Traditional hardwood floors are prized by homeowners for their classic beauty and outstanding durability. Once properly installed, a well maintained traditional hardwood floor can last the life of the home. Hardwood floors are relatively easy to maintain once they are installed. It’s important that they are cleaned regularly so they do not dull or become damaged by scratches and scuff marks.
Dirt and sand are abrasives that can damage a hardwood floor with nasty scratches and can wear down a finish and leaves the floor looking dull. Keeping hardwood floors free of abrasives like dirt will help keep the floor shiny and fresh as they day you had it installed. Sweeping a hardwood floor regularly or vacuuming with a special attachment for hardwood floors will help remove the dirt and protect the floor from the abrasiveness. There are special hardwood floor cleaners that are recommended for deeper cleaning and you should only use a cleaner that is recommended by the floor’s manufacturer for the type of wood the floor is made out of. Many people use oil-based soaps on hardwood floors. This is not a good idea as oil based soaps can leave a build-up on the finish and may cause problems when it’s time to refinish a floor. Oil based soaps can also make your floors look dull and take away the sheen of the finish. Use only products recommended by the manufacturer for your particular floor and avoid wet mopping the floor when there is a buildup of dirt because this can cause the floor to warp.
Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause a hardwood floor to fade over time. It is best to protect areas of the floor that are in the path of direct sunlight by using window coverings. Having furniture or area rugs over an area of hardwood flooring can cause discoloration. In order to avoid discoloration and fading of large areas of a traditional hardwood floor, it is a good idea to periodically shift rugs and furniture around and monitor the amount of sunlight that hits a hardwood floor directly.
While these floors are durable and can stand up to foot traffic, it is a good idea to place area rugs in high traffic areas to avoid scrapes and scuffs. Having floor protectors on furniture can also help with scrapes when moving furniture around. Refinishing the floor every few years as recommended by the manufacturer will help restore the luster of the floor and protect the floor from moisture and dirt buildup. This should be done according to the type of wood the floor is and the finish that is required.