Wood flooring is very popular these days. They are hypo-allergenic and can brighten up the decor in a home and adds value to it as well, however it takes special care to keep it looking beautiful and in good condition while protecting it from damage.
The first thing to keep in mind in order to protect your floor is that wood can and will be damaged with excessive exposure to moisture, so it is essential to keep it dry.
If you have a good quality finish on your floor it will help to repel any water to some degree, however it is best to avoid getting it wet regardless. In the event that water or fluid is spilled onto the floor, in order to protect it, clean it up immediately. The longer water sits on a wood floor the more damage it will do.
The second thing to keep in mind when protecting your wood floor is to keep dirt off of it as much as possible. It is best to sweep at least once per day as small particles can scratch and damage the wood. Using a broom with soft bristles is the best and will help avoid damage the most, while keeping your floor looking shiny and new. I also recommend for the same reason, a good Vacuum cleaning one or two times per week or more depending on the floor traffic.
When mopping, and I cannot stress this enough, it is really very important to only use products that are specifically designed for wood floors. This will help to avoid damage while cleaning. Water can damage your wood floor more than anything else, so never ever use water to mop wood floors!
Another thing to keep in mind is that different wood floors have different finishes. Some have wax and others polyurethane. Make sure you use the proper product for the type of finish that your floor has when cleaning.
Something else to keep in mind is that furniture can easily scratch the surface of wood floors, so it is important that when you are moving furniture around and re-arranging your room to lift up the furniture completely off the floor. If you need more than one person to lift it, then be sure that you do not attempt to do it yourself!
Now that you have moved your furniture, it is a really smart idea to place pads under the legs of heavy objects so there will not be any dents or marks left on the wood.
Heavy dents can be near impossible to get out with sanding, and the more you sand your floor, the thinner it gets, so it is a good idea to protect your floor by placing pads under all furniture.
Something people may not think of too, is be careful of what kind of shoes you wear on the floor. (We have a rule at our house that when anyone enters a room with wood floors, we take off the shoes before entering the room.) If you must wear shoes on the floor, it is best to stick with flat rubber soles.
We have a variety of throw rugs and runners on our wood floors to help protect it in areas where there is a lot of traffic. These too help protect the floor from excessive dirt and particles being dragged in as well as the potential scratches that can occur. Don’t forget the door mats either!
Another thing to be aware of is that wood floors can be damaged by too much direct sunlight and will take on a “washed out” or faded look. Be sure to use blinds or shades over windows, otherwise cover the areas with throw rugs for protection.
Keeping wood flooring clean and dry will keep it beautiful and healthy and will last for a very long time.