Wood flooring is one of the top choices, as it has been throughout the years. It adds elegance and warmth to a room, and it is versatile in that homeowners can add stains for changes in color or top with an accent rug for a softer feel. Many homes that have original wood flooring can use this as a selling point, and buyers pay top dollar for wood floors that are in good condition. Avoid scratching and damaging your wood floor by eliminating these six habits.
1. Not engaging in preventative measures
Before anyone walks across the new wood floor, make sure to take some preventative measures. Place doormats at all doorways so that family members and guests can wipe their shoes before walking into your home. Cover the legs of all pieces of furniture with felt so that they can easily slide in and out without the metal feet scratching the floors. Think about strategic placement of runners and area rugs in high traffic areas. These are only some of the ways that you can be your wood floor’s best ally.
2. Using abrasive cleaning products
When it comes to wood floors, there are certain cleaning products and chemicals that should never touch the surface. If your floor has a coat of sealant or lacquer, you should use different cleaning products than if it is unfinished.
All wood floors can be swept with a broom or dry mop, but avoid using chemicals that can deteriorate the finish or warp the wood. If you use liquid floor cleaner, apply it to the mop or cloth instead of pouring it directly onto the floor. When shopping for flooring cleaning products, tell your vendor exactly what kind of wood floor you’ve got. And then proceed accordingly.
3. Forgetting about your pets and their habits
Animals can cause a lot of damage to wood floors, whether from an accident that is left untreated or from long nails that can cause scratches and dings. Clean up any spills or accidents as soon as they happen to prevent warping, and keep their nails trimmed. See your vet on how to do this properly. Additionally, if food or water bowls sit on the floor, keep silicone mats beneath them so that spills don’t seep into the floor.
4. Wearing shoes indoors
High heeled shoes can ding and dent a wood floor, so ask guests to remove their shoes, and always remove yours when you come into your home. These shoes are more damaging when they don’t have rubber heel protectors since they can basically become chisels that make holes in the wood.
Dirty or wet shoes can also cause the floors to warp and shift, so the best option is to simply walk barefoot or in socks when walking on the hardwood. Or, if you really want to keep your feet warm, wear comfy indoor slippers. Be comfortable, and protect your wood floors at the same time.
5. Using aggressive cleaning tools
Steam mops might seem like a good way to remove bacteria from wood floors, but they can result in serious damage. Use minimal amounts of cleaning products on your floors, and always use soft towels to wipe up the floors. An antibacterial floor cleaner is a better way to eliminate germs and bacteria on the floors.
6. Never rearranging rugs or furniture
Wood is susceptible to lighten due to sun exposure. If you want to maintain an even color on your floor, make sure to rotate any accent or area rugs that you have on top of the wood. This is particularly pertinent when the space you’ve installed your wood floor is exposed to a lot of light.
Some species are more susceptible to changing color over time. But, all wood does this to some degree. Moving furniture and rugs can help to aid in a more even color shift. If a more uniform surface is a priority for you, a re-arrangement every few months can help you maintain it.
7. Not considering the number one arch-enemy of wood flooring
Extreme moisture levels. This can take many forms, of course. First, wood flooring and excessive moisture do not mix – excessive moisture will make wood flooring boards swell, causing crowning. . The same can be said for not enough moisture in a space, making the boards shrink and “cup”.
Wood is a natural material that responds to moisture as a part of the environment. So moisture levels need to be well-balanced. When it’s installed in a space, those concerns need to be address with proper environmental controls. This is particularly true when you live in a particularly dry or moist climate.
Wood flooring is an investment worth protecting
Floors can change over time, but as long as you keep them clean and well-maintained, they can look elegant and beautiful for many years. And despite these seven areas of concern, wood flooring is a solid choice for all kinds of spaces, very often lending extra stability to a property, and boosting its re-sale value too.
Have you already got wood floors? How do you manage to keep them looking great? Tell us all about it in the comments section of this post.