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Evaluating Floors

Floor coverings wear out faster than other interior surfaces because they get more wear and tear. Surface damage can affect more than just appearance. Scratches in resilient flooring and cracks in grouted tile joints allow moisture to wear away at adhesive, eventually pushing up the floor covering or tile. Hardwood floors lose their finish and become discolored. And loose floorboards squeak. If that problem appears to be minor now, the question is: Clean, repair, or replace?

Before answering that question, you must thoroughly inspect your entire floor. Look for stains, tears, rips, cracks, buckles, bubbles, or damp spots. Specific concerns for each type of flooring material are listed in this section Once the problem is classified, you may move on to the repair project specific to the problem.


Concrete floors are hard and durable, but still require care. If unsealed, concrete is vulnerable to all kinds of stains, Oil and grease ate particularly troublesome. Cracks are also common.


Look for tears, stains, or excessive wear in carpet. Cleaning the spots should always be the first step, and there are carpet-cleaning products for almost every possible stain. If this doesn’t do the trick, these damaged areas may be fixed with a patch (as shown in photo).


A severely damaged section of tile or plank may be completely removed (as is being done in photo) and replaced. Normal wear and tear is probably the result of years of accumulated dirt from foot traffic. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable- Often touch-up sticks to repair scratches are available from manufacturers.


Moisture can cause wood floors to swell. Swollen planks should be removed so you can inspect the subfloor. Allowing the subfloor to dry out allows you to then replace the damaged boards with new, tight-fitting planks.


Even durable ceramic tiles develop signs of wear. To evaluate ceramic tiles, check for loose, cracked, or dirty grout joints. Remove failed grout and regrout tile joints.


Though quite durable, parquet tiles are still vulnerable to stains, especially from heavy spills or water that sits on the floor for some time. It is important to clean up spills immediately Soak a cloth in mineral spirits for troublesome stains.


A common problem for resilient sheet floors is air bubbles. For resilient tiles (inset), the most common problem is loose seams. Tiles with small curls may be reattached, but tiles with dirt under them must be completely removed and replaced.





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