Preventing Damage to Your Hardwood Floors

Rod Lorenz



Hardwood floors are highly durable and can last for decades, but they do require some simple care beyond routine cleaning. 

It’s not difficult—all you need to do is follow a few basic steps. 

Protect heavy traffic areas. 

Place throw rugs on heavy traffic areas, such as in front of sinks, by doors that lead outside, and in hallways. The rugs will not only be decorative, they will prevent those areas from wearing faster than less-walked-upon areas.  

Use non-slip cushion pads under any rugs, but don’t use foam or carpet pads because they may leave a residue. (Wait two weeks after a floor is finished before putting down any rugs.) 

 Install floor protectors on chairs and couches. 

Chairs and couches will naturally slide across flooring as people sit and rise. To protect against scratching, use felt-tip glides that you tap into the bottom of the legs. If you need these protectors, you can order them here. (If your furniture has casters, we recommend using rugs underneath.) 

Limit direct sunlight. 

Intense sunlight will discolor hardwood floors, so do your best to protect your floors against direct sunlight—using area rugs in places that receive a lot of sunlight or keeping curtains closed as much as possible during heavy sun times 

If you have indoor dogs, keep their nails trimmed. 

Long nails can scratch the finish, so keep them groomed. (Your dog will also thank you!) 

Maintain a stable relative humidity in your home. 

Hardwood floors shrink and expand with changes in relative humidity (more so with solid-plank floors, but even engineered flooring experiences some shrinking and expanding). As humidity increases, the floor takes on moisture and expands, and excessive moisture can lead to cupping. As the humidity decreases, the wood loses moisture and shrinks, which can cause gapping between boards. 

To prevent cupping, an air conditioner and/or dehumidifier should be used in the summer, when the relative humidity outside is high. When it gets cold and the relative humidity outside drops, a humidifier should be used to prevent gapping. The ideal is to keep the relative humidity as close to 40 percent as possible, no higher than 50 percent in the summer and above 30 percent in the winter. 

If you have questions about how to keep your hardwood flooring looking its best for years to come, give us a call at 920.984.3383 or 800.354.9902, or stop by our showroom 

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