Caring For Your Hardwood Floors

Published July 19, 2012

You can probably expect plenty of traffic this summer on your hardwood floors when your kids head home for the summer. Dogs and kids are just two examples of traffic that hits our floors on a day-to-day basis. It’s important to know the basics of hardwood floor protection if you would like your investment in your hardwood to last.

Hardwood floors are really one of the nicest flooring one can choose for their home. The trick is to keep it looking great over the years. Dan Glavind of the BC Hardwood Floor Company suggests the following tips to keep your hardwood floors looking their best over time.

Firstly, routine maintenance should include protecting the surface finish from moisture and heavy wear, which can increase the likelihood of scratches. Preventative maintenance is the key with items such as area rugs and floor protectors should be in place wherever possible. Be sure to use proper wood floor cleaners. The use of improper cleaning products can contribute to additional wear and tear and may void your floor’s warranty.

Wood floors are not impervious to the day-to-day grit, food and spills so always immediately wipe them clean. Stubborn stains should be cleaned with a soft, dampened cloth and with proper cleaning solutions as recommended by the manufacturer. This includes sweeping, vacuuming (with a soft brush attachment) and/or dust mopping to remove dirt and grit. Keep this as a regularly scheduled event and stick to it.

A proper cleaning pad is paramount when cleaning your floors. Your manufacturer would have most likely recommended a cleaning solution and this should be used with a slightly damp and well rung out pad. It is important to always use a clean pad/cloth each time you start the cleaning process. These pads may be washed after excessive build up. Glavind also recommends not using the following items on your hardwood floors: wet mops, ammonia, dust cleaners (as they only move dirt around) and other non-wood cleaners.

When your floors were installed they were treated with a special coating system. There are many different types of coating systems so it is important for you to determine what kind of system was used on your floor in order to follow the proper maintenance schedule and use of materials. For example, your floors may have a wax finish. Therefore you should never use a water-based cleaner on them. They must be maintained with wax cleaners and buffing to regain any luster lost. Another example would be with hardwood floors that are oiled finished. The oil will bring out much of the beauty of the wood but additional oiled finishes should be applied to maintain the floor every six months to a year.

Some of the more common systems include manufactured pre-finishes such as aluminum oxide and ceramic finishes. Another system would be the Site Applied Finishes such as moisture cured urethane finish, polyurethane finish and a wax finish. There are other systems that are used as well. Be sure to investigate which system was applied with your floor in order to achieve the best result for long-term maintenance.