Hardwood flooring has so many benefits. It’s beautiful, versatile, valuable, and easy to maintain. Like any flooring, however, there are some important things to be aware of when caring for your hardwood floors.
Cleaning Your Hardwood Floors
It’s important to regularly sweep or vacuum hardwood flooring with a soft bristle brush. This daily or semi-daily cleaning will prevent dirt and grime from building up on the surface and potentially scratching the wood.
For deeper cleanings use a damp mop with very little water or a specialty wood-cleaning product. Some water is okay for cleaning purposes, but remember that standing water is the enemy of hardwood flooring! Only use what’s necessary to remove dirt and build-up, and be sure to thoroughly dry the floors after mopping.
Wipe up spills right away with a clean, soft cloth. For tougher, stuck-on messes, try hardening the substance with ice and then gently scraping the mess away. Avoid using vinegar, soap, wax or steam on hardwood floors. These approaches to cleaning can dull the finish with excess heat and water or leave a residue that is difficult to remove.
There are a couple of options to really return hardwood flooring to its former glory. Polishing hardwoods every few months helps nurture the wood and prevent it from drying out. Most cleaning will treat the surface and finish of the wood, but polishing will get into the small cracks and blemishes in the wood itself. Finally, hardwood flooring can always be sanded and refinished to make it look brand new again.
Hardwood flooring maintenance begins before the floors are even installed in your home. When the materials arrive, but sure to let the wood acclimate to the environment for a number of days before installation. As a natural product, wood can expand and contract with changes in humidity, and this process is an important step to ensure the floors don’t shrink or buckle over time.
It’s easy to prevent scuffs and scratches on the floor when you take some extra precautions. Use protective pads under furniture and place area rugs in entryways and high traffic rooms. Keep pet nails trimmed, and consider a no-shoe policy to prevent damage from high heels or cleats.
Finally, wood will fade and age over time. Use protective window coverings to limit light exposure, and rearrange furniture and rugs periodically to help the wood age evenly.
Need more maintenance tips? Check out these recent blog posts:
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Photo by Andrey Popov