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Frequently Asked Questions from Hardwood Floor Owners

Frequently Asked Questions PhotoAt SVB Wood Floors, we get lots of great questions from hardwood floor owners. We figure if someone wanted to know the answer, there are probably more hardwood floor owners out there who could benefit from knowing a little bit more about hardwood floors too. So here are a few of the top Frequently Asked Questions about hardwood floors:

Can I damp-mop my wood floor?

No. Wood and water don’t mix. I there is a sticky spill, you may use a lightly dampened mop to clean it up, but excessive moisture will cause damage. Standing water can dull the finish and discolor the surface. If water spills on your wood floor, wipe it up immediately with a clean cloth.

How can I prevent scratches on wood flooring?

Dirt and grit cause scratches, to the best thing you can do is sweep or vacuum often and use mats at doorways to help collect the grit. Shake these out often. You can also place felt pads under furniture legs and always lift, never scoot furniture when moving it. Also, if you have pets, keep their nails trimmed.

Can cleaning products for other types of floors be used on wood floors as well?

No. Never use cleaning products for vinyl or tile floors on hardwood. Self-polishing acrylic waxes will also damage the finish of your wood floors. These waxes cause wood to become slippery and dull and may require refinishing to repair the damage. Always follow manufacturer recommendations. If in doubt, check out our blog post about caring for wood floors.

How do I know if my floor needs to be refinished?

There is a simple test to determine whether or not your floor should be refinished. Choose a high traffic area where the finish appears to be the most worn. Pour a tablespoon of water onto the floor. If the water beads up, your floor is fine. If it soaks into the wood, your finish is compromised and no longer protecting the wood below. It’s time to refinish your floor.

Why does my floor have gaps?

Hardwood floors naturally expand and contract with moisture levels. It is not uncommon to have wider gaps in between planks during the winter months when indoor humidity levels drop. The wood will return to normal as soon as the humidity returns to normal. If the gaps bother you, you may want to consider getting a humidifier to bring more humidity into your home. Humidity levels between 45% and 55% should reduce or eliminate gaps between planks.

Why do my floors squeak?

Squeaking is usually due to humidity changes. As the wood expands or contracts, so do the nail holes hold it in place. As we put weight on the floor boards by walking across them, we cause the planks to rub against one another and squeak. You’ll notice that most home squeak more during the winter when indoor humidity is low. Sometimes squeaks can also be caused by pipes rubbing against joists or loose heating ducts. The best way to fix squeaks is by driving shims between the sub floor and joists. If you can’t get to the sub floor from underneath, a flooring professional can shoot 2-inch finish nails through the floor diagonally to hold down the loose planks.

We hope this answers some of the burning questions you’ve had about your hardwood floors. At SVB Wood Floors, we want to you to enjoy your hardwood floor for years to come. Please feel free to visit our blog for more helpful information about hardwood floor installation, care, repair, trends, etc.