Due to their grand and timeless look, hardwood floors have become a popular choice for flooring among homeowners. They can last many years and increase the value of your house if maintained properly. However, maintaining hardwood floors is perhaps the most difficult part of the process.
Hardwood floors are durable but require some extra care. If you’ve just installed hardwood floors in your home and are unsure how to begin taking care of them, look no further. We have curated seven strategies for hardwood floor maintenance that can keep your floor new and shiny for many years. Let’s go through them below.
Regular hardwood floor cleaning and maintenance
The first and foremost condition for keeping your hardwood floors shiny is to clean them regularly. The air contains dust and debris that enter our homes and settle on the floor. They can leave scratches on the finish when we step on them. Leaving the dust on for longer can also dull the shine.
Sweeping the floor regularly removes the dust and reduces the chances of unwanted scratches. Clean spillages immediately, and don’t let the liquid sit on the floor too long.
You can also opt for weekly and quarterly maintenance schedules for better results. Vacuum the floors weekly. Polish the floor quarterly to keep the shine intact.
Getting rid of spots and scratches
The same goes for spots. Even though hardwood floors tend to be resilient due to the top coat, you can’t avoid getting spots or scratches on your floor. But there’s nothing to worry about as you can take them out easily. The surface scratches tend to stay on the polish, so gentle re-polishing can help get rid of them safely.
Try to avoid stepping on the areas with scratches to prevent them from deepening.
Refinishing hardwood flooring
Refinishing hardwood floors keeps them new and gleaming. It also takes away surface scratches and spots. Follow a refinishing schedule for proper maintenance of your hardwood floors.
Depending on your budget, refinishing every quarter can do wonders for your floor. You can always do the job yourself, but hiring a professional service can fetch better results. They can check the floor and inform you whether you need a deep cleaning or refinishing.
“Not all wear and tear on wood floors require refinishing. Sometimes a professional deep cleaning and buffing can restore your floor to its original luster,” says an expert at Wood Floor Refinishing from AZWood.com
Maintaining high-traffic areas
Your entryway and living room are primary high-traffic areas of your home. If they have wooden floors, pay extra attention to them and try to reduce direct footfalls on the surfaces of those areas. Use an area rug in those sections. If they already have stains or scratches, cover them until the next refinishing.
You can also request people to remove their shoes to prevent heavy damage to the high-traffic areas. Heels and rough shoes damage the polish faster than other shoes and can wear the polish off much faster.
Using the right hardwood cleaning products
The finishing on the hardwood floors is quite gentle. Dry dusting or cleaning is the best way to maintain hardwood floors.
Using rough cleaning products on them can expedite the damage and create ugly stains. Avoid cleaning products with ammonia as they can decay the finishing. Similarly, waxy cleaning products can leave a residue and alter the shine and color of the surface.
You might be tempted to use oils and oil-based soaps to keep the shine intact, but using them is a big no for hardwood floors. Products containing silicones also increase the chances of the polish wearing off.
Protecting against moisture and sunlight
Water or moisture can irreparably damage your hardwood floor. Clean up spillage immediately, as they can seep into it and cause it to inflate and buckle. Using water to clean hardwood floors can have the same effect.
Some floors allow you to use a steamer that immediately absorbs moisture and keeps the floor dry. However, speak to a professional to check whether the seams and gaps in your floor are properly sealed.
Control indoor humidity as it can damage the floor. Similarly, exposure to too much sunlight can also damage the coloring of the floor. Let the sun in, but use protective sealant in your window to prevent UV rays from entering. Place rugs where the sunlight falls directly. They will help keep the color intact for long periods.
Protecting from pets, children, and plants
If you have pets, train them not to urinate on the wooden floor. Continuous exposure to urine can leave irreparable spots on your floors, and you have to wait for the next refinishing for a solution. Also, the urine can seep into the floor and deform it.
Children tend to spill on the floor and sometimes draw or scratch on them. Remove their play area from the wooden floor areas, or place a rug in that area. Teach them not to damage the floor.
Plants are a great addition to your house, but water leakage from the pots can damage your floor. Add a tray beneath the pots for the leakage. Change the location of the plants now and then, and you’ll be good to go.
Hardwood floors are gorgeous, but the maintenance process might sound exhausting to some. But with proper care, a hardwood floor can become one of the most valuable investments and benefit you in the long run. Research the maintenance tips as much as possible and be ready for regular care to prevent long-term damage and repair expenditure.