Maintaining a Hardwood Floor

Jim Williams
Posted in:
Cleaning & Maintenance

Having a well-maintained hardwood floor may almost qualify as a family heirloom. Fortunately for hardwood floor owners, maintaining a hardwood floor isn't as hard as it used to be, thanks to advancements in the building of hardwood planks and finishing techniques.

Still, this doesn't mean that your hardwood floor is invulnerable to abuse. Since repairing a hardwood floor is time-consuming and quite costly, proper wood floor maintenance is the cheaper and better way to make your hardwood floor last a long time.

Here are a few tips for maintaining a hardwood floor:

Cleaning Product Usage:

  • Hardwood floors and water don't mix. As soon as your hardwood floor gets wet, dry it immediately using a slightly damp, soft absorbent cotton cloth.
  • Never use sheet vinyl care products or tile floor care products on a hardwood floor. Acrylic waxes can cause wood to become slippery. Also, acrylic waxes can dull hardwood floors rather quickly.
  • Do not wet mop your hardwood floor. If you need to clean up a heavy solid spill, use a damp, soft cloth to get the majority of the spill and follow up with a dust mop to prevent moisture beads.
  • Do not use ammonia on your floors.
  • Never wax a urethane finish.

Furniture and Rug Usage:

  • Install protector pads on all your furniture to prevent the legs or bases of furniture from scratching the surface of your hardwood floor.
  • Do not slide heavy furniture pieces when moving them around the house. Lift them up to prevent gouging your floor, even if they have protector pads.
  • Use throw rugs and place them both inside and outside of doorways to prevent dirt from tracking onto your hardwood floor. This will lower the risk of scratching and the need for additional sweeping.
  • Place area rugs near spaces where there is a high chance for residual moisture. 

Wear and Tear No-Nos:

  • If you have pets, remember to trim their nails periodically to prevent them from scratching your hardwood floor. Also, be diligent in cleaning after them, especially during feeding time; pets find it hard to keep food in their bowls.
  • Avoid walking on your wooden floors with high heels, because these can exert a tremendous amount of pressure on the floor and may leave dents all around the house.

Added Boosts:

  • Use a humidifier during winter. Humidifiers will help hardwood floors by maintaining an average amount of humidity in the house. Different rates of humidity will either expand or shrink wood, and constant changes in humidity, which happen during winter, will create problems for hardwood floors in the long run.
  • Do not over-wax your hardwood floor: it will make the surface dull quickly. Apply wax only every other waxing session for places that aren't touched often, such as under the furniture or areas with relatively light traffic.

Proper wood floor maintenance may seem hard at first, but maintaining a hardwood floor will be much easier than repairing or replacing it down the road. With proper care, you'll have a hardwood floor that will last decades.