Updated: Aug 16, 2021
Hardwood floors are one of the most beautiful and valuable features of any home. Highly desired by buyers, rich, gleaming hardwood can last for years due to its unique ability to be renewed through the process of sanding and refinishing.
Still, you can keep your hardwood floors looking beautiful for years, without the need for refinishing, if you follow some basic dos and don’ts. First, let’s look at eight things you’re doing that could be ruining your hardwood floors:
1. Using the Wrong Cleaner & Supplies
If you’re using abrasives like scrubbing pads or harsh chemical cleaning solutions, stop! They are damaging your floors!
Use a mild detergent (sparingly) and don’t pour it directly onto the floor. Apply the product to a microfiber cloth or mop instead.
2. Using a Steam Mop
Don’t use one of the popular steam mops on the market on your hardwood floors. Using steam is like pouring hot water on your floor and using water is one of the worst things you can do for your wood floors.
3. High Heels & Things That Squeal
You should always avoid walking on your hardwood floors in high heels. They can scratch and even cause indentations over time (especially if the heel is small in diameter because it puts all the pressure in a small space).
If you have pets, trim their nails or have them wear pet booties. If they are prone to accidents, clean and dry the spots immediately. Waiting to clean up after your pet, even a little while, can cause a permanent stain and an odor that is next to impossible to completely remove.
4. Using a Vacuum Without a Wood Floor Attachment
Don’t vacuum your wood floors unless your vacuum has an attachment specifically made for wood floor care. The beater bars on your vacuum can and will “beat” your floor and cause damage.
5. Area Rugs with Rubber Backing
Area rugs or mats with a rubber or vinyl backing should not be used on hardwood floors. Why? Some materials in the backing can react with certain floor finishing causing discoloration or causing the finish to dull.
6. Too Much Sunshine (Yes, It’s a Thing)
Too much sunshine can cause your wood floors to dull significantly faster than they normally would. Keep the sun off your floors by closing blinds or draperies on harsh, sunny days. This way you can still let the light in without doing as much damage over time.
7. Applying Wax to a Urethane Finish
Stop right there! Plain and simple, you should never apply wax to a floor with a urethane finish.
8. Waiting Too Long to Refinish
While it may seem like a big project, don’t wait too long to refinish. Surface scratches can become a permanent problem, trapping dirt, and dulling the floor’s finish. Choose a wood flooring company that will make this process painless, and you will have it done in no time!
Quick Tips on Caring for Your Hardwood Floors
Take good care of your wood floors by wiping up any spills immediately, starting from the edges of the spill and working towards the center. Regularly remove dust and loose dirt with either a dry mop or a broom with exploded tips. Avoid radical swings in temperature and humidity by using an air conditioner in summer and a humidifier in winter. The goal is to maintain a temperature of 70-72 degrees and a relative humidity of 50-55 percent. Care for your floors and they will provide you with years of beauty and enjoyment!