The global market for wood flooring is expected to reach a revenue of $41,682.2 million by 2027. With material prices rising rapidly, wood flooring is now a huge investment for your home. So how do you ensure it lasts?
Luckily, there are a few ways you can keep it looking new. Read on as we discuss how to care for hardwood floors.
1. Avoid Water
Water and wood are not a good mix. Once fluids are introduced to hardwoods, they will begin to swell and warp. Not long after, decay and rot will set in.
Most wood floors will be treated on the outside to stop water from penetrating the surface. Yet the sides and bottom will be areas that can absorb it quite easily. If they are covered in water and it seeps down into these crevices, you may have trouble.
Many people would advise against cleaning with water altogether and recommend sweeping with a broom and dustpan. At the most, use a wrung-out mop that is only marginally damp.
2. Limit Moving Furniture
Hopefully, you don’t have to move furniture around that often. Yet some items like dining chairs, are always getting pushed backward and forward. They can leave serious scuff marks on your floor.
Wood floors can be protected from this by placing rugs under them or adding protective pads to the feet. There are lots of different types you can buy, from nail-on ones to others with adhesive backing. If you have to move large items of furniture, put down plywood to assist with preventing damage when you drag them along.
3. Add Rugs to High Traffic Areas
Adding a rug works on several levels. First of all, it adds a touch of decorative flair to your home. Secondly, they can help when maintaining hardwood floors by protecting them with layers of fabric.
Ideally, you should place them in areas of high traffic. These may be entranceways or living rooms, where the family is often walking in and out. Don’t be afraid to layer rugs one on top of another either, adding depth to your decor.
4. Pet Proof
Pets and flooring are other combinations that do not tend to mix. Sharp claws can create gouges and scratches on the wood. When they run around it makes it even worse as they attempt to gain traction by digging their claws in.
If you have pets, then think about adding specifically hardwood floors. This will cut down on the scratches your pet can make. If you have areas where your pet tends to frequent or sleep, then lay down mats and rugs.
Another method is to ensure their claws are clipped regularly. Take them out for walks so that they are being ground down naturally. You may also want to install runners.
5. Clean Regularly
Protecting wood floors begins with regular cleaning. A quick sweep at the end of the day removes dirt and grit. If this is left to accumulate and people walk over it, it can cause scratches and gouges in your flooring.
One tool you could invest in is a microfibre dust mop. They will attract even the smallest of particles making your job much easier. Small vacuum cleaners are also useful for getting into corners and hard-to-reach areas.
You should also limit your deeper cleaning to once a week. Overuse of hardwood flooring products can have adverse effects, stripping and dulling them.
6. Research Products
We have already discussed not using water and regular cleaning. Yet there are numerous products on the market that claim to assist when protecting hardwood floors that you may want to use. However, not all of them are as good as they seem.
Try to avoid any steam cleaning products. The steam pushes moisture into the hardwood. This can cause warping and buckling to occur.
Don’t use any organic vinegar and water solutions either. Vinegar will take the shine from the coating, dulling your floor. Finally, avoid any soap-based cleaners that leave a residue as this can damage over time.
7. Get the Right Humidity
The level of humidity in a home will depend upon your climate. An average level is between 30 to 50%. Over or under this and your hardwoods may have problems, expanding and contracting.
If you are in a dry climate, consider running a humidifier in the room. Without it, the wood will shrink and gaps will form between them. If dirt and moisture get inside, it can cause numerous problems.
When you have a humid climate already, invest in a dehumidifier. This will take out any excess moisture. Your air conditioning may be able to serve the same purpose but could be less energy efficient.
8. Install With an Underlay
Underlay provides a layer of cushioning under the floorboards. It can protect it from the hard concrete underneath. Without it, you may find that your flooring does not have a lot of bounce.
When you install an underlay, you prevent friction from the back of the floorboard to the floor itself. Underlay4u.co.uk has a wide range of underlay types that you should consider placing under your hardwood.
9. Get Rid of Pooled Water Fast
Liquids can find their way onto your floor in many other ways as well. Spilled water, dishwasher leaks, splashes from sinks, and many others can put water on your floor. Make sure you remove any pooled liquids before they have time to sink into the wood.
Installing Hardwood Floors
Now you know how easy it is to maintain hardwood floors; you just need to find the right ones for your home. They have many benefits over other flooring types. Decide on a finish and color then get shopping.
If you found this article helpful, we have many more. From DIY to renovation, we can help keep your property looking great in the coming year.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.