Properly Caring For and Maintaining Hardwood Floors

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keep your hardwood floors looking nice
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Hardwood floors are beautiful. Not only does a hardwood floor draw the eye and complete a room, but it also speaks to the elegance of the home or office space which it fills.

Costs for solid hardwood floors vary between $8 and $15 per square foot. However, the cost is well worth it. Wood flooring also comes with its own special care and maintenance instructions in order to shine look great.

As the wood flooring company D.C. has come to rely on, here are some of our tips for proper care and maintenance of hardwood floors.

Hardwood Floors 101

Hardwood flooring maintenance can be divided into three sections: initial maintenance, routine maintenance, and long term maintenance. Let’s start at the top.

1. Check For Harmful Ingredients

When you are just getting ready to clean a hardwood floor, be sure to carefully read the label of any cleaning product to ensure it is compatible with hardwood floors.

One of the most common types of damage to hardwood floors comes from using the wrong type of cleaner. Different types of finishes (oil, wax, or polyurethane) will require different types of solvents in order to be cleaned properly.

Be sure to understand what type of hardwood floor you have and what type of cleaning product it needs. This will pay huge dividends in the long run as it will prevent unnecessary damages to the floor due to improper cleaning.

2. Add Furniture Protectors

If there is going to be furniture on the hardwood floors, be sure to add felt protectors to the legs of the furniture to prevent scratches on the floor. The most common reasons hardwood floors get scuffed up and scratched is from moving furniture around.

Be sure to replace the felt protectors as needed as they will eventually wear thin. Once per month is a typical schedule for felt protectors.

Consider purchasing a rug for the room or hallway that sports a hardwood floor. Having a rug cover a large portion of the floor can be a great way to decorate the room with class and style, all while protecting the floor from excessive foot traffic.

Also, consider enforcing a no shoe policy for hardwood floors (in the home). If a no shoe policy is not possible because the floor is part of an office space, make sure people are leaving their stilettos and tap shoes behind.

Regular Maintenance

There are regular maintenance tasks that should be performed weekly or monthly to keep your hardwood floors in perfect condition. The first thing to remember, whenever you clean your hardwood floors: dry first, wet second.

Dry cleaning a hardwood floor is essential to remove dirt and small pieces of plastic or gravel that will scratch the floor if wet cleaned. Make sure to dry clean the floor to remove all of the dirt and debris, and then wet clean the floor. Failure to do this is the equivalent of dragging pieces of sandpaper across a hardwood floor.

An inspection of hardwood floors should be done about once each month. This includes looking under furniture and rugs. If there is any discoloration from extra foot traffic, sun spots, or other reasons, it is time to get a fresh topcoat on the hardwood floor.

Ensuring you have a fresh topcoat on worn parts of the floor will increase the longevity of the hardwood floor and save you significant money in the long run.

Wood floors will naturally be affected by the environment. For example, small gaps may develop during the dry seasons as the boards lose moisture. If this happens, don’t panic (it’s normal).

However, if the boards do not shrink back into place during the humid season, it is wise to call in a professional hardwood flooring specialist to assess the situation. If you want to offset this possibility, consider using a humidifier during the dry seasons to keep your hardwood floors in great condition.

Very Long Term Maintenance

Down the road there may be a few other things that need to happen to help maintain hardwood floors. Routine maintenance is key to preserving the floor. Here are three things to keep in mind: fresh coats every 5 years, resist sliding furniture, and sand and refinish every 10 years. This will ensure a beautiful hardwood floor look for decades to come.

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