Installing new hardwood floor can be expensive, and if you’ve made the investment, you probably want to make sure that your new floor doesn’t get damaged. Cleaning and maintaining your floors if the best way to assure your flooring money doesn’t go to waste. If you follow these five tips for maintaining your hardwood, your floor should last a lifetime.
#1 Sweep – Regularly sweeping your floor can stop scratches and other surface damage that can happen when stones, sand, or dirt gets onto it. The best broom to use is one with soft bristles that will collect fine dust and also provide a light buff to the finish.
#2 Don’t Let Liquids Pool – If a liquid makes its way onto your floor, clean it immediately with a dry towel. Wood will warp and discolor if liquids are left to pool, so be sure to clean up that mess before the repair bill cleans out your wallet.
#3 Mats – Put a mat at each entrance to your home and entrances to any rooms with hardwood. Carpet mats are great for removing dirt and stones that may get wedged into the treads of shoes.
#4 Furniture Pads – The legs of couches, tables, and chairs are the leading causes of wear and tear on wood floors. Prevent scratching from the legs of your furniture by placing small felt pads on them. This way when someone bumps into a table, it will gently slide along your floor, not ruin it.
#5 Avoid Sunlight – In many states the sun shines bright enough to destroy just about everything, and wood floors are no exception. If you have an area of your floor that is being hit by direct sunlight, try to have a curtain or blinds up so that discoloration doesn’t take place.
For some extra advice on maintaining your new floor, try: (i) making a “no shoes” rule; (ii) watch for moisture brought in on rainy days; (iii) consult with your installation company or the wood’s manufacturer for care advice; (iv) only use floor cleaners specifically for wood; and (v) know your finish, do you have wax or polyurethane coating?
Another tip for homeowners with wood flooring is to keep few extra planks in storage. This way, if you do happen to have the misfortune of discoloring, warping, or abrasions in the wood, you can simply replace the damaged portions without worrying about matching the color or grain pattern.