If you have or are considering installing hardwood floors in your home, you might be worried about how to maintain their shine and beauty over time. The great news is, with simple tips for regular maintenance and some hazards to avoid, hardwood flooring is one of the most aesthetically pleasing and durable types of flooring you can get–and it’s good for air quality, too!
Here are 7 “Do’s and Don’ts” to keep in mind when considering hardwood flooring maintenance:
1. DO: Clean on a schedule
It’s important to keep your hardwood floors clean to protect their quality and give them more longevity. You should consider sweeping or dust mopping daily, using a vacuum on the bare floor setting weekly, clean with a recommended hardwood flooring cleaner monthly, get a maintenance coat every three to five years, and sand and refinish every decade or so.
By getting your hardwood floors from a reliable hardwood flooring company, you will have access to long-term warranties, but you’ll still want to maintain your floor diligently on your own. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintaining your floors, and take note of any cleaning products the manufacturer does not advise using on your hardwood flooring.
2. DON’T: Clean using a wet-mop or steam-mop
Though you might be tempted to wet-mop or steam-mop your dirty hardwood floors, these cleaning practices will certainly dull the finish and can even ruin the hardwood. Instead, opt for specific hardwood cleaners meant to maintain the finish of your flooring.
3. DO: Use felt pads and rugs to avoid scratches
Hardwood flooring can be prone to scratches and extra wear in doorways and under furniture. To avoid these problems, use rugs in doorways where people are bringing in more dust and dirt, and place felt pads under the legs of furniture to avoid scratching the hardwood when moving said furniture around. The extra protection will keep your hardwood flooring from fading and scratching in certain areas that see a lot of use.
4. DON’T: Clean with vinyl or tile cleaning products or over-wax
While you may have cleaning products left over from cleaning tile or vinyl in your home, avoid using those products on your hardwood floors. In fact, the self-polishing acrylic waxes you might have handy for vinyl or tile have a tendency to dull the appearance of hardwood and make the feel of the wood quite slippery. Instead, make sure to use cleaning products specifically designed for your hardwood floors.
You should also avoid over-waxing your hardwood floors and instead try buffing the floors if they start to look dull. Wax can build up under furniture as well, so make sure if you do re-wax your hardwoods to clear furniture out of the way and remain diligent about removing wax build-up.
5. DO: Consider using a humidifier in the winter months
You might notice that hardwood flooring starts to show gaps during winter months from the temperature change. However, investing in a humidifier will help avoid the wood from getting too dry and cracking or separating. This is definitely a worthy investment to keep your hardwood floors nice when the weather gets cold and dry, especially if you have completely new hardwood floors and want to keep them looking pristine.
6. DON’T: Walk frequently on floors with cleats or high heels
Though you might think walking every once and a while on your hardwood floors with sports cleats or high heels might not be a big deal, the pressure your weight and the spikes of those types of shoes put on your floors will wear them down over time and cause unwanted scratches to appear. If you want to keep your hardwoods as pristine as possible, take your shoes off or stick to flat shoes while inside.
That being said, you should also make sure you pick up heavy furniture when moving it around on your hardwoods, rather than sliding. Sliding heavy furniture can cause scratches and put extra pressure on the finish.
7. DO: Enjoy your beautiful hardwood floors by maintaining them properly!
By following these simple maintenance tips, you can make sure your hardwood flooring will remain nearly as beautiful and immaculate as the first day you saw it.
If you have older hardwood floors, you can always consider refinishing or installing new floors that better fit your style. However, making sure that you clean regularly and avoid products and pressures that might harm your floors will keep them looking their best so you can enjoy them for years to come.