The best way to preserve floors is to clean and maintain them so that they don't get ruined in the first place. You don't have to go with wild with cleaners and oils; simply get rid of the grit. No matter what floor sufface you've got, grit will ruin it. Grit scuffs the color off vinyl, deteriorates the fibers in carpeting, and abrades the finish on wood floors. In fact, once a wood floor becomes embedded with grit, no amount of scrubbing will remove it, you have to refinish the floor. The only prevention is to sweep, vacuum and damp-mop often. Be especially careful not to douse wood floors with water, however, since that can damage them even more than the dirt alone. Instead, damp-mop and dry with terry-cloth towel. You'll get years more life out of your floors by keeping them clean, which will save you money and keep your house looking great.