
Dull spots: light to deep scratches or abrasions.  Wash area with vinyl floor cleaner, rinse and dry.  Apply a liberal amount of floor finish to the area.

With PVC No- Wax Wear Layer and Vinyl Wear Layer:
Dull spots:  light to deep scratches or abrasions.  Apply a mild abrasive cleaner to a soft cloth and rub area to remove scratches.  Rinse and dry.  Buff area with a soft cloth or lamb’s wool pad.  If necessary, apply a liberal amount of floor finish to area.

For any Vinyl Floor Wear Layer:
Dull colored marks:  footwear scuff residue.  Use a clean cloth dampened with a charcoal lighter fluid and rub the area to remove the residue.  Note:  Lighter fluid is FLAMMABLE.  Use caution when handling flammable solvents.  Wash with vinyl cleaner, rinse with water and dry.  If the area is dull after performing the above, follow directions under dull spots above.  Some footwear residue may cause a stain when left on the flooring surface.  To remove the stain, please see stain removal section below.

Stain and/or Spill Removal:
No floor is completely stain resistant.  Certain spills and smears can be especially harmful.  Solvent type shoe polish, hair weaving, and dyeing solutions, lipsticks, wax crayons, furniture oils and polishes, animal excretions and others.  Wipe up all spills before they set.  Household chlorine bleach will effectively remove some stains.  For tough stains, cover area overnight with a clean white cloth soaked with bleach.  Cover the cloth with plastic wrap and seal the edges with tape to prevent evaporation.

• Rust and Grass Stains:
Use a 10% solution of oxalic acid ( available at most drug stores ) to reduce or remove
or reduce the stain.  Handle with care.
• Cigarette Burns:
No resilient floor is cigarette proof.  Careful use of fine steal wool or cleanser will
usually remove the scorch.
• Asphalt and Tar:
Driveways are especially hazardous to resilient floors of all types, as asphalt and tar
deposits on shoes may discolor vinyl floors, especially in hot weather.  A non-staining
fiber mat placed near entrances will help remove deposits on shoes.  A coating of
vinyl floor finish may help protect the floor. If it becomes discolored, the finish can
stripped and the flooring re-coated.
• Tears, Cuts, and Indentations:
Tears, cuts and indentations may result from high heel shoes, rocks embedded in
shoes, dropping sharp objects, unprotected chair or table legs or children’s toys.
Deep burns and cuts should be repaired by a qualified flooring installer.  Contact
Elite Floor Coverings, Inc. for service information.
• Rubber Backed Mats/Rugs:
Some rubber-backed mats may cause the floor to discolor.  We recommend the use of a mat or rug that does not have a rubber or latex backing.
• Sunlight Protection:
Full length drapes or blinds are recommended at large openings, such as sliding glass
doors.  Draw the drapes or blinds closed during peak sunlight hours.

PLASTIC LAMINATE

Caring for Plastic Laminate:
Plastic laminate is easy to maintain.  Most cleaning can be done with warm, soapy water and a sponge, or with a household ammoniated liquid detergent.  Abrasive cleaners should not be used.  Do not set hot pans on plastic laminate!  This may scorch or bubble the laminate surface.  Scorch marks are permanent and can not be removed.  Bubbles can be removed by a qualified installer.  Contact Elite Floor Coverings, Inc. for service information.

Stain Removal:
Plastic laminate is susceptible to staining from a variety of foods.  Although the stain may persist for several days, repeated cleaning with an all-purpose cleaning agent will usually remove most stains.  Non-abrasive cleaners containing bleach should be applied to a sponge or cloth, not directly onto the laminate surface to avoid leaving a permanent stain.

Seam Shrinkage:
Plastic laminates exposed to direct sunlight, can cause material to shrink and pull away at the seams.  This problem can be repaired with a matching seam filler.  Note:  pulled seams will allow water to reach and deteriorate the contact adhesive.  We recommend prompt attention to this problem.

Scratches:
Laminates are plastic and therefore are subject to scratches, cuts, and pits from knives and other sharp objects.  Do not drag ceramic or like items across a laminate counter top, as this will cause material to scratch.

Caulking:
Caulk that is discolored or pulling loose is not a warranty item.  If this occurs, we recommend you re-caulk immediately.  For general use, it is recommended to re-caulk once per year.

CERAMIC TILE

Caring for Ceramic Tile:
Ceramic tile is one product in your home that requires very little care and is one of the easiest surfaces to maintain.  Most dirt will not adhere to the tile surface.  Note:  standing water will deteriorate the tile and particularly the grout.  We recommend that standing water be removed promptly.  All tile is susceptible to scratching and cracking.

Standard Cleaning:

Glazed Tile:

• Walls/Counters:
Wipe clean with a damp cloth or sponge.  For soiling use either a window cleaning agent or an all purpose non-abrasive liquid cleaner.  Dry.

• Floors:
Mop with a mild solution of soapless detergent in water or one cup white vinegar to one gallon of warm water.  Rinse thoroughly.  Dry.

Unglazed Tile:

• Walls/Counters:
Wipe clean with a damp cloth or sponge.  For dirt, use a diluted solution of soapless detergent.

• Floors:
Mop with a mild solution of soapless detergent in water or one cup of white vinegar to one gallon of warm water.  Rinse thoroughly.  Dry.

Wet Areas –  Glazed or Unglazed Tile:

• Walls/Counters:
Use an all-purpose cleaner on a cloth or sponge.  Wet and allow to stand for five (5) minutes; rinse thoroughly.  Dry.

• Floors:
Use a soft cloth or sponge with an all-purpose cleaner or medium/strong solution of soapless detergent.  Use bleach if there are any signs of fungal growth.  Rinse thoroughly.  Dry.

Stain Removal:

Fruit juices and lipstick – Cleaning liquid then chlorine bleach.
Organic or non-organic dyes:  Chlorine bleach as early as possible.
Water stains & soap build-up:  Ammonia, cleaner, and vinegar.
Iodine:  Ammonia
Mercurochrome: Chlorine bleach
Blood:  Hydrogen peroxide, chlorine bleach or chlorinated (bleaching) scouring powder.
Coffee, tea and food coloring:  Soapless detergent solution or all-purpose household cleaning liquid then chlorine bleach.

GROUT

Sealing:
It is necessary to seal all grouts two weeks ( or more) after the grout has been installed.  We recommend “Aqua Mix penetrating Sealer”, ( you can purchase this through Elite Floor Coverings, Inc. ) or “Custom Penetrating Sealer” found at Lowe’s.

Settling:
Settling in grout is normal and will cause some cracking, generally in the corners and edges.  This should be handled promptly.  Whitening of the grout is caused by soluble salts in gray cement-based materials settling or floating to the top.  Clean with a grout and tile cleaner and rinse well for several days after cleaning.

Caulking:
Caulk that is discolored or pulling loose is not a warranty item.  If this occurs, we recommend you re-caulk immediately.  For general use it is recommended to re-caulk once a year.

Crazing:
This is the appearance of fine lines on the surface of glazed tile.  Crazing is caused by either aging, heat or cold.  Crazing is a natural occurrence in tile.

MARBLE / GRANITE / SLATE

Sealing:
It is very important to seal both granite and marble as soon as possible after installation with a penetrating sealer.  You may purchase the sealer through Elite Floor Coverings, Inc. or most home improvement stores.  In most cases, Elite Floor Coverings, Inc. does not seal these materials for you.  Marble and granite are natural products and will absorb most liquids and foods and can stain or deluster.  We recommend you re-seal these surfaces annually.

Marble:
Marble is susceptible to stains and abrasions because of it’s softness.  The high polish on marble can be damaged.  If marble is exposed to acids, such as food, alcohol and acidic cleaners it will result in a loss of polish which is known as etching.  Etching and scratching cannot be prevented.

Granite:
Granite is a relatively hard material, however it can be easily stained because of the small fissure structure between the quartz crystals.  “Quality Marble Care Stone Sealer” should be used to protect the stone form readily absorbing things that can cause stains.

Slate:
Slate is a semi-hard stone with a tendency to split into thin plates.  Some slates will absorb stains and most will show foot traffic patterns over time.  Slate can be protected in two ways.  If a natural appearance is desired, apply “Quality Marble Stone Sealer” to the slate.  This will not protect the slate from abrasions.  If a glossy finish is desired and a protective coating is needed, apply “Quality Marble Care Terra-Seal”.

Caring for Marble / Granite:
Wash and clean your marble or granite with a clean, soft cloth and warm water.  To remove any ingrained residue, wash marble twice a year with warm water and a mild detergent.  For added protection, marble polish may be used.  Elite Floor Coverings, Inc. can purchase this for you.

Stain Removal:
Notify Elite Floor Coverings, Inc. for the proper procedure.

HARDWOOD FLOORS

Immediately upon installation:
You may walk on your new hardwood floors in stocking feet 12 to 14 hours after the application of the final coat of finish.  Do not use the floor regularly for a minimum of 48 hours after the final coat is applied.

During the first 48 hours – DO NOT MOVE FURNITURE INTO THE FLOOR.  Wait 7 to 10 days before placing area rugs on the floor.  During the first 3 – 4 weeks, DO NOT WASH THE FLOOR.  During this time, vacuum or sweep the floor with a soft broom.

To protect your floors from furniture wear and tear, install felt, moleskin or nickel-plated floor protectors on your furniture legs.  High heeled shoes will cause severe damage and should not be worn on your floors.  Over 88,000 pounds per square inch of pressure is exerted into your floor from a single high heel.  This type of pressure damages even concrete.

Caring for Hardwood Floors:
Use protective mats at exterior doors to prevent sand and grit from tacking over your floors.  Do not use mats with foam, rubber or plastic backing as this may cause a discoloration in your floor due to the off gassing of these products.

To keep your floor in top condition, we recommend a re-coat and buffing of the floors every two years.  This will provide your floor with optimum protection.  This process is similar in cost to professionally cleaning your carpets.  If this procedure is not followed, it may be necessary to re-sand and finish the floor at about 10 times the cost of a re-coat and buff.

Cleaning of Hardwood Floors:
Gritty sand is the worst thing for your hardwood floor.  To keep sand from damaging the floor, vacuum or sweep the floor regularly.  This will increase the life of you hardwood finish significantly.

Wash your hardwood floor with one cup of white vinegar to one gallon of water mixture.  Wet your natural sponge mop ( or Woodwise Mop ) or a soft cloth in the above mixture and ring out as much as possible.  Damp mop your floor, DO NOT WET MOP.  Dry the washed area with a soft, fluffy towel.  NEVER ALLOW WATER TO STAND ON THE FLOOR.  You may use two other cleaning products on your floor without causing damage – “Woodwise Floor Cleaner” or “Synteko Floor Cleaner”.

DO NOT USE MURPHY’S OIL SOAP, SWIFFERS ( OR LINE PRODUCT) OR ANY OTHER HOUSEHOLD WOOD CLEANING, DUSTING, OR POLISHING PRODUCT.  THIS WILL DAMAGE YOUR WOOD FINISH.  NEVER USE WAX ON YOUR SWEDISH FINISH FLOOR.

For further information regarding Care and Maintenance issues, please contact Elite Floor Coverings, Inc.

Hardwood Characteristics:

•  Shrinking / Cracking:
This frequently occurs in the winter months when heating systems dry homes.
It is usually self-correcting with the humidity of summer and is most
apparent when white pigment is used in staining the floor.
•  Cupping:
This is the result of the wood taking in moisture.  The source must be found
and corrected immediately.
•  Stain Color:
The shade of stain in your floor may vary due to density and color differences
in the wood.
•  Sanding Marks:
This is the result of machine finishing.  The hand-sanding process is only
available on “Table Top” furniture finishing.
•  Debris in the Finish:
A dust-free environment is impossible; however, normal foot traffic should
buff this out.  Occasionally, bugs may drop into wet finish.
•  Remodeling:
When adding new wood to existing wood, the new wood WILL NOT match
If a blending is not acceptable, then complete replacement should be
considered.
•  Recommended Re-coating:
We recommend you re-coat your floor every 1-1/2 to 2 years.

The above items are normal characteristics of hardwood floors.  They are not warranty items.  Please contact Elite Floor Coverings, Inc. should you have and questions.

CARPET

Caring for your Carpet:

•  Soil Reduction:
We recommend absorbent area rugs at all walk-off areas.  Area rugs
should have a soft, non-abrasive backing.  These can be placed on hard
surface or carpeted areas.
•  Daily Care:
To extend the life of your carpet, daily vacuuming with an upright vacuum is
recommended.  Do not use a vacuum with teeth or combs as these can tear
the twist of the yarn apart.
•  Carpet Cleaning:
We recommend a professional chem-dry cleaning method or a professional
steam cleaning method.  DO NOT USE A BISSELL or a RENTAL MACHINE.
These methods do not have enough power to pull out all the water and cleaning
solution from your carpet and thus will attract more dirt.  We recommend
using professional cleaners only; ie:  Hammond Knoll in Tacoma -(253) 472-8686 or
D.A. Burns in Seattle – (206) 782-2268.   For general day to day maintenance
spot cleaning we recommend the “Capture Carpet Cleaning System”.

Carpet Characteristics:

•  Shading:
After installation, some shading may be noticeable at seam areas.  Often
this occurs due to the dye process from one edge to the other.  Once
furniture and window coverings are in place this will be less noticeable
due to filtration of light.
•  Seams:
All carpeted homes will have seams.  Certain carpet styles hide the
seaming better than others.  With Berber style carpet, you will have
seams that show.  This is unavoidable.
•  Pile Crush:
Pile crush is most apparent in high traffic areas or in front of furniture.
This is caused by high traffic, animals, shoes, and bare feet.  This is often
mistaken for wear.  Pile crushing is the yarn ( pile ) laying over.
Unfortunately it cannot be eliminated, but it can be minimized by daily
vacuuming and brushing of the pile.
•  Texture Change:
Normal use of the carpet will cause a texture (appearance) change.  This
is the result of loss of twist in individual tufts and pile crush.  Pile crush is
described above.  Twist loss can only be reduced by placing soft backed
rugs in high traffic areas.

Stain Removal:

Spills and stains should be attended to immediately.  The longer the spot sits,
the more difficult it is to remove.  Never rub a spot, instead blot the area starting at the outer edge and working to the center.  Rotate towel and ring out excess liquid.  Continue blotting area until all liquid has been absorbed.
Never use products which have imprinted colors, as color will transfer to the area of
carpet that is being treated.  Please follow instructions below for help in treating
stains.

•  Liquid Spills:   Blot up spills ( do not rub ) with a clean, white, absorbent towel.
Do not use paper products as they fall apart and will embed particles deep in
the carpet.
•  Dry Spills:
Remove solid materials with a spatula, dull knife or spoon.  Vacuum to remove
small particles left behind.
• Water on Carpet:
Blot spill using a clean white absorbent towel.  Ring out towel after blotting
and repeat until all liquid has been absorbed.  Always work from the outer edge
of the spill and work to the center to prevent rings from occurring.
•  Spot Removal:
Spot removal products should be pre-tested according to the instructions.  Gently
rinse the spot with warm water then blot up the excess moisture.  Set a dry
towel over the spot and weight it down.  This will allow it to absorb all remaining
moisture.  When the area has completely dried, vacuum.

Below is a stain and cleaning agents guide.  Be sure you perform a test in an inconspicuous
area prior to treating stain.

Spotting Agents:
A) Detergent and Water

  1. B) Paint remover ( without oil )
  2. C) Dry cleaning fluid
  3. D) Rust remover
  4. E) Acetone or nail polish remover ( without oil )
  5. F) Water
  6. G) Ammonia and water
  7. H) Acetic acid or white vinegar
  8. I) Dry compound cleaner
  9. J) Vacuum

 

Stains and Cleaning Agents Guide:

1)  Airplane cement = E, A, F
2)  Animal glue = F, A, F
3)   Ball-point ink = C, B, C, E, D
4)   Beer = A, H, F or I
5)   Butter = C, A, H, F
6)   Blood = A, G, A, F, D
7)   Calamine lotion = A, F
8)   Candle wax = C, B, C
9)   Carbon black = J, C, A, F
10) Chocolate Milk = A, G, H, A, F
11) Catsup = A, G, A, F
12) Chewing gum = ice cubes, I
13) Clay = J, C, A, F
14) Cola = A, G, H, F or I
15) Coffee = A, F, or I
16) Coffee with cream and sugar = A, H, A, F
17) Instant coffee = A, H, A, F
18) Colored paper = C, B, A, F
19) Crayon = C, B, C, A, F
20) Duco cement = C, E, F
21) Egg = A, G, A, F, or I
22) Food dye = A, G, F
23) Fruit Juice = A, G, H, F
24) Furniture dye/polish = C, B, C, A, F
25) Gravy = A, G, H, A, F, or I
26) Car grease = C, B, A, F, or I
27) Ice cream = A, G, H, A, F, C, or I
28) Iodine tincture = A, C, H, F
29) Iron rust = J, D, F
30) Latex paint = A, G, F, B, C
31) Linseed oil = C, I
32) Lipstick = B, C, A, G, H, F
33) Liquor = A, H
34) Merthiolare = A, G, H, F
35) Milk = A, G, H, F, A, F, C
36) Mayonnaise = C, A, H, F
37) Mustard = A, H, A, D
38) Nail polish = C, B, E, A, G, H, F
39) Car oil = C, B, A, G, H, F, or I
40) Oil paint = C, B, C, A, G, F
41) Salad oil = C, A, H, F
42) Pepto bismal = C, A, F
43) Permanent ink = C, B, C, A, G, F
44) Rouge = C, B, A, F
45) Rubber cement = C, B, C, A, F
46) Shoe dye = C, B, C, A, F
47) Shoe polish = C, B, C, A, G, F
48) Tar = C, B, A, F, or I
49) Urine = A, G, H, F, D
50) Water colors = A, F, G, F

Should you require further information please contact Elite Floor Coverings, Inc.