Wood floors, properly finished, are the easiest of all floor surfaces to keep clean and new looking unlike carpeted or resilient floors that show wear regardless of care. Wood floors can be kept looking like new, year after year, with minimum care.
Since the overwhelming majority of wood floors are composed of solid hardwood, this care guide applies specifically to this type of flooring.
What is minimum care? A good rule of thumb is to vacuum and/or dust mop weekly. A damp mop can be used for spills, and when necessary general cleanup on floors which have non-waxed polyurethane or a similar surface finish. When traffic areas of surface finishes begin to show significant wear, screening and re-coating an entire floor is the least involved choice for maintenance. If a floor is waxed, occasional buffing helps renew the shine and remove scuff marks that may appear in the wax coating. If the shine cannot be renewed in heavily used lanes, occasionally re-waxing these areas may be necessary. Intervals for completely re-waxing a floor may extend to a year or longer when attention has been paid to proper care.
Wood and water don’t mix. No matter what finish your wood floor has, NOFMA recommends never pouring water onto the floor. While a damp mop may be used on polyurethane and other surface finishes in good condition, excessive amounts of water seep between the boards and into small scratches causing deterioration of finishes. Wax-coated finishes should NEVER be cleaned or maintained with water, not even a damp mop.
Read the label. The recommendations made here are not intended to endorse specific products or brands but to serve as general guidelines in the selection and use of floor maintenance materials. Always follow label directions for maintenance products, except for directions which call for using water on wood. And always use only products specifically designed for wood floors.