How to Keep Your Hardwood Flooring Looking Their Best

As your favorite local hardwood flooring contractors, our goal is to give you excellent service and quality products in town. Our team is truly the most specialized and trustable floorings installers. We know hardwood floors can elevate your home’s style while it’s also an investment for your property. If given the right measures such as proper maintenance and regular cleanings, your floors will be durable and protected.

For that reason, our specialists created this guide, to help you and your family keep in mind what’s the right way to use and maintain your hardwood floors for years to come. These are very easy to apply without spending much time and effort and will improve and conserve your floors longer so you can enjoy it for many years, we hope you can find this guide effective!

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Everything you should know about hardwood flooring

The best thing about hardwood floors is that it is an organic product made from wood and because of its natural characteristics, it’s an amazing material because it is strong and can be easily worked with. 

Wood is a material that’s natural. It is very unique and there are plenty of colors and tints, but when exposed to light, it is very fragile due to light beginning the oxidation process which changes its original color as a result.

Always pay close attention to weather changes. Temperature can cause the wood to expand and contract as a natural response to these changes. For example, in winter because of the heating the wood attracts moisture and causes the hardwood floor to contract, causing some spaces in between the planks, which in turn may cause the wood planks to cup or buckle. During summer, the wood gets humidity and it expands which will cause noticeable spaces in between planks. This space can be further caused by the wood losing its adhesiveness. It’s a natural process that no one can control and it doesn’t depend on the manufacturer or installer, but there are several ways to control these issues. 

As your flooring contractors, our first step will be to make sure the wood is at the right humidity level for your house and at the moment the installation process starts, we will always take in consideration there’s a designated area around the hardwood floor for it to properly expand during the different seasons. At home, you must prioritize regularly checking the moisture level and temperature, that way you will understand your hardwood floor cycle, and prevent any damage.

  • Make sure you have a humidifier installed and change your filters often
  • Maintain relative humidity between 30 and 50 percent, and the temperature between 60 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit

KEEP A PROPER MAINTENANCE ROUTINE

As your floor contractors, we recommend you give your hardwood floors the proper care and maintenance, so it can last much longer. Take these suggestions from our experts as the tips that will keep your floor looking shiny and flawless for years.

A humidifier can help you keep a consistent environment at your home. It's an excellent tool to avoid any heavy response from the wood during the temperature or humidity changes.

You should take into consideration that the hardwood finished will take from 7 to 90 days to be fully cured.  We recommend you shouldn't place any rug or mat before this time in order for it not to affect your shiny new floor. 

If you are using hardwood floors in your kitchen, use rugs near your stove, refrigerator or sink. These places are split areas  and rugs can be your best friend  to avoid any food or liquid staind and you can easily wash them.

Always vary your rugs or pads. Use only rugs made of organic materials that don't have any plasticizer or sticky backers; this can also be the cause of some future floor discoloration. 

You must try to avoid any dirt or residue inside your house because it will leave marks on your beautiful floor. Keep it away by using dirt trapping objects like exterior mats or rugs in every entrance. Also it is equally important to regularly clean all your door mats or rugs.

As previously mentioned, wood color is naturally affected by the exposure to light. So it's very important to always keep this in mind so you can move your rugs occasionally to avoid any uneven finish. Also keep your windows closed if you notice there's too much lighting from the sun during summer days.

If there are any spills, quickly clean it with some dry paper or cloth.  If the spill is sticky, use a slightly moistened cloth, but immediately dry it with the help of dry paper. You must avoid the wood to get exposed to this moisture.

If you are a pet owner, get a special rug for your pet. Make sure their toys aren’t made from materials that can scratch your hardwood floors. Also if you keep their nails properly trimmed, you will avoid pronounced scratches.

Use your vacuum as a cleaning ally, and try to vacuum regularly without using the beater bar because it can damage the varnish. Instead use a brush attachment for a proper cleaning.  Remember that some vacuums have wheels that can also mark your floors.  There is also another option, a dust mop. The mop you use for the hardwood floor should only be used on this area, because if you use it on other rooms it can bring dust or dirt, and that's what you need to avoid.

To prevent your furniture from causing any damage use some fabric on your furniture legs so you can move them easily without scratching.  Periodically clean glides since grit can become embedded in the fabric. If you have heavy furniture never try to slide it, it may cause serious damage. Avoid casters made of hard materials like hard plastics or metals. If they are necessary, use non-marking, gray rubber casters.
  

Avoid shoes inside your home. This is an important one. Your shoes can bring dirt from outside and it will get your floors dirty. But high heels, boots or sport shoes can cause serious damage like deep scratches, even from concrete. 

Cleaning of your hardwood floors

There are different stages to cleaning your hardwood floors. Let’s guide you so you can select the proper one for your needs.

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Hardwood Floors: Basic Care

Sweep the floors with a soft bristle broom, dry-mop or vacuum with the beater bar turned off. This gets rid of all surface dirt and debris which can scratch a wood floor’s finish. For quick dusting, use disposable electrostatic cloths, available at grocery and discount stores.

Hardwood Floors: Deeper Cleaning

From time to time it’s very important to plan an intense cleaning for your hardwood floors to remove the dirt that has built up because sometimes the vacuum or mop doesn’t remove it completely (for example oil) .
For this you can use the help of a special wood cleaning product. There are many of them you can use, just make sure to follow the instructions. Use a mop or a sponge to help prevent any moisture from this process that can damage the surface.

Hardwood Floors: Removing Marks

Remember it’s important not to cause any moisture on the surface with the products you are going to use.  Remember to not use any strong chemical because you can cause serious damage to your hardwood floor and we recommend you to always use a soft cleaning cloth.

Cleaners to avoid:

  • When mopping, be careful with water or steam mop. It’s a big no-no, too much water can cause damage to the finishing and on the wood.
  • Never use ammonia or abrasive cleaners, this can immediately damage the finish.
  • Vinyl or tile cleaning products should never be used on hardwood. 
  • Furniture products like oils and waxes can let your floors feel greasy, slick or wet with a lubricant texture. With time it will make any recoating difficult.
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Make a maintenance schedule

The only way of enjoying the beauty of your hardwood floors is to keep them clean and protect them from scratches. With a regular maintenance schedule and following our recommendations  you can guarantee  your hardwood floors will look good for years.
Make your schedule based on your lifestyle and always keep the  right cleaners tools at home.
For example: Plan a daily mopping routine and use your vacuum weekly. You shouldn’t often use cleaning products so we recommend using them one or two times a month. Keep in mind every 5 to 10 years scheduling a refinish, so your floor always has the shiny loved by everyone.

DailySweep or dust mop
WeeklyVacuum using the bare floor setting
Biweekly or MonthlyClean with recommended wood flooring product
Every 2 – 3 YearsMaintenance coat
Every 5 – 10 YearsSand and refinish

Common questions about maintenance

What’s the proper maintenance for fiberglass, polyurethane or other surface finishes?

It’s very important to follow the manufacturer instructions and recommendations. You can use a mop or vacuum regularly and if you notice the shine is not coming back as it used to, then you should hire a professional to make an inspection and consider reconting your floor for a better finish.

On my hardwood floors, can I use tile or vinyl cleaning products?

Dont! It’s extremely important that you understand this can cause major damage in your hardwood floor. Use Ph-neutral cleaners only, with warm water and a dampened, nearly dry mop. Remember to avoid any moisture from water.

Is there some way I can minimize the chances of scratches on my floor?

Yes. Use rugs as a tactical ally. Put them in areas where people can use them to clean their shoes from dirt. Also protect your floor by using pads on the legs of your furniture. These are some ideas, but also doing a regular cleaning helps you prevent scratches.

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Can I clean using a wet mop or steam my hardwood floor?

No. We only recommend using a dampened, nearly dry mop. Water can dull the finish and even damage the wood. If water spills on your floor make sure you get it dry as soon as possible with a clean cloth.

We hope this guide can help you. Get in contact with us in case you have any questions. Our team is ready to help you with any hardwood floor concern.