Protect Your Wood Floors

Simple Steps to Protect Your Hardwood Floors

Your wood floors look beautiful but they also increase the value of your home. Keep your floors looking like new with these simple steps.

1. Clean up dirt and debris daily.

The first step in caring for your wood floors is to clean up any elements tracked in from the great outdoors. Dirt and small particles tracked in on your shoes can scratch and dull the finish on your floors.  Clean up spills and leaks as soon as possible.

2. Never wet mop your hardwood floor.

Excessive water or any standing water will damage your wood floors. The water will get down into the cracks of the boards, cause the wood to expand and the boards to swell thus breaking the bond of the finish. Water damage will cause the boards to cup and or warp.

3. Purchase welcome mats and walk-off mats.

Mats are another layer of protection to keep your hardwood floors luster and shine by minimizing foot traffic dirt being tracked into your home. Use the mats at the exterior and interior. Be sure your interior mats do not have rubber, foam or plastic backing which can adhere, discolor or scratch your wood floor. The backs of area rugs should be smooth.

4. Prevent scratches.

Always put felt pads on your furniture to prevent scratches to your wood floors. This key step is vital to avoid those dreaded scratches on your floors. Protectors allow chairs, tables, couches etc. to move easily over the floor without scuffing. When cleaning, remember to check the felt protectors to be sure their integrity is intact.

If you have pets in your home, always keep their nails clipped short and filed smooth as their claws can scratch the wood floors.

5. Check shoes at the door or provide shoe covers.

A great habit for you, your children and guests is to leave your shoes by the door. Realistically this is not always possible. The next best thing is to provide shoe covers, especially for guests.

6. No high heel policy.

To prevent divots and dents to your wood floors instill a no high heel policy and this includes the sports cleats your children wear for soccer, baseball, football…

High heel shoes can be disastrous to your floor especially if they have lost their protective cap thus exposing the fastening nail. Did you know heels that have lost their protective cap will exert over 8,000 pounds per square inch of pressure in a floor? That’s high enough to damage hardened concrete.

In some cases, even high heels in good repair can cause damage to your wood floors.

7. Choose cleaners carefully.

Be careful when using products on your hardwood floor, always check the label or ask the manufacturer if the product contains wax or silicone. Products that contain wax or silicone can dull the finish on your floors and prevent the polyurethane from adhering to the floor during a maintenance buffing and coating.  Always read the product label and be leery of products such as Murphy’s Oil soap, Endust, and Mop and Glow. We recommend the Bona Wood Floor Cleaning Solution (not the polish). The Bona products are readily available at your local hardware store, home depot, Bed bath and Beyond and many other major retailers.

8. Implement a care schedule.

A maintenance disc and coating, lightly buffing the floors and a coating of polyurethane, is recommended every 3-5 years for kitchens or high traffic areas and 5-7 years for other areas. This recommendation may vary and is dependent on daily wear and tear.

Caring for your wood floors properly and being steadfast in your habits will insure longevity and beauty in your home for years to come.