Solid hardwood floors repay a little care with a lifetime of value. When you first glimpse a solid hardwood floor, you sense richness, warmth and natural beauty. Gradually, you get to know its distinct personality – visual harmonies, the traces of history in the forest and in your home.
Solid hardwood floors are among the easiest to keep clean. Protect their warmth and character with simple, everyday cleaning techniques.
Dirt, grit and sand are your hardwood floors worst enemies.
They act like sandpaper on the finish, causing scratches, dents and dulling. Place floor mats at entrances to trap dirt and prevent damage. Rugs should not be placed on your floor for at least 7 to 30 days after finish has been applied; as specified by the finish manufacturer.
- Sweep and/or vacuum regularly.Canister vacuums with special bare floor brush attachments are the surest way to get rid of all the dirt and dust. (Do not use vacuums with beater bars as they may scratch or dent your floor.)
- Standing water can warp a hardwood floor and damage the finish. Simply wipe up all spills as they occur. Never wet mop, because standing water can cause wood to swell and buckle.
- Avoid oil soaps or wax based cleaning products. They can build up and create problems when it’s time to put a maintenance finish coat on the floor. Instead, neutral pH cleaners made especially for wood floors are recommended. Just read the label to make sure they are safe for hardwood floors. (You may use a simple and inexpensive solution of 20 parts water to 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle.)
- Lift furniture to move it — avoid dragging. Felt contacts under legs will help prevent scratches. Typically, furniture can be moved back 2 days after finish has been applied. Furniture should be placed not dragged.
- Keep heels on shoes in good repair, especially high heels. Heels that have their protective cap missing or worn away exposing the steel support rod will dent any floor surface, even concrete.
- Hardwood floors will shrink and expand with seasonal changes in humidity, sometimes leaving small cracks between boards. Humidity causes expansion and dryness brings about contraction. To minimize these changes, a humidifier may be used during drier seasons.