Do you love hardwood floors, but hesitant to buy because of the potential maintenance? We encourage you to keep reading and exploring the easy tasks you can do daily to ensure a long life for your wood floor. Major maintenance considerations are always important, however, they aren’t practical for guarding against normal life routines. The following tips are simple enough for even the busiest person and can be performed on a regular basis. We will cover how to protect your floors from outside influences and simple cleanup as well as the proper way to set things on top of your floor and how/when to move them around.
Threats from the outside
- Window treatments are the first line of defense against the UV rays from the sun. Make sure to keep this in mind when purchasing your window coverings. Wood floors are expected to naturally change shades and colors over time due to sun exposure; however, with the right protection, this can be controlled well.
- Mats and small rugs are the trusted guards who protect your floor. These ever vigilant protectors can grab ahold of a large amount of dirt and grime before it ever makes its way into your home. Most of the sand, dirt and gravel that gets tracked in comes in on the bottom of shoes. These are a very real enemy of your floors. These highly abrasive particles will do slow but steady damage to the floor. Mats can be placed at every entrance to your home, outside or inside. Be sure to buy a mat with pad specifically made for wood floors so that the backing doesn’t do any damage.
- The climate where you live can also make a big difference. Wood floors respond best to consistent humidity levels. This helps avoid contraction and expansion of the wood. All air regulation systems can help: humidifier, air conditioner, dehumidifier, or heater.
Gentle Clean-up. Quick!
- A cheap broom won’t save you money in the long run. Buy a high-quality broom. Dust and sweep your floors as often as possible.
- Liquid messes cannot be cleaned up later. Paying attention to small messes can save you heartache down the road. Take the necessary time to quickly blot the mess with a clean, soft cloth.
- Be careful about using a vacuum on your wood floor. Using one without a beater bar is a great option, or your vacuum may have come with a hardwood floor attachment. This is incredibly helpful in removing dirt from crevices where a broom will not reach.
- For candle wax or chewing gum, try using a credit card to remove the excess.
On The Top
- Look out for high heels! While they look great on your feet, they can do serious damage to your wood floors. The heel tips can cause small indentions and divots. Some can be repaired, but not all! Scars can be avoided by either removing shoes when walking on hardwood floors for extended periods of time or by buying heel protectors that slip over the heel tip.
- Does your dog spend time inside? Make sure your pet has his nails trimmed often. Indoor pets can damage wood floors if their nails are too long.
- Protect your wood floors from furniture! All furniture that sits on top of your wood floors needs to have a barrier between itself and the floor. There are several options to choose from so check with the manufacturer’s recommendations for best protection for your floors. Be sure to put protection on the bottom of all furniture with feet.
- Keep your floors dry! Use mats in spaces where water is going to splash like the bathroom or kitchen.
- Your furniture can seriously scuff or scratch your floors if pushed around without proper precautions. Once again, there are multiple products on the market specifically for helping with this. However, be sure to check with the manufacturer to find the best product to use with your floor.
- Keeping the previous point in mind, you should move your furniture around occasionally to ensure even wearing. Just make sure you move it safely!
- A furniture dolly can help with moving larger furniture, but make sure to plan for the weight and wheels!
Your wood floor maintenance doesn’t need to be overwhelming. It’s easy to take care of your beautiful wood floors! Flooring trends may change, as might your taste and style, but your floor is meant to be there for you through thick and thin. With a little care and time, your wood floor will thank you with years of use. Treat them well!