Hardwood Flooring: Maintenance and Refining

It’s true when you take care of something, you need to know how, with what and how often. There are special ways and steps to go about it.

Ask any flooring contractor, hardwood floors are not too hard to maintain, as long as you know what you have and do it the right way the first time, so as to repeat consistently.

Don’t damage your floors, maintain them!

There are many ways to clean and maintain your hardwood floors to keep them looking shiny and beautiful. First, you have to define what kind of flooring you have or plan to install.

ID the hardwood finish

There are two main types of hardwood floors. The two are unfinished and pre-finished hardwood floors.

Prefinished Hardwood Floors

Prefinished Hardwood Floors are most commonly sealed at the surface to protect dirt and moisture from entering in and causing damage. To clean these floors, you cannot use any sort of oil or wax-based products or cleaners. Prefinished floors are notably water-resistant. Care for them by sweeping and vacuuming them every so often and use a water and soap solution for the simplest cleaning remedy.

  1. A 1/4 cup of dish soap
  2. A pail of water

Use a mop to clean your floors with this mixture. Most importantly, rather than the mop being soaked wet, make sure you “wire out” the water and soap solution before you proceed to mop; in other words, it should be damp, not soaked. The old wives tale; use vinegar and water to clean hardwood floors. But, the best recommendation rather than vinegar and water is the soap and water solution.

Clean scratch marks on prefinished hardwood floors with some baking soda on a damp sponge. The scratches will go away. For cleaning up food stains, grease, and harsh stains, use commercial cleaners recommended by your manufacturers’ guide.

Unfinished Hardwood Floors

Unfinished Hardwood Floors require much more care. Cleaning and maintaining your unfinished hardwood floors may require much more care than the prefinished hardwood floors. Following your manufacturers’ flooring guide will help you take care of those types. If not, they should have a website with the proper care and maintenance of such types. They are normally seal-treated onsite when installed. The moisture damage that can come with these types of floors if you treat and clean it with water-based cleaning solutions may not help.

The wax buildup will make your floors look very dull. Stripping the unfinished hardwood floors’ wax buildup is common. If you have unfinished hardwood floors, get used to this. The recommended products used for them should be in your flooring’s manufacturer’s guide on how to clean and restore your floors original look.

Hardwood Flooring Maintenance

Described below is the recommended way to clean your hardwood floors to keep that luster and shine.

  1. Sweeping and mopping your floor is important to do periodically, but so is waxing your floors. Also, dry mopping can help rid of dust and dirt to your hardwood floors.
  2. You can strip the old wax from your floor with the guidance of your manufacturer’s recommended products.
  3. Ventilation is key to hardwood floors; also, waxing it after you’ve dusted and mopped while making sure the entire floor is dry before doing so is critical.
  4. When applying wax, it should be a thin coat.
  5. Allow the floor to dry and be well-ventilated.
  6. Once you know the floor is completely dry, apply the final coat of wax so as to allow for drying.
  7. Buffing machines are prime for this part of the waxing of a hardwood floor. If you really wanted, purchasing such equipment is also an investment; there are also rentals for these special machines as well.

In high traffic areas, hardwood floors will get a beating, there’s no doubt. But, you can maintain it by waxing it every 6 months. Also, you can purchase a commercial cleaner that’s specifically for unfinished hardwood which can remove food stains. Using a steel wool pad with a small dab of wax can also be applied to the area once food stains or marks are removed.

Preserve your hardwood floors the right way!

  1. It’s suggested that sweeping and vacuuming your hardwood floors morning and night, or at least twice a day will maintain it’s longevity.
  2. The reduction of dust and particles onto your hardwood floors can be deterred with a doormat at the entrance of your doorway.
  3. If anything is ever dropped or spilled on your floors such as any sort of liquid or food, make sure to clean it immediately clean your floors when something spills on it, such as food or drinks. And if left on hardwood floors, water will damage it.
  4. If you place a carpet on the floor, remember that they have “rug dyes and plastic backs”. You may want to put an “under pad” before the carpet or rug is placed on it if you decide to have a few spread around your hardwood floors.
  1. A hardwood manufacturer’s maintenance guide and instructions should be understood thoroughly; if not, make sure you have the contact numbers so as to get those questions answered for the sake of your hardwood floors’ longevity.

Source: Hardwood Flooring in Downriver Michigan

Consequently, you can very well extend the lifetime of your hardwood floors by following these steps and guides that were gathered from reliable resources as well as from those who know flooring maintenance and installation. Harsh, worn, and uncared for is not what you want your hard earned money looking like when it comes to a huge part of your home’s interior. In other words, think of maintaining your hardwood floors as a well-rounded investment which will keep your home valuable for years.