Keeping your wood floor looking as good as new is pretty easy; just a matter of some preventive maintenance. Here are some “dos” and “don’ts” pointers.
- Use mats outside entryways to keep dirt and grit that can scratch your floor where it belongs. You might want to use an area rug inside for added protection. Plus, they look good.
- Sweep or vacuum when you need to. This will get the scratchy dirt and grit that makes it inside.
- When moving heavy things – appliances, furniture and such – slip a blanket or carpet scrap face down under each foot of the piece and slide it over the floor to prevent scratching and gouging. It’ll move a whole lot easier too.
- Use floor protectors on the legs of furniture to avoid scratching and gouging.Also, if your furniture has floor casters, make sure they’re the wide-barrel type. These work best. If your furniture doesn’t have these, we suggest changing them. Your local hardware store can help you with any of these products.
- Wipe spills up as soon as possible. Wetness and wood floors just don’t get along.
- Keep your home’s relative humidity ideally between 45% and 55% – although between 35% and 65% is okay too. This will help prevent excess shrinkage, cracking, swelling or cupping. You can keep your relative humidity just right by using a humidifier or dehumidifier or even with the proper air conditioning.
- Use runners or area rugs in high traffic zones to minimize wear. If you see wear developing, you should refinish the affected area. Catch it early, if you can. If you re-coat before the finish is completely worn, you can avoid the need to completely re-sand and refinish. For information on refinishing worn areas, check out our Guidelines for refinishing Pre-finished floors. It’s also a good idea to ask your wood flooring professional for their advice.
- Wood floors age. It’s natural. Over time, your floor will change in color as it gains its final character and patina. Some wood species – cherry, for example – change more than others. So your floor ages uniformly, it’s a good idea to move furniture and area rugs from time to time – especially in areas exposed to direct sunlight.
DON’T DO THESE
- Don’t allow water to stand on your floor at any time. This will cause cupping, swelling and, eventually, gapping. When cleaning, don’t “over wet” your floor. Use only a slightly damp mop, sponge or rag.
- Don’t allow “spike heel” shoes to be worn on your floor if you can help it. They’ll indent the floor, especially if the heel tip is damaged or has lost its pad.
- Don’t use products such as ammonia, pine soap, oil soap, chlorine bleach or any abrasive cleaners.All of these can damage your floor’s finish.
- Don’t wax your floor. Using waxes on our pre-finished floors can make them slippery and dull the finish. If you do wax your floor and it ever needs renewing, you’ll have to sand the entire floor down to the bare wood before re-coating.