Hardwood floors are quite arguably the most well refined renovation. The problem? They are not inexpensive, nor are they easy to maintain if you have small kids and animals. If you bit the bullet and either just installed new hardwood flooring, or you have just resanded and surfaced them, you want to protect them and keep them nice for generations to come. There are specific things that you can do to keep your floors looking shiny, clean, and unweathered. Lovely floors require some forethought and taking steps to minimize assault to them.
Furniture protection pads
Every time that you move around in a chair or barstool you have the potential to scratch the floors. It is all those minuscule scratches that can add up to old and weathered looking floors. If you want to minimize damage, make sure to put pads on the bottom of your chairs and table legs. It will prevent not only scratching, but dents that can result from moving the furniture around the room, or from merely sitting on it.
Water is the enemy when it comes to hardwood. The finish that you have on your hardwood floors is impervious to water and other liquids, but every time that you put water on them, you are adding insult. It is always best to use a dry mop or at best a damp one. Putting a whole lot of water on your floors, even to clean them, is a bad idea. It is always best to try to spot clean them or to use dry products to clean them up.
If you do have to wash them, don’t buy into the hype. Many floor products tout how good they are for the floors and that they will keep them shiny. The problem is that most of the over the counter products work against the natural beauty of the wood. Don’t buy any chemicals that are caustic. You run the chance of chipping away at the finish on the wood and damaging the floorboards underneath. Other products that offer a renovation shine, may add wax to the floors, which will stain them in different ways and times. That can make your hardwood floors look unevenly stained. The best product to use on your floors that will kill viruses, bacteria and keep them looking awesome, is vinegar and water. That is all that you need to make your floors shine.
Take off your shoes
Make it a habit of taking off your shoes when you come into the house. Not only will it prevent mud and debris from coming into your home, but it will also avoid the potential for shoes to scratch the floors. Many heeled shoes can scratch a floor that you are completely unaware of. Likewise, make sure that if you have pets, you trim their nails on a continual basis. You would be shocked at how much an animal’s nails can damage your floors. Every little bit counts, so make sure that their nails are trim and filed.
Stay away from lemon and citrus
Any cleaning products that have citrus will cut into the finish on the floor and leave your floors exposed to damage. Citrus products like lemon are caustic to the finish and work by wearing it down. If you see citrus smell, or additives that are supposed to be “good smelling,” don’t use them. That is an excellent way to damage the finish on your floors.
Make sure to put carpets and runners on high traffic areas. You can always replace a runner pretty inexpensively. If you leave your floors exposed they are likely not going to look new for very long. Think proactively by placing entrance mats at the doors and underneath the sink. If you have hardwood in your kitchen, protect it around the sink, the dishwasher, and any other place where water is likely to splash onto the floor. The more you can cover the better. If you have company, you can always take the carpets up, but you can’t take up an old dingy looking floor once it is damaged.
Don’t use cloth that will scratch
Many cleaning pads have scouring surfaces. Use only those clothes that are made for hardwood floors. Don’t use a pad that has scoring ability, but spot clean for those places that have dried dirt. Clothes that are made to scratch away debris can also scratch away the finish.
If you want to keep your floors looking new and rich, make sure to think ahead and prevent damage before it occurs. Hardwood floors will last forever if you work hard to keep them nice and safe.