How do you care for solid hardwood floors?
Solid Wood Flooring offers a unique combination of class, durability and character to its surroundings – making it one of the best flooring choices for a homeowner looking for a new floor. However, these dashing good looks and amazing characteristics of hardwood floors need protecting from daily wear and tear and other environmental circumstances and require a little attention. The general rule of thumb for any solid wood flooring is: pay your flooring care and attention and your floor will reward you with years of stunning style and service.
When maintaining solid wood flooring, keep your solid wood flooring clean using a vacuum and a brush to remove dirt and debris. Ensure your hardwood floor is dry as water presence can facilitate buckling and and warping of the boards. A slightly damp mop when mopping is recommended, but keep mopping to a minimum. Protecting your flooring from furniture is easier when using felt adhesive pads to create a cushion between your furniture and your floor. Considering pets, ensure nails are trimmed to prevent claw scratches. Finally, excessive sunlight can cause fading and discolouration, using curtains, blinds or UV coating on windows can protect your flooring from direct sunlight.
Keep your Solid Wood Flooring Clean
The most frequent threat to your flooring is general dirt and dust that can scratch and damage the surface. Thankfully, the solution to this problem is regular care with a vacuum and a brush. This gently removes the dirt to remove any debris.
Keep your Hardwood Floor Dry
Another regular threat to hardwood floors is water. If left to soak in, water can warp the boards and lead to buckling; therefore any spills require quick cleaning.
It is worth noting that you should only use a slightly damp mop when mopping the floor – but also to keep mopping to a minimum. As an alternate method of cleaning, a soft bristled broom will also help keep your hardwood floor free of dirt.
Avoid Excessive Sunlight
Homeowners should beware the potential havoc that sunlight can wreak upon floors that are made of hardwood. Excessive sunlight can cause fading and discolouration, so care should be taken to make sure that no area of the wood floor receives too much direct sunlight.
Curtains and blinds are perhaps the most inexpensive way to minimize sun damage, but UV coating for the windows is another possibility when it comes to protecting your floors from harsh sunlight.
A mat can also help cover part of the floor that is heavily exposed. Also, if you do get an area of exposed wood fading, moving the mat around to ensure similar levels of sun elsewhere can help even out the colour, although the result will be a paler floor.
Stains on Hardwood
Hardwood can be stained by materials such as ink and wine. While dried stains may need sanding, a fresh spillage can be dealt with by quick cleaning. However, it is important that you do not clean a stain using too much water, as this can lead to the wood soaking up a lot of water and swelling. For the same reason, avoid allowing standing water to stay in place on the wood. Always mop it up quickly.
Taking Care of Problems
Your hardwood floors will get scratches in the protective finish, and that is to be expected. Most won’t be visible. Putting on a new top coat after 3-4 years can rejuvenate the luster of the floor.
For deeper scratches that are visible, you’ve got several options:
- Use a cotton swab to apply stain to the scratch.
- Use a scratch kit from the wood manufacturer.
- Use a magic marker of similar color for very small scratches.
- Use a wax stick of the same color as the stain.
- If your floor is not prefinished, you may be able to sand out scratches and reapply the finish.
Top tips for maintaining and cleaning wooden floors
- Wipe away water spills immediately.
- Remove footwear before walking on your floor.
- Use felt protector pads and never drag heavy objects across the floor.
- Sweep away dust and dirt on a daily basis.
- Clean your floor using a microfibre mop and wooden floor cleaning spray.
- Never use a steam mop, wet mop, furniture polish or abrasive products.
Methods To Clean and Maintain Your Floors
- Choose a soft-bristled broom angled. Take preemptive action to get into corners and wide enough to swiftly do the job—moving with the grain, of course.
- Vacuum with a soft floor nozzle; carpet beaters and brush rolls can damage the finish. Robot vacs do the work for you; shop for one that won’t vacuum itself into a corner and will last at least an hour before stopping to recharge.
- Attack sticky debris ASAP with a damp clean cloth, a mini squirt of wood floor cleaner, and a vigorous rub; if you don’t like to crouch, plant one foot on a rag. Lift off dust and pet hair with a microfiber mop head, ideally treated with a positive electric charge so it can capture negative-ion ephemera. Keep the mop head moving, again with the grain.
- Use a damp-mop with a flat-head mop and microfiber pad or a microfiber string mop that has been thoroughly wrung out when it looks dingy. Move with the grain, and control the amount of cleaning solution by using a spray bottle, aiming for a heavy mist or gentle squirt of about a half teaspoon per 2 square feet. No need to rinse. No need to buff either, but cloth diapers and soft socks do work well here.