Stop! If you love your floors, you will put the mop DOWN!
Think back to that day when you first laid eyes on your beautiful hardwood floor. Remember the way the light glistened on the grain? How smooth the wood felt underneath your bare feet? That new floor smell you reveled in? Nothing quite compares to those early days when the pride you feel for your floors is overflowing.
But how do you keep your floors looking new, and what can you do to make them last as long as possible? After all, they’re an important addition to the character of your home. Fear not, the Floor It team is ready to help! Here are a few tips on how to maintain your floors:
1. Keep the water away
As we mentioned in our last blog post (Click here to read it), wood is hygroscopic and absorbs water easily, so it’s not a good idea to let contact with water go unattended. This can and will lead to cupping in your floor and will ruin the finish on the wood. Your once-beautiful surface will become more suitable for haunted house scenery than the home you love.
With that said, erase from your mind everything you’ve heard about using water and vinegar as a cleaning solution. Eventually, it will show the destruction it causes. Also, make sure your windows are properly sealed to keep rain from creeping in. And if spills occur, wipe them dry immediately with a soft cloth. Simple!
2. Become friends with your vacuum cleaner
What are your plans for Tuesday night (besides reading the latest edition of the Floor It blog, of course!)? Nothing? Well, now you have a date with your vacuum!
Seriously though, no matter which day you choose, you’re going to need to set a few minutes aside each week to vacuum your floor with a soft-bristle brush or felt attachment. Why? Because when people walk over the dust and grit that inevitably collects on the floor, a sandpaper effect starts to take place. Slowly the pressure of your foot on even the finest dirt will eat away at the floor’s glossy finish, leaving it dull and worn. It’s a sneaky kind of evil, but one that is easily prevented if you get into the habit of vacuuming regularly.
3. Know your finish
This one is HUGE when it comes to ensuring that your floor is being cared for properly. There are three basic types of finish used with hardwood floors: polyurethane, oil, and wax. Make sure you know which one is keeping your wood beautiful before trying to treat it. Here’s a chart for what to do once you have that information:
4. Choose protective decor
Keeping your floors in top condition can be a very fashionable process if you’re willing to tap into your creative side. Find a nice rug for areas where your floor receives heavy foot traffic. Add some furniture pads to the legs of your table or couch. Maybe greet people with an eye-catching floor mat that encourages them to wipe their shoes. By using your imagination you will find there are lots of ways to prevent everyday wear-and-tear on your hardwood without sacrificing convenience or aesthetic.
5. Pick prevention over restoration
Hardwood floors are certainly a worthwhile investment in the overall look and feel of your home, but it’s up to you to determine how much return on you’re going to get on this investment. You can choose to either put in a little bit of time each week to maintain your floors or wait until they start to show the effects of sporadic care. Trust us when we say, the latter is by far the more costly direction to take. Save yourself from the stress of trying to restore your hardwood floors by doing your homework.
As always, we’d love to answer any questions you may have about making your floors last. It’s never too early to learn how to handle this process properly, so let us help you. Go to our contact page to get ahold of one of our trained flooring professionals to find out more.
We’ll see you next week!