Proper care of hardwood floors can be difficult under the everyday trample of a family and pets. Preserving the natural beauty of hardwood keeps your home looking crisp and is a crucial part of maintaining your investment and your home’s value.
With just a little care, you can ensure that your floor can go for a long time without ever needing the expense of sanding or refinishing. Here are some practical tips to prolong the longevity of your floor:
1. Always sweep or vacuum your floor regularly, so the abrasive dirt will not scratch the finish. Place mats and throw rugs at doorways to help protect wood floors from grit, dirt and sand.
2. Protect high-traffic zones with area rugs. Walking across an area several times a day eventually wears down a wood floor’s finish. Nice-looking throw rugs are the easiest way to reduce the wear. But make sure they don’t have a backing. Vinyl or rubber backing traps humidity, which can ruin your floor’s finish and stain or damage the wood.
3. When cleaning floors, use as little water or liquid as possible. Too much liquid can damage floors. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood, and leave a discoloring residue. Immediately wipe up any wet spots after cleaning, or on rainy days.
4. Avoid exposing your floor to sunlight and intense artificial light, which can cause the wood to change color. This is a completely normal and natural phenomenon. The lighter the wood, the more pronounced the change will be.
5. You can rejuvenate a wax finish with more wax. But never use wax on a surface finish such as shellac, varnish, or polyurethane. It not only makes the floor far too slippery, it also interferes with subsequent finishes. If the finish is polyurethane, use a polish made for polyurethane. If it’s another type of surface finish, get a general-purpose floor restorer, test the restorer on an inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t peel off.
6. Maintain humidity levels between 40 and 50%, for your own health as well as for the protection of your floor.
A hardwood floor contributes greatly to the atmosphere and aesthetics of the home, and it’s one of the largest investments in your home. So it makes sense to maintain it.
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