Hardwood Floor Care and Maintenance
Many people prefer hardwood floors because of the warm elegance they impart to a room. Others choose hardwood because of the ease of maintenance. There is really no wrong reason to get a hardwood floor, but there are some basic things you need to know to help keep your hardwood looking beautiful for years to come!
Why Does My Floor Need To Be Maintained?
Hardwood floors are very durable, but they are prone to scratching, scuffing, and marking. They are also more vulnerable to stains from pets and oil-based products than other kinds of floors because they are exposed. Some of the ways preventative maintenance can help keep your floor looking great include:
- Making marks easier to clean up
- Increasing the expected life of your floor
- Preventing scratches and scrapes
- Preserving the floor’s natural beauty
In this post, we will discuss all of these and much more. Maintenance is much easier than repair, and will help extend your floor’s lifespan and increase the resale value of your home as well.
Use a duster that incorporates a cleaning agent that attracts pet hair, dirt, and dust. This is important because dust and dirt in particular can settle into the tiny crevices and cracks in the floor, making it look dull and dingy. By removing the surface dirt, you can help prevent buildup. Electrostatic dusting cloths also work well if you’re in a hurry. You can also use your vacuum cleaner’s floor brush attachment. You should never use a vacuum with a beater bar. This can scratch up the floor and make it more prone to catching and retaining dirt, dust, and other staining or dulling agents. This should be done at least once a week; additional cleaning may be required depending on the environment around and in your home.
Every so often, usually once every six months, it is a good idea to do a deeper cleaning on your floor. Usually spring and fall cleaning or around the holidays are good times for this. Get a good wood floor cleaner and dilute it according to the manufacturer’s directions. It’s important to follow the manufactures guidelines on what floor cleaners to use and how much. Conklin Bros has contact information with every major flooring manufacture.
- Hallmark Wood
- Maxwell Hardwood
- Max Windsor
- Mullican Hardwood CFS Hardwoods
- Oshkosh Designs
Hard-Finished or Soft-Finished
Most modern hardwood floors have a hard finish such as urethane to protect them. If a stain is sitting on the surface, this is probably the case. However, if the stain has settled into the wood itself, you might be dealing with an older floor. In this case, the finish is called “soft oiled.”
For a hard-finished floor, simply wipe off the stain with soft, clean cloth. You should never use steel wool, sandpaper, or other abrasives on this kind of floor because it will damage the finish and leave a bigger mark than the one you were trying to remove. Hard-finished floors have the advantage of being more stain-resistant, making them great for places with kids and pets.
A soft-finished floor requires more work, depending on the kind of stain. Some stains soft-finished floors are vulnerable to include:
- Heel Marks
- Pet Stains
- Dark Spots
- Water Marks
- Oil Stains
For stains other than oil stains, rub the area gently with very fine-grained steel wool and floor wax. 000 steel wool works well in this case. In these situations, you will likely need to stain and wax the area after the stain is removed to make sure the area matches the rest of the floor. For oil stains, apply water and detergent to the stain until it breaks up. After this, you may need to use fine-grained sandpaper to smooth out the raised grain of the floor. Be sure to keep children and pets away until you’re done in all cases.
An Ounce of Prevention
Laying down mats at the doors, carpet runners in high-traffic areas, and Area rugs under furniture and in play areas can help prevent scratches and scuffs on the floor, as well as trimming your maintenance time considerably. Consider your family’s needs and composition carefully when choosing your hardwood floor.