Caring For Your Hardwood Floors

There is something about hardwood floors that is almost a bit nostalgic. The acoustics they bring to a room, the warm feel they have, and the natural look they can add to a space. Hardwood flooring has been a popular choice for centuries, as it was once one of the only flooring options because of available resources. They are considered a superior choice that can add an elegant, high-end aesthetic to a space that never goes out of style. A few of the benefits of hardwood flooring are:

• Strength and durability.
• A great long-term investment because they increase the value of a property.
• Available in a huge variety of finishes, styles, stains, and species.
• Contribute to healthier indoor air quality.

Although hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished numerous times, it is important to learn how to clean and maintain them because it is essential for protecting and maintaining your investment. Resist wet-mop, damp-mop, or cleaning hardwoods with water or other liquids. You will also want to avoid oil soaps, soap based cleaners, wax, or other household products containing lemon, citrus, or tung oil, or silicon to clean floors.  Some common myths for cleaning hardwood floors that are actually BIG no-no's are to use a distilled vinegar and water mixture or to mix a few drops of dish soap with water.  Both of these solutions actually break down the floors finish, dulling it over time.

It’s best to vacuum, dry mop, or sweep your floor regularly with a soft-bristled attachment, microfiber cloth, or broom. This prevents gritty dirt and particle buildup that can scratch the wood’s surface. A microfiber cloth is a great choice to use on a hardwood floor because it uses static electricity to trap dirt, particles, and other household allergens. If you must mop the floor, go in the direction of the grain and use a product from a trusted hardwood flooring or product manufacturer. The right hardwood floor cleaning product will help release the dirt, oil, and grime that may have built up over time, but also protect your floors. Make sure your mop is not too wet leaving excess liquid on the floor. Avoid using a steam cleaner because they put heat and excessive water on the floor, which can lead to cupping and long-term damage.

Polishing your floor every few months is a great way to clean hardwood flooring. Polishing renews and refreshes the finish that protects your hardwood floor. With floors that have a protective sealant, it is the finish that is getting the most attention when we clean—not the actual hardwood. Polishing your floor fills in microscopic scratches and evens out a floor’s protective surface. Polishing a hardwood floor is not a difficult task and can be done with a minimal amount of effort.

With all the abuse we put on our hardwood floors, consider giving your floor a deep clean or a sand and refinish every 3-5 years. Sanding and refinishing your floor completely removes the old protective finish and replaces it. If your floor has some deep scratches or gouges, sanding and refinishing can repair this damage, leaving you with an immaculate ‘new’ floor. Sanding and refinishing also gives you an opportunity to apply a stain in a different color than before, allowing you to update your flooring to an on trend look without replacing your flooring entirely.

Ultimately, hardwood flooring continues to be a popular choice in the flooring industry and has an ageless quality that will stand the test of time, especially if you clean and maintain the wood properly.

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