4 Strategies to Protect Hardwood Floors
YOUR HARDWOOD FLOORS are hard at work, standing up to high heels, spills, furniture scraping across its surfaces, and pets and kids using it as an indoor racetrack. While hardwood floors can withstand a lot of wear and tear, regular maintenance is essential.
To keep your floors looking their best, Mike Ogle, owner of Ogle’s Hardwood Flooring in Huntersville, offers these four tips.
KEEP THEM CLEAN
“Dirt and debris are like sandpaper on hardwood floors,” Ogle explains. Keeping floors clean will help protect the finish—but think twice before reaching for a broom. Ogle notes that sweeping leaves fine particles behind; vacuuming on the “bare floor” setting is a better option.
You should also avoid mopping or steam cleaning hardwood floors: The moisture can cause boards to buckle or warp. A light application of hardwood floor cleaner and a cloth duster mop are the best option for deep cleaning.
PICK THE RIGHT PRODUCTS
Faced with an entire supermarket aisle full of floor cleaners, it can be hard to know which one to choose. Ogle recommends cleaners over polishes, which can dull the finish and cause unwanted build-up.
The National Wood Flooring Association also advises steering clear of cleaners made for other flooring surfaces, such as tile or vinyl, because the products can harm the finish on your hardwood floors.
Throw rugs help protect hardwood floors from scratching. Consider placing rugs in high-traffic areas such as inside the door and in front of the kitchen and bathroom sinks.
To protect furniture from scratching the floors, Ogle calls peel-and-stick felt protectors on the bottom of furniture legs “a must” and suggests using them on all of the furniture, especially beds and chairs.
INVEST IN THEIR CARE
Hardwood floors, like other major systems in the house, need upgrades over time.
If your floors look lackluster or are riddled with nicks and dents, call in a professional for advice on refinishing. There are no hard-and-fast rules about how often hardwood floors need to be refinished. As Ogle notes, “A family with three kids and five dogs will need to have their floors refinished more often than a senior citizen living alone.”
In some cases, recoating floors with a new coat of polyurethane might be appropriate. It’s more cost-effective than refinishing hardwood floors and can help protect them for years.
Whether the floors need to be recoated or refinished, it’s best to call in the pros.