A floor is the bottom surface of a room or vehicle. Floors vary from simple dirt in a cave to many-layered surfaces modern technology. Floors may be stone, wood, bamboo, metal, or any other material that can support the expected load.
The most popular flooring types, are
- Ceramic Tile – When in need of flooring that requires waterproofing, ceramic tile is the best alternative. Ceramic tile could be used as floor tiles, indoors, or as counter tops. Some types of ceramic tiles with high gloss finish tend to scratch over the time. Ceramic tiles with unglazed finish are the best alternative for outdoor flooring because of the possibility of standing water. Some of the most popular finishes available are matte, embossed, glazed and textured ones for anti-slip. Ceramic tiles made of porcelain color through tile body, are the best to hide scratches or damages due to their composition. One of its biggest drawbacks is that grout lines could be very hard and difficult to clean and low-quality tiles may chip.
- Hardwood Flooring – One of the favorites types of flooring. Hardwood flooring presents a combination of beauty and durability that would rarely have a flooring material. Hardwood flooring comes in Maple, Pecan, Beech, Cherry, Oak, Pine, Birch, Walnut, Hickory and more. This type of flooring provides a long-lasting product, wear resistant surface that could be refinished if necessary. However, certain types of hardwood flooring might darken with age and some others could shrink and expand creating gaps in the floor surface.
- Laminate Flooring – One of the cheapest flooring types available, laminate flooring is very easy to maintain. Laminate flooring provides a strong, durable surface that can resist burns, scratches, and chipping. It is an excellent solution for high traffic areas, resembles natural materials and comes in a wide range of colors and designs. However, laminate flooring could not be refinished and can be scratched easily. For installations in high-moisture rooms, select laminates designed for this use. Laminate flooring has grown significantly in popularity, perhaps because it may be easier to install and maintain than more traditional surfaces such as hardwood flooring.
- Marble Flooring – Marble tiles are one of the most durable and versatile tiles to use. They can be used for your floors, walls, and hallway columns. These tiles are easily cleaned and maintained. They are also very easy to engrave with stylish textures and designs that suit your artistic tastes. Marble tiles make an elegant foyer and come in many colors. It comes in a wide range of colors and variations.
- Bamboo Flooring – The bamboo flooring could be a greener solution when compared to traditional flooring materials. Bamboo flooring is durable, elegant and comes in a variety of colors usually ranging from honey brown to light tan. It provides a strong, clean surface, but could darken over time or when exposed to sunlight. Bamboo flooring should not be left wet. Manufactured bamboo floors are typically made available in planks with either vertical or horizontal grain orientation.
- Vinyl – Vinyl is a flooring material made primarily of polyvinyl chloride. It is available in sheets or tiles, and comes in a wide range of styles and colors.
- Rubber – Rubber flooring is also available in a variety of colors, as well as textures, designs and configurations like pavers, tiles and snap-together panels.
- Carpet and Carpet Tiles – Carpeting offers warmth and softness underfoot and is often cheaper than other flooring options. Carpeting is also a good sound absorber. Covering whole floors may be best left to the professional but carpet tiles are also available and easy to lay. Carpet tiles can be installed in minutes and one damaged tile can be easily replaced.
- Cork – Cork is a renewable sustainable resource and is known for its shock-absorbing comfort underfoot, as well as its vibration and sound dampening qualities. Cork also has insect-resistant and anti-allergenic properties. Often available in tiles, cork can be installed as a floating floor or glued down.
Floors require regular cleaning and finishing to retain their appearance and durability. According to the type of flooring used different methods and type of cleaning procedures need to be practised.
There are different types of floor cleaning machines which are designed for scrubbing, buffing, burnishing, scarifying and spray maintenance.
- Mopping: Floors should be mopped daily with a damp mop or with a chemically treated dust mop. Mop heads comes with a variety of natural or synthetic fibres. New mop heads should be soaked in water for 1 hrs and the mop heads should be rotated so that they can be cleaned and dried after each use.
- Scrubbing: Requires a stiff scrubbing brush or pad fitted to a rotary floor cleaning machine, The bristle tips of a brush or the surface of a pad scrape and cut the dirt to remove it with a circular motion.
- Burnishing (Polishing): This new kind of floor cleaning method which is similar to buffing but here it is a dry method without any use of any polish spray. Additionally the speed in which the rotary floor cleaning machine head is set to spin faster for burnishing. The tips of a brush or the surface of a pad abrade and cut the floor surface to create a smooth surface with a glossy finish. In case of a polished surface, it will involve the removal of a surface layer of polish.
- Buffing: Usually followed after scrubbing or burnishing, Buffing involves spraying the floor with a polishing solution and buffing the floor with a rotary floor machine. Latest rotary cleaning machines have an ability of spraying the polishing solution as well as buff the floor. While buffing the bristle tips of a brush or the surface of a pad create a high-gloss finish on the floor surface. In case of a surface on which a polish has been applied, it will involve generation of a local heat to harden waxes and resins.
- Scarifying: Scarifying is a floor cleaning method by which the thick layer of soil is removed by breaking up the surface of the topsoil by a chisel like action of a wire brush cutting tool. The bristle tips or edge of a cutting tool, cut into impacted soiling and remove it by means of a chisel-like action.
- Spray cleaning : This is similar to spray cleaning, but the term is applied to the maintenance of floors where a buffable or semi-buffable polish has been applied and the bristle tips of a brush or the surface of a pad remove both soiling and the surface layer of polish to leave a smooth, glossy surface.