Whether you’ve chosen hardwood floors for your kitchen, first level or whole house, they are a significant investment worthy of your attention. With proper care and maintenance, you should find that hardwood floors add warmth and character to your home and serve you well for years to come. Consider the following tips and recommendations, gathered from our partners and industry sources, to maximize the life and appearance of your hardwood floors.
- Do not clean your floors for 30 days, or put down rugs/carpet for approximately 14 days, after finishing is complete.
- To help prevent scratching, use throw rugs or mats both inside and outside exterior doorways to trap grit, dirt and other debris.
- To help protect the finish, use area rugs on high-traffic pathways, pivot areas, near doorways, at stair landings, etc.
- Kitchen floors experience the most traffic in a home. To prevent premature wear of the floor, place an area rug in front of the sink and stove area.
- All rugs should allow the floor to breathe. Avoid rubberbacked or non-ventilated rugs.
- Shake out, wash or vacuum rugs and mats frequently.
- Put soft plastic or fabric-faced glides under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching. Keep floor protectors clean of grit and replace them periodically.
- When moving heavy furniture, do not slide the pieces. It is best to pick up the furniture completely to protect the wood flooring.
- Keep pet claws properly clipped and filed to avoid scratching the floor’s finish.
- Avoid walking on your wood floors with cleats, sports shoes and high heels. A 125-pound woman walking in high heels has an impact of 2,000 pounds per square inch, and an exposed heel nail can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact can dent any floor surface.
- Maintain the relative humidity in your home to keep wood movement, shrinkage and swelling to a minimum.
- Regularly vacuum or sweep floors as sand, dirt or grit build up can act like sandpaper and dull the finish.
- Avoid using an upright vacuum with a beater bar. Instead it is best to use a canister or central vacuum with a bare floor or brush attachment.
- Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly dampened cloth, or use a vacuum or broom for dry spills.
- Damp mopping, with a cloth-covered wood floor mop, is the fastest and best way to clean solid hardwood floors, as frequently as once a week. After wetting the mop and wringing it so it is about half dry, go over a small section of the floor using a back and forth motion. Then dip the mop into clean water, wring it as dry as you can and mop over the area again.
- Use water alone, a neutral pH wood cleaner and water, or manufacturer-recommended products.
- Do not use a very wet mop on wood floors as standing water/solution can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue.
- Do not use floor care products made for sheet vinyl or tile on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes may cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly.
- Do not use oil soap or other household cleaners on your polyurethane finished wood floor. The use of these products can dull today’s floor finishes and make refinishing difficult.
- Heel or scuff marks may be removed by lightly rubbing with a cloth and a wood floor cleaner.
- Treatment for stubborn stains or scratches varies depending on your floor’s finish. Be sure to consult a wood flooring specialist for proper renewal and repair.
With a bit of know-how and proper care your hardwood floors are an investment that can add value and years of enjoyment to your home.