Caring for Your Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors have been the premier flooring material for homes for centuries. And for a good reason, it’s a luxurious and durable flooring material that can increase the value of your home by 3-5%. There is a variety of wood flooring types available, including oak, cherry, and maple, that allow you to customize the look of your home’s floor.
Whether you plan on selling, you’ve settled into your forever home, are in the process of building your dream home, it’s essential that you properly clean and maintain your hardwood floors to keep them looking gorgeous for years. Here are a few tips for caring for your home’s hardwood floors.
Establish a Routine for Cleaning Your Wood Floors
To make sure your wood floors remain in good condition for years to come, it’s recommended that you follow a regular routine for dusting, cleaning, polishing, and refinishing. For starters, dust or sweep your floors daily, or at least several times a week, to remove settled dust, dirt, and pet hair. Not only can this prevent scratches but also reduce allergens in your home. We recommend using a flat mop with a microfiber head or disposable cloths that have been treated with a dusting agent. You can also use a soft-bristled angled broom that can reach those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.
You should also vacuum your wood floors on a weekly basis. This will help keep your home clean and help in picking up any dirt or crumbs that were missed when sweeping. Look for a vacuum with a floor-brush attachment that’s safe for wood floors, as beater bar attachments designed for carpet can scratch your floor’s finish. For low maintenance, opt for a robot vacuum such as a Roomba®.
Each month, you should clean your wood floors with a hardwood floor cleaner. Simply grab a mop and a cleaner designed for wood floors, such as Bona, Pledge, Swiffer, or Black Diamond. Keep in mind that using too much liquid can damage your floors, and using the wrong formula may not work. Do some research to find a cleaner that’s safe for your specific type of flooring.
Even with regular cleaning, your wood floors may start to look dull over time. Refinishing your floors every seven to 10 years can help restore their original shine and appearance. If you’re not experienced in refinishing hardwood flooring, we recommend finding a professional who specializes in hardwood refinishing and restoration.
Clean Spills Immediately
Water is one of the single most significant threats to your wood flooring. Water can cause your hardwood floors to lift, split, or crack, which can lead to more time-consuming and costly repairs. Luckily, most wood floors have a layer of sealant to help protect them from water damage and staining. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean up spills when they occur. Use a dry or slightly damp cloth to wipe up the spill as soon as you notice it. You should also avoid using a wet mop or steam cleaner on your hardwood floors, as this may also cause water damage.
Use Furniture Pads
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to avoid scratching the surface of your wood flooring is by applying furniture pads to the legs of your chairs, sofas, and tables. Furniture pads are explicitly designed to protect your floors. When you’re redesigning your home’s space by moving furniture, furniture pads are a must. When applied, they allow you to glide your furniture across the hardwood without causing deep gouges due to the weight of your furniture.
Utilize Area Rugs
One of the easiest ways to prevent your wood floors from looking dull is by placing an area rug. Not only will the rug protect your hardwood from UV rays, but it will also save it from wear and tear due to foot traffic. Rugs can help preserve your wood flooring but can be easily removed when you want to show off your beautiful hardwood when hosting a family get-together.
How to Remove Scratches from Wood Floors
As a homeowner, you can do everything right to protect your wood floors, but sometimes scratches are unavoidable. Before calling a professional, DIY-savvy homeowners may choose to repair the scratches on their hardwood floors on their own. Depending on the type of scratch, you may not need expensive tools to complete the repairs. If you plan on attempting the repair on your own, we suggest following these tips to ensure fabulous results.
- Identify the Finish – Before you get started on repairing the scratches on your wood floor, you’ll need to know what type of finish was used to seal it. There are various finishes available, including oil and water-based sealant, wax coating, and wood varnish.
- Prepare the Area – It’s crucial that you remove any dirt and grime that has worked its way into the scratch by using a damp cloth or wood floor cleaning product. You’ll also need to apply a wax removal product if your wood floor has protective wax coating.
- Blending Pencil – Blending pencils are the ideal method for repairing minor scratches on your wood floor. This easy and effective solution allows you to repair surface-level scratches quickly. Blending pencils are available at most hardware stores.
- Finish Restorer – A finish restorer is ideal for minor scratches. It is specially formulated to penetrate the scratches in your hardwood’s finish to create a long-lasting and natural look. There are a variety of types of restorers, some of which require virtually no sanding or stripping.
- Wood Filler – When you have deep gouges in your hardwood floors, a wood filler may be your best option. However, this is a relatively intensive floor repair technique that requires the right tools and knowledge to ensure a quality finish. Once you’ve applied the filler, you’ll need to sand it down and add a new coat of stain and finish.
Custom Built Homes from Landmark Fine Homes
Wood floors are one of the most luxurious flooring types and can add a lot of value to your home with the proper care and maintenance. Do-it-yourself homeowners will be able to provide the best protection for their floors with these tips and tricks. However, in case of significant damage to your wood floors, a professional will be able to provide you excellent results.
When you build your dream home with Landmark Fine Homes, you’ll be able to choose the hardwood finishes for your entire home and design it to match your unique style. Although hardwood floors are what most people know, there are many products that can give you the same look such as engineered wood and wood-llike tile. The Landmark Fine Homes design center offers a great selection for you to choose from. Our homes are also energy efficient and built with the most attention to detail. Make your next house the home of your dreams by contacting Landmark Fine Homes today!