You’ve spent hours contemplating wood type, color, and texture of your hardwood floors. You have waited patiently and excitedly for your hardwood flooring company to complete installation. Finally the wood floors of your dreams have made it into your home – congratulations! As you enjoy your new flooring, it’s important to familiarize yourself with proper caring techniques. Not only will this keep your wood floor looking new for years, but it will also help prevent any damage from happening to them in the future. Here are a few tips we recommend to keep your hardwood floors in tip-top shape:
- Develop a cleaning routine. Perhaps the most obvious suggestion is to properly clean your floors. This extends your floors life and is much healthier for your family. At least 2 times a week, sweep your flooring with a dry mop to remove dust, which can eliminate your floor’s sheen over time. Once a week, use a dampened microfiber mop with pH neutral clear. Your wood flooring company will be able to give you a list of recommended cleaning products to use. You could even use a homemade solution made of 1 gallon of water and 1 tablespoon of distilled vinegar. NEVER use 409, waxes, Pledge, or any other products that claim to shine or polish floors. These often contain additives which create buildup on your floor.
- Adapt your decor. Maintaining your hardwood flooring is more than just cleaning your hardwood floors regularly; it’s also important to protect them from damage. Add furniture pads, not hard casters, under any and all chair and table legs. This will prevent them from leaving any sort of mark or dent behind. If you ever rearrange your furniture, do not drag it across the floor. Picking it up will prevent scratches and preserve the beauty of the wood.
- Tread carefully. You may not think about it, but the soles of your shoes hold dirt, sand, and salts that can be extremely harmful to your floor’s finish. With repeated exposure to these pollutants, the finish could even be completely removed in some places. Hence, it is best to walk around with either no shoes or clean shoes whenever possible. Instead of enforcing a strict no-shoe policy, simply place a doormat at the entrance of your home so that visitors can wipe their shoes clean before walking in. Also, avoid walking on wood floors in heels, as the unique distribution of pressure can be harmful to the wood.
- Keep it cool. The ideal temperature for hardwood flooring is 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with 30 to 50% humidity level. By keeping your thermostat set in this range throughout the year, you will protect your floor from any gaping and buckling. If a room happens to get hot one day, don’t stress about it. Only heat exposure for an extended period of time will do any real damage.
- Take extra precautions if you have pets. No matter what type of pet you have, there are certain risks that come with your furry friend. If and when your pet makes a mess on your wood floors clean it up right away. Failure to do so will allow the wood to absorb it, which can lead to foul odors and the possibility of buckling. Protect flooring from excess moisture by placing a mat anywhere where your pet consumes food and water. Finally, keep dog nails trimmed to prevent them from slipping and to protect your floor from scratches.
If properly maintained, hardwood floors can last for up to 100 years. If you ever feel like your floors have lost their luster and shine, a simple floor refinishing will make them look just like new once again.