Hardwood flooring installation offers a good return on investment, averaging 70 to 80%. Real wood floors are beautiful and durable, but they also require regular maintenance to keep them in good condition. Everyday care helps you get more life out of your floors.
Check out these five hardwood flooring maintenance tips to keep your floors in good shape.
1. Clean Regularly
The most basic form of wood flooring maintenance is keeping it clean. Sweeping or vacuuming the floor daily keeps dust, crumbs, and debris from building up and potentially scratching the floor. If you use a vacuum, set it to the bare floor setting or use it without the beater bar going to protect the wood.
Use a cleaner designed for hardwood floors as needed, usually about once per month, for a deeper clean. Skip any cleaners with harsh ingredients that can damage flooring, including ammonia, wax, bleach, oil soaps, acidic cleaners, and anything abrasive that can scratch the surface.
2. Keep Them Dry
Water or any type of moisture is bad for hardwood floors. The moisture can cause the wood to swell, which can damage the flooring.
Wipe up any spills right away to prevent them from soaking into the wood. When handling home flooring maintenance, avoid cleaning your floors with water or a steam mop.
3. Protect Them From Damage
Moisture isn’t the only thing that can damage your hardwood floors. After hardwood flooring installation, take steps to protect the wood from scratches and wear.
Furniture protectors on the legs of all furniture prevent them from scratching the floor or causing indentations. Mats and rugs, especially near doors and in heavily trafficked areas, can cut down on visible wear and soak up moisture from shoes.
Avoid wearing shoes on hardwood, especially things like athletic cleats or high heels with pointy parts on the soles. If you have pets, keep their nails trimmed to avoid scratch marks.
4. Touch Up Minor Issues
You’re bound to have some minor wear spots or scratches on your hardwood floors eventually. If you’re not ready to refinish the entire floor, you can often touch up those scratched or worn areas. The touched-up areas won’t look perfect, but they’ll often blend in and get you through until you’re ready to refinish the entire floor.
You can often lightly sand around the worn or scratched area, extending slightly beyond where the damage ends. Restain the area if needed. If the floor is natural and unstained, you can simply apply new coating on the area, blending it in with the surrounding area.
5. Refinish Hardwood Floors
Occasionally, you might need to refinish hardwood floors to make them look their best. Refinishing is ideal if your floors are heavily scratched, faded, discolored, stained, or have water damage. If you’re already planning home renovations, consider adding your hardwood floors to the list.
In some cases, the floors can be recoated without sanding them down completely. This new coat is ideal every 3 to 5 years. If the floors are in rough condition or it’s been a while since you’ve done a complete refinishing on them, you might need to sand and refinish them.
Handle Hardwood Flooring Maintenance
With regular flooring maintenance, your hardwood floors look better and stay in better condition. Being careful with what you put on hardwood floors helps to prevent damage and makes them last longer.
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