May 3, 2012 on 5:41 pm

FloorFinishesGroup3

What Gloss Level Should I Use On My Floor?

There are three main classifications of gloss when it comes to flooring, 1)high-gloss, 2)semi-gloss or low-gloss, and 3)matte or satin.

When selecting a gloss level for wood, laminate or vinyl flooring consider these factors…

High-gloss provides a bright finish that reflects the most light which will highlight scuffs, scratches and other marks.  Heavy foot-traffic, high-heel shoes, rolling carts and pets will show wear on a high-gloss finish.  With frequent routine maintenance a high-gloss shine can be successfully maintained.

Matte (or Satin) finish has the lowest available shine because it absorbs the most light.  The shine is often referred to as being a “natural” shine.  This low luster makes marks, scuffs and scratches less noticeable.  Matte or satin finish level requires less maintenance and re-coating than high or semi-gloss finishes.

Semi-gloss or (Low-gloss) provides modest shine to a floor while requiring less maintenance than its high-gloss counterpart.  Semi-gloss has more pizzaz than a matte finish.

When deciding on gloss level for a floor, consider the following:

  • Where the floor is located and the type of traffic it sees.
  • How diligent you’ll be with sweeping, mopping and refinishing.
  • If buffing by machine is required after finish is applied and if you have the necessary equipment to do so.
  • Always read full product information about your floor before selecting and applying finish then test it in a small, inconspicuous area before full application.
  • Some brands of flooring recommend proprietary finishes while others will tell you a type of finish leaving brand selection to you.

Here are some top brands of flooring finishes:

Wood/ Cork: Bona Hardwood, Basic Coatings, Bruce Fresh Finish, LOBA®

Stone/ Tile/ Laminate: Bona Stone, Tile & Laminate, Aqua Mix, DuPont™ StoneTech®

Resilient/ Vinyl/ Linoleum: Mannington Award Series®, Diversey, Congoleum, Armstrong Once ‘n Done, Forbo Marmoleum, Domco Sure Shine, Lonseal Lonfinish, Metroflor, Hilway Direct, Spartan

March 8, 2011 on 5:39 pm

Spring is around the corner which makes it time to think about SPRING CLEANING!

Yes, I said it!… Spring cleaning.  May not be your favorite part of spring yet it needs to be done and what a great feeling when it is!  You know there will be no more slush or ice melter tracking inside because the weather has turned milder, the grass is greening up and the first flowers of Spring are beginning to bloom.  No more debris tracking into the house hidden in the treads of winter boots.

Start now, thinking about which cleaning projects you’ll take on this spring.  Is it time to refresh your hardwood floor? Polish your vinyl or linoleum?  Deep clean & reseal stone tile?

Bona makes it easy to restore your wood floors with Bona Hardwood Floor Refresher and an applicator pad.

Whatever your brand of vinyl flooring, we’ve got the manufacturer specific products to strip and polish the floor to restore shine & beauty such as Congoleum Bright ‘N Easy Polish Remover & High-Gloss Polish (also avail Satin finish).

Linoleum Floors such as Forbo Marmoleum can be cleaned & finished when the natural Marmoleum shows excessive signs of wear or if you want to add shine to the floor’s appearance.

Stone Surfaces should be resealed when water no longer beads on the surface.  If your stone floor has been overworked this winter, first deep clean with AquaMix Stone Deep Clean then seal with Aqua Mix Sealer’s Choice Gold.

We sell many brands of floorcare & maintenance products in addition to those listed above.  If you’re unsure what your floor needs but you know it needs help, call our telephone support team for assistance.  They can guide you to the right product for your type or brand of floor.  The phone number is 1-877-356-6748 or 1-877-FLOORGUY.  Phone hours are 9am-5pm Monday through Friday.

December 1, 2010 on 6:02 pm

We frequently get emails from customers with common and unique floorcare questions. We answer these questions directly to the customer who asks and we post many of them on Facebook and (more briefly) on Twitter.  If you find the following linoleum & vinyl floorcare tips helpful, “Like Us” on Facebook or “Follow Us” on Twitter for answers to all types of flooring questions.  We post Q & A’s a few times each week.

Q:  Is the Armstrong Genuine Linoleum Polish a high shine or a satin finish shine?

A:  Armstrong GLP is a MEDIUM-HIGH FINISH so it’s in between high & satin. Try it in an inconspicuous area before treating the entire floor to see if you like the sheen.

 

Q:  We have a Mannington Adura® Floor in our kitchen that is very hard to keep clean.  Every few months it needs a deep cleaning, which means me on hands and knees using a brush — very hard work.  I am wondering if the Mannington Heavy Duty Cleaner would help this.  How would you recommend this product be used?

A:  This product will help as it is more aggressive than a daily cleaner and should be used only every few months or so depending on the traffic in your home.  Read the article, Mannington Adura® Vinyl Floor Care & Cleaning Guidelines, to learn more about cleaning & maintaining Mannington Adura®.

 

Here’s one for the industry- Q:  How far into the floor does the flash cove need to be when it butts up against the floor which is a different color?

A:  There are no set “”rules”" regarding flooring that is coved meeting the field material.  Based on my experience, I suggest the coved material should have min 6″” (more commonly 8”) from the wall /vertical surface.  This allows enough material, beyond the cove stick, to be flat on the floor for 100%  contact with the floor and adhesive.

Remember to “Like Us” on Facebook or “Follow Us” on Twitter for answers to all types of flooring questions.  We post Q & A’s a few times each week.

July 29, 2010 on 6:17 pm

A lot of information is available about Forbo Marmoleum Floors that will tell you it is a natural, sustainable Linoleum flooring material made from a blend of wood flour, jute, rosin, and linseed oil.  You’ll find out that Marmoleum is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-static, has high wear-resistance, becomes more durable over time and has low maintenance requirements.  Forbo’s durable 2-part Topshield factory finish is widely publicized and effective.  All of this is true FACT about Marmoleum.  I wanted to know more about cleaning and mainting Marmoleum, beyond the manufacturer’s written instructions, so I conducted a telephone interview with Forbo’s Technical Services Manager, Frank Wiggins, Installation Training Coordinator, Becky Korinchock and Technical Services Assistant, Jennifer Malloy who clearly explained some lesser know facts about caring for a Marmoleum floor.

Routine Cleaning
FICTION: Marmoleum has so many natural properties that it does not need to be cleaned on a routine basis.
FACT: Every floor, regardless of type, style or species requires maintenance to uphold appearance and durability.  Marmoleum routine maintenance is relatively easy. On a consistent, routine basis sweep and mop your Marmoleum floor. When dirt becomes visible it is time to use floor cleaner following manufacturer instructions. It’s hard to say exactly how often your floor should be cleaned because it depends on the amount of traffic the floor sees.  The more traffic, the more frequently you should clean.  Note:  Dirt and debris tracked on the floor will, over time, create microscopic scratched in the floor’s finish making it appear dull.  Frequent sweeping or dusting the floor will minimize this occurance.

Type of Cleaner
FICTION: It doesn’t matter what type of cleaner I use on Marmoleum.
FACT: The right cleaner is critical to a good looking Marmoleum floor. High pH cleaners or those with harsh alkalis (such as Ammonia or Mop & Glow Triple Action) will degrade Marmoleum resulting in sticky residue or haze that could damage or discolor your floor with continued use.  Forbo recommends their Marmoleum Neutral Floor Cleaner that comes as a concentrate to dilute with water, available in quart or gallon size. Marmoleum Neutral Floor Cleaner is a neutral pH cleaner that will clean the floor without damaging.  If you want to use a different cleaner, look for a neutral pH level in the cleaner and test an inconspicuous area of the floor prior to cleaning the full flooring surface.  Note: If your Marmoleum is new, keep in mind that using manufacturer recommended floor cleaner and procedures will uphold your warranty.

Scratches
FICTION: Marmoleum is so durable that it will never scratch.
FACT: Marmoleum is durable however it is not impervious to sharp or heavy objects dropped on or dragged across the floor. Protect the floor when moving furniture or other heavy objects by putting inexpensive yet very effective felt pads on the feet of furniture that is moved frequently, such as tables and chairs.  Use felt bottom furniture slides for moving appliances and other heavy objects or cover the floor with masonite or plywood.  Even with these precautions, accidents do happen and Marmoleum can scratch. There is a procedure to follow that will, in most cases, repair the floor to where you don’t see the scratch.  Always try the least invasive procedure first and only move on to the next procedure if the repair is not successful.

  1. If the scratch is superficial, into the top layer only, rub the area with finish, such as Marmoleum Floor Finish. This will blend the scratch with the surrounding area because Marmoleum, like wood, has color that goes through the material.  The finish will disguise the scratch.  This works best for a small area.  Note: You can use masking tape on the floor to isolate the area before getting started.
  2. If this doesn’t produce good results, try scrubbing the scratched area with Marmoleum Neutral Floor Cleaner, diluted per instructions on bottle, and a light pad to rough it up a little then apply finish. This can be repeated a few times if necessary before applying finish.  Note: The deeper you go into flooring material, the color goes through but the pattern is less which makes the color more uniform.
  3. If scratches span a large area use a floor machine with a light to medium pad to strip the effected floor area.  This abrasion will smooth out and dull the surface. Thoroughly rinse the floor.  It will still be hazy.  Then apply thin coats, 2-3, of floor finish to restore even finish and remove the haze.  Note: Topshield has a satin (or matte) finish.  Unless you’ve applied another finish to your floor, use Marmoleum Floor Finish or similar satin/matte finish to match the sheen.
  4. If a scratch is deep and wide and the steps described above don’t conceal the damage you may need to do a repair using leftover material (hopefully you’ve got some).  Sand a scrap piece of flooring material to a powder and mix it with household white glue to make a paste.  Fill the scratch to just above floor level so you can sand it after it dries hard.  Once the area is dry, use steel wool or fine sandpaper until the repair is even with the floor’s surface and smooth. For detail sanding, you can use a damp cloth as a sanding mechanism because the glue will soften and remove with water.  Be careful not to get lower than the floor’s surface.  Apply floor finish to seal the surface. Note: Be careful about the size of the surface area, it should be small to reduce the possibility of the repair coming loose.
  5. If #4 doesn’t work, cut a patch of extra flooring material and fill the cut area.  If you’re not skilled in this type of work, you will want to call a professional for a repair of this magnitude.  The cutting can be intricate depending on the size and shape of the cut.  This should be a last resort if you can’t live with the imperfection.

Stains
FICTION: Marmoleum will not stain.
FACT: High alkaline or high pH substances will stain Marmoleum if not cleaned up in a timely manner.  The amount of time a substance remains on the floor is critical.  Quickly wipe up spills- such as ketchup, wine, pet accidents- and clean the area with diluted Marmoleum Neutral Floor Cleaner then rinse thoroughly to minimize staining.  If a stain is still visible, repeat.  If stain is still evident apply undiluted Marmoleum Neutral Floor Cleaner to the stain and leave it for 2-3 minutes.  Rub with a nylon kitchen pad then rinse with clean water.  Repeat if necessary.  Once the stain is lifted and the area is dry, apply a small amount of finish, such as Marmoleum Floor Finish, to restore finish removed by the undiluted cleaner.

Initial Care
FICTION: Marmoleum floors need a finish applied immediately following installation.
FACT: Marmoleum does NOT need floor finish right away because Topshield is a durable factory applied satin finish.  Initial sweeping and damp mopping is recommended to remove dirt and debris.  This is typically done by the flooring installer.  Don’t wet mop (just damp) right away because adhesives used to install the floor needs to completely cure and wet conditions may decrease adhesion.  Diluted Marmoleum Neutral Floor Cleaner can be used after a week or so.  Follow manufacturer dilution and cleaning instructions and rinse the floor thoroughly with clean water.  Marmoleum floors only need to be finished after excessive wear or if damage occurs –this applies to Commercial and Residential uses.

1877Floorguy.com sells Forbo Marmoleum Cleaner & Finish.  Professional, Experienced Customer Service can answer your floor maintenance questions at 1-877-Floorguy (1-877-356-6758).

July 29, 2010 on 6:16 pm

Dull & Dirty After Cleaning
COMPLAINT:
My Marmoleum floor looks dull and dirty after cleaning with diluted Marmoleum Cleaner.
SOLUTION:
Not enough rinsing is usually the culprit. Rinse the floor again, thoroughly and with clean water (I can’t emphasize this enough).  If the cleaner is not completely rinsed it will leave a residue that attracts dirt.

Dark Circle Under the Dog’s Water Dish
COMPLAINT:
There’s a dark circle on the floor where my dog’s water dish sits. How can I fix this?
SOLUTION:
This is a water stain that results when water sits in the same place, trapped, for an extended time.
Treat the area with a solution of 10% bleach diluted with water. Repeat as needed until stain is gone. Increase the dilution slightly if 10% doesn’t handle the stain but do not to go above 50% dilution ratio.  Neutralize with a 50% white vinegar solution diluted with water.  Rinse thoroughly, allow to dry, then apply floor finish as needed.

Yellowish Cast
COMPLAINT:
My new Marmoleum floor has a yellowish cast.
SOLUTION:
Marmoleum flooring, when initially installed, has a yellowish cast, known as ambering. This visual yellowing is only TEMPORARY and is a result of oxidation during the manufacturing process. When exposed to light, the ambering disappears. The process may take only a few hours in bright sunlight but longer with artificial light. Applying a finish over the ambering makes NO difference—it will still dissipate with exposure to light.

GENERAL TIPS:

  • Keep leftover pieces of flooring material (including small scraps) after the floor is installed. This eliminates dye lot issues if you need to make a repair with new material.  To store, roll leftover material, finished surface facing out, in rolls with 4-5” interior diameter.  Store in a room temperature space such as a closet.  Basement and attic are not good storage areas due to extreme temperatures.
  • Refinishing can often be avoided by performing consistent, recommended routine maintenance.  The key is consistency.
  • For commercial or residential applications, Marmoleum does not need to be finished right away however it can be finished if a different sheen level is desired.
  • 1877Floorguy.com sells Forbo Marmoleum Floor Cleaner & Polish. Professional, Experienced Customer Service can answer your floor maintenance questions at 1-877-Floorguy (1-877-356-6758).

    December 15, 2009 on 3:31 pm

    Residential Flooring Manufacturers devote many dollars to developing floor care and maintenance products specific to the floor(s) they produce. These products are carefully formulated, for each type of flooring the manufacturer produces to leave the floor residue-free, maintain the integrity of the floor’s surface finish without compromising slip resistance or shine and it needs to be the safest possible for people, pets and the environment. Important? You bet!

    Using the Manufacturer Recommended floor care & maintenance products on your new floor, in accordance with Manufacturer guidelines, will keep the floor you purchased looking great and it will uphold the Warranty on your floor if you should have a claim. The big question has long been, “Where can I buy the product recommended by the Manufacturer?”

    The flooring industry has a missing link when it comes to selling floor care & maintenance products. The flooring industry’s distribution chain, that has been in place for as long as I can remember, is from Manufacturer to Distributor to Retailer. This works like a well-oiled machine for flooring materials. Distributors buy in bulk from Manufacturers and the Retailers order from their Distributor to manage the amount of material they need to inventory. Since this works for flooring materials, it should also work for floor care & maintenance products, right? Wrong.

    More often than not, Retailers don’t carry the care & maintenance products that Manufacturers require to uphold their flooring Warranties. The truth is that they likely did when they first brought on the line of flooring because the Manufacturer probably had a spiffy display that was offered for the Care & Maintenance Products as part of their kick-off package however, when that initial supply was depleted, they never replenished the stock. This happens for several reasons.

    Flooring Retailers & Distributors have their focus on flooring materials, not care & maintenance products, because flooring material is their primary business and where most of their profits are generated. When they do try to track down the care & maintenance products they find that the Manufacturer is also more focused on the flooring products and they are not always able to obtain the care & maintenance products because their Distributor has trouble procuring them from the Manufacturer. You can see this doesn’t go very far in getting the products to the End Users.

    You won’t find the Manufacturer Recommended Floor Care Products in Big box stores either because there is not enough in volume sales for them. Each flooring product in the marketplace has approximately 3 floor care product sku’s (each item has a unique sku) associated with it. Multiply this by the hundreds of flooring products out there and the total equals too many different products for a big box store that focuses on high volume and low cost.

    The result- Customers, who buy new floors, become frustrated and may turn to easily available generic floor care products to maintain their new floor. This often backfires because the generic product may leave a cloudy film, etch the finish, create too much moisture, stain or dull the original shine. Depending on the product- cleaner, polish, stain remover, refresher, etc- the result of the generic product may or may not be reversible. Situations like this often wind up as Claims filed with the Manufacturer because the Customer believes the floor to be defective. They rarely see a Claim settle in their favor if they haven’t followed the Manufacturer’s care & maintenance guidelines. If only they could find the floor care products recommended by the Manufacturer to uphold their warranty…

    This is where the specialty e-store fills the missing link. 1877Floorguy.com carries over 1000 sku’s, specializing in Manufacturer recommended Floor Care & Maintenance Products. This website has such a large selection of Manufacturers and Products, organized by type of floor and by Manufacturer, that you will likely find the exact item you are looking for along with helpful tips or advise on how to use it. If you don’t find the answer on the website, call 1-877-Floorguy and one of the staff members, each has been doing this for 8+ years, will answer your questions and guide you with expertise. If you don’t see the product you’re looking for, ask! because 1877Floorguy.com is adding new products all the time. Best of all, most products are in stock and ready to ship next business day.

    Hopefully more Retailers will recognize that they can guide their Customers to 1877Floorguy.com to buy maintenance & care products for their new floor. This will make their Customers happy and they’ll go back to that Retailer again for new floors. We’ll never compete for the flooring materials business because our specialty is the products to keep floors clean and maintained.

    It has taken some convincing, within the industry, but Manufacturers are beginning to see the importance of breaking the supply chain mold to better serve the end users.

    March 18, 2009 on 7:21 pm

    RESTORING STRIPPED MARMOLEUM FLOORS

    Although there is no guarantee that this will work successfully, we have had success restoring Marmoleum that has been mildly stripped. Do not try this on the whole floor at first. Try a small spot in an inconspicuous area to see if this will work and then you can continue doing larger areas if successful.

    **** Clean with a 50% bleach solution (you can leave it on several minutes)
    **** Pick up solution and rinse with clear water
    **** Neutralize with a 50% white vinegar solution
    **** Pick up solution and rinse the floor well
    **** Let the floor dry
    **** Apply JohnsonDiverseyLinobase Sealer available at www.1877floorguy.com
    **** Apply 2-3 thin coats of JohnsonDiversey Carefree finish

    If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call at the telephone number below.

    Forbo Flooring Systems
    Technical Services
    800-342-0604

    February 12, 2008 on 8:08 pm

    Keep Your Investment in Your Floor
    Once you make the decision to replace your flooring or have a new floor installed, it’s still an investment and you will want to protect that investment.
    One of the largest offenders to flooring is the scooting of furniture across it. People often mistake a shiny floor with being slick and easy to move furniture across and it only takes a time or two before the damage is done. There are easy ways to avoid this and the easiest of all is to use simple floor protectors on the legs of your furniture.
    If you’re having a large gathering where the odd ottoman or chair might be scooted across your flooring, just protect it in advance with a floor protector and you won’t have to play floor monitor and it will leave you free to enjoy your get together and not worry about your floor.
    Also if you’re going to experiment with your room decor. Use floor protectors on the bottoms of your furniture to not only allow you to move them easily around the room, but also to protect your floor from damage. One table legs scratching across your finished floor can do damage that can be expensive to repair.
    Other good measures you can take include having cotton floor rugs in high traffic areas. This will slow down the wear on your floor as well as protect it. Avoid rugs with rubber or plastic backings though as they can damage some finishes.
    You made a good investment in your flooring, keep it looking like new with regular care and use floor protectors as necessary.

    Call the Floor Guy at 1-877-Floorguy.com (1-877-356-6748) or visit us at www.1877floorguy.com for all your floor protector needs.

    February 11, 2008 on 10:04 pm

    Making Your Linoleum Floor Last
    Linoleum is known for its ability to endure the elements, as well as endure time itself. Linoleum is a very durable material that has made a come back in the interior design market in recent years.
    For a long time, people stayed away from linoleum, choosing vinyl instead. Linoleum was a material most commonly used in the 50s and 60s, but because of its strength and durability, builders and homeowners are using it again.
    Linoleum is one of the best floors to have in a home if you have heavy traffic, children, and think “green.”
    If you hate cleaning and maintenance, and don’t want to fuss with such things, linoleum is the way to go. It is virtually waterproof and doesn’t scratch even under the heaviest traffic or movement. Minimum care is required and as a result, families enjoy having it installed in their kitchen and bathrooms.
    Basically, you don’t have to worry about making your linoleum floor last. It probably will, having a reputation in the market for being the “40 year floor.” Not only that, but with the environmental green movement strongly being advocated across the nation, linoleum ranks as a top choice due to its environmentally-friendly materials. The great thing about linoleum is that if you get tired of its color, you can always paint it. Over the course of “40 years”, you can change the color as often as you want!
    To clean linoleum, simply use a damp mop. As a result of naturally being resistant to dirt and so forth, linoleum resists bacteria, allergens, dust and pollen. A perfect floor for the sensitive nose!

    October 26, 2007 on 3:42 pm

    Cleaning your Linoleum Floors

    Tired of looking at your dirty, dingy-looking kitchen floors, but not sure of the proper way to clean linoleum? The first step in preparing to clean linoleum is to find out if indeed your flooring is actually linoleum. Today, several sheet-flooring products are made from vinyl or vinyl blends; but because in the past most sheet-flooring was linoleum. Most people refer to all sheet-flooring as linoleum, however it may not be. Vinyl is made of all synthetic materials while Linoleum is made materials that are natural and these two types of flooring require different types of care. The word itself can be broken down to explain what materials it is made of; the “Lin” in linoleum comes from linseed and the “Oleum” is a Latin word that means oil. Because this product is made largely of linseed oil; it is important to know how to clean linoleum so you don’t ruin the surface.

    You want to make sure that you are using products that are intended to be used on genuine linoleum floors. There are a large variety of products on the market today that are perfect to use to clean. Linoleum floors should never be cleaned with strong alkaline cleansing products. Using products with a high alkaline content to clean linoleum can actually remove polish from the flooring, damaging the floor beyond repair.

    In preparing to clean linoleum, you will first want to thoroughly sweep and/or vacuum the floor. After sweeping the floor, you will want to prepare by reading and following the instructions on the product you have chosen to use to clean. Linoleum cleaners will have different instructions and dilution requirements. Use the diluted cleaner over your floor working in small areas and then moving on the next. Last step is to use clean water and go over your floor rinsing off the cleaner. Once your floor is allowed to dry, check it to see if it brightened up from cleaning. Even a clean, linoleum can look dull when it needs it needs to be polished. When polishing the clean linoleum floor, you will want to use a high-quality product made especially for this type of flooring because of the porousness of linoleum.

    Normally you will using a standard mop to clean linoleum floors, however depending on how deep the groves are in your flooring, you may actually have to use a brush with nylon bristles to remove any dirt from the groves when you clean. Linoleum can be a bit delicate and can scratch easily so you want to be very careful when you are trying to clean linoleum and use gentle pressure and soft bristles – however you also need to be able to get the dirt out of the grooves that might already be etched in your linoleum floor. Knowing the proper way to clean linoleum can help you to preserve the beauty of your linoleum floor for years to come.

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