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Care tips for your hardwood floors

Your hardwood floor is an incredible staple in your home. It adds beauty, durability, and a sense of warmth that provides a solid foundation for your home’s design and decor. With these wonderful benefits also comes some intentional care to keep your floors in the best shape possible as they age. Here are our care tips for daily maintenance, preventing damage, and renewing your hardwood floor to ensure that you enjoy it for years to come.


Daily Care

Like most things (your family and pets included!), if you provide daily care for your hardwood floor, you can prevent later problems that will pop up as they age. First, consider some daily cleaning habits. Gritty dirt and particles build up throughout the week, which can scratch the surface of your hardwood floors. Protect against this ongoing wear by sweeping your floors regularly with a soft-bristled brush, broom, or dry microfiber mop.

Do not use vacuums with a beater bar or power rotary brush head. To prevent damage from foot traffic and UV rays coming in through windows, invest in floor mats and area rugs to protect and reduce wear. With floor coverings, make sure the backing is designed for hardwood floors. Rubber backing can trap moisture under the mat, leading to moisture damage.


Prevent Damage

Hardwood floors are a natural material that ages beautifully over time. However, they can become damaged, warped, dulled, and scratched when not cared for. Prevent serious damage by following a couple care tips:

Preventing moisture problems – Being a natural material, hardwood floors are sensitive to moisture and can be damaged by overexposure to moisture and a lack of proper humidity. When cleaning your floors, remember that wood and water do not mix. Avoid an excessive amount of any liquid to remain on floors, even when mopping. A light misting with a high-quality hardwood floor cleaner (free of oil soaps, liquid or paste wax, lemon, citrus, or tung oil, or silicon) at most once a week or to clean up spills is plenty.

Hardwood floor cleaner Bona notes that vinegar and water dull a floor’s finish over time, while soap and wax leave residue. Avoid steam cleaners as well, which put heat and excessive water on your floor and can lead to cupping. Shaw Floors recommend using a humidifier during heating seasons to help reduce wood shrinkage and humidity between 35% and 55%.

Protect against scratches – A floor’s finish can receive scratches from everyday activities. Prevent small damage that builds over time by:

  • Walking with care when wearing heeled shoes. The sharp point can scratch floors much easier than flat-soled shoes.
  • Keeping pet’s nails trimmed and their paws clean.
  • Sweeping floors regularly to remove dust and grit.

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