Who doesn’t love the simple elegance of classic wood floors? But do they love us with the way we spill on them, scuff or dent them with our shoes, or drag our furniture across them? And that’s to say nothing of the toll the family dog can take! We asked a panel of professionals about some practical steps for preserving wood floors amidst the daily wear and tear. Read on to learn more.
- Water is the worst enemy of natural wood floors
- Quickly clean up all water spills and do not use wood floors in wet areas like bathrooms
- Protect your natural wood floor from scratches with furniture pads and sliders
- Use a clear coat of varnish to protect wood floors before they get damaged
- If you do have a higher risk of damaging your floors, because of dogs or kids, choose a distressed flooring that looks good with wear and tear marks so that the damage blends in.
Make it a routine
Natural wood floors just add that “wow” factor to your home. They’re a guaranteed way to add comfort and style to your home. But, it can seem hard to maintain them and keep them in pristine condition. For some, it might seem impossible to keep them good as new all the time. If you think like this, you’re mistaken. There are things you can do to maintain the beauty of your wood floors.
Here are 4 ways to maintain your natural wood floors’ beauty:
Rugs Are Your Best Friend
Rugs are your best friend when it comes to natural wood floors. They not only serve as a nice piece of decor, but they can help keep your wood floors looking new. A rug can help keep your wood floors protected. If you want a cheaper option of protecting your floor, you can put felt coverings on the legs of your furniture. This way, you can assure that your furniture doesn’t scratch against your floor.
Immediately. It doesn’t matter how small a spill is, clean it immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Avoid using anything too wet to clean up your floors. Wood can be very sensitive to moisture, so it’s important to clarify issues like this right away.
A Humidifier Can Save You
Gaps can happen to the floors during dry seasons. As mentioned earlier, wood floors are sensitive to humidity. A good way to lessen the gaps (you can’t avoid them completely) is to use a humidifier during the dry seasons.
Don’t Be Scared To Refinish
Over time, your wood floors won’t be able to look as good as they did. Don’t be hesitant to refinish them every 2 or 3 years, depending on the need to do so.
The key to maintaining your floor’s beauty is to make it a routine to clean it and maintain it. You should focus on making sure it’s going to look pristine even after a few years. Natural wood floors will need a lot of attention and maintenance, but if you do it properly, you’ll be so glad you did.
Do what you can to avoid scratching it. Take your shoes off at the door. The grit on your shoes can act like sandpaper, and over time, it will wear down your wood floors. High heels are notoriously bad for wood floors because the heel can dent the wood.
Moving furniture can scratch wood floors. For furniture that you move often, like dining room chairs, installing gliders on the four legs can help protect your hardwood floor.
Frequently cleaning hardwood floors is vital for avoiding scratches. If you don’t clean the grit off the floor, it will get rubbed in every time someone walks on it.
Area rugs, runners, and especially doormats can help keep your wood floors like new by creating a barrier between foot traffic and the floor. You’ll want to place the rugs strategically in high traffic areas.
In older homes, original hardwood floors are a highly desirable feature, so that’s where you want to really focus on rugs and runners to protect the floors. You’ll also want to make sure that your homeowner’s insurance will cover the value of your original floors.
If your hardwood is in a newer home and you prefer not to cover up your hardwood floors, skip the runners and rugs and enjoy your hardwood floor. You can replace it if you need to without losing historic significance.
Do weekly waxing
For me, nothing is as beautiful as natural wood floors. And if they are made of reclaimed or original wood, even better. The only way to keep them looking good is to do weekly waxing sessions with organic wax and keep them as hydrated as possible. This will help you to rejuvenate the wood and keep it looking clean and good for a long time.
Sweep daily. Dust, dirt, and other debris can scratch and scuff your floors. Use a soft brush or dust mop to sweep the floors every day.
Vacuum weekly. Give your hardwood floors a vacuum every week to deeper clean dirt, dust, and other debris.
Mop monthly. Too much water can damage hardwood floors, so do this once a month and with a damp mop, rather than a soaking wet one. For example, the Mangotime Mop is one of our top recommendations for mopping wood floors.
Polish quarterly. Every four months, or when needed, polish your floors. This keeps floors shiny, it fills in scratches, it protects the floors and it restores the top protective layer. Our top recommendation for a wood floor polish is the Quick Shine Polish. It’s made with plant-based carnauba, makes the floors durable, and can brighten the color of your natural wood floors.
Manage the humidity level
There are numerous things that can cause damage to wooden flooring and the number one culprit is moisture. While liquid spills can be easily managed and cleaned, the invisible enemy is actually the humidity level in the ambient air. Both excessively low and high humidity are not conducive to wooden flooring. Excessively dry air can cause shrinkage of wood planks and splintering while too much moisture in the air can cause wood rot and irreversible damage.
For optimum wood health, the ideal relative humidity level should be maintained between 40% to 60%. Homeowners should install hygrometers in several areas of the house to regularly monitor the humidity levels. If there are any fluctuations out of the desired range, homeowners can take action with a humidifier or a dehumidifier to maintain the humidity. By managing the humidity levels, your wooden floor can avoid permanent, irreversible damage and maintain its shine and performance.
Polish your floor
I suggest that you use rugs in areas that get a lot of use, such as the path between the dining and lounge [areas]. Often we place rugs in areas that are not needed, rather than where they should be. Choose oriental rugs designed for the purpose, rather than ornamental fluffy rugs that end up being bunched up and problematic.
Do a deep clean during spring, including polishing the floor.
Get the right cleaning product. Don’t skimp out here, and this is perhaps the best thing you can do to ensure longevity and beauty.
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