Hardwood floors are an investment in your home. They’re durable, beautiful, and can completely transform a space, making it look both timeless and modern at once. However, like all flooring, it does require very specific care and maintenance in order to provide you with the long-lasting beauty you wanted when you started shopping at your local hardwood flooring showroom. Using the wrong products on your floor can leave the finish dull and damage the underlying wood. Rather than having to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair the damage, follow this simple cleaning guide and keep your hardwood floors looking great for years to come.
Clean Every Day
Spills and messes happen all the time, and with a busy schedule, it’s easy to forget to clean up throughout the day. This can leave you with stains set into the wood, scratched finishes, and even moisture-damaged planks throughout your home. Rather than leaving messes where they fall for a few days, get in the habit of cleaning as you go. Each day, give the floor a good dry-sweeping with a soft bristled broom or microfiber cloth. This way, dust, dirt, and debris never has a chance to collect and small spills will be noticed before they can do long-term damage to your flooring. If you have kids, you can even get them in on it—make it a part of their weekly chores and show them how to pick up spills safely so you’ll never have to worry about a sticky mess going unnoticed for several days.
Mop Once a Week
Whether it’s muddy outside or your family just tracks in a lot of dust as throughout the week, you’ll need to take the time to mop your floors. Unlike cement and tile, wood floors should not be mopped with an all-purpose cleaner. Doing so could damage the finish and leave your floors looking cloudy. Instead, use a quality wood soap or cleaner recommended by your installation team. Approved cleaners will lift dirt up without leaving a residue on your floor, helping preserve the natural color of the wood while maintaining the polish and finish. Though light daily cleaning is recommended, you don’t have to go all-out and mop the floors every day. Once a week will be enough to help you keep up with the dirt and grime.
Take Preventative Measures
Scratches make even new floors look old and damaged, and refinishing your floors to repair the damage is both expensive and time-consuming. Instead of taking the risk of scratches marring your floor, take a few simple preventative measures. Place rugs in front of each entryway of your home and take dirty shoes off before leaving the entryway. This will help prevent rocks, dirt, and mud from getting tracked throughout the house and scratching your floors.
Though dirt is a major problem, it’s not the leading cause of deep scratches on the floor—your furniture is. Any item of furniture that can slide along the floor can leave deep gouges in the wood. Rather than leaving things up to chance, install floor protectors on chairs, ottomans, and even TV trays that may get dragged along the surface. Small rounds of felt glued to the bottom of each leg or furniture sliders will reduce the risk and frequency of scratches and keep your floor looking its best for months to come. Keep in mind that felt may allow the furniture to slide easily along the floor, so only apply it on items you need to move frequently.
Move Furniture Around Periodically
Flooring ages and changes color over time due to traffic, light exposure, and frequent cleaning. If you leave your furniture in the same place for years at a time, the floor may age unevenly. The result is a patchy appearance both in color and quality of the finish. Instead, rearrange your furniture every year or so and let the floor age evenly. This way, the color will be uniform across the room and the finish will see the same amount of wear and tear over the course of its life. If you notice a particular area aging faster, contact your hardwood floor installation contractor to discuss the steps you can take to reduce wear and tear on your floor.
Protect The Floor From Water
Nothing is more damaging to wood flooring than water. While hardwood may look great in the kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom, it’s not always up to the challenge of withstanding the changing moisture levels. Protect your wood by laying down bath mats or protective rugs around these areas. Not only will it make the space more comfortable for you to use by adding cushion, but it will also keep the floor safe from water damage. In these rooms, keep a weathered eye out for the signs of water damage. Spotting in the finish, warped floorboards, and even changes in texture of the finish all indicate water damage.
Never, Ever, Use a Steam Mop
If you’re using a mop to clean your floor, you’ll need to use cool room-temperature water and an approved cleaner. This will help preserve the finish and keep your floor looking its best as long as possible. Under no circumstances should you use a steam mop. These systems introduce heat to the water and all that heat can damage your finish, causing it to bubble up, cloud over, or hold onto the dirt already on the floor. If you’ve used a steam mop on your hardwood floor, contact your installation expert and schedule an inspection. The sooner you repair the damage, the better of your floors will be.
At Ward Hardwood Flooring, our dedicated staff wants to help you keep your floors in good shape, whether they were installed a week ago or have been in place for over ten years. We’ll help you with everything from finding a replacement planks to redo your floor to full installation to breathe new life into your home. Contact us for a free installation estimate
today and see the difference that an experienced showroom can make in the way your home’s floors look.