Tips to Keep Your Hardwood Floors Looking Their Best
Felt pads are recommended under all furniture to prevent scratches. Narrow wheels and sharp wooden or metal furniture legs can scratch and dent hardwood flooring. For extremely heavy objects, such as a piano, use rubber caps. When moving heavy furniture, lift the furniture as opposed to sliding the furniture to avoid scratches.
Area rugs are recommended in high-traffic areas and by entrance doors. Wait two weeks before placing area rugs on newly finished hardwood floors. Typically, the kitchen floors experience the most traffic in a home. To prevent premature wear of the hardwood floor, place a rug in front of the sink and stove or other high traffic areas. Be sure to shake out or vacuum the rugs frequently.
Vacuum using a soft brush attachment, sweep or dust mop frequently. Small stones, mud, dirt and grit tracked in from outdoors can wreak havoc on the finish. To help combat this, place door mats with bristles at all entrances.
Dog owners should keep their pet's nails clipped to minimize scratches to the finish and hardwood floors. Unfortunately, there is not a floor finish available that can withstand pet scratches.
Avoid walking on your hardwood floors with cleats or high heels. Walking in high heals can exert an impact of 2,000 pounds per square inch, and an impact of this intensity can possibly damage the floor surface.
Wipe spills immediately. When accidents happen and liquid is spilled on the hardwood floor, use a slightly damp cloth or paper towel to immediately clean and dry the affected area. Moisture barrier pads, trivets or stands should be used under potted plants, even if the plants are in sealed or leak-proof containers. Condensation can build up beneath the containers causing damage to the floor.
Hardwood floors are made to expand and contract throughout the seasons. It is best to maintain interior air around 40-50% humidity. A dehumidifier is recommended during the summer months to prevent the hardwood floors from swelling and cupping. A humidifier is recommended during the winter months to add moisture to the hardwood floors to minimize shrinking.
Recoating the hardwood floor is recommended every 5-10 years, though in some high-traffic areas, it may be necessary to recoat the floors more often. In low traffic rooms, recoating may not be necessary for 15 years or more. Recoating floors is not a complete sanding process - it consists of buffing the hardwood floor with fine sand paper, cleaning the hardwood floor and applying two coats of finish to the hardwood floor.