Hardwood Floor Maintenance Tips

Getting the most out of your floors is a priority for every homeowner. We all know that not properly caring for your floors devalues one of your home’s biggest investments.

So, homeowners are often left wondering about how best to preserve their floors over time. Understanding best maintenance practices is key to getting the most out of your floors.

Floors develop wear and tear with age and use. Knowing the right methods for cleaning and protecting your floors helps you:

  • Maintain or even improve their appearance.
  • Ensure their longevity.
  • Protect their structural integrity.
  • Get the most out of your home investment.
  • Keep your flooring safe to use.
  • Prevent unnecessary, damaging wear.
  • Save on repair and maintenance costs.

Best Practices for Preserving Floors

Make sure that you are using protectors on any furniture legs. Tables and chairs can damage floors over time as they scoot slightly every time someone sits down. They can also create large scrapes and scratches if dragged across floors. Using furniture leg protectors (like felt pads) or rugs is important for keeping your floor’s finish intact.

Rugs can also keep high-traffic areas from wearing away faster than the rest of your floor’s finish. Use area rugs and runners anywhere you need to protect a spot that will get lots of use.

In the same vein, you need to keep dirt off your floor as much as possible. That means you should keep shoes off it. This is because the dirt that is stuck to the bottom of shoes can grind away at your floor’s finish over time. Eventually, you may even see worn paths in the finish where you walk most often. Nobody wants this look for their floor!

Make sure people remove their shoes before walking across your floors. If nothing else, keep cleats and heels off, as these can actually dent floors. And if you have any pets, make sure you keep their nails trimmed. Pet nails can scratch the finish over time, too. These steps are key to getting the most out of your floors.

Keeping dirt off means keeping your floor clean. You should vacuum or sweep regularly. Use a microfiber mop periodically to keep dirt from building up and remove grime. If you spill liquid, clean it up immediately, so the moisture does not damage the floor beneath it.

You should refinish your floors if necessary. Follow your manufacturer’s or contractor’s recommendations for your particular style of flooring. Refinishing floors does more than give them a renewed appearance. It also improves their durability. You need to maintain your floors’ finish to keep them well-protected.

If you have periodic professional floor maintenance, you may be able to avoid refinishing entirely. Your finish can be renewed periodically. Protecting your finish is vital to getting the most out of your floors.

In addition, try to keep your home’s relative humidity somewhere between 45 and 65 percent. This will keep your flooring from expanding and contracting too much.

Cleaners need to be non-corrosive and buildup-free. Cleaners that have wax, vinegar, ammonia, oil soap, or polish can actually damage your floor’s finish. You need to be careful that the products you use will not dull the finish. This will leave your floor more susceptible to damage. A simple test is spraying a cleaner on a window. If it leaves a film or residue once it dries, you should not use it on your floors.

And never use steel wool or other tools that can easily damage the finish.