The alternative to carpet is a smooth floor, otherwise known as hard floor. Hard floors come in many different types and each type can have a great many variations, so it is particularly important to contact the flooring manufacturer or supplier to get specific advice.
Hard floors, although generally durable and hard wearing, are not immune to damage and still require care and maintenance, much like carpets.
Generally, a very important factor with hard floors is to ensure they are sealed. A seal forms a protective surface and prevents liquid (and therefore stains) from penetrating. There is a simple test that can be performed to check if your hard floor is sealed correctly: Pour a drop of water onto the surface and spread it out with your finger. If the water is absorbed then the surface is in need of sealing as soon as possible. However, if the water beads and is repelled then your surface is properly sealed.
The importance of entrance mats in protecting floors cannot be over emphasised. Dirt, grit and sand cut into the finish, causing scratches and dulling. Once the protective surface has been penetrated, liquid can stain the floor causing further problems.
Place felt floor protectors on table and chair legs and the feet of any other furniture to prevent scratching. Rugs As with carpet, place rugs in high wear areas such as in front of sofas, which will be much more comfortable too! A rug is also a good idea for areas of your floor that are likely to come into contact with water, for example by a bath or sink.
Vacuuming is essential, not only to remove any dirt and grit which has made it past your entrance matting, but also to remove any dust generated from within the home. Entrances and other heavily used areas should ideally be vacuumed daily. Uprights are available which can clean hard floor and carpet, such as the SEBO X range, but if the floor is uneven or delicate a cylinder (or SEBO Felix upright) fitted with a parquet brush or combination head should be used. A delicate floor brush roller is available for SEBO uprights which may be suitable.
For gloss hard floors consider investing in a polisher. If the floor is completely smooth a polisher such as the SEBO Disco can bring an hygienic shine to the surface, making the floor look like new. As it works in conjunction with the Felix upright vacuum cleaner, the D4 Premium and E3 Premium cylinders, you vacuum and polish at the same time.
Mop them up before they can be absorbed into the floor!
Wet mopping is normally best avoided, especially if the protective finish is worn. Use a specially formulated cleaning solution and take care to keep the mop damp rather than wet.