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Hardwood floors that need to be refinished

Caring for your Hardwood Floors

Are you Cleaning your Hardwood Floors too Frequently?

Small maintenance tasks performed on a regular basis can help you prevent unwanted costs and protect your investment (they weren’t cheap, right?).

Hardwood floors are a great addition, thus they can make your home look elegant, luxurious and cozy. They can also last for generations, but only if you take care of them.

Recently I interviewed 3 local hardwood floor companies, ie. companies that sell hardwood floors and install them.  Two out of the three companies agree on the proper way to clean hardwood floors. Here are their secrets on keeping your hardwood floors looking beautiful.  

It all starts with Proper care

Here are some easy yet effective tips to help you maintain the beauty and resistance of your hardwood floors:

  • Dust them with a microfiber pad (every day)
  • You can vacuum your hardwoods, just don’t use a beater bar
  • Oil soaps are not recommended for hardwoods
  • Polish your hardwood floors (every six months)
  • Sand and re-coat them (every 3-5 years)
  • Place mats at entryways – and remember to wipe your feet
  • Mop with a mild detergent, less is always better when it comes to hardwoods.  If you don’t have a lot of traffic coming into your home, then don’t mop them, it’s best to keep them debris free.  
  • You don’t have to use anything expensive to clean them, I would recommend warm water, non-ammonia window cleaner
  • Immediately wipe up spills with a lightly dampened cloth
  • Dust mop or vacuum floors with a bristle head vacuum on a regular basis
  • For spills and tracked dirt, lightly sponge mop with a hardwood floor cleaner or combine one cup of glass cleaner in one gallon of water and damp mop
  • Do not flood the floor with cleaner
  • Cleaning products specifically made for urethane finished floors are available at most stores

Protect the Floor

  • Protect floors from everyday wear and tear
  • Allow one week before placing any rugs or carpets on the newly finished floor to allow it to fully cure
  • Use tracking mats at exterior doors, in front of sinks, or wherever heavy traffic occurs
  • Install felt pads or stainless steel floor glides on chair legs or other furniture at contact points to prevent scratching
  • Avoid walking on floors with high heels or with any sharp objects protruding from shoes, such as cleats or golf shoes
  • If you have pets, remember to trim their nails regularly

Never Use

  • Paste wax
  • Steam Cleaners
  • Wax or silicone-based polish
  • Solvent or pine-based cleaners
  • Vinegar
  • Ammonia or Murphy’s Oil Soap
  • Orange Cleaner
  • These products may dull or harm the finish, and create problems when the floor requires refinishing

Periodically Re-coat

  • Re-coat the floor every 2 to 5 years
  • A hardwood floor should be re-coated when the original finish is showing signs of wear, but before it has worn down the the bare wood
  • Once worn to the bare wood the floor will stain easily, and will require sanding
  • Re-coating is a relatively inexpensive one day job, which will greatly increase the time period between refinishing and also stretch the life span of the floor