How to Care for Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors can survive for years if properly cared for and refinished. This article will assist you in keeping your hardwood floors looking good for decades.

Hardwood floors are popular not just because they are classic and beautiful but also because they are easy to maintain, resilient, and dust mite resistant. If you have solid hardwood floors in your house, properly caring for them will reduce the need for refinishing. Let’s go over how to properly care for hardwood floors.

Follow these hardwood floor care techniques to keep your floors looking beautiful and vivid.

Add Rugs & Mats

The care of your hardwood flooring begins outside your home. Mats placed at doorways urge visitors to wipe their feet before tracking dirt in. Consider installing a bench or chair near the door to provide a spot for guests to sit and remove their wet boots and shoes. Place area rugs or carpet strips in high-traffic areas, such as entryways, corridors and frequently used rooms, to reduce floor damage. Check that rugs and rug pads are breathable and will not trap moisture and damage the flooring surface. Underneath furniture that lies on hardwood floors, place mats or floor protectors.

Vacuum & Dust Regularly

The most crucial aspect of basic hardwood floor care is to vacuum, sweep, or dry mop the floors regularly to remove debris and anything else that can harm the wood. If there’s a chance your vacuum will scratch the floor, use the brush or hardwood floor attachment that came with it. Even if your floor is covered with a polyurethane coating, you should always wipe up any spills or muck immediately.

Monitor Humidity Levels

Humidity levels can have an impact on hardwood flooring, especially if they change greatly. To keep the relative humidity between 35 and 55 percent, use a humidifier or dehumidifier as needed. If you detect shrinkage, cracks, cupping, or buckling in your floors, the humidity in your home may need to be adjusted.

Use the Right Cleaning Supplies

To thoroughly clean your hardwood floor, you must first understand the finish. Is the finish wax, oil, polyurethane or another surface?

  • Floors with a wax finish. Every month or so, mop the floor using a cleaning solution designed for waxed or oiled surfaces. Follow the product’s directions, which usually call for diluting some of the solution in water. Allow the floors to dry after lightly mopping them. It is preferable to use a damp pad or cloth, but if you just have a mop, take great care to use as little water as possible. You may need to re-oil the surface with an oil refresher a couple of times per year. Wax or oil-finished floors must be rubbed regularly to maintain their luster. It’s time to wax when polishing no longer restores the sheen.
  • Floors made of polyurethane. Polyurethane flooring can be cleaned lightly with a damp mop but should never be waxed. Warm water and a tiny bit of dishwashing liquid, or another homemade hardwood floor cleaner, should be used. Products containing ammonia, vinegar, or abrasive cleaners should be avoided. When in doubt, consult the maker or installer of your floors about cleaning materials and methods. Wring out the mop thoroughly before applying it to the floor, then mop as much as possible with the grain. Wipe away any extra water with a soft cloth while buffing the hardwood floor.

Additional Tips

  • Do NOT use any type of steamer-type mops on the hardwood; hot steam will violate or blow the finish and cause milkiness, which will have to be corrected.
  • We recommend a Bona™ style microfiber dust mop or vacuum with a soft bristle brush or wand with a felt-protected shoe.
  • Minimize street shoe traffic, socks, inside shoes or booties better.
  • Do not wear high heels as a habit; they will dimple and damage the floor, resulting in the need to sand and refinish.
  • Get in the habit of lifting, not dragging chairs, stools, etc.
  • Place protectors under the feet of furniture; use felt ones with good adhesive or rubber cup-styled ones.
  • If the direct sun affects your wood, you may want to consider window treatments or window tinting.
  • Clean up any water spills, pet urine, plant water or major spills ASAP.

Hardwood floor care is an important maintenance step to help them last for years. Get the hardwood floors you love by contacting our team at Valor Home Services today.