One of the first things potentials buyers notice when previewing homes is the flooring condition. They kick off their shoes, and there's the carpet stain or chip in the tile. Fortunately, there are some safe and easy remedies for cleaning and fixing several types of flooring while avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals.
Let’s start with stains.
If you have carpeting, there are a number of spot cleaning products on the market. But before you try those, consider the simple remedy that works on all sorts of surfaces and fabrics: baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle some baking soda directly on the stain, then add just enough white vinegar to make that bubbly reaction to lift tough stains and dirt. Wait two minutes. Then, dab carefully with a paper towel and vacuum the residual.
This method often works well without leaving harmful residue. Furthermore, it has been proven to rid iron, rust and mildew in showers and sinks and help in a plethora of other applications. Find many more uses on Angie's List
For hard floors, gentle rubbing with warm water will take care of most stains. But if you have hardwood floors, don’t let the area remain wet. Dry it completely. Ceramic tile floors often have old, discolored grout, which can be very noticable. Of course, there are many products available to clean grout, as well as professional services. However, try using an old toothbrush and water before investing in those products. Scrub the grout gently. Then mop the entire area. For tougher stains, baking soda comes into play again. For an effective homemade grout cleaner and many more tips, BobVila.com
is a great resource.
If you have minor damage to a section of hardwood floor or floor tiles — for example, a chip or crack — the best solution is replacement. Unfortunately, this isn’t a DIY-friendly job, so unless you’ve done it successfully before, consider hiring a contractor. If the crack is minor and you don’t want to replace the piece, there are sealing products available, which will camouflage the crack — to some extent — and prevent it from getting worse. Angled nails and wood puddy are a common fix.
Overall aged and faded hardwood floors can be revived with some harder work, but this can be done in a day or over a weekend by yourself or with a few extra hands. This process may require rental equipment, such as an orbital sander, and some fresh stain.
Extensive damage such as large gaps, buckling, warping or cupping may require the help of a professional. In some cases, it may be worth getting everything done right by a professional and all at once. According to Home Advisor
, the average cost for hardwood floor repairs is about $1,000.