Hardwood floors are a winning choice - they're attractive, available in a variety of styles, and long-lasting when properly cared for. Easily keep your floors in tip-top shape - and protect your investment - with these quick tips for caution and care.
First, it's important to know and recognize which species your hardwood is as woods vary in hardness. One of the most commonly used options, oak, is a hearty choice and will hold up well against daily wear and tear; maple and hickory are even tougher. Cherry, birch and walnut, however, are on the other end of the spectrum and may scratch more easily.
Regardless of the hardness of your wood floors, take care to protect them from items such as damaged high heel shoes and pebbles, that may dent or scratch the surface. Use felt glides on the bottom of furniture legs. Use protective mats at exterior doors to capture sand and grit before it gets tracked onto the floor.
Regularly vacuum or sweep (a microfiber mop works well) the floors to clear debris and dust, which may scratch or stick to the floor and can dull the floor's sheen.
On a weekly basis (or as needed), we recommend damp mopping (not wet, as excessive moisture causes wood to expand and may damage your floors) with a homemade solution of 1/3 cup vinegar : 1 gallon cool water to remove stuck-on dirt and grime. If you prefer to use a commercial cleaner, ensure it does not contain wax, oil or acrylic ingredients.
REPAIR & REFINISHING
One of the many perks of real, solid hardwood floors is that they can last a lifetime. A "buff and coat" may be all you need to bring dull floors back to life every 12-18 months. Plan to refinish your floors every 7-10 years or as needed based on wear, while keeping in mind that your hardwood can likely undergo a maximum of 10 full refinishes in it's lifetime.