Floors bear the major brunt of daily household activities; it’s where the kids will spend the most time eating and playing, where your pets essentially subsist and the first recipient of your often muddy and dirt-laden feet. Protecting its structural integrity requires maintenance, more especially when the floor in question is a hardwood floor.
Hardwood floors bring a unique shade of antiquity and warmth to your home, and maintenance is the key to sustaining this signature look. If you’re looking to retain the glossiness of your hardwood floor for ages to come, here’s all you need to know.
Regular vacuuming is a must
Think of dust and fine sand as a thin layer of sandpaper. Their presence on your hardwood floor ultimately translates to a slow but steady degradation of your hardwood finish. Vacuuming (and by it we mean using an approved vacuum for hardwood floors that will not damage them) is the remedy to this wearing effect. Make a habit of vacuuming your floor as much as feels necessary. Have a subtle reckoning that there’s some dirt on the floor? Vacuum. Think your kids just walked in with mud stuck to their shoes. Vacuum. If vacuuming feels like too much of a hassle, feel free to use a microfiber sweeper or dust mop. Just don’t leave any dust riding loose on your floor.
Water and wood don’t really get on well
Water is an enemy to virtually every other finely processed product out there, and hardwood is no exception. Aside from messing up your finish (polyurethane finishes, however, show marked resistance to water damage), water can seep into your hardwood floor, stain it and possibly cause other damages. Make sure all windows are shut when it’s raining. Cover all likely sources of water spills and keep to the cardinal rule of all floors – if you see any water, immediately wipe it dry.
Waxes and restorers are not for every hardwood floor
Most wax restorers are designed exclusively for wax finishes. If you have a wax finished hardwood floor, they’re good news. Otherwise, they should be avoided entirely. Using wax on a polyurethane, varnish or shellac finishes is akin to pouring oil on glass; it’s going to get way too slippery for comfort. More so, they affect the quality of subsequent finishes. Polyurethane finishes are more receptive to polyurethane polishes. All-purpose restorers may fit the needs of other hardwood floor types.
Protect your hardwood floor
Just as mobile phones need additional cases, hardwood floors need an extra layer of cover, especially for high traffic areas of your house like the living room and entrance. And the best way to achieve this is by fitting these regions with complementing throw rugs. Throw rugs come in various sizes and design, feel free to select as your heart pleases. The only thing to look out for is that your choice rug doesn’t come with a backing. Backings can retain humidity and remember water and wood don’t mix well.
Finally, get a doormat
Prevention they say is better than cure. So instead of rushing to the vacuum cleaner every now and again, it’s always a better idea to attempt to stop the inflow of dirt onto your hardwood floor in the first place. How to do that? Install a doormat at your entrance. With doormats, it’s usually the bigger, the better. Bigger doormats mean people get to rub off more dirt off the soles of their footwear (or foot) before they enter into your home. It is simple logic and paired with the other floor maintenance tips will be the reason your hardwood floor stays long enough to bear the footsteps of your great-grandchildren.