Keeping our homes clean and hygienic is something that we all need to do regularly. Thankfully, Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) flooring is highly durable and easy to clean, though you still need to be careful about what you clean it with so as not to cause any permanent damage to it.
In this article we will take a look at how to clean your LVT flooring, ensuring that it looks good not only today, but in many years’ time.
What Exactly is LVT Flooring?
Luxury Vinyl Tile, or LVT, is a flooring product that has the appearance of real wood or stone, but is in fact made up of several flexible and thin layers. This highly durable product is an excellent way to add warmth to your house while maintaining the practicality of tile.
PVC Click and SPC LVT flooring is a great option for the accomplished DIYer, or those looking for an alternative to highly expensive hardwood flooring. The knowledge and experience of a trained fitter is always recommended with glue down LVT.
Why is LVT Flooring So Popular?
Luxury vinyl floor tiles are a popular choice for many areas of the home, and different variations available suit certain rooms better. However, they are warmer, more sound insulating than normal ceramic or porcelain tiles, and thinner, which is advantageous if you cannot add much depth to an existing floor.
They are much more durable than real wood and retain the texture and grain detailing of the actual thing while not scratching or wearing as quickly. If you love the look of stone, luxury vinyl tiles are a more cost-effective and low-maintenance option.
Cleaning LVT flooring is relatively simple; read on for all the information and pro tips you need to keep your LVT flooring in pristine condition.
LVT is long-lasting and hardy, and is relatively scratch and stain-resistant. However, if you spill something, you should act quickly. Otherwise, you risk damaging your amazing flooring.
Flooring experts recommend cleaning or vacuuming your floor regularly to remove dry dirt, which can produce fine scratches. Use an LVT Floor Care Kit, or products recommended by your flooring manufacturer, to thoroughly clean and remove stubborn stains.
The Luvanto Floor Care kit, for example, works exactly like a standard cleaner to remove dirt, but it can also eliminate minor surface scratches and add a matt, anti-slip film to your floor with each clean.
If you don’t have the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning product, it is still possible to clean your LVT correctly using items you might have in the home already like suitably diluted white vinegar and a microfibre mop.
Step 1: Remove Any Loose Dirt
Dirt and debris can cause scratches in your flooring. Make sweeping, vacuuming, or dust mopping a regular practice in high-traffic areas. Cleaning your flooring daily will protect the finish and keep it clean and hygienic.
Remove the beater bar or choose a model without one when vacuuming, as this portion of the vacuum cleaner might damage the surface.
Step 2: Use the Proper Cleaning Supplies
Some commercial cleaning products can safely clean your LVT or LVT flooring, but read the label before purchasing a commercial floor cleaner.
Examine the ingredients to ensure that it is LVT or LVT-safe. Cleaning agents containing abrasive substances, such as ammonia, should be avoided because they might cause damage to the surface.
Mopping solutions and shine treatments can create a film that attracts dirt, making them unsuitable for cleaning vinyl surfaces.
You can clean your luxury vinyl tile flooring using a commercial cleaner or home with basic household items like apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or dishwashing soap.
Most individuals use white vinegar to clean various home surfaces, including floors. Although it is not ideal for certain surfaces, it is perfectly safe for cleaning luxury vinyl tile flooring.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is also an excellent natural floor cleaner for premium vinyl flooring. This product’s acidity can quickly eliminate grime and debris build-up.
Avoid using full-strength vinegar when cleaning your LVT because it is quite powerful and will degrade the finish. Furthermore, luxury vinyl flooring cannot be polished, and you cannot restore the gloss.
Washing Up Liquid
If you have dirty flooring, washing up liquid will do the trick. Before cleaning, add a few drops of dishwashing soap to your cleaning solution and watch your floors sparkle in no time.
Microfibre Cleaning Cloth
Remember that standing water can harm or stain your luxury vinyl flooring. As a result, it’s critical to clean with a non-coloured microfibre mop rather than a standard wring mop. Furthermore, before using your microfibre mop, thoroughly rinse with water and wring it out.
If you’re using washing up liquid, mop your floors a second time with clean water. Finally, dry your luxury vinyl flooring with a clean towel or rag.
Step 3: Make Your Cleaning Solution
Prepare your solution using any of the non-abrasive cleaning products listed above.
If you prefer apple cider vinegar, combine a small amount with a bucket of clean water. Then, soak your microfibre mop in the cleaning solution, wring it dry, and clean your floors. While cleaning, rinse your microfibre mop with hot water frequently.
If you need to disinfect your floors, use white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar for a more potent cleaning and disinfecting solution. However, don’t apply full-strength vinegar as this can degrade the surface.
You may choose to use a liquid dishwashing soap to clean soiled areas like on kitchen flooring. Fill a bucket or sink halfway with warm water and add a few drops of the dishwashing soap. Then, clean your floors using a microfibre mop.
However, don’t use too much cleaning solution since too many suds might complicate the cleaning process and create a dust-attracting coating.
Products must be diluted.
Step 4: Thoroughly rinse your flooring.
Unless otherwise specified on the packaging, commercial cleansers do not require rinsing.
If your floors become sticky after cleaning, quickly rinse them with water and a little white vinegar, then let them air dry.
Step 5: Treat Difficult Stains Correctly
Don’t be concerned if you cannot remove various stains while cleaning with any of the cleaning solutions listed above. Here’s how to clean stains that other popular household remedies won’t erase.
Stains from Food
If you’ve unintentionally spilled tomato sauce or red wine and it won’t come off, baking soda reputedly helps remove practically any stain.
Combine two tablespoons of baking soda and one teaspoon of water to make a paste. Scrub the stains with a microfibre cloth after applying the paste. Finally, rinse and towel dry the affected areas.
Cleaning Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring: Do’s and Don’ts
Take a look at the following care and maintenance advice to help keep your luxury vinyl tile flooring in great condition for as long as possible.
1. Sweep regularly and use doormats
Sweeping or vacuuming regularly, especially in high-traffic areas, will keep your vinyl tile flooring clean and stain-free. Furthermore, don’t walk on your vinyl flooring with soiled shoes because mud may transport small pebbles and other debris into your home, harming your floors. Fortunately, a doormat can prevent all of this. Place a doormat at your front door to catch most of the dirt, chemicals, and stones before you enter your home.
2. At all costs, avoid chemicals.
Attempting to remove dirt and debris from your LVT flooring with chemicals such as bleach and ammonia should be avoided as they can cause discolouration and harm.
Using non-abrasive cleaning agents, such as those listed above, is advisable. In addition, commercial cleaners that are labelled safe for cleaning luxury vinyl tile flooring can also be used.
Also, avoid using abrasive scrubbers like steel wool and other harsh materials, which might damage your floors.
Finally, if dry mopping isn’t producing the desired results, use a microfibre mop and clean water until your floors require a deep clean.
Extra tip: For best results when cleaning your luxury vinyl flooring with a manufacturer approved floor care and maintenance kit.
3. Make use of floor protectors
As previously stated, large, heavy items of furniture and other heavy appliances can harm your flooring.
Furthermore, the scratches they make might allow moisture to enter the interior layers of your floors, causing additional damage. However, you can avoid this by using felt coverings.
4. Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring Should NOT Be Steam Cleaned
Of course, mopping floors may be time-consuming and exhausting, especially if you have a large house, so utilising a steam mop may be appealing.
However, because this flooring is not steam resistant, experts strongly advise against steam cleaning it. Vinyl can withstand some water but not steam.
Keep in mind that vinyl is a type of plastic. Vinyl floors, like all polymers, can lose form in extreme temperatures. Furthermore, steam might damage the top layer.
You’ll have squeaky clean floors, but they’ll break apart soon because you’ve damaged the protective layer, so avoid steam mops at all costs.
#Top Tips from the Pros
Follow these top tips from the professionals to keep your LVT floor looking as good as the day you installed it.
- Install entrance mats to help to prevent water and dirt from being transported indoors.
- Spills should be wiped immediately with a dry towel and washed using your LVT Manufacturers Specialist Floor Cleaner in their floor care cleaning and maintenance kit.
- Use felt pads or cups on the bottom of legs and castors to prevent indentation marks on your LVT flooring from heavy furniture.
- Wipe off any leftovers from furniture polishes and scented sprays, that may make the floor slippery.
- You should use rugs or carpet runners to protect high-traffic areas (without UFH). Rugs should not have black rubber backing as this can cause pasticiser migration and discolouring.
- Clean the entry matting regularly. Keep your floor away from asphalt, paints, and shoe polishes, as these might produce stains.
- Keep LVT away from prolonged and strong direct sunlight. Take caution with cigarettes, for example, and use placemats near ovens. Fix load-bearing castor cups to heavy furniture to protect your floor from indentations.
- High heels should be left at the door since they generate tremendous pressure that can harm your floor.
- To prevent fading, shade your floor from direct sunshine (especially in areas with south-facing windows).
- Use rubber or latex-backed mats to avoid staining your floor.
- Overlay underfloor heating with rugs or carpet runners.
- In a room with LVT, use airborne pesticides because the chemicals can settle on the surface, creating slipperiness and damage.
- Use any other products or ways to clean the floor than those recommended by the manufacturer.
- Drag large objects, such as furniture, across the floor.
- Dilute cleaning products from LVT manufacturers.
- Use steam cleaners.
Keeping your home clean is no mean feat, but you will always have clean floors if you follow the easy cleaning methods outlined above.
Keep in mind that regular cleaning with the right kinds of products can help to extend the life of any flooring, especially luxury vinyl tile flooring.
Sweep or vacuum your floors regularly, ensuring you use furniture guards and rugs and floor mats, and your floors will look great for years.
For more information regarding LVT installation and maintenance, you can apply for our LVT course.