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A Guide to Maintaining Hardwood Floors

You’ve recently had new hardwood floors installed or have refinished your current floors. What’s next? It’s time to learn how to properly maintain your hardwood floors! With proper maintenance and care, hardwood floors can remain beautiful for years!

Hardwood floors have been around for centuries and have been appreciated by many people. Nothing offers a more timeless, beautiful look than a well-cared-for hardwood floor. But how do you keep hardwood floorings looking beautiful?

We’ve put together some tips to help you learn how to properly maintain and care for your hardwood flooring. Let’s get started!

1. Everyone Should Remove Their Shoes

In some cultures, it’s expected that everyone in the household and guests should remove their shoes in the entryway. Why is this such a common “rule”? Think of where your shoes have been throughout the day. Yes, we thought that would get your attention!

As we walk around, our shoes take up grit, dirt, and other debris that may damage hardwood floors. Nothing is worse than having a pebble caught in the tread of a sneaker. If you walk on wooden floors with that in your shoe, the floors are sure to suffer.

In addition, the bottoms of our shoes can also cause damage to wood flooring. For instance, boots and sneakers can cause scuffs and scratches that can be quite damaging. So, to avoid these kinds of problems, have a rule that everyone entering your home must remove their shoes.

In addition, it’s helpful to keep doormats and boot trays near the front door in the entryway. Anyone entering your home can wipe their shoes or boots on the doormat and then store them in the boot tray. The tray captures dirt and pebbles. And on rainy or snowy days, when footwear is wet, the boot tray also captures liquid!

Bear in mind that the doormats and boot tray must be cleaned regularly to be effective. In addition, the area where shoes are removed should be protected and kept dry.

2. Vacuum or Sweet Regularly

Next, to keep your hardwood floors free of dirt and dust, it’s essential to vacuum or sweep regularly. This helps prevent scratches and scuffs from debris that falls on the floor.

If you choose to sweep, experts recommend using a broom with soft bristles. Another option is to clean with a microfibre dust mop. These are soft and will not damage the wooden floor.

Vacuuming is also possible; however, be sure to purchase a vacuum that’s designed to run on hardwood floors. The vacuums are made with special wheels that don’t harm the floor. And be sure to only use the flooring attachment that’s made for hardwood floors. These typically have a soft brush on the end.

3. Avoid Using a Mop & Bucket

It may be tempting to use a mop and bucket to keep your hardwood floors clean. However, that’s one of the worst ways to clean your floors. Think of all that water seeping between the grooves of the floor and being absorbed. The water can cause the hardwood flooring to warp and bulge.

Instead, use a cloth that’s been thoroughly wrung out. The mop can be made from terry-cloth or microfibre. These hold enough cleaner to get the floors clean without using too much water that may damage the wood.

4. Don’t Use Harsh Chemical Cleaners on Hardwood Floors

Using hard chemical cleaners on a hardwood floor slowly causes damage over time. For one thing, the harsh cleaning chemicals eat away the finish on the wood. So, avoid using the following chemicals on wood floors:

  • Ammonia
  • Vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Powdered all-purpose cleaners
  • Endust (or similar products)
  • Pledge (or other furniture polishes)
  • Wax or silicone-based products

Instead, use cleaners that are recommended to use on hardwood floors. When using these chemicals, don’t pour them directly on the floor. These liquids can create a puddle that spreads and seeps in between the floorboards, causing them to warp and buckle.

5. Use Felt Pads Under Furniture

Another way to protect your hardwood floors and keep them beautiful is to use felt pads or something similar under furniture. Even if the furniture isn’t very heavy, it can still cause damage to hardwood floors.

Moving furniture across the floor can cause scuffs, scratches, and worse damage to wooden floors. In addition, heavy furniture can leave indentations behind in the wood.

Using felt pads under the furniture preserves your floors and may even make it easier to move furniture around!

6. Use Window Treatments

Hardwood flooring that receives too much sunlight can become discoloured. You can use window treatments, such as blinds and curtains on the windows to keep sunlight out.

Watch the room over the course of the day. If you notice the sunlight hitting the floor at a particular time, then make sure the windows are covered to keep light off the floor.

7. Pets

Another common problem with hardwood floors comes from pets. Some pets, such as dogs, have claws or toenails that can damage wood floors. Their nails or claws are hard and sharp enough to scratch or even gouge a hardwood floor.

Maybe you’ve even had this happen already! Your dog is near the window and gets excited seeing another animal or person walk past. Your dog may run across the floor at full speed, digging his toenails in for traction. This is how a dog (and other pets) may cause damage to wood floors.

The next area of concern is the area where you keep your pet’s water and food dishes. If you have these bowls on a hardwood floor, drool and water can quickly deteriorate the flooring. So, it’s a good idea to use a mat under the food and water bowls. Ensure the mat is large enough to cover the space where your pet splashes water, food, and drool. It’s also important the mat has a rubberised backing to keep spilled water from going through to the floor.

Summing It Up

With a little forethought and care, you can keep your hardwood floors looking beautiful for years to come! Follow our tips to keep your wood floors in shape, clean, and protected!

If you are looking to get a new floor, be sure to get in contact with us. Our friendly team are always happy to help!

FAQs

How often should I clean my hardwood floors?
Regular cleaning is essential. Aim for once a week using a damp mop or a recommended hardwood floor cleaner.

Can I use vinegar to clean hardwood floors?
Avoid using vinegar, as its acidity can damage the finish. Opt for pH-neutral cleaners designed for hardwood floors.

What’s the best way to deal with deep scratches?
For deep scratches, use wood filler or touch-up markers designed for hardwood floors, followed by a protective finish.

Is it normal for hardwood floors to creak?
Slight creaks are normal due to natural wood expansion and contraction. If persistent, consult a professional for inspection.

How do I protect my floors from pet scratches?
Trim your pets’ nails regularly and use rugs or mats in high-traffic pet areas to minimise scratches.

Can I install hardwood floors in humid climates?
Yes, but proper humidity control is crucial. Invest in a dehumidifier to maintain optimal conditions.

 

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