How to Keep Your Wood Floor Looking Its Best!
Hardwood floors are susceptible to scratches, abrasions and gouges from furniture moving or falling sharp objects. With a little preventive maintenance, as recommended by the National Wood Floor Association's Wood Care Guide, you can keep your floor looking its best for years.
1. Place Mats at Door Entrances: The best way to clean grit from the floor, is to never let it get there in the first place. Welcome mats and throw rugs placed at the entrance of rooms with wood floors will remove the loose dirt, sand, gravel, etc. from shoes. This may seem trivial, but floor wear is a result of the tiny scratches made from specs of dirt.
2. Use Mats in Kitchens and High Spill Areas: Spills need to be cleaned immediately. If you have hardwood floors in your kitchen, then an area mat is a must near your sink, stove or refrigerator (especially if you have refrigerated water service). Mats catch the spill before it reaches the wood floor. Choose a cotton or fabric mat that can be machine washed. Smooth back vinyl and rubber mats can trap water against the floor, defeating their purpose.
3. Place Fabric Glides Below Furniture Legs: Fabric allows chairs, tables and other movable furniture to easily glide on the wood floor without causing damage. However, periodically clean the fabric feet, as embedded grit can leave scratches in the finish.
4. Vacuum and Sweep the Floor as Often as Possible: Daily sweeping with periodic vacuuming (with a hardwood floor attachment) removes the dirt, sand and other grit particles from the floor.
5. Wipe Away Spills as Quickly as Possible: To prevent liquids from seeping into the wood, clean promptly with a dry towel. A damp towel can be used to clean away sticky residue from the floor.
6. Look Out for Broken Heels: Broken high heels can gouge a wood floor. Make sure your family's shoes have their heels intact without sharp nails poking through.
7. Apply Fresh Floor Finish: Floor finish wears off over time, especially in high traffic areas. A fresh coat keeps your floor looking its best and extends the time between costly floor sanding.
A well maintained floor can go years without needing to be sanded.