Maintaining your hardwood floor requires know-how
Once your hardwood floor is installed, we guarantee that it will look beautiful. However, stains, spills, time and traffic will take their toll over time. We’d like to share a few ways for you to take the best care of your floor.
The more you know about hardwood maintenance, the easier it will be to take care of your floor.
Entrances onto the hardwood are usually one of the most worn places. Placing area rugs or mats at each entryway will collect grit and dirt that can be tracked in, which can also scratch your floor.
It is important to not use rubber-backed or non-ventilated rugs or mats. These can damage your floor. We suggest using rugs and mats that are specifically designed to be used on hardwood. Also, it is important to continuously shake them out or vacuum them.
Another place to put mats and area rugs are where any water may be splashed, e.g., in front of the kitchen sink.
Make sure you have a good quality broom on hand and sweep the floor regularly. This will remove dirt, grit and other particles from your floor that may scratch it.
If you use a vacuum cleaner on the hardwood, make sure it doesn’t have a beater bar. This will be helpful in retrieving dirt and grit from between the planks and other hard to reach areas. Once you remove all of the grit and dirt, we recommend buffing to restore the shine of your hardwood.
Here’s a few cleaning tips to keep in mind. The techniques of cleaning can vary depending on how your floor was installed and how it was finished.
If your floor is “Finish in Place”, we recommend using an 8” x 14” mop made from terrycloth. It should have a rotating head to make the cleaning of corners, along baseboards and underneath cabinets easy.
We recommend paying a professional wood floor-cleaning product (per our suggestion) to safely remove stains and spills without dulling the finish of your floor.
The manufacturers of “Pre-finished” hardwood suggest the use of their own products that are designed for their floors. Please check with us about these specific products.
Never wax floors with a urethane finish. These floors also require special cleaners that will not leave a film or residue.
Hardwood floor cleaners are very useful in removing occasional scuffs or heel marks. Spraying cleaner on a cloth and lightly rubbing the stained areas should remove the mark. If the area is sticky, we recommend using a damp cloth.
Ammonia cleaners and oils soaps should never be used on wood floors. These types of cleaners will dull the finish and performance of the floor. They will also affect the ability of recoating the floor later in life.
Wood expands when it gets wet; therefore, it is important to never use a wet mop or an excessive amount of water to clean your floor as it can cause it to swell, crack or splinter.
If your floor shows excessive wear after normal cleaning techniques, consider recoating and screening.
Screening is a process where the polyurethane finish on a floor is abraded. After this, fresh coats of urethane are applied to the floor. This process will rejuvenate and lengthen the life of your floor.
If your floor is severely damaged and has gone through the stain and into the bare wood, you can sand and refinish. However, only take this step if screening and recoating does not solve the problem.
If your floor is only damaged in one small area, you can also look into replacement boards.
Make sure that you hire experienced professionals if you decide to do any of this to your floor.
All floors need to be protected against sun, traffic and time. If exposed to excessive sunlight, your floor will change shades over time.
We recommend window treatments, as well as area rugs and rotating furniture to allow your floors an even exposure to UV light.
Placing felt protectors on the legs of furniture will also protect your floor from scratches. Also, be extremely careful if moving heavy objects across your floor.
Stiletto heels can dent and scratch your hardwood. This type of destruction is not covered by your warranty. Also, if you’re a pet owner, remember to have their nails trimmed regularly to avoid scratches on the floor. Please remember to be cautious of all sharp objects that you think could scratch and damage your floor.
Caring for your floor correctly is pertinent in order to maintain a beautiful floor. Remember to clean it on a regular basis and schedule maintenance with professionals when needed.