Many people are conflicted when it comes to hardwood floors – sure, they look great, but are they worth the effort? Aren’t they hard to protect and keep clean as the years go by? Well, that is a point that has been the cause of much confusion among homeowners. While it is true that hardwood floors do require a bit of care, the maintenance requirements have been great exaggerated. In fact, if you are willing to keep up with just some basic maintenance points, you can enjoy beautiful hardwood floors for many years to come.
Keep Them Clean
The first thing you can do to protect your hardwood floors is simply to keep them clean on a regular basis. Over time, dirt and other particles can build up between the boards, so cleaning up consistently is a key step. Try not to use a wet mop – instead, use a vacuum with a hardwood floor setting, or simply a broom. If anything is spilled on the hardwood, clean the spill up immediately to prevent damage from occurring.
Treat Them Kindly
It might go without saying, but another key to protecting your hardwoods is to avoid walking on them in shoes that could be damaging to the finish. For instance, you should never walk on your hardwood floors in sports cleats or even certain high heel shoes. You want to avoid scratching the finish on your floors, so only walk on them with rubber-soled shoes. Also, protect the floors by placing felt pads on the feet of your furniture.
Know Your Floor
Do you know what kind of finish has been used on your floor? If not, be sure to find out so you can offer your floor the correct kind of maintenance going forward. There are a number of finish options for hardwood floors, including surface finishes, wax finishes, and acrylic impregnated finishes. When cleaning a surface finished floor, you will want to follow the instructions offered by the manufacturer of the floor. For a wax finished floor, you can use additional applications of wax to protect the floor, although you should again follow manufacturers directions carefully. Finally, for acrylic impregnated finishes you may be able to use a spray and buff system, but again, it is key to follow the directions you have been given with the floor.
High traffic areas, such as entrances to your home, should be protected through the use of rugs. When people come into your home, they may have small stones or other debris on their shoes – which could potentially damage your floor if you fail to use a rug. When picking out rugs, you need to be sure that the rugs you use will not discolor your floor due to their backing. If necessary, look for mats that can be used under your rugs to protect the finish on the floor itself from discoloration over time. Not only are rugs great for floor protection, but they also give you the ability to add an element of design and color to the space.