White and Bleached Floors – Because of their light color, these floors are usually lighter than the soil that accumulates on them. Like white carpet or vinyl, they are more susceptible to showing the effects of dirt and traffic than natural or darker stained finishes. Therefore they need – and deserve – more attention than others. Vacuum or sweep often. Wipe up liquid spills immediately. Follow the maintenance procedures recommended for the type of finish used. With factory or on-the-job finishes, the light-tinted or “white” floors most probably will have some shading changes over time.
Something else you’ll probably notice with such finishes are tiny separations between the flooring strips during dry seasons or long heating periods. The amount of moisture in the air causes wood to expand or contract. When humidity levels are low, the flooring will contract and the separations become even more prominent than at other times. The contrast between a white floor surface causes even tiny separations to appear larger. Shrinkage and movement is a natural characteristic of wood and will occur with each heating season.
Distressed Wood – These are floors that have been wire brushed to remove the soft portion of the wood, giving it an antique, textured appearance. The resulting uneven surface tends to trap dirt, so we recommend vacuuming. If soil remains, sweep with a stiff bristle broom and re-vacuum.
Such floors are usually stained a dark color with penetrating sealers and waxed to further convey the aged wood effect. What remains after the wire brush treatment, however, are only the toughest wood fibers, and these are somewhat resistant to penetration by the finish color. That means more frequent color renewal, which can be accomplished by the use of a wax or cleaner/wax combination of the proper color to maintain the original color tone.