Many homeowners believe that hardwood floors are the definition of style and elegance. Whatever type of interior you have, a hardwood floor will definitely contribute with their natural look and beautiful presence.
However, you need to remember one thing: hardwood floors require proper maintenance. Otherwise, you will be facing scratched surfaces and dents all over the place, not to mention worn out finish, which makes the floor look rather bland and worn-out. You need to learn how to take care of your investment. In this article, you will find some of the dos and don’ts of hardwood floor maintenance that you should follow.
Let’s start off with what you should do at all times:
- Sweep frequently – to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating on the hardwood floor, you should sweep regularly. What you need to use is a soft bristle broom or a soft microfibre cloth to avoid scratches on the surface.
- Go with the grain of the wood – to avoid scratching the surface, be sure to always spot clean and dry mop in the direction of the grain.
- Use only hardwood floor products – you cannot just go with any product you have at hand; you need to use specialised solutions. This is important since many products contain acidic properties, which may end up damaging your finish.
- Remove water as soon as possible – any liquid on the hardwood floor should be cleaned as quickly as possible. Water permeates wood and causes the boards to shrink and expand and creates cracks. Be on the lookout for places where moisture gathers.
- Place extra protection in the form of floor covers to keep high-traffic areas protected. Area rugs work great in that regard.
- Change the floor plan from time to time – this way you will even out the wear and tear that occurs naturally with hardwood areas and spare yourself the need to do repairs in certain areas.
Consider these don’ts:
- Don’t use any cleaning materials and tools that are meant to clean something else other than a hardwood floor. Harsh residue can, in fact, dull the surface of the finish and cause premature dilapidation.
- Avoid treatments that involve vinegar and water. Liquids are enemy number one for hardwood floors, especially those with acidic properties. They can eat away the material and break down the finish.
- Do not steam clean the area – water and heat wear down the finish and cause damage to the material. It will warp and cup the boards.
- Don’t use upholstery cleaners on hardwood floors – such products leave a slippery film, which creates a health hazard.
- Be careful with waxing – sometimes waxing the floor is a good idea, but you need to be very considerate. By waxing the area, you will make the application of a new finish quite difficult.
- Don’t walk with shoes on the hardwood – be very adamant that people leave their shoes (especially high heels) outside before stepping foot on the hardwood floor. Footwear dings and scratches are perhaps the most common type of damage that hardwood floors see.
When it comes to maintenance of hardwood floors, you need to remember the golden rules:
- Frequent sweeping/vacuuming – do it everyday or every other day for low traffic areas.
- Clean with a hardwood cleaning machine – weekly maintenance ensures that the area retains its lustre.
- Seal your floor – this is important for keeping it clean. Apply sealant every 2-4 years, based on how much traffic the area sees.
These are all important care tips that you should adopt in regards to keeping your hardwood floors in top shape at all times.