Protect Your Floors: Your Multi-Step Guide to Caring for Hardwood Floors
The United State’s homeownership rate, as of the last tally, stood at a whopping 65% of the adult population. Of that 65%, many have homes that feature wood floors. If you’re in that group, you’re probably no stranger to how quickly your wood can go from looking new to downright dingy.
Therein lies the importance of caring for hardwood floors.
If you don’t know how to go about wood floor care, keep reading! In this post, we break down the simple yet effective steps every homeowner should take to keep their flooring looking new, year-round!
Table of Contents
Lose the Shoes
A low-hanging fruit in the battle against floor deterioration is not exposing your wood to shoes. Why? Because shoes track in dirt, rocks, and gunk that can scratch your floors, erode them, and give them a musty, lackluster look.
We love losing shoes in support of our floors because tackling this tip is as simple as leaving your shoes outside or buying a closet shoe rack you can use to hang your sneakers up whenever you pass through your doorway.
For those of you that don’t like the feeling of walking barefoot around your house, invest in comfy slippers that never get worn outside or thick socks.
Manage Your Pets
If you don’t have pets, you can move to tip 3. If you do have pets, listen up!
Pets can wreak havoc on flooring in more ways than we have time to break down in this post. Two key ways pets damage floors that we will note are scratching and accidents.
On the scratching front, you can reduce the number of times your pet’s claws nick your flooring by keeping their nails filed down. Having your pets spend parts of their day on outdoor pavement will aid that end.
Regarding accidents, your best defense against pets urinating or defecating on your flooring is to train them as early as possible. If you missed that early training window, it’s still worth trying to bring your pet up to speed.
The old saying that old dogs can’t learn new tricks has been proven wrong time and again by dedicated, patient owners!
Lay Throw Rugs or Mats on High-traffic Areas
Is there a doorway or other passage in your house that sees tons of foot traffic?
High traffic areas are subject to excess wear that will make the wood covering that area deteriorate faster than the rest of your flooring. To help remedy that inequity, consider laying a mat or a throw rug down.
Doing so will make the most vulnerable areas of your floor the most protected.
Do a Daily Dusting
Nobody likes daily maintenance tasks. If you’re vested in your floor looking it’s best though, we recommend buying a dusting device (a “Swiffer Sweeper”, for example) and running it over your wood once per day.
Daily dusting removes topical dirt and debris that can lead to scratches.
Note that dusting is not the same as sweeping. Trying to sweep dust tends to spread it around. Dusting should be done with a dedicated dusting tool.
Invest in Quality Wood Cleaners
When you clean your floors, what do you use to get the job done? You may or may not be shocked to learn that several people use soap and water mixtures, vinegar, and other DIY cleaners to tidy things up.
All of those “do it yourself” solutions could pose serious risks to your flooring’s long-term health, depending on the kind of wood you have. To be safe, buy a quality wood cleaner that’s advertised as being acceptable for your wood’s varietal.
Yes, doing this as opposed to tossing water on the floor will cost more money and take more effort. Believe us when we say though that the effort will pay dividends when it comes time to sell your house and your floors look brand new.
Mop Every Week
Armed with a quality floor cleaner, you might be asking yourself how often you’ll have to use it. In our opinion, once per week is the best cleaning cadence we’ve observed in households that have pristine floors.
As you go through your house every seven days, mopping with your cleaning solution, consider paying mind to your other wood furniture. If you have Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods featured in your cabinets, clean those. If you have exposed wood ceiling beams, give them a touch-up.
By grouping all of your wood-related household responsibilities into a single day, you may find that your tidying becomes habitual and consequently, less tedious.
Polish Quarterly and Refinish Sparingly
If you’ve followed our steps thus far, your floor is looking great. Looking at less frequent caring for hardwood floors musts, consider polishing your floors every quarter. You might also want to look into refinishing your floors, with the help of a professional, every decade or so.
Refinishing thin floors can cause more harm than good. So, again, talk to a professional before going down that road.
Caring for Hardwood Floors Is a Big Time Investment in Your Living Space
Nobody appreciates how important their floors are to their overall feelings towards their living space until they start taking floor care seriously. This is why you should take the leap and start being proactive when it comes to caring for hardwood floors in your house.
We’re willing to bet that after adopting a routine, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without having pristine flooring.
Hungry for more hardwood flooring, flooring installation, or other home improvement advice? Dive deeper into the content on our blog!