Hardwood floor maintenance tips from National Floors Direct

The Ultimate Guide to Hardwood Floor Maintenance

Real estate agents and research continue to show that having hardwood flooring is a sure way to increase the resale value of your home. Hardwood flooring is a timeless, classic look for good reason and homeowners everywhere appreciate the value of quality hardwood flooring.

Unfortunately, without the proper maintenance, your beautiful floors can age prematurely or incur unwanted damage.

Here is the ultimate guide to hardwood floor maintenance so you can keep your gorgeous floors in great shape and enjoy them for years to come.

Daily Care & Managing Spills

When spills occur, always wipe them immediately. Ask your manufacturer what type of stain-remover or cleaner is safest for your hardwood.

Otherwise, a soft rag with gentle soap can sometimes be used to wipe up spills.

One of the greatest enemies to a healthy hardwood is moisture. Make sure to clean up sticky spills and leave no residue. Always towel the floor completely dry after cleaning spills. This will also help prevent stains or damage from remaining moisture.

Do not use tools like a Swiffer to clean your hardwood. Swiffer and other similar products contain liquid chemicals that can slowly create a foggy look on your floor.

Instead, swap your treated mops or Swiffers with a gentle, micro-fiber mop.

Regular dusting and cleaning of your hardwood floor are important as it keeps tiny, hard particles or sand off the floors. A micro-fiber mop gently removes dangerous particles that could scratch and cause abrasions on your beautiful hardwood.

Gently wiping, sweeping, or micro-fiber mopping your floors daily is perhaps the best way to prevent those "small" damages to your hardwood. Regular cleaning is the best way to protect your hardwood floor from eventual, serious damage. 

Hardwood floor maintenance doesn't have to be tedious, but consistency is key to a healthy floor.

Weekly Hardwood Floor Maintenance

Weekly vacuuming is an important, weekly, part of hardwood floor maintenance. Just be sure you turn off the rotating brush. Those bristles may seem soft, but over time, they can damage the finish on your floors.

If you have one, a canister vacuum is a great option.

As far as weekly mopping goes, again, stick strictly to the solution recommended by your manufacturer. Using minimal moisture and wiping it dry immediately is best.

During your weekly vacuuming and mopping, avoid the following products:

  • Any cleaners containing silicone
  • Ammonia or products with ammonia in them
  • Oil soaps or other oils such as Tung or citrus oils
  • Paste wax or anything that might leave a heavy film or residue

Dealing With Pets

Unfortunately, dogs tend to urinate in the same spot multiple times. This can wreak havoc on your hardwood. If urine is left to sit, it will likely seep down to the subfloor and will not only smell but permanently stain your hardwood floors.

When possible, clean up urine and feces immediately.

If urine or feces have stained the floor or been left to sit, the only way to effectively remove the stain is to sand it down and refinish it. Worst case scenario is to remove the planks entirely and replace them.

Fortunately, if you've used a great hardwood manufacturer, they can re-install new planks without making the updates obvious. They should be able to match the color and material as closely as possible.

Pet claws are another potential danger to your hardwood floors. 

Extra coats of hardwood finish can protect the floors from claw scratches, but you may also consider keeping your pet claws trimmed and clean.

Hardwood finish is less expensive and time-consuming to apply than sanding the floors, but sanding is another option if claw marks become a problem. Brooms with rubber bristles are another great solution for cleaning up pet hair so your lovely hardwood floors don't develop a "rug" you never intended.

Quarterly Maintenance

Great news! Most scratches on the hardwood floor only go as deep as the pre-existing polish.

This means that if you polish your hardwood floors at least every three months, you're protecting them from deep scratches and serious damage. Again, just be sure to check with the hardwood manufacturer to see what kind of polish is right for your hardwood finish. Not all polishes are created equal.

When polishing, be gentle. Always follow the same direction as the grain of the wood.

Hardwood "No-Nos"

If you're really interested in the best floor care for your hardwood, there are some things you should avoid altogether. To name a few:

1. High Heels

They look great, but they are killer for hardwood. You might as well take a nail and hammer it right into the floor. High heels and stilettos are about the worst possible thing you can allow on your hardwood.

2. Excessive Sun Exposure

Of course, you don't want to live in the dark merely to keep your hardwood in good condition. However, there are solutions that don't involve keeping the shades drawn 24/7.

To avoid excess sun damage to your floor, consider applying low e-coating to your windows. This prevents ultraviolet rays that could wear your floor coloring quicker.

If you can, you may also want to rearrange the furniture every once in a while. Large rugs, or coaches, left in the same exact spot for years are sure to leave a mark when it comes to sun damage. 

3. Un-Protected, Live Plants

Live plants are a gorgeous and healthy addition to any home. They are especially beautiful as an accent to your hardwood floors. 

However, live plants mean water. Water and hardwood do not mix.

The solution is simple. Keep a plastic tray or dish beneath potted plants to catch water leaks. Don't place your potted plants on towels or other soft materials to soak up the water. All this does is allow moisture to sit on your floor and soak in, resulting in bubbling and gaps in your hardwood.

Get Beautiful Hardwood Floors Today

Hardwood floor maintenance isn't complex. When done regularly, it's easy and effective at protecting your beautiful investment.

If you're ready to get an estimate on this timeless, stunning style of flooring, contact our team of experts today. With over 75 years of experience, we're sure to help you find the flooring of your dreams, at an affordable price.