The beauty and durability of solid wood floors make them one of the best choices a homeowner can make when it is time to decide on flooring. Yet hardwood floors can be damaged if care is not taken to protect them from environmental threats and daily wear and tear.
Hardwood floors do need plenty of care and attention, but the results are well worth it, as a floor that is properly looked after will stay in great condition for many years.
We also have detailed information on how to care for a lacquer finished or oil finished solid wood floor.
Keep your Hardwood Flooring Clean
The most common threat to your flooring is the dirt that can scratch and dull the surface. The solution here is regular cleaning with a broom and vacuuming. Besides protecting the floors of your home or business, regular cleaning also has the benefit of making the building far more inviting.
Keep your Solid Wood Flooring Dry
Water is a particularly potent threat to hardwood floors because it can cause warping, so spills should be cleaned up immediately.
Make sure you use only a slightly damp mop when mopping floors. It is also a good to keep mopping to a minimum. Instead, regular sweeping with a soft-bristled broom will keep a hardwood floor free of dirt that can scratch or dull floors if allowed to build up.
Protect your Hardwood Flooring from Furniture
Scratches and marks from furniture legs are some of the most prevalent threats to solid wood flooring. Fortunately, it is easy to guard against scuffs and scratches with felt furniture tips that are available at most home improvement stores. These tips are attached to furniture with a built-in, non-damaging adhesive, and they cushion the parts of the furniture that touch the wood floor directly.
Even with felt furniture tips, it is always best to lift furniture when moving it instead of dragging it across the floor, because although the tips will protect the floor, after a while they will become unstuck. Those who slide furniture without being aware that their tips are gone will find a big scratch left behind when they have finished moving the piece.
Area rugs are a common site in homes and businesses that have installed wood floors, but like furniture they can scratch the floor if they slide around too much. Therefore, it is always recommended that no-skid pads be used with the rugs. These rubber backings both protect the floors and prevent the rugs from sliding around and causing people to trip and fall.
Trimmed nails and Sensible Footwear
We all love our pets, but dog’s nails are yet another way that hardwood floors can be scratched. Keeping these nails trimmed is the best way to avoid the scratches that pets can leave behind.
Besides our pets, we can also damage the floors with our footwear. The most likely offender is a pair of high heels. Not wearing heels in the house is the best way to protect the floors.
Avoid Excessive Sunlight
Homeowners should beware the potential havoc that sunlight can wreak upon floors that are made of hardwood. Excessive sunlight can cause fading and discolouration, so care should be taken to make sure that no area of the wood floor receives too much direct sunlight.
Curtains and blinds are perhaps the most inexpensive way to minimize sun damage, but UV coating for the windows is another possibility when it comes to protecting your floors from harsh sunlight.
A mat can also help cover part of the floor that is heavily exposed. Also, if you do get an area of exposed wood fading, moving the mat around to ensure similar levels of sun elsewhere can help even out the colour, although the result will be a paler floor.
Stains on Hardwood
Hardwood can be stained by materials such as ink and wine. While dried stains may need sanding, a fresh spillage can be dealt with by quick cleaning. However, it is important that you do not clean a stain using too much water, as this can lead to the wood soaking up a lot of water and swelling. For the same reason, avoid allowing standing water to stay in place on the wood. Always mop it up quickly.