Your Hardwood Floor and the Holiday Season

The smell of pumpkin spice is in the air, bright, colorful lights are glowing along neighborhood streets, and malls are packed to the ceiling with sale-frenzy shoppers. The holiday season is finally here. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, or all of the above, one of the central traditions surrounding the holidays is gathering with friends and family.

If you’re hosting a party in your home, you’ve probably already planned out the food, décor, and even seating arrangements. One thing that you may be missing in your planning, however, is protecting your hardwood flooring. Having many people in your home exposes your wood floors to more foot traffic, leading to extra wear and tear. Luckily, there are a few precautions you can take to minimize and prevent any possible damage. Here are 5 tips for keeping your wood flooring in tip-top shape this holiday season.

How to Protect Wood Flooring During the Holidays

1. Invest in a few rugs for heavy traffic areas

Large gatherings expose hard wood floors to a variety of potentially harmful elements. Everything from spills to muddy shoes, dings, dents,and scratches are much more likely to happen during a party. To protect the wood from all of the above, lay a few area rugs and runners in the spots of your home where most of your guests will be. This adds a layer of protection between them and the hardwood and a warm, cozy feeling to your home. Consider it a part of your holiday décor. Once the party is over, you can easily roll up the rugs and store them in a closet or garage until next year.

When selecting an area rug or runner for your wood flooring, stick to those made with synthetic fibers. Synthetic rugs allow your floors to breathe while keeping out unwanted moisture. Avoid using rubber or foam-backed rugs as these absorb moisture and could discolor the wood.

holiday parties and hard wood floors 2. Be very careful when moving furniture

When hosting a large gathering, many hosts move around their furniture so their guests can move around more freely. If you’re not careful when doing so, however, you could end up doing serious damage to your hardwood flooring. When rearranging heavy furniture, always pick up and move rather than slide along the floor. Also, don’t be a hero. Make sure that you have an extra set of hands to help you carry the furniture if you need it. Not only will doing it yourself potentially hurt your back, it could also cause you to drop the furniture on the hardwood. Asking for help protects your floors, furniture, and back.

3. Add protection underneath heavy floor decor

If a putting up a Christmas tree is part of your holiday traditions, make sure to use a tree skirt around it and padding underneath it. The heavy weight of the tree, especially natural ones, can create scratches and dents in the wood floor. A padded mat provides a layer of protection to avoid this from happening.

no shoe policy to protect hardwood floors 4. Consider implementing a no-shoe policy

There is a long-standing debate on whether or not it is appropriate for party hosts to ask their guests to leave their shoes at the door before entering their home. However, doing so is much safer for hard wood. Shoes bring dirt and germs into your home from the outside, as well as natural elements such as moisture, mud, and salt – all of which are harmful to wood. In addition, high heels can create scratches and dents. The removal of shoes at the door blocks all of the above.

If you decide to implement a no-shoe policy at your holiday party this year, be sure to let your guests know ahead of time. Place a selection of festive socks and house slippers in a basket at the door for them to wear and take home as a party gift. If you do not want to impose this rule on your guests, be sure to place a doormat on the inside and outside of the entrance so that they can wipe their shoes clean before entering.

5. Clean wood floors properly

As you do throughout the rest of the year, clean your floors to maintain their shine and beauty. If some of your guests are staying with you for a few days, you may find the need to do so more frequently. Be sure to only use products that are safe to use on wood, as well as proper supplies and cleaning techniques.

Installing hardwood floors in your home is an investment, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy throwing a holiday party. Follow the tips above for a stress free holiday season for you, your guests and your wood floors.