How To Clean Your Carpet, Tile, Hardwood, and LVT Floors

cleaning carpet

Have you had trouble keeping your floors clean in the past? No matter what type of flooring you have in your home, it certainly requires some type of care and maintenance. Whether it’s carpet stains or dirt in your tile grout, we have cleaning solutions to keep your home fresh and clean!

Cleaning Carpet

If you clean your carpet floors yourself instead of hiring professionals, there are a few best practices to follow. First, you can clean carpet by water extraction, commonly done with steam cleaners. Steam cleaners work by releasing a cleaning solution into the floors, then extracting the now-dirty solution back into the appliance. Water damage is a risk when using this method, especially when handling a steam cleaner on your own, so make sure there’s not an excess amount of water being injected into the floors during this process.

An alternative way to clean your carpet is the dry extraction method. Dry extraction works by using a dry absorbent compound. After the compound is fully spread, vacuum the floors with a carpet cleaning machine (such machines are available to rent).

If you’d like more carpet cleaning tips, we have a curated list of carpet cleaning solutions to help you tackle the spots and stains that inevitably appear on your carpet from years of wear and tear.

Cleaning Tile

Tile is extremely durable, which makes the cleaning and care process easier and less involved. One way to consistently ensure your tile floors look fresh is to vacuum or sweep, then use a sponge mop to clean your floors one to two times a week. The most important part about keeping tile clean is keeping the grout clear of dirt and buildup. To extract dirt from your grout, use a grout cleaner spray or a mixture of baking soda and water. Apply the spray or paste to the grout and let sit for ten to fifteen minutes. Use a small brush to scrub the spray or paste out of the grout, bringing with it the years of buildup and grime.

Cleaning Hardwood

To begin to clean hardwood floors yourself, you will first need to sweep the floors to remove excess dirt. This will take care of the recent buildup, but not the dirt that has been on your hardwood floors for a long period of time. You’ll need a wood-cleaning product to clean the long-term buildup. As a precaution, make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully on the cleaning products you plan to use before spreading them all over your hardwood floors. Use a sponge mop to spread the cleaner on the floors, making sure you don’t put too much product on the floor. Clean the mop and dampen it with clean water before using it to remove the cleaner. After you completely remove the cleaner, take a dry towel and gently dry the hardwood.

Check out our Hardwood Care & Maintenance page, or learn more about our refinishing services to ensure the longevity of your hardwood floors.

Cleaning LVT

Cleaning LVT, or luxury vinyl tile, is very similar to cleaning tile or hardwood floors. As with hardwood, you want to watch out for excess moisture during the cleaning process to reduce the risk of water damage. Vacuum and sweep LVT floors weekly to keep them in great condition. For a deeper clean, use the same process as you would with hardwood floors, except replace the the hardwood cleaning product with a cleaning product that is made specifically for LVT.  LVT floors are very durable however, they still need to be maintained properly to ensure they continue to look pristine for years to come.

Learn everything you need to know about maintenance and care for carpet, tile, hardwood and LVT floors on our website, and be sure to stop by any of our Pittsburgh flooring locations for more information!


Installing Hardwood Floors vs. Installing LVT Floors

laminate flooring

After you have spent time researching types of floors and looking through our samples, it’s time to install the floors into your home. Rusmur Floors has a team of experts who will install your hardwood and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) floors. Before the installation process begins however, there are a few things to consider. Some aspects of the installation process for hardwood and LVT are similar, and some are very different. Below are three categories of price, timeline, and  preparation where we compare the two kinds of flooring in regards to installation.


Hardwood floors in general are more expensive than LVT floors, and that also applies to installation. The price of hardwood installation comes in at about twice as much as luxury vinyl tile installation. This isn’t necessarily because of the way they install it, but because of the source of hardwood versus the source of LVT. Hardwood is a natural source and LVT is not, so therefore hardwood is more expensive to buy, install, and upkeep than vinyl tile.


From selecting the floors up until the installation process, both hardwood and LVT floors take 2 to 3 weeks to complete. Once the floors are selected and delivered, they need to be left alone for an estimated 48 hours to acclimate to the environment. Installing the hardwood floors takes about 1 to 3 days and then up to 2 weeks prior to sanding for hardwood floors. This timeline includes the time it takes to prepare for installation as well as cleanup after installation.


Remove any furniture, decor, and valuables from the walls of the rooms you will be having the floors installed in before your scheduled appointment. As mentioned before, make sure the floors have arrived at your home at least two days prior to starting the installation process, to be properly acclimated to the environment. Once your floors arrive, make sure they do not have any damages or defects. For both luxury vinyl tile and hardwood flooring, make sure you read the warranty, installation instructions, and manufacturer’s instructions prior to when the installation team arrives. It is also good to prepare for the post-installation clean up. Prior to installation, have a plan in place to clean any leftover dust, dirt, or extra materials that can pile up during this process.

Want to learn more about the similarities and differences between hardwood and LVT floors? Check out our Hardwood vs. LVT guide and stay tuned for our next blog that discusses in-depth the upkeep and maintenance for both types of flooring!


Upkeep/Maintenance for LVT Floors vs. Hardwood Floors

cleaning hardwood floors

Now that you have your hardwood or LVT floors installed, it’s time to focus on the upkeep and maintenance of your floors. Taking care of your floors is important, and ensures that your flooring can be the heart of the home for many years to come. Since hardwood floors are a natural source and are known to last longer than luxury vinyl tile, they requires more upkeep over the years. LVT on the other hand, is popular because it’s cheaper and not as high maintenance as hardwood.

Everyday Care

The day-to-day care for hardwood flooring includes vacuuming and sweeping regularly with a broom. Avoid using a vacuum with a power rotary brush head on the floors, as it can be too rough. It’s also a smart idea to move the furniture in the room occasionally, to help the hardwood age at an even pace. Try to prevent extreme daylight from shining on the hardwood for long periods of time, as this can cause uneven fading and aging.

LVT is more durable than hardwood, and it’s also waterproof. The durability and low maintanence of this type of flooring results in little daily upkeep. The basic everyday care for luxury vinyl tile includes sweeping with a soft-bristle broom to clean loose dust or dirt, as well as mopping with clean water and gentle cleaner. Unlike hardwood, you don’t have to worry as much about direct sunlight fading or aging LVT floors. If there is a stain on your LVT floors, use 1 part bleach and 10 parts water to spot-treat.


There are various ways to prevent speeding the process of aging, scratches, dents and other damage to your hardwood or LVT floors. For both types of flooring, it’s best to avoid wearing heeled or spiked shoes while walking on the floors. Avoid dragging heavy furniture on the floors, instead pick up the furniture to prevent scratches and dents. If there are any spills, you should not let them sit for long periods of time and instead clean them up immediately. Although it is possible to clean LVT floors with a damp mop, you should avoid using a damp or wet mop to clean your hardwood floors to prevent any liquid damage.

Refinishing Options for Hardwood

Although LVT floors are low maintenance and require little to no upkeep overtime, choosing hardwood floors allows for future refinishing options. These refinishing options can take your flooring from tired and worn out to looking better than when they were first installed! Refinishing hardwood can also extend the longevity of hardwood floors and help you get the most out of your investment. There are three types of refinishing services: sanding, screening, and staining.

  • Sanding: Sanding is when the floors are completely sanded down to the raw wood to start fresh with the refinishing process.
  • Screening: Screening is the process of lightly sanding or “screening” the top layers of the floor. Then, covering it with a polyurethane top-coat.
  • Staining: This process requires sanding the floors, then staining them the color or finish of your choice, then topping them with a coat of polyurethane.

Want to learn more about the similarities and differences between hardwood and LVT floors? Download our Hardwood vs. LVT guide and check out our previous blog comparing the installation process for hardwood and LVT floors.


How to Use your Sunroom During Fall & Winter

Fall Winter Decor

In Western Pennsylvania, sunrooms are valuable spaces as the weather starts to cool off. These rooms can provide warmth in the cooler hours of the day while still allowing you to bask in the sunshine of midday, regardless of the temperature outside. The sunroom is perfect for easing you into autumn’s brisk temperatures, especially if you have the right flooring and a climate controlled room.With the right decor and flooring choices, you can use sunrooms 365 days a year, not just in the summer!

Vinyl, sometimes referred to as LVT, and carpeted floors are the best choices to use  for your sunroom if you want to use it year-round. These floorings options are most tolerant to Western PA’s extreme temperature changes and humidity swings. With the right flooring, it is easy to transition your sunroom from fall to winter.

Add an Area Rug
When you want to change things up for the colder seasons, an area rug can be a great complement to your flooring choice. It’s an easy way to incorporate new colors into the room. Not only a good source of color and themes, an area rug can help warm up the room as well. For any parts of the room not covered by the rug, keep your favorite slippers by the room’s doorway and don’t forget to bring a hot cup of your favorite tea in with you!

Decorate with Holiday Pieces
As the holidays get closer and closer, it is a good time to break out the holiday decor and to remember your sunroom while you are decorating! A few holiday decorations can be placed around the room will help to make it seasonal. Your decor choices can be as simple as a pumpkin as a centerpiece, a wreath on a wall, or a vase of fall foliage placed somewhere you can enjoy it.

Bring out the Pillows and Blankets
Consider investing in a few decorative pillows and throw blankets that would make your sunroom cozy for the cooler months. These items could be holiday themed or just colors and patterns that you find pleasing. They will help to make the room more inviting and tempt you from the rest of the house to enjoy the occasional balmy winter day from your sunroom.

These little decor ideas will transition your sunroom to the perfect cozy autumn space that you will keep enjoying into the winter months.

Reach out to us today if you have any questions about what flooring would best suit your needs and don’t forget to check out our collection of floors suitable for sunrooms at any of our 5 locations!

Laminate Flooring Maintenance

Laminate flooring is great choice due to its affordable pricing and durability. Taking care of your laminate flooring is important, and luckily for you, it’s also easy if you follow these rules.

  • Wipe up spills immediately.
  • Never use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar because it could damage and scratch the finish.
  • Use protective pads under furniture.
  • Avoid waxes, varnishes, polishes, shine enhancers and other products not designed for laminate floors, as they can leave a residue on your floors.
  • Place mats at entry points to the house to decrease the amount of dirt and other substances being tracked in onto the laminate.
  • Avoid mopping with traditional string mops. Instead, opt for microfiber clothes that require far less water. This is important because using too much water or letting water stand on laminate floors can warp the boards.
  • If you have a pet, keep its nails trimmed to prevent them from scratching the floors.
  • Remove high heels before walking on laminate flooring, otherwise you risk dents and scratches.

When in doubt, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use products designed for use on laminate floors. If you have questions about caring for your laminate floors, give us a call or stop into any of our locations today!

Troubleshooting Squeaking Laminate Floors

Are your laminate floors squeaking? Let us help you try and fix the problem before you call in a professional to look at the problem.

Environmental problems – Changes in humidity and temperature can cause the laminate flooring to expand and contract, leading to squeaking. Controlling the temperature and humidity even when you’re away should get rid of the squeaks. Ideally, the temperature should be kept at 60–80°F and humidity should be between 30–50%.

Heavy Furniture – Furniture, especially heavy pieces, can cause squeaks in laminate floors. Moving furniture around may help alleviate the problem, but some heavy furniture will simply always cause squeaks in a floating floor material like laminate.

If it’s neither of these problems, try using some talcum powder. Talcum powder can sometimes fix squeaks in flooring. Sprinkle the talcum powder into the squeaky joints and work into the seams.

If none of these fixes work, you are probably looking at more of a structural problem which will be labor intensive and complicated to fix on your own, so call in a professional to pin point the squeaks and fix the problem. For more questions, give Rusmur Floors a call today!