There is nothing as beautiful as shiny, new hardwood floors. But how do you keep them that way? With kids, pets, guests, snow, rain, spills, high heel shoes, etc., how do you ensure your hardwood floors don’t end up looking dull and scratched? The wood floor experts at SVB Wood Floors have gathered a few secrets over the years that we would like to share with you. Incorporate most of these into your life and your floors should look great no matter what kind of crazy life you lead.
Take Off Shoes
You don’t necessarily have to make your guests do this, but if you can at least instill this in your family members, you will avoid a lot of wear and tear. Let’s face it, who’s usually running around your home? – you and your family members. And if your kids take their shoes off when they come inside, their friends will follow suit.
Trim Pet Claws
So, obviously, you can’t make Fido remove his shoes if he’s not wearing any. His claws, however, are something you can control. Make sure his toenails are kept trim to prevent them from scratching the floor.
Use Throw Rugs
Strategically placed throw rugs at doorways and in heavy traffic areas will greatly reduce dirt and grit that gets tracked inside by shoes. Grit is a hardwood floor’s worst enemy because if it is left on the floor, every single time someone steps in it, your floor suffers small scratches. These small scratches will add up and eventually make your floor dull. Make sure your rugs do not have rubber backing.
Because dirt and grit are the worst offenders when it comes to scratching, sweeping fairly often (every couple of days) will really prevent any potentially scratchy items from building up. Keep a small sweeper or hand vacuum in a convenient place so this doesn’t become a burdensome task.
There are usually places that tend to get dirtier faster. The floor in front of a door or in a foyer or the area in front of the stove or sink tend to get dirty quickly. Food, drips, footprints and more build up here because these areas are high-traffic and get used so often. Just a damp cloth can remove most visible dirt or sticky food, which will keep it from collecting dust and becoming more obvious.
Clean Wet Spills Quickly
Immediately wipe up any spills to prevent water damage and staining to the wood or finish. Use a soft, dry cloth to soak up liquids.
Taking off your shoes is a good first step as well as throw rugs at entryways. Also pad the feet of heavy or frequently moved furniture (kitchen chairs, barstools, etc.) with felt pads. Don’t forget to change these pads when they look dirty because they will pick up grit too over time. Never scoot a piece of furniture into place. Wait for someone else to help you lift and place it where it belongs.
Wood is a very porous material and it reacts to moisture levels. In the winter, your home gets very dry and this lack of moisture can cause wood planks to shrink creating unsightly gaps between boards. In severe cases, the wood can split. A humidifier will rectify this situation. In the summer, the opposite is true. Your home can contain too much humidity causing the planks to absorb moisture and cup (the edges rise higher than the center). It’s important to control humidity levels and it is best to keep your home between 35% to 55% humidity.
Related Read: Humidifier Tips for Hardwood Floor Owners
If your floor suffers a catastrophic injury, the good news is that if it has been badly damaged in one spot, you can remove the damaged boards and replace them as opposed to living with the damage or replacing the entire floor. This is one of the advantages of a wood floor and not something you could expect from non-hardwood flooring. The wood floor pros at SVB can repair your floor, match the color, and make it look as good as new.
Call SVB Wood Floors if you need help with wood floor care, repair, or installation at (913) 213-5187 or (816) 965-8655.