Wood floors are easy to care for as long as you know how to clean them. Hardwood flooring adds to the value of your home and, with proper care, will last a lifetime. Many allergists recommend wood floors as the perfect choice for a healthy home. With a few precautions and a minimum of care, your hardwood floors will continue looking beautiful and new, year after year.
A properly finished wood floor is the easiest of all floor surfaces to keep clean and new-looking. A durable urethane finish seals the open pores of the wood and protects it from most household spills. By following the suggestions below you can keep your wood floors looking their best.
Our Checklist for How To Clean Hardwood Floors
• Use dirt-trapping mats at all exterior doors. Use breathable mats inside the doorways to prevent grit, salt, chemicals, sand, moisture and other debris from being tracked into the home.
• Put felt pads on the feet of chairs and tables to help prevent scuffing the floor. Regularly clean these protectors since grit can become embedded in them. Replace worn felt pads, and check periodically for felt pads which may have fallen off.
• Move heavy furniture and appliances by carrying them. Never drag anything across a hardwood floor. If furniture is too heavy, carefully use furniture sliders. As you start to slide the furniture, check for potential damage to the hardwood floor – the last thing you want is a scratch all the way across the room.
• Consider using area rugs or runners in high-traffic areas. Please keep in mind that with newly refinished hardwood floors, it’s suggested that the polyurethane be allowed to cure for 7 days before area rugs are placed back down.
• Avoid walking on wood floors in high heels. A 125 lb woman in high heels has an impact of 2000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact can certainly dent a hardwood floor.
• Wipe up spills promptly. Use a soft dry cloth or paper towel. For sticky spills use a slightly moistened cloth, then wipe dry with another cloth.
• Never use a product which will leave a wax or oil residue on the wood as this may make refinishing more difficult.
• Never use floor polishes such as Orange Glo, Rejuvenate or Bona Floor Polish. These products are not cleaners, they actually put a thin coating of acrylic urethane on your floor. The results can be very uneven, and after applying these products several times, your floor can develop a blotchy and unsightly residue. If you have accidentally applied a polish to your floor, contact Alpine Flooring & Design to schedule professional removal of the product.
• Only use vacuum cleaners that have a setting for hard surfaces. Turn off the beater bars/brushes on the vacuum cleaner when present.
• Do not use steam cleaners on hardwood floors. The wood fibers can be irreversibly damaged.
• Finishes and certain chemicals in wood oxidize and are affected by ultra violet light, causing the wood and finish to change color and develop a patina. To avoid uneven appearance, move area rugs occasionally and shade large windows. Consider having windows with heavy sun exposures professionally tinted.
• The best rug pads for hardwood floors act as a support system for your area rug, anchoring your rug to your floor correctly while providing floor support and protection. The market is flooded with low quality rug pads that can actually end up doing more harm than good, therefore you should always make sure you pair the right rug pad with your particular floor type to preserve the beauty of your rugs and floors. We believe the best rug pad for hardwood floors are a natural rubber, natural rubber & felt rug pad or a 100% felt rug pad.
• Keep your pets’ nails trimmed and their paws free of dirt. We all love our dogs, but a 80-pound German Shepherd going crazy around the house and digging his long nails into the floor can certainly damage your floors!
• Seasonal movement in wood is common because hardwood floors are sensitive to climate. Use an appropriate humidifier throughout the winter/dry months and/or a dehumidifier in the summer/humid months to keep wood movement and shrinkage to a minimum. Keep the relative humidity in your home between 35% – 50%. Wood floor dimensions will be affected by varying levels of humidity within your home, so it’s important to control humidity levels within this range. Additionally, a wet basement will cause the moisture from the basement to rise up through the subfloor into the hardwood floors, leading to wood swelling and cupping.
• Periodically clean your hardwood floors with a professional hardwood floor cleaner. Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Bruce Hardwood Floor Cleaner are two excellent products which can be purchased online or at various stores, such as Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond.
• Control which floor products you’re cleaning people use. Do not leave the choice of floor cleaning product up to your cleaning service. It’s best that you provide our recommended cleaner products to your cleaning people. We have seen floors badly damaged by house cleaners using incorrect products.