For many homeowners, wood floors represent the height of style and elegance. Whether you have rustic unfinished cherry hardwood flooring, wormy chestnut, or stately pre-finished pine or oak, the good news is it’s easy to keep them looking great for generations. All you need is the right tools, a little insight and some helpful tips for maintaining hardwood flooring.
Expert Maintenance Tips for Hardwood Flooring
The most frequently asked questions regarding hardwood flooring maintenance revolve around choosing the right products and methods to clean your floors. It’s important to recognize you clean wood floors differently than floors made of other materials. However, there are also varying approaches to maintaining floors depending on the type of wood, the desired look and most importantly, how they’re sealed.
If you have floors sealed with urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic, as is the case with most new floors, all you need to do is dust, sweep, vacuum and mop. Read on for more tips and answers to your hardwood flooring maintenance FAQs.
Hardwood Flooring Maintenance Dos
Here are some tips for what you’ll want to do to take care of your hardwood floors:
- Sweeping frequently is among the most effective ways to keep your hardwoods clean. Be sure to use a soft bristle broom or some other type of non-abrasive cleaning product with a dry microfiber surface that doesn’t leave scratch marks or prematurely remove protective sealants.
- Clean and treat with products specifically recommended and safe for use on the types of wood floors you have. Read the label carefully before use. If you aren’t sure if it’s right for your hardwood floors, ask a professional. ** add about acidic cleaners breaking down finish.
- When dry mopping or spot cleaning, press down lightly onto the floor surface and go with the grain of the wood.
- Clean water spills and other types of liquids as quickly as possible. Keep an eye on areas where water tends to collect, such as around sinks, radiators and air conditioning units. Wood flooring is extremely resilient, but to keep them in the best shape, it’s best to clean up any spills or pooling water right away.
- Use strategically placed floor covers to protect delicate wood in high traffic areas. Place pads under furniture legs to prevent scuffing and scratches.
- Change your floor plan from time to time. It’ll give your rooms a fresh new look and even out the amount of wear and tear in the busiest areas.
Harwood Flooring Cleaning Don’ts
Of course, there are a few things you shouldn’t do if you want your hardwood floors looking great for a long time. Don’t make these mistakes.
- Never use floor cleaning products and tools designed for any materials other than wood. Harsh products could cause residue and dulling of surfaces to premature dilapidation and stained and bleached floor boards.
- Never use a steam mop or cleaner on wood floors. Heat and water can wear down the finish and damage the wood causing warping or cupping due to pushing moisture and dirt into the flooring.
- Avoid all treatments involving water and vinegar solutions or wax and soap-based cleaners as these are too acidic and will break down the finish of your floor. These floor maintenance methods leave residue, dull the finish and can permanently harm your floors with prolonged use.
- Don’t use products you clean your furniture with on your floors, such as oils and sprays. They tend to leave a slippery film that’s can be dangerous for you and your pets!
- Don’t use wax as you may not be able to recoat your floor in the future because the wax will prevent a new finish from adhering.
- Put your foot down on allowing people to walk on your floors with high heeled shoes or athletic cleats with spikes. Inappropriate footwear is a common cause of how floors start to lose their luster over time. Of course, rustic flooring is characterized by its unique markings of age and may hide “new” imperfections better than flooring with more refined finishes.
Harwood Flooring Maintenance Schedule
Our last maintenance tip for hardwood flooring is to stay diligent with upkeep. The following is a list of maintenance duties you need to do:
- Daily: Vacuum or sweep either daily or every other day, depending on your circumstances. If you have a busy home with a large family or pets, you’ll need to clean your floors more frequently.
- Weekly: Vacuum floors with a machine that’s designed to clean hardwood. Be sure to get under furniture and into tricky edges and corner. If you have a multi-surface vacuum, choose the wood floor setting to protect against the beater bar scratching the surface.
- Monthly: Clean or treat your floors with the method prescribed for your type of wood and finish.
- Every Two to Four Years: Deep clean and apply a maintenance coat to non-polyurethane sealed wood.
- Every 10 to 15 Years: Hire a professional to sand and refinish the surfaces of your floors.
For more answers to your hardwood flooring maintenance FAQs, contact us at Superior Hardwoods of Montana. We provide customized service and offer a wide selection of reclaimed and unique flooring types as well as engineered flooring, pre-finished flooring and unfinished flooring.
Let us guide you through the woods. Contact us online or give us a call at (406) 251-2272 to speak with a live representative.