Lasting Beauty: Six Ways to Maintain Finished Hardwood Flooring

Chris Hubbard

If you have new finished hardwood flooring in your home—congratulations! It’s impossible to beat the beauty and character of quality hardwood flooring.

Hardwood floors are easy! In fact, if you have hardwood floors, you have probably found them to be the easiest floors you have ever had to clean and maintain. 

Here are six useful tips that we’ve picked up in our decades of installing and refurbishing hardwood floors.

1. Realize that rugs, mats, and furniture pads are your friends.

To collect dirt and grime, it’s a good idea to place rugs or mats by entryways—as long as the coverings aren’t backed by rubber or other material that will harm finished hardwood flooring.

Rugs or mats can also be placed where water is likely to be spilled, such as around sinks in kitchens or bathrooms. Throughout the home, rugs can be used to protect flooring in high-traffic areas. Rugs also work beautifully to integrate the hardwood flooring into your overall interior design.

Furniture that is moved on a regular basis should have felt glides on all legs to protect your hardwood floors. You won't have to worry about a fidgety guest scooting around your floor if all of your chairs are equiped with felt glides. 

2. Consider leaving shoes at the door.

Shoes are one of the primary causes of wear and tear on finished hardwood flooring. Pebbles and grit can get lodged in the treads and can dent and scratch the floors. Spikey high heels can also dent almost any hardwood floor. Slippers and socks will be much more forgiving, but if you must wear shoes, make a habit of using a rough welcome mat or shoe brush/scraper outside the door before entering. Your hardwood floors are easy to live on, and with just a little precaution, you can have them looking great for years and years. 

high heels hardwood floors

3. We love our pets, don't bannish them from your home. 

It is no secret pet nails scratch or dent hardwood flooring. Dogs love to run and chase, it is all part of what makes us love them! Choosing the right floor is critical. A floor with a little grain or texture in the surface will be much easier to take care of if a dog is part of your family. 

White Oak Chevron With Dog Close Up

If your pet doesn't always make it outside to relieve himself, you may have problems with permanent damage. That being said, simply being mindful of their habits and watching out for accidents before they become a problem is the key. Hardwood floor finishes today are very tough and can hold up to the occasional accident as long as it is cleaned up quickly. When an accident is discovered, clean it up right away. 

4. Follow instructions for using cleaning products.

Manufacturers of prefinished hardwood flooring will provide guidance about what cleaners work best with their finish. If your hardwood floors were sanded and finished on site, the provider of your floor can recommend the right cleaner for your new flooring.

5. Clean spills immediately.

Even with modern water-resistant finishes, spills left sitting on a hardwood floor can result in damage. Large spills can soak between planks, warping the wood. Remember to wipe up spills as soon as you find them. If you have a large spill, call your hardwood floor specialist. They can help guide you on how to deal with the spill and hopefully avoid a lot of unnecessary expense. 

6. Routinely sweep or vacuum.

Even if you’re careful about what you track inside, finished hardwood flooring will inevitably collect some dirt and debris. Dusting, sweeping, or vacuuming regularly can help scratching and scuffing. If you choose to vacuum, remember to either use a non-rotating floor attachment or turn off the rotating beater bar on the unit.  

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