Hardwood floors make a beautiful addition to any home.
However, caring for hardwood floors can sometimes take a lot of work. Even though hardwood floors are very durable, they require a special maintenance routine to stay in good condition.
What do you need to do to take care of your hardwood floors?
Check out this hardwood floor maintenance guide to learn everything you need to know.
1. Clean Spills Immediately
One of the great things about hardwood floors is that they’re stain-resistant. When you spill wine or some other liquid on carpet, it’s often impossible to remove the stain unless you act immediately.
However, just because hardwood floors are stain-resistant doesn’t mean you should neglect spills completely. You should still clean up spills immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth.
While you may be tempted to clean up the spill with a wet or steam mop, this can end up causing more damage over time, as you want to avoid getting your hardwood floors too wet.
2. Regulate Humidity Levels
Unfortunately, wood and water don’t mix well. Any form of moisture can cause wood to warp, shrink, and rot. For this reason, it’s very important that you control the humidity levels in your home so your hardwood floors don’t become too moist.
Ideally, you want to keep the humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. You should also keep your home’s temperature somewhere between 60 and 80 degrees. If there’s a room in your home with hardwood floors that tends to get especially humid, run a dehumidifier in there.
Also, don’t let anyone trek in with wet shoes in your home. Place a rug right outside the door so people have a place to immediately wipe off the bottoms of their shoes.
3. Make Use of Furniture Pads
Hardwood floors can be prone to scratching. While some level of scratching is inevitable, the best way to protect your floors from scratching is to place pads underneath all of your heavy furniture.
Even if you’re not moving your furniture around a lot, simply bumping into your furniture can cause it to move and scratch up your floors, which is why the pads come in handy.
When you do rearrange your furniture, make sure to fully lift it off the ground so you don’t have to worry about big scratches occurring from dragging it across the floor.
4. Vacuum On a Regular Basis
Vacuuming is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your hardwood floors. When vacuuming, make sure to use a soft floor nozzle, as brush rollers and carpet beaters can damage the finish of your floor.
You should vacuum your hardwood floors at least once a week. Try to vacuum high traffic areas every few days. We also recommend using a canister vacuum on your hardwood floors, as this type of vacuum comes with a long, oval brush that can get in the cracks and crevices of your wood floor.
5. Mop Carefully
While mopping your hardwood floors is necessary, you need to do so very carefully. Remember, wood and moisture don’t mix, so dumping a bunch of water on your hardwood floor and attempting to mop it up is a recipe for disaster.
Luckily, there are cleaners that you can purchase at the supermarket that are specially formulated for wood floors. You can also make an at-home wood floor cleaner with some vinegar and water.
All you need to do is add 1/2 cup of vinegar to a gallon of lukewarm water. Mix the solution thoroughly, and then continue to clean your floors with a mop. However, before using vinegar to clean your hardwood floors, test it out on a small, inconspicuous corner.
Some hardwood floor finishes dull when they come in contact with vinegar, so testing out a corner will ensure that you don’t accidentally destroy all of your floors. You can also use vinegar to clean other areas of your home.
6. Refinish Your Floors
In addition to regular maintenance, you also need to refinish your hardwood floors every two to three years. Refinishing hardwood floors is a job that’s best left to professionals.
But if you’re looking to save some money, you can refinish your hardwood floors yourself. It costs a couple of hundred bucks to refinish your floors, and the entire project will take about a day.
Start by removing all of the furniture from the room and spraying the hardwood floor with floor cleaner. Then, wipe the floor with a towel or with a terry cloth mop. Then, hand-sand the perimeter of the room. Work over each baseboard until the finish dulls and a layer of powder forms.
Make sure you’re just using a sheet of sandpaper and not a sanding block. Using a sanding block can result in uneven surfaces.
After sanding, put on a dust mask and use a buffer machine to buff out your hardwood floors. Move the buffer machine across your hardwood floors from side to side in the direction of the grain. Pause every five minutes or so and vacuum the pad of the buffer so it doesn’t get too clogged with dust.
Once you’re done buffering, allow the powder to settle for 15 minutes or so. Then, sweep the floors to remove any excess powder. Next, cover your mouth and nose and coat the hardwood floors with a new layer of sealant.
If you feel like your hardwood floors are beyond the point of repair, you may want to consider replacing them through a company such as Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods.
Hardwood Floor Maintenance: Time to Act
Now that you know these hardwood floor maintenance tips, it’s time to put them to use. With these tips, your floors will look great for years to come.
Be sure to check back in with my blog for more floor maintenance tips and tricks.