Wood flooring adds warmth and luxury to your home, and they will continue to do so for many, many years if you take proper care of them. A crucial step to preserving your high-quality floors (and keeping that property value sky high) is to refinish them periodically. But we understand that refinishing can be an expensive route, so we’ve made a list of all the things you can do to keep your hardwood floors shining in between refinishing jobs.
Know Your Floor
There are different types of wood flooring. It’s important to start by knowing what type of flooring you have and what the manufacturer recommends. Laminate flooring is much easier to restore to its original shine with just a good cleaning.
Engineered hardwood flooring may take more effort. You may also want to consider the state of your flooring. If your floor is nearing the end of its lifespan, it may be more effort to try to restore the floor yourself than to just get a professional to refinish it.
Keep Your Floors Clean
Dust and grime dull your hardwood flooring. Sweep regularly to pick up debris that can scratch the surface of your floor. High-traffic areas may need to be swept daily, while other areas might be able to go two or three days. Use a soft-bristle broom or vacuum using an attachment for a hardwood floor.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning your floor. Use a microfiber mop and a hardwood floor cleaner product to wipe the floor instead of a regular mop, water, and detergent. Be gentle when cleaning, and avoid harsh cleansers and steam cleaners (the heat and moisture created by a steam cleaner can severely damage hardwood floors).
If there is something stuck on the floor, use a putty knife to gently lift the grime. For stains, dampen a cloth with hydrogen peroxide and place on the stain. Leave overnight or up to 24 hours. Remove the cloth. Wipe up the stain with a clean cloth.
Protect Your Floors Against Damage
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Ask everyone to leave their shoes at the front door, especially high heels or cleats.
- Use doormats at every entry point to avoid tracking dirt through your home.
- Trim your pet’s nails. Sweep up pet hair and dander every day.
- Use area rugs and mats on your floors to prevent scuffs and scratches.
- Place felt pads under heavy furniture items.
- When moving furniture, use a furniture slider or pick up the item instead of just scooting it across the floor.
Repair Chips and Scratches
If your floor does get dinged, don’t panic. Find a wood putty or wood filler that matches your floor. You can use this to fill in deeper scratches or chips. Follow the instructions on the product. If the flooring gets dented, you can use a clothing iron to flatten the dent.
Heat the iron to a medium setting. Put a couple of drops of water on the dent. Place a cotton cloth over the water. Press the iron on the cloth. The steam should flatten the dent. It’s better to start with lower heat than you think, so you don’t burn the wood. It might take 10 minutes, but don’t let the wood get too hot.
Use a Revitalizing Product
A wood restoring product or revitalizer can help restore a wood floor to its original look. You can usually find these products in a hardware store. Try out the product in an out of the way corner before applying it to the entire floor.
Follow the instructions on the product. Before applying to the entire floor, move all furniture and other objects out of the way. Typically, you’ll apply the solution to the floor with a mop. The solution will need time to dry before you put the furniture back.
Understand That You Will Need To Refinish Your Floor Eventually
To get the full lifespan out of your hardwood flooring, you will need to refinish it at some point. Generally speaking, you should think about having the floor refinishing process redone every fifteen to twenty years.
You can tell if your floors need to be refinished by watching for splinters, deep scratches, water stains, and discoloration. Although refinishing your floor is a big job, one of the best things is that you can usually change the color of the floor for a whole new look without completely replacing your floor.
We also recommend hiring a professional to deep-clean and top-coat your floors every three to five years (top-coating is the process of reapplying the same coat of finish to your floor). This will prolong the life of your floor significantly.
Not Sure What To Do With Your Hardwood Floors?
If you’ve tried cleaning your floors and using a polish or wood restorer without success, you may want to get a professional opinion about how to handle your floors. SVB Floors has served the Kansas City area for over 15 years. As flooring experts, we offer a wide array of hardwood flooring options to perfectly suit the look and feel of your home. So give us a call today if you are in need of top-of-the-line refinishing or installation services.