Hardwood flooring is gaining popularity nowadays and becoming the ultimate choice when it comes to home fixtures. Everyone is fascinated with shiny, smooth, and polished wooden floors. They are strikingly magnificent and last for decades without demanding frequent replacement and repairs. Aesthetically, they can blend with any furniture and indoor décor that enhances the space’s overall appearance.
Although hardwood floors do not require extensive maintenance, it is ultimately necessary to protect them as they bear the brunt of your daily household activities, making them susceptible to wear and tear. Protecting them from any damage is easy, but you need earnest effort and consistency so they can stay for longer years.
1. Regular Cleaning Using the Right Tools and Products
No matter how busy your day was, make it a point to clean the floors. Dust, dirt, grime, food crumbs should be removed. You can either use a vacuum or broom. Invest in high-quality cleaning tools like microfiber dust mop or broom. Use a vacuum that’s designed for hardwood floors and not a carpet vacuum. These tools can effectively remove small particles that can cause damage to your floor.
It is also necessary to use cleaning products that would make your wooden floors stand out. Depending on the number of people inside the house, once or twice a week would be enough. However, you must be careful in choosing the right product as it might even harm your flooring. It should be safe not just for the surface but for children or pets as well.
2. Use Furniture Pads and Gliders
When you keep on switching the arrangement of your home, you tend to push or move pieces of furniture, especially chairs, tables, couches, and other heavy elements. You may not realize that the friction causes dents, scratches, and gouges to your floors. However, these can be fixed by sanding or coating. However, some woods cannot be sanded out often or deeply. An example is an engineered wood flooring with a thin veneer of real hardwood but can be sanded a few times in a lifetime. So, avoid scratches but using furniture pads and gliders. These materials are affordable and easy to use. You just put them underneath each side or leg of an appliance or furniture.
3. Protect your Wooden Floor from Moisture
Moisture is the number one culprit of your hardwood floor’s deterioration. It can cause the wood to expand and deform. So, be quick in wiping out spills and splashes of water (or any liquid) prevent it from seeping in between the boards. Close windows when it rains. Always have mats and rugs ready, especially underneath the kitchen sinks or the refrigerator area. Choose a mat that absorbs water or moisture and dries quickly.
4. Avoid Cleaning Your Floor with Water
As moisture is the enemy of wood, so does water. The hardwood floor’s organic structure reacts immediately to water, which can lead to swelling and decay. Most flooring experts do not recommend the use of any kind of water in cleaning wooden floors. It’s best to use a dry damp mop or a vacuum and a soft-bristled broom.
5. Avoid Sun Damage
Aside from moisture and water, the sun’s UV rays can also damage the wood floors. It may take some time to see the effects, and this usually happens when you move the furniture or rug. The discolouration -either darker or lighter – you’ll notice is the effect of “photochemical oxidation.” To prevent this from happening, you may apply films to obstruct UV rays, install thick blinds and curtains, or invest in the best floor finish with UV inhibitors.
6. Do Not Wear Shoes Inside the House
Not everyone takes off their shoes when entering the house, as this practice is culture-bound. This is not uncommon in most countries across South East Asia. This does not only keep the house clean but prevents scuff marks, dents, or scratches on the floor. Stilettos and high heeled shoes can severely damage your wooden floors. The same goes with boots, athletic shoes, or work shoes as they can carry pebbles and grits that can easily scratch up the surface. Have spare slip-ons near the main door for you and your guests.
7. Recoat Wood Floors
Recoating protects the floor from deep scratches. To remove the scuff marks, the top layer is slightly sanded and a fresh layer of polyurethane is added to improve the floor’s lustre and prolong the protective features of the finish. Choosing the right finish and its proper application helps you tackle the specific damage on your floor. An example is a finish for UV rays inhibitor or a moisture-resistant finish that best suits the kitchen and bathroom.
8. Strategic Use of Rugs and Mats
This has been mentioned several times, but you have to pay attention to the significance of mats and rugs. There are areas in your house that experience more traffic or prone to moisture, such as the kitchen, entryway, interior hallway, mudroom, and even the living rooms. These are the zones that need the utmost protection. You can strategically lay down rugs, runners, and mats. Choose a rug or mat with open backing so that moisture can breathe and does not buildup.
9. Protect the Floors from Pets
If you have pets, you probably ignore the fact that some of the deepest and longest scratches and gouges in your floors come from the claws of your dogs and cats. In this case, you can lay out mats in areas where they usually stay. Finally, the best way to reduce floor damage is claw clipping.
10. Refinish Wood Floors When Necessary
Refinishing removes all the finish and repairs any damages. After which, a new coat of finish is placed on the wood. This process prevents replacing the floors completely and is done before any major damages happen.
Keeping your floors beautiful is a fundamental part of your home. Like any other home elements, wooden flooring can last longer with proper maintenance and treatment. There are other inexpensive ways of protecting your floors from damage. The important thing is you give the care that they deserve.