Hardwood floors are a popular choice for many homeowners, and for good reason: they're beautiful, durable, and easy to clean. However, not all hardwood varieties are created equal. If you want to keep your hardwood floors looking their best, you’ll need to know how to care for them properly.
There are many ways to clean, protect, and care for your hardwood floors. But what are the best practices? And how do you keep it looking at its best? Read on to learn more about caring for hardwood floors in the modern world!
Hardwood floors are a popular choice for many homeowners. They are beautiful, durable, and easy to clean.
There are three types of hardwood floors: traditional hardwood, engineered hardwood, and laminate hardwood. Traditional hardwoods are made up of wood planks that have been glued together, while engineered hardwoods are made up of thin layers of wood veneer that have been glued together. Laminate hardwoods can be either traditional or engineered.
While traditional hardwoods cost more upfront, they're generally the most expensive long-term as they need more care than other types of flooring. Engineered wood is cheaper but will last just as long as traditional if appropriately maintained. Laminate has the most affordable upfront cost and requires the least amount of maintenance.
What Kind Of Hardwood Floors Do You Have?
The type of hardwood floors you have will determine how you should care for them. There are two types:
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring is made from various laminates and composites and is made to look like natural hardwood. They come in many varieties, including oak, pine, and mahogany.
Solid Wood Flooring
Solid wood flooring comes from the growth rings of a tree trunk. There are two common types of solid wood: red oak and white oak, but they're both quite strong.
When caring for these hardwood floors, you’ll need to be aware of their construction material to know what cleaning method to use. For example, engineered wood flooring needs different care than solid wood floors because it doesn't soak up liquids as quickly as solid wood does.
How To Care For Your Hardwood Floor
Avoid Direct Sunlight
It would be best if you tried to avoid direct sunlight altogether by keeping drapes or blinds closed during the day. The sun can damage both the varnish on your floor and fade any colors that may be in your area rug. It's also wise to invest in a good pair of slippers or shoes—something that will protect your floor from scratches.
Sealed Hardwood Floors
One of the most important things you need to know about caring for your hardwood floors is knowing whether they are sealed. Sealed floors will require less maintenance than unsealed floors. This is something to keep in mind if you consider sealing your floor.
Unsealed hardwood floors are often susceptible to water damage, leading to severe structural damage. If possible, avoid placing hot objects directly on the surface of your floor. Not only could it leave a mark, but it also runs the risk of damaging your wood flooring.
Do Not Place Heavy Appliances Over Your Wood Floors For Extended Periods
Speaking of large appliances that get placed on the floor, try not to put hefty items on top of your wood flooring for long periods of time. Doing so can cause indentations and dents in some cases, or even worse damage!
Large appliances should always have some protective base put under them before being set down or moved across the surface of your floor.
What To Do When Hardwood Floors Get Wet
Perhaps one of the worst things that can happen to your hardwood floors is getting wet. A leaky pipe, a broken toilet, or other water damage can do severe damage.
So if you ever see a leak, call for help immediately! If the damage isn't bad enough to warrant an emergency call, make sure you dry up all excess water, especially near the seams in your wood floor.
A towel will work best, but be careful not to leave any lint behind as it could get trapped between boards and become difficult to remove without damaging the wood itself.
The Four Keys To Caring For Your Hardwoods
It may seem like a daunting task, but caring for your hardwood floors is easy. There are just a few simple things you need to do. The four keys to successfully caring for your hardwood floors are:
Keep them clean by sweeping or vacuuming regularly.
Protect them from household spills by using a mat in front of the kitchen sink and bathroom sink.
Use a humidifier during the winter months to prevent your home's dry air from damaging the wood.
Apply polish every three months to maintain the luster of your flooring.
The first thing to remember is that hardwood floors need regular maintenance, including regular cleaning and refinishing. It would help if you used a hardwood floor cleaner to remove dirt and grime, then use hardwood floor protectors or conditioners every few months to keep the wood looking its best.
If you have pets or children, position your mats on the exterior doors of your home. You should also invest in a good quality vacuum cleaner, which will help keep up with the messes they make.
As for other spills, try your best to clean them up as soon as possible before they dry, so they don’t damage your floors. Lastly, if you have any scratches on your floor, you can fill them in with wood putty and sand them down, so it blends in seamlessly with the rest of the flooring.
How To Clean Hardwoods
When it comes to hardwood floor care, one of the most important aspects is keeping them clean. In some cases, you may only need a damp mop, some dish soap, and a bucket to do the job. On other occasions, more serious stains will require a bit extra effort.
One of the most effective ways to deep clean your hardwoods is using a wood floor cleaner vacuum. This will help remove any dirt or dust accumulated on the floor over time.
Once you have finished vacuuming, use a mop or vacuum attachment to wash your floors with soap and water before wiping them dry. Yes, even if your floors are sealed!
Tips For Cleaning Hardwood Floors
Cleaning hardwood floors is an essential part of caring for them, and there are several steps you can take to ensure they're as clean as possible. First, sweep or vacuum the floor regularly to pick up any pet hair or debris. Next, you'll want to use a wet mop to clean wood floors with a mildly-scented, non-toxic solution, and rinse it off with water.
A great way to remove excess dirt and grime is by using a microfiber mop head with natural sponges or pads on it. If your hardwood floors seem dull and dirty, consider using a damp cloth with white vinegar to wipe down the entire surface. Be sure not to use too much pressure or do steam cleaning, as this could cause damage!
The Importance Of Proper Cleaning
One of the most critical aspects of cleaning wood floors is proper cleaning. Even if you're diligent about keeping your floors clean, dirt and grime will build up over time. This buildup can be harmful to the flooring, as well as your health.
The best way to clean your hardwood floors is to use a dust mop or vacuum cleaner. When you scrub the floor with soap and water, you'll remove any dirt or dust that has accumulated on the surface.
What Cleaning Products Should You Use?
When cleaning your hardwood floors, there are certain products recommended by your flooring manufacturer. Some are better than others—most notably vinegar, which is excellent for killing bacteria and getting rid of dirt. After you've cleaned your floor, make sure that it is completely dry before placing any rugs or furniture back on top of it.
You should avoid using harsh chemicals when you clean hardwood floors, especially ammonia-based cleaners, which can damage the finish. If possible, try to use microfiber dusters to get more dirt off your surface without having to press down too hard on the hardwood flooring itself. Try not to sweep either. A vacuum with a soft brush attachment works best!
Sometimes buildup can get left behind by regular dusting, so if this happens, be sure to lightly dampen a cloth with vinegar and wipe across the affected area(s). Make sure to wring out the fabric as much as possible, and do not saturate it with too much vinegar or water.
Hardwood floors are a great way to improve your home. They look fantastic, have substantial resale value, and have been known to increase house prices by as much as 10%. So invest in a good cleaner and take care of them!
Hardwood floors need to be regularly cleaned and properly maintained for them to last as long as possible. You'll want to make sure that you clean your flooring regularly, whether with a vacuum or another method. Hardwood floors are beautiful, but they do require some upkeep. The key to maintaining your hardwood floor is to take care of it.
Cleaning your floor ensures that dirt, dust, and debris don’t build up and scratch the wood. Homeowners should take care to vacuum the floor at least once a week. Finally, you should always use felt pads on furniture legs to prevent scratches.