Hardwood floors are popular for many reasons—with their unique beauty and character at the top of the list. But if you ask anyone who has hardwood floors, they’ll tell you that one of the things they appreciate the most about hardwood floors is that they’re so easy to keep clean and looking beautiful.
It’s not complicated at all to care for your custom hardwood floors. Just follow these basic do’s and don’ts.
- Clean up any spills as soon as possible.
- Dust often with a soft, dry microfiber mop, or sweep floors to clean up debris.
- A soft-bristled bottom on a vacuum floor attachment is fine, just not one that rotates, as this can still cause friction burns.
- Some manufacturers offer separate attachment heads designed to make it easier to reach in crevices and under furniture when vacuuming floors.
- Before vacuuming, check the bottom of the vacuum for anything protruding that could damage the floor’s finish. For example, the wheels are usually a molded plastic that can have a sharp little “bur.”
- Being sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, periodically clean the floors with an approved solution.
- Use rugs in heavy-traffic areas, avoiding rubber-backed rugs, which don’t allow the floor to “breath” and can cause damage.
- Consider taking up rugs in the summer if they’re in areas that receive a lot of light, in order to minimize differences in color resulting from different levels of light exposure. You can also simply move rugs around.
- Put slip pads between rugs and the floor, but remember to lift and clean under these every couple of months to keep the slip pad from bonding to the finish. Put pads under furniture legs.
- Keep the nails of any indoor pets trimmed.
- Allow spills to sit on the hardwood floor.
- Forget to wipe your feet on a rug when coming in from outside.
- Use steam cleaners—even those supposedly for hardwood floors can cause peeling, whitening, and clouding.
- Use oil soaps, all-purpose cleaners, or wood furniture polish.
- Use hardwood floor cleaning solutions that aren’t approved for your type of finish. For example, cleaners that are fine for urethane finishes can damage wax finishes.
- Allow extreme fluctuations in temperature or humidity within your home.
- Slide pieces of furniture on the floor while moving them. Even if they have pads, the pads can come off while sliding.
- Move extremely heavy furniture or appliances on the floor without taking proper precautions.
You’ll notice that none of these do’s and don’ts take that much work—if any at all. However, the payoff is big for paying attention to them. Your hardwood flooring will keep its fresh appearance for many years, wearing much slower than carpeting, laminates, and most other flooring options.