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No type of flooring material is truly maintenance free, and the same holds true for decorative concrete. Concrete floors are relatively easy to care for when compared with other types of flooring, especially carpet, but they do require regular attention.
Some of the many maintenance-related advantages to concrete tiles are:
No joints, grout lines or fibers to trap dirt.
Stain, water, and abrasion resistant when properly sealed.
Pet-friendly, easy clean-up for muddy paws and accidents.
Simple cleaning of dry or damp mopping.
Minimal routine maintenance of reapplying sealer every few years.
Could your floor use professional cleaning? Find a concrete cleaning contractor near you.
A pH-neutral cleaner is best for decorative concrete flooring. Ask your contractor or the sealer or wax manufacturer to recommend their favorite cleaning solutions.
Avoid harsh cleaning products such as ammonia, citrus, bleach, vinegar or pine cleaners because they can react with the concrete and etch the surface. Read more about choosing a concrete cleaner.
Microfiber cleaning pads are recommended for both dry and damp mopping.
In heavy-traffic commercial locations, equipment like an auto scrubber or swing buffer can be used
People who have concrete flooring love how quick and easy it is to clean. The basic steps are as follows:
Dry mop daily to remove dirt and debris
Damp mop with a pH-neutral cleaner as needed
Clean spills from the floor as quickly as possible so they don't stain the surface
Basic cleaning is easy to do yourself, but if your project requires special attention, hire a concrete cleaning contractor near you.
When designing your floor, keep in mind that saw cut patterns create narrow grooves in the surface that can trap dirt.
In areas of heavy traffic, such as entrances and foyers, reduce maintenance and wear and tear by using indoor floor mats or rugs. Outdoor floor mats also help reduce the amount of dirt and grit that gets tracked in.
Always follow the sealing or maintenance schedule recommended by your concrete tile manufacturer to keep your decorative floor looking its best.
In most cases, residential stained concrete floors experience light foot traffic and this simple cleaning regimen will keep them looking like new for many years:
Dry dust mop or damp mop regularly to keep away dirt and grime, cutting down on abrasion.
Damp mop with a pH-neutral cleaner and water for an occasional deeper cleaning.
Protect with a good film-forming sealer and a coat of wax or floor finish. Reapply as needed depending on wear, generally every few years.
Follow the same regimen for stained floors in commercial settings; however, more frequent application of protective wax is needed due to the increased foot traffic.
Stained floors should always be protected with a good floor sealer to help it resist water, dirt, stains and abrasion. This top layer of protection not only prolongs the life of your floor, it can also enhance the color and add sheen. Water-based sealers are generally recommended for indoor use because they don’t contain harmful fumes. For more information, see this list of common questions about concrete floor sealers.
For further protection against stains, dirt and abrasion, many contractors recommend applying a good commercial-grade floor wax designed for concrete floors on top of the sealer. This layer helps preserve the sealer by taking the brunt of daily wear and tear. It is much easier to buff out minor scratches and wear patterns from wax, and wax is also easier to reapply than sealer. This wax coating is often referred to as a sacrificial protective layer.
Due to the densification and polishing process, polished concrete floors are extremely durable. They are generally easier to maintain than other types of decorative concrete floors because they don’t require sealers or waxes. With this basic cleaning routine, polished concrete should keep its luster for years:
Dry dust mop regularly to remove dirt and grit.
Damp mop occasionally with a pH-neutral cleaner or special cleaners and conditioners designed for polished concrete. These cleaners not only clean the surface, but leave behind a dirt-resistant film. They can be applied with a mop and do not require buffing.
If the floor begins to eventually lose its shine, simply buffing the surface with a commercial polishing compound will often do the trick. If more touch-up is necessary, the floors can be lightly re-polished with a fine-grit abrasive. See this checklist for maintaining polished floors.
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