Hardwood flooring not only improves the look of your home, but it is also a worthwhile investment that pays for itself and more when it comes time to sell the house. This will be the case, however, only if hardwood floors are properly cared for, and caring for hardwood floors is not difficult at all. Keeping a few simple principles in mind is all that it takes for maintaining the look and durability of your hardwood floors.
The first thing to remember in caring for wood floors is that they can be easily scratched when heavy objects are dragged across them. For this reason, it is always best to lift furniture when moving it instead of dragging it across the floor. It is also helpful to install felt tips on furniture legs or place the furniture on top of an area rug; that way, you minimize the potential for scratching that is there when sofas and chairs are slightly moved about in the ordinary course of sitting down and getting up.
High-heels are also likely to cause scratches on wood floors, so they should not be worn indoors whenever possible. In the event that they have to be worn, care should be taken to make sure the heels are not overly sharp, for sharp heels are more likely to scratch hardwood flooring.
Secondly, homeowners should beware the potential havoc that sunlight can wreak upon floors that are made of hardwood. Excessive sunlight can cause fading and discoloring, 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.
Water is the third major enemy that must be taken into account when caring for your hardwood floors. It is well known that wood can get warped if it gets overly wet, so special care should be taken to ensure that all spills are mopped up immediately.
Use only a slightly damp mop when mopping floors. It is also a good to keep mopping to a minimum in order to guard against excessive wetness. Regular sweeping with a soft-bristled broom will keep the dirt that can scratch or dull a hardwood floor from building up and ruining your floors.
If these simple steps are followed, then your hardwood floors will not suffer many scratches or dings and they will stay beautiful for years to come. A little care now means few headaches in the future when it comes time to sell your home and recoup the investment on your hardwood flooring.
Bricks and Brass on Wood Floors — thorough guide on fixing floor problems and maintaining the hardwood over time
Caring for Hardwood Floors — how to care for wood floors from the University of Missouri extension program
Tips on Caring for Wood Floors — fifteen-step guide for caring for wood floors
Hardwood Floor Care Guide — basic information on wood floor care
Home Clinic: Caring for Wood Floors — New York Times article explaining how to care for hardwood floors
Wood Care Q and A — information on caring for wood, with information on floors and tips for wood furniture that can also be applied to floors