Hand vacuuming hardwood floor.

5 Tips to Help You Maintain Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors add a beautiful look and upscale feel to a home. A newly installed hardwood floor or recently renovated hardwood floor, however, is a costly investment in your property, and it requires some extra care when considering how to clean and maintain it. Whether you have installed solid wood, engineered wood, or even reclaimed wood flooring, the maintenance of your wood floors will be similar. Regular cleanings and upkeep will keep your hardwood floors looking pristine and add years of life to your home investment.

Each season brings different obstacles for your hardwood floors. During the winter months, you will be battling ice melt that gets tracked in on shoes and furry paws. Ice melt can eat away at unprotected wood flooring, and it should be removed promptly. The fall and spring months are wetter, and with family and friends tracking in wet leaves and mud, your wood floors will need to be regularly dried to prevent warping and mildew buildup. During the summer months, you may battle dripping swimsuits loaded with chlorine and saltwater after a day at the beach or pool, and that chlorinated or salty water will need to be cleaned up regularly to help maintain hardwood floors.

The experts at Wall 2 Wall Hardwood Floors offer some pro tips on how to keep your hardwood floors healthy and lasting for years to come.

1. Dry Mop and Vacuum Hardwood Floors Weekly

Leaving dirt that is carried in on shoes and furry paws on a hardwood floor can cause unwanted scratches. The debris acts as sandpaper, and as it’s walked on and spread across the hardwood floors, it will cause scratches that build up over time to make your floor look dull and scuffed up. By dry-mopping your floors weekly, you can prolong the bright glow of your hardwood floor. You can sweep with a traditional broom or, even better, use a microfiber cloth that will cling to the debris and remove any dust and allergens more easily.

Weekly vacuuming is important as well, as the suction can help remove the debris that has built up in between the floorboards. When using a vacuum on your hardwood floors, make sure to put the vacuum on the hard floor setting, which will switch off the bristles so they don’t scratch up your floors as you push the vacuum across the floor. Alternatively, you can use the non-bristle attachment that is meant for hardwood floors if your vacuum comes with one.

2. Clean Wood Floors With Wood Floor Cleaner Monthly

Dry mopping and vacuuming your floors are great ways to remove dust, but there is also debris buildup that happens over time that can slowly eat away at your hardwood floors. Cleaning your hardwood floors regularly with a wood cleaner recommended by your flooring manufacturer is an important step in keeping your wood floors in great shape.

Not all wood floor cleaners are meant for all hardwood floors. Depending on the finish on your flooring, your floors may require a certain type of cleaner. Check with your manufacturer to determine which is best to use on your floor. Most hardwood floors will do best with a floor cleaner that has a neutral pH. It is best to avoid floor cleaners with harsh chemicals when cleaning any type of hardwood floor.

When you have found the right cleaning product for your floors, make sure to use a damp cloth or mop to clean the floors, and avoid using too much water. Using too much water can cause your floorboards to warp and bow. Also, avoid steam cleaning your wood floors for the same reasons, as it can make your wood floorboards swell and cup.

3. Wipe Up Spills Immediately

Wood floors are very reactive to moisture, and so if there is a spill on your hardwood floor, it’s recommended to wipe up any wet spill quickly. Leaving moisture on a hardwood floor will cause the wood floorboards to swell, and they could warp and become misshapen over time, causing potential tripping hazards and unsightly warped flooring. Leaving wet spills on hardwood floors can also cause staining that can be difficult to remove.

To effectively clean up any wet spill on your hardwood floors, it’s best to use a dry or slightly damp cloth to wipe up the spill right away. This will avoid any moisture leaking in between the floorboards or into the wood, which will avoid any potential for swelling floorboards from the spill.

4. Use Furniture Pads on Furniture and Trim Pets’ Nails Regularly

Scratches can be difficult to remove once they are found on your hardwood floors. To maintain the good condition hardwood floors, it is recommended to use furniture pads on the bottoms of your chairs and heavy furniture. If the furniture is on the heavier side, it’s best to use a wider furniture pad to help spread out the weight. Consider attaching the furniture pads to your chairs, couches, tables, and any furniture that may be heavy or that you may move across the floor regularly.

Your pets’ nails can also cause scuffs and scratches on your hardwood floors. Keep your pets’ nails trimmed to avoid unwanted wear and tear on your hardwood floors.

5. Polish or Wax Your Hardwood Floors Twice a Year

Polishing your hardwood floors can help add a sheen to the wood and can also help extend the life of your flooring, making it a worthy task. Before polishing your floors, it’s a good idea to first dry mop the floor to remove any dust or debris. It’s also a good idea to vacuum your hardwood floors to remove any debris that may have built up between the floorboards. When choosing a floor polish, make sure it is a water-based polish to avoid any harsh chemical buildup.

If you are looking to refinish your hardwood floors or are interested in the installation or restoration of hardwood floors, contact the hardwood floor experts at Wall 2 Wall Hardwood.