Knowing These 8 Secrets Will Make Your Hardwood Floors Look Amazing

July 15, 2016 - 2:10pm

Knowing These 8 Secrets Will Make Your Hardwood Floors Look Amazing

Scratches, nicks and dents from furniture, shoes, and using the wrong cleaning solutions can all cause hardwood floors to become dull and lifeless. While hardwood floors are durable, regular care can help to prevent minor damage from accruing over time. Don't worry, it does not mean you will spend all your time on the upkeep of your hardwood floor. Just follow these instructions to enjoy your hardwood floor for many years to come. 

Vacuum or Sweep weekly, more if you have high traffic.

If you vacuum, sweep or dust mop your floors once a week the dirt will be less likely to be ground in or scratch your floor. Be sure the vacuum head is brush or felt and a wand attachment is preferable.  Do not use vacuums with beater bars or hard heads.  You can use a swivel head mop with a terry cloth cover to pick up the finer particles of grit.  Bona has a great mop specially designed for hardwood floors.  Another way to minimize dust on your hardwood floors is to regularly vacuum other parts of your house. Carpet and rugs retain and shed a lot of dirt and debris, so keeping them clean will prevent dust from migrating to your woody surfaces.

Wipe up spills immediately

Yes, I know that sounds like a little too obvious, but the longer a spill is left on your wood the more damage it can cause.  You can save your floor from damage by just using a towel or terry cloth mop.  If you clean up that spill immediately you are less likely to have sticky spots.  Use a damp (not wet) towel or sponge for those sticky spots.  If it still does not come up try a professional wood floor cleaner.  

Use a professional wood floor cleaner

Hardwood flooring manufacturers of prefinished wood floors have specifically recommended cleaning products.  It is best to use their recommended products so you do not void your warranty.  If you don't have that information, we recommend using Bona Wood Floor Cleaner. Do not use wax, oil-based detergents or other household cleaning agents on your floors.  They may dull or damage the floor finish and leave a greasy film that leaves the floor slippery. Don't use ammonia on wood floors, they will affect the ability to recoat later. Do not use a steam cleaner/sweeper on your hardwood floor. 

Be careful with pointed objects.

Some of the most damaging dents, like on the floor above, come from spike heel shoes or sports shoes.  Be aware of all worn or scuffed up shoes that may damage the finish of your wood floor.  A good practice is to take off your shoes when you come in your home.  It can save your floor from dents and scratches as well as excess dirt.  Don't forget that pet's untrimmed nails can also cause scratching.
 

Protect your hardwood floors from harsh UV rays

All hardwood floors fade or change shades over time.  Like you skin, hardwood's exposure to sunlight may greatly increase this process and cause permanent color change.  Use window treatments to shade your floors.  Be sure to rotate your area rugs and furniture regularly as well to age the floors evenly. 
 

Use furniture leg protectors to avoid scratches

The constant scraping of chairs can leave permanent marks and scratches.  Protect your hardwood floor by using flannel protectors.  Be careful when moving heavy furniture even with protectors.  It is best to lay down a protective covering and gently "walk" the item across the wood.   

Use interior and exterior doormats at all entrances.

Entry rugs and mats are a simple way to keep dirt and dust off of hardwood floors, help to protect them, and can be decorative to boot. Exterior doormats will reduce the dirt and moisture being carried in.  Be sure to check the backing on your interior doormat.  Do not use rugs with solid rubber or vinyl backings.  The rugs must be made of breathable material to prevent moisture entrapment.   

Keep the relative humidity in your home between 40% and 60%.

Because hardwood floors are a natural product, it responds to temperatures and humidity levels in your home.  High humidity will make your floor expand while low humidity causes it to contract.  if the levels are extreme enough, it can cause unnecessary damage to you floors.  There are are many ways to control the humidity levels in your home including automated systems.  For more information see 19 Tips On How To Reduce Home Humidity.
 
A little upkeep and common sense can protect your hardwood floors for years to come.  
  • Sweep regularly 
  • Clean up spills quickly 
  • Use the right cleaning products
  • Protect your floor from unnecessary wear and tear
  • Keep the humidity levels manageable