Photo by Asier Gil
Originally Posted On: How To Make Your Hardwood Floors Last Longer (mayriverflooring.com)
The investment in hardwood floors is exceptional. It boosts a home’s value, creates beauty, and adds character that’s hard to beat. Many people put off buying hardwood because they anticipate a difficult cleaning process. That’s rarely the case.
In most cases, a professionally installed hardwood floor doesn’t have to be a challenge to clean or maintain. However, it is important to know the proper steps based on the type of wood products used. It is important to purchase the right type of wood floors and ensure they are installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
When cleaning hardwood floors, there are a few things to remember:
- It’s not going to be too expensive or time-consuming if you use the right products and materials.
- Proper cleaning may help extend the life of your floor, ensuring it remains beautiful long-term.
- Buy a quality product. Not all hardwoods are going to be reliable and stand up to the wear and tear at your home.
- Use a professional – always – to handle the installation of your floors as well as for significant cleaning and maintenance.
- Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations over anything else. That helps ensure that your warranty is kept intact.
So, what do you do to keep your hardwood floors looking their best?
We spoke to Eric Janashak with Stat Floor Cleaning, a professional hardwood floor cleaning service in Charlotte, NC. We asked about preserving the appearance of hardwood and how to properly keep it looking its best. Let’s talk about the tips and strategies that may help you here.
5 Strategies for Everyday Cleaning and Upkeep of Hardwood Floors
The most important type of care you complete is your everyday cleaning. If you do not invest heavily in routine cleaning, you may see a buildup of debris and residue that can, over time, damage your flooring. Your hardwood will get used and dirty. Keep your routine cleaning as simple as possible.
- Wipe up spills as soon as possible. Most of the time, that means just a paper towel.
- Sweep daily or as often as needed to remove debris. You don’t want small things, like specs of dirt, to be ground into the flooring.
- Use a wet mop with mild dish soap to keep floors clean. Don’t use too much fluid to do this.
- Consider a dust mop for most everyday cleaning. This doesn’t require the use of moisture and can help to keep floors looking good.
- Don’t use wax or other types of heavy residue products on the flooring unless this is acceptable based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. You don’t want a buildup on the flooring in most cases.
These steps help keep your floor clean daily. It takes a small investment of your time but can do the most good at keeping your home looking its best long term.
7 Tips for Tackling Problems with Your Hardwood Floor Cleaning
It never fails – someone spills something, and now you’re worried about your flooring. Here are a few more tips to help you keep your floors looking their best.
- Stickiness isn’t a friend to hardwood floors. Resist the urge to use chemical products. Instead, use warm water to loosen the sticky syrup or material from the floor. Use a cloth to apply just enough pressure to pull the material off the floor.
- Don’t spray “stuff” over the floor. Whether it is furniture polish or hairspray, avoid spraying over the flooring. This is some of the most damaging residue that lands on the floor.
- If you have residue from cleaning products or other products, use a no-wax cleaner to remove them. Look for a natural cleaner whenever possible.
- Gum on hardwoods is no fun to clean off, but it happens. To clean it, apply an ice cube to the gum. This helps it to harden and allows you to scrap it off. Avoid using hard, sharp edges to do so.
- Avoid the most damage to your hardwood floors by placing a floor mat at the entrance of every door. Encourage people to take off their shoes, too. This matters – the grit from dirt and debris being dragged into your home is a common material that causes damage to it.
- Consider an automatic floor vacuum. These use a small amount of air pressure to glide over the floor, sucking up material. You can set it up and then forget about it – ensuring your floors remain dirt-free for as long as possible. (Remember that dirt is otherwise ground into your flooring!)
- Grease and buildup from food preparation or spills can be problematic if left on the surface of the hardwood for an extended amount of time. Wipe it up quickly with paper towels and warm water. Avoid using degreasing products directly on your hardwood floors.
It’s a good idea to just keep an eye on your flooring. If you notice it’s not looking its best, reach out to a professional who can help.
Do You Need to Wax and Stain Your Hardwoods?
It’s a misconception that homeowners have to sand and refinish their hardwood floors. Most of the time, you do not need (and shouldn’t) apply waxing products to the floors either. If you notice that your flooring is looking dull or may have some scratches on it, turn to a professional floor cleaner.
Your floor cleaner can use high-powered but safe-to-use equipment and products on the hardwood to bring it back to life. This can help to do two things: remove many of the surface scratches on the flooring and help to prevent further scratches from occurring over time. Your cleaning team can actually help you protect your floors.
Avoid trying to do this type of work yourself. You may find it frustrating and hard to do. It’s a job for the pros!
Avoid These Common Mistakes That Shorten the Lifespan of Your Hardwood Floors
You know how to clean them and maintain them. When you’ve invested heavily in your hardwood floors or don’t want to replace them too soon, keep these things in mind.
Monitor Moisture in Your Home
A common problem for hardwoods is moisture. If you have a whole-home humidifier in place, that’s going to allow you to manage humidity with ease. It’s best to keep your home’s humidity around 35 to 55 percent, based on your comfort level. This helps prevent warping but also ensures the hardwood will not dry out. If you notice shrinking or cracking, this could be a problem.
Thinking About Sealants and Wax?
If you want to add a shine and a layer of protection to the hardwoods, choose the right products. Water-based polyurethane is one of the best overall options. It will not feel like wax but works very well at keeping high-traffic areas protected.
Oil-based polyurethane products are good for high traffic areas as well, but they can yellow over time. They are also good at moisture protection and overall easy to maintain. Another option is a moisture-cure urethane application. This is perhaps the best product for some of the most worrisome of areas where high traffic is common. It is very durable, though best left to the professionals to apply.
If you want a low sheen to your hardwoods, go with a basic wax product. The downfall is that it needs to be applied more often, and it can darken over time. It is cost-effective, though, and can offer a low-sheen finish.
Remember – Installing Good-Quality Matters
One of the most important things to consider about maintaining your flooring’s beauty comes at the beginning of the process: be sure to install high-quality hardwood flooring. If you install a hardwood product that’s inferior, a small amount of water may lead to stains or water spots. You may also end up with peeling layers or swelling.
All of that is eliminated when you invest in good-quality flooring and have it installed professionally. May River Flooring is the best hardwood floor installer in the area. When you work with a professional like this, you ensure the best possible outcome: the floors are in place and looking their best, and you can count on them lasting for years to come.
May River Flooring makes the entire process easy. Choose from complete flooring solutions, flooring designed for your lifestyle and needs. From rich, chestnut-colored floors to beautiful soft textures, hardwood flooring choices provide a wide range of looks for your home that can add beautiful aesthetics to every room.
Our team works closely with you to choose the very best flooring products. These are high-quality hardwoods made from authentic materials from top brands. You can count on finding long warranties on these products, too.
If you are in the market for new hardwoods (maybe the ones you already have are not looking their best?), we encourage you to reach out to our team to learn more about our products. Whether you need flooring that’s going to hold up to the neighborhood kids running through your home, your dogs dragging in the mud, or the fabulous dinner party you’re planning in the coming months, we can help you.
Learn more about our products and services when you give May River Flooring a call. As the best hardwood floor installer in the area, we’re passionate about helping you every step of the way.