Is upgrading your floors to hardwood on your to-do list this year?
There are many good reasons to install hardwoods throughout your home. It adds elegance and warmth to any space. They are highly durable and long lasting. They add value to your home.
It’s a classic and timeless choice for flooring. And if cared for properly, they can last a lifetime.
But that also means they take a little extra effort to ensure they keep their beauty and strength. If you change your routine and properly maintain them, you’ll love the look no matter how many times you redecorate.
Sweep and Clean Regularly
The simplest way to keep them looking their best is to clean them on a regular basis. Even small particles of dust, dirt, gravel, or other debris can dent or scratch the surface. Make sure to sweep up often to eliminate these elements that can shorten your floor’s life.
Sweeping is best for wood floors. If you vacuum, make sure you are using the right attachment for your floor. The bristles you use for carpets are too rough for wood surfaces and can scratch the wood. Make sure you use the hardwood feature that is specially designed to be gentler on wood surfaces.
Water and wood don’t mix. Saturating your wood floor with moisture can cause the water to seep into the wood fibers which can swell, warp, or permanently damage hardwood. If you need to deep clean due to a mess or spill, use lukewarm water and immediately wipe dry with a soft cloth.
Choose Cleaners Carefully
Just because it says “good on wood floors” doesn’t make it so. Many of the cleaners on the market today can strip off the finish and dull the shine of your hardwood. Start by checking with your flooring manufacturer; they will have guidelines for the best cleaning methods for your floors. As a general rule, avoid cleaners that use vinegar or ammonia, as these can dull floors over time. Oil soaps can create buildup on the floors that can be difficult to remove over time.
Removing shoes at the door is one of the best ways to preserve your floors. High heels act as tiny hammers that scratch and dent. If sand and rocks stick to soles, they can scratch with every step you take. Leaving your shoes at the door reduces the chances that you’ll bring damaging debris into the house and carry it onto your floors. Leave a mat or rug near your doors and even consider having a pile of slippers available in the cold winter months.
Implement a Care Routine
Because wood floors need regular maintenance, it’s important to develop your routine right from the start. When cared for properly, they can last for decades. Have tools readily available and use them frequently. You should even ask your flooring consultant about stripping and adding a new layer of wax to ensure you provide what’s best for the wood.