Maintenance Tips: Hardwood Floors

Damage to hardwood floors can be expensive to fix, so preventative maintenance should be something all homeowners with these types of floors take into consideration.

There are several things that should definitely be avoided with hardwood floors, such as mopping. Water causes wood to expand and warp, so wet mopping is not the way to clean any wood furniture or floor. If you notice dirt, sweep the floor as necessary. If your particular wood flooring has a polyurethane finish and it gets soiled, use a mixture of one part water to one part vinegar. Place a mop in the mixture and fully get rid of the excess before mopping the floor. If you don’t know what type of finish is on your hardwood floors, contact the company and ask. Some finishes are water based and putting any amount of water on them can cause damage.

To further protect your wood floors, take care to not drop anything on them as this can cause dimples in the wood. Also be wary of high heels which have lost their cap as the nail that pokes through can easily cause dimples in the wood. You can also use rugs and mats in high traffic areas where the finish can wear off faster. You should also take humidity into consideration. As the humidity naturally changes throughout the year the individual planks can contract and expand. This is usually slight and completely normal, but you don’t want your home to have too high or too low of humidity. Along with humidity you need to pay attention to sunlight, as direct sunlight can damage the wood. If you have a window which allows direct sunlight on the floors, use window coverings during the time the sun is shining through them.

If your hardwood floors do have a polyurethane finish, you may want to contact a contractor to have an additional coat applied within six months to a year, depending on traffic in your home and your personal lifestyle. It’s important to not wax a polyurethane floor as the wax can make it more difficult to apply another layer of polyurethane to it.

Wood floors are definitely a beautiful addition to any home and with a little prevention you can get them to last for years to come. If you ever have any questions about your flooring, contact the manufacturer before doing anything. They will be able to tell you exactly what your floor needs, whether you have a question about cleaning or refinishing.