Did you know that, like fingerprints, no two planks of hardwood flooring are the same? Each board has distinctive markings, textures, and colors.
While this unique beauty is an asset in any home, there are some ground rules you have to follow to keep your floors in good condition.
Read on to discover our top 5 hardwood flooring maintenance tips.
1. Regular Cleaning
The most effective way to keep your hardwood floors in good condition is to clean them daily. This might sound like a chore, but a daily sweep or brush will prevent dirt and dust from building up and being ground into the floor.
Mop your hardwood floors one or twice a week as needed, but don’t use too much water. You don’t want puddles to remain on the floor once you’ve finished mopping.
Resist the urge to use chemical cleaning products. Warm water and a dash of dish soap will be enough to clean up most sticky messes.
2. Use the Right Tools
When cleaning your hardwood floors, you should use tools that don’t scratch or wear away the varnish. A micro-fiber mop is gentle on the surface of the floor, but tough enough to lift away dirt.
If possible, use a vacuum that is specifically made for hardwood floors. These vacuums use soft brushes instead of stiff bristles and have smooth, coated wheels that won’t scratch your floor. If you’re using a traditional vacuum, wipe down the hard plastic wheels before use to remove any grit that may scuff the floor.
3. Quality Matters
Although they may cost more upfront, the best way to ensure long-lasting hardwood floors is to buy the best wood you can afford. Aim for quality wood, like slow-growing oak, that is dense and hard-wearing.
Another way to ensure longevity is to pay for expert installation. Poorly fitted hardwood floors can be uneven, have loose boards, or have gaps between the planks. If moisture seeps into these cracks, your floors may swell and become water-stained.
4. Protective Shield
Once you’ve installed your hardwood floors, apply a hard-wearing lacquer. This creates a protective layer that will preserve the quality of the wood. Again, this takes a bit of time and costs extra but will save you money down the line.
If you’re wondering whether you should use polyurethane or varnish on your floors, check out this floor varnishing guide for more advice.
After a few years of wear and tear, the layers of protective lacquer will wear away. You can apply a wood polish every 18 months to rebuild these layers, or you can have the original lacquer stripped down and refreshed.
5. Be Proactive
Hardwood is a durable flooring material, but it can get scuffed and scratched if you’re not careful. Place rugs and mats in high traffic areas to prevent these sections of the floor from wearing out faster. If your floor is bathed in bright sunlight for large portions of the day, consider closing the blinds in these rooms when they are not in use to prevent your hardwood floors from fading.
Have family and friends take their shoes off before coming inside to reduce scuff marks. And lastly, fix felt pads to the legs or feet of your furniture to avoid scratches.
These Flooring Maintenance Tips Won’t Lead You Astray
Hardwood floors are a gorgeous addition to any home, but they do require regular upkeep. Use this hardwood flooring maintenance guide to keep your floors in tip-top shape.
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