As a homeowner, hardwood floors are one of the lowest maintenance flooring options you can select. And more importantly, they look amazing with nearly any design aesthetic. Regardless of whether you want your home to remind you of that French chateau you once visited, your favorite mountain-range escape, or a beach-side bungalow along the Pacific coast, you can find the hardwood to match the appeal you desire.
And, yes, while hardwood flooring is rather low maintenance, as you don’t have to lug out the vacuum for every dog hair that shows, nor get on hands and knees and dig crud out of tile grout, it still requires some commitment to keep your Portland hardwood floors looking like new.
Here are five tips we share with customers who want their floors looking like the day they were installed for many years to come:
1. Clean with Care
Hardwood floors won’t show every scuff mark and stray hair, but they will wear down in time, so you still need to put in some effort to properly clean them. So sweep as often as you desire, and every once in a while do a little bit more.
On the “more” days, these are the additional steps you should take:
- Gently vacuum the floor to ensure every speck of dust and crumb has been removed.
- Mix together one cup of white vinegar and one tablespoon of olive oil into a water bottle filled with distilled water and then lightly spritz the concoction onto the floors.
- Use a sponge mop to clean each nook and cranny of the floor making sure to travel with the grain of the wood.
- Allow the floor to completely dry before buffing with a Portland hardwood floor buffer or microfiber cloth.
These added steps take time, and you’ll likely want to move aside the furniture during this deep clean, so it’s not recommended every weekend. But when you want to bring the shine back to your floor, this process is effective.
2. Take Off Your Shoes
As a guest entering someone’s home, you don’t always want the first thing you hear to be, “Please, take off your shoes.” And walking along hardwood floors with shoes on occasionally isn’t cause for alarm. However, if you really want to ensure your floors stay in tip-top shape, then you should take off your shoes.
Don’t let your child in dance class practice their tap routines on your Portland hardwood floors. Ask them to remove their soccer cleats before stepping foot in your abode. Even take off your own kicks at the end of the day.
Shoes don’t appear “that dirty” but are incidentally trampling in dust and dirt from outside. They are also causing scuff marks. Switch those clackity heels for socks or slippers that glide along the floor, and you’ll notice the difference over the years.
An everyday step to take to keep your hardwood flooring in its best shape is to simply remove your street shoes.
3. Avoid Direct Sunlight
Do you recall purchasing backyard lounge furniture at the beginning of the summer, only to realize that you need to replace the cushions before the next season because the color has already faded away? This fading is caused by the direct rays from the sun—almost like a reverse suntan. And the same can happen to your wood flooring.
While windows, shades, and curtains do provide protection, if you expose your floors to direct sunlight day after day, you’ll eventually notice this effect after a few years. It won’t be obvious. Instead, you’ll go to move your hutch slightly to the left only to realize that there’s a distinct line denoting where the sun did and didn’t hit the floor over time.
This doesn’t mean you need to be a shut-in and always have your blinds closed to the outside world, but do recognize that these outside influences will impact your inside aesthetic, and make adjustments as you see fit. One way to negate this problem is by rotating your furniture more frequently in the rooms that are exposed to the most direct sunlight.
4. Invest in a Whole-House Humidifier
In a perfect world, the humidity and temperature levels in your home would be consistent. This would not only benefit you and ensure you’re always comfortable in your home, but it could do wonders for your flooring.
Hardwood flooring shrinks and expands depending on the humidity in a room, much like curly hair. When it’s humid, the slats are at their maximum width, but they contract when the humid conditions abate. This contracting and expanding over the years can cause your flooring to warp. So if you want to limit this possibility, invest in a whole-house humidifier.
And not only will a humidifier help extend the life of your Portland hardwood floors, it’ll improve your seasonal allergy and asthma symptoms as well.
5. Opt for Harwood Restoration
An investment in hardwood flooring is an investment in your home. It’s not the cheapest flooring option, but it will look wonderful for many years to come with little effort on your part. However, everything fades and warps with time.
If you’ve invested in a property that has beautiful hardwood floors but they’ve seen better days, don’t give up entirely and jump to replacement. Instead, look into hardwood flooring restoration.
It doesn’t matter what the cause of destruction is, as we can tackle squeaks, gaps, stains, mold, buckling, warping, and more. No matter what flooring issue you face, restoration may be the best solution.
And hardwood flooring restoration is often more affordable than a complete replacement while allowing you to retain the originality of the home.
If you’ve done all you can to get your floors to look like new but are ready to consider restoration, reach out to the Wall 2 Wall team today.