While ceramic and porcelain tiles as well as real wood floors have finishes which are very durable, they are not indestructible. Many homeowners do not realize dust and dirt particles can be one of the most damaging to the finish on any floor. Tracked in dirt and tiny particles of sand can cause micro scratching of the floor finish. Walking on the dust and sand, while it is on the floor, is like rubbing sandpaper on the floors’ finish. Just like sandpaper it can literally “sand off” the finish in a short time leaving dull spots in high traffic areas and as time passes completely removing the finish.
A well maintained wood floor.
While placing walk off mats at exterior doors can help reduce some of the tracking in of soil, regularly using a micro fiber dust mop with replaceable pads or electric vacuum broom (without a brush or beater bar) to pick up dust and dirt from the surface will help extend the life of the floors finish. Just like regularly changing the oil in your car will keep it running smoothly longer, regular cleaning will help the floor to last longer.
While this may seem obvious in rooms with doors leading to the outside where the dirt is easy to track in, it can even be an issue in apartments and condos in high-rise locations which have no direct exterior access. Even in these locations, ambient dust and dirt floating in the air gradually settles on the floor and can build up creating the same sandpaper effect.
The same floor, poorly maintained, with most of the finish sanded off by surface dust and dirt.
With the right cleaning and maintenace, dust and durt particles don't have to be harmful to your floors