How to Care for your Hardwood Floors
Sep 16
Larry Gantt

Few things can match the look of a new hardwood floor. The inherent beauty of wood combined with the natural variation in graining, results in a look that simply can’t be matched by vinyl or laminate flooring. Whether you have hardwood in a small entryway inside the front door or the whole house, a new hardwood floor adds beauty as well as value to your home. But just like a new car, proper care and maintenance is an important part of the long term investment.

The care starts immediately following the installation by simply adding protective felt pads to the legs of chairs, tables, couches, as well as other furniture to prevent denting and scratching of the new floor. These are readily available in a variety of shapes and sizes at local hardware stores. Since they come in convenient peel & stick format, they are a quick and simple step any customer can easily install.

Today’s factory pre-finished wood floors are truly easy care and most are “no wax”, meaning they do not need and should not have wax or any acrylic finish applied. Daily care consists of wiping up spills as they occur with a clean cloth and sweeping or dry dust mopping to remove dust and soil which may be tracked in or may simply settle from the air onto the surface, even in the cleanest homes. The high tech version of the dust mop is the electric broom. Designed for hard surface floors, it is light, easy to handle, and a quick and easy way for daily maintenance.

Daily maintenance is followed up (as needed) by cleaning with a cloth dust mop or microfiber mop with a small amount of cleaner designed for wood floors. The cleaner will help dissolve and remove the grease & grime from outdoors as well as sweat & natural body oils which seep into every floor from barefeet or socks.

Never use cleaning products that “add a shine” or “add a protective finish” to the factory finished wood floor. These will gradually build up over time and can permanently damage the factory finish beyond repair. Most manufacturers recommend never applying the liquid cleaner “to the floor” but to lightly apply it to the cleaning pad on the dust mop or micro fiber mop. Applying any cleaner directly to the wood by pouring it or spraying it on the floor runs the risk of damaging the natural wood with excess liquid. Additionally, steam mops or steam cleansers as advertised on TV should never be used on any wood floor. The combination of heat, pressure as well as water is likely to cause damage.

Utilizing mats at external doors can help prevent tracking in pebbles or rocks which can scratch the surface. Mats also help to collect excess water on rainy days. Remember to vacuum and shake out the mats regularly to prevent build-up of soil.

Filed under: floor, flooring, hardwood, kitchen
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