What is the best way to maintain my hardwood floors?

In many ways, hardwood floors are much easier to maintain than other types of flooring, as they require less effort. A quick sweep with a soft bristle broom, or a dusting with a microfiber mop is all you need to keep your floors clean on a daily basis.

For wood floors with beveled edges, use a vacuum with the “floor” attachment to remove any embedded dust or debris between the floorboards. Using the carpet setting or an attachment with a beater bar can scratch the finished surface of your hardwood flooring and should not be used.

To keep your wood flooring looking and performing well for decades, these helpful tips can help maintain function and beauty:

  • Sweep your floor daily to avoid dirt, grime and sticky substances from wearing out the shine.

  • Vacuum weekly to remove dirt that may have nestled into the cracks or between floorboards.

  • Wipe up spills immediately as they can damage the finish and warp your floors.

  • Do not use vinyl, tile or cleaning products designed for other types of flooring, as these product can damage the surface of your floors and cause wax build up.

  • Polish your floor monthly. Consult with a hardwood floor professional to identify the best floor cleaning/polishing product for your specific hardwood floor.

  • Use throw rugs at doorways to help prevent debris from being tracked in and scratching the floor.

  • Use throw rugs in high traffic areas, and in kitchens with hardwood floors, to prevent signs of wear and tear.

  • Do not use water or a steam mop as they can dull the finish, or worse, can damage the wood.

  • Be careful with furniture polish, hairspray and chemical cleaners as they can damage the finish on your flooring.

  • Place felt protectors under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching. Replace the protectors often as dirt and debris can become imbedded on the pad and act like sandpaper on the floor surface.

  • Avoid walking on floors with shoes that may damage the floors. Sports cleats, or shoes with damaged soles and heels can scratch the surface of your flooring.

  • Lift furniture when moving it. Do not slide it across the floor.

  • For homes with forced air heat, use a humidifier throughout the winter to add humidity to your home. Dry conditions can shrink hardwood materials and can create gaps between the floorboards.

What happens when maintenance is no longer enough? Is a new coat of wood floor polish enough? If not, it may mean it’s time to consider having your hardwood floors refinished.

Every 4 to 5 years, take a good look at your flooring to access its condition. If there are small scratches or noticeable damage, it may be time to make an investment in your flooring.  Hardwood floor refinishing is a process by which your floor is cleaned, imperfections like scratches and scuffs are fixed, and the top protective coating of your floor is re-applied. The process restores your floor’s like-new look in a way that wood floor polish alone can’t do.  

Considering a new hardwood floor installation? There are many types and brands of flooring available on the market. It is important to consult with a professional to identify which will work best for your particular needs.

John Kolbaska, President
The Men with Tools Home Remodeling
(347) 815-4151
www.themenwithtools.com

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