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Modern vinyl sheet flooring is a miracle of modern design and manufacturing technology. Vinyl flooring is relatively inexpensive, highly versatile and low-maintenance. But make no mistake: Good vinyl floor maintenance requires regular routine cleaning, advanced floor-care planning to prevent problems, and careful use of floor cleaning products.

Here are some floor-care tips to keep your commercial or residential vinyl surfaces looking crisp and vibrant.

Basic Care

Vinyl flooring handles dirt, dust and spills much better than most other surfaces. However, long-term inattention to basic vinyl floor care will eventually lead to scuffing and possible discoloration. That’s why the Resilient Floor Covering Institute recommends a simple three-step cleaning drill:

  • Spill cleaning. Don’t let spills linger. Wipe them up as soon as possible with a mop or damp cloth.
  • Regular vacuuming. Take time to regularly sweep, dust or vacuum vinyl floors to remove dirt, dust and other debris.
  • Damp mopping. From time to time, it’s a good idea to add damp mopping to a vinyl floor cleaning routine. This floor-care step will help restore a deeper clean to the surface.

Preventive Maintenance

You can greatly extend the life of vinyl floors by following some simple preventive tips, which include:

  • Using mats. When vinyl floors are right inside an exterior entrance door, walk-off mats can help trap dirt, minimize moisture and prevent tracking. In interior areas such as bathrooms or kitchens with vinyl flooring, the placement of smaller mats by entry doors can help reduce transfer of floor debris.
  • Choosing breathable backing. To head off possible discoloration of vinyl floors, the RFCI recommends mats or rugs be made of breathable materials and include a slip-resistant backing to prevent falls.
  • Avoiding rubber- or latex-backed mats. Mats with these types of backing surfaces should be avoided, since they can eventually create permanent stains on vinyl flooring.
  • Using casters or glides. When furnishing an area that has vinyl flooring, consider installing rubber casters or felt glides under table, chair or couch legs. This advanced floor-care step will prevent scratching and make these items easier to move.
  • Taking caution with heavy objects. When moving big items over vinyl flooring, such as refrigerators, stoves or large furniture items, it’s time to take extra precautions. For instance, a plywood panel laid flat across the floor makes a perfect runway for moving appliances and other heavy items to their final destination. That extra step can help you prevent scuffs or outright tears in the floor’s surface.

Advanced Care

All vinyl flooring is not alike. Aside from the care and maintenance tips offered above, each manufacturer has specific do’s and don’ts regarding advanced floor care for their respective products. For example:

  • Some vinyl companies warn against use of vacuum cleaners with beater bars, because they can scuff the flooring’s surface.
  • Other manufacturers advise against the use of common floor cleaners or equipment, since some products might damage the physical or chemical integrity of vinyl flooring.


To ensure you’re taking the right approach to vinyl floor care, check out product-specific maintenance help on your vinyl flooring manufacturer’s website.