HARDWOOD FLOORING MAINTENANCE TIPS
Hardwood Flooring Maintenance Tips
A big part in owning hardwood floors is protecting your investment. You probably spent quite a bit on the hardwood flooring itself, but also on the installation. Every manufacturer can give you an estimate on the expected lifetime of hardwood flooring, but, in all honesty, homeowners have a lot of say in how long a hardwood floor lasts. To extend your floor’s lifetime, adhere to the following hardwood flooring maintenance tips:
Firstly, it's important to be aware of the threats to hardwood flooring.
You’ll find that most hardwood flooring maintenance tips are centered around moisture prevention. Moisture poses the biggest threat to hardwood. If water or other liquids seep through the seams and into the core, cupping and/or crowning can result. Planks could curl around the edges or even expand in the center.
Hardwood flooring technology has definitely become more advanced over the years, and it’s safe to say that hardwood is generally able to withstand moisture better than ever before. Still, moisture remains a threat, and you definitely don't want to take your hardwood flooring for granted.
Scratching is another threat. Some hardwood types can withstand scratching better than others; regardless, measures should be taken to avoid scratching. We'll get into those a bit further along…
Place rugs in areas that normally experience high foot traffic
The more foot traffic a hardwood floor experiences, the faster it will wear down—it's as simple as that. That being said, it’s a good idea to protect areas of high foot traffic. You can use area rugs for protection. Area rugs are great for larger spaces like living rooms. You should also consider using a mat in front of your kitchen sink (if your kitchen flooring is hardwood). Essentially, any areas where you or your guests constantly stand or walk can be protected by area rugs.
Clean up any spills as soon as possible
As we mentioned earlier, you don’t want moisture to reach the core of a hardwood plank. So, don't leave any spills without wiping them. Something as simple as spilling a glass of water shouldn't lead to a damaged hardwood floor.
Do not slide furniture
To avoid scratching your wood flooring, make sure to pick up and put down furniture when moving it. Sliding furniture can scratch the floor. Sure, scratches hidden under the couch won't be noticeable, but the day you decide to rearrange your furniture, all of those scratches will become visible.
Place scratch-resistant pads under all furniture legs
To limit scratching caused by moving around furniture, place protective pads under all furniture legs. These include couches, chairs, tables and TV stands.
Use a sealant
Sealing hardwood floors is highly recommended. A sealant can help protect against both moisture absorption and scratching. It will be an additional cost, but it'll be well worth it for preventing wear and tear. Sealant should be re-applied every 2-3 years.
Use rugs outside of all doorways
Try to keep dirt, grass and mud outside. Have your guests wipe their shoes on a door mat before entering your home. Another idea is to ask people to remove their shoes outside the door, but doing so is completely up to you.
Try to sweep daily
Sweeping every day is always among the simplest hardwood flooring maintenance tips. Getting in the habit will keep your floors clean and help you avoid deep cleaning in the future. Every day might be a bit of a stretch, but sweeping a few times a week is a good habit to get into.
Vacuum/Mop once a week
Vacuuming and mopping will keep your hardwood floors free of dust and other particles. Make sure your vacuum is set to the hardwood setting—if not, the bristles can sometimes cause scratching. Additionally, be careful when mopping. You just want to keep the amount of water coming in contact with your flooring to a minimum. Wet-mopping is quite risky for hardwood floors.
Consider polishing every month
Polishing your hardwood floors is quite an effective cleaning action to take. Polish cleans the wood completely, not just the surface.
Don’t forget to sand & refinish every handful of years
One of the best benefits to having hardwood flooring installed is the fact that it can be sanded and refinished. You’ll basically have a new floor each time you have it refinished. Essentially, the top layer is sanded off, creating a new top layer, free from scratches.
Use manufacturer specific cleaners
Certain cleaners can be harmful to hardwood. To be safe, use cleaners that are recommended by the hardwood manufacturer or by hardwood flooring experts.
Do not steam clean
Just as water poses a threat to hardwood, so does vapor/steam. Steam cleaning is risky because the steam covers the entire floor and is often left to soak into the floor. Doing so will definitely cause damage over time.
Nadine Floor Company
We hope these hardwood flooring maintenance tips help extend the lifetime of your hardwood floor. None of them require much effort; you just have to be disciplined and get into a cleaning routine. If you have any questions on hardwood flooring, or if you're considering getting a hardwood floor, give Nadine Floor Company a call. Please visit our website—nadinefloors.com—to learn about our services and check out our blog for more flooring and remodeling tips.