How to Maintain Your Hardwood Floors to Last a Lifetime

Wood flooring has been a must-have addition to any luxury home for as long as people have been building luxury homes. The elegance added by a hardwood floor simply can’t be overstated. Unfortunately, as with most things beautiful and luxurious, hardwood floors need a lot of maintenance to keep up their great looks. Here is a how-to to make sure your hardwood floors stay clean, shiny, and beautiful:

  • Clean Often and Clean Right: The single most important thing to do to keep your wood floors shiny for years is to clean them often. It isn’t enough to just mop and vacuum once a month. Particles like dust and dirt can do some major damage to your wood flooring if left to their own devices, so experts recommend you clean your floors weekly.

When cleaning, use a cleaning solution that is specifically made for your type of hardwood floor. Using non-wood-floor cleaners can cause the cleaner to not bond or improperly bond with your flooring’s finish which could lead to peeling. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that the old wives tale of using vinegar to clean wood floors is a major no-no. Vinegar is highly acidic and will dull the finish on your flooring faster than just about anything else.

When vacuuming your wood flooring, make sure you have the brush set to the “Floor” setting to prevent the spinning bristles from damaging your floor. Similarly, make sure you use a broom with soft bristles to keep from scuffing it up.

  • Repairing Wood floor damage: Repairing a lightly damaged wood floor is a lot easier than most people think. For most minor scuffs, a simple rub-down with some water or hardwood-cleaner will do the job. More persistent or deeper scratches that don’t penetrate through all the way to the wood can be repaired with a procedure called “buff and pad”. This is an extremely simple procedure: simply rent a floor buffer from your local hardware store (or get a trained handyman to bring over theirs), buff-sand the affected area, and apply a couple of coats of wood finish. The whole process will last just a couple of hours and leave your floors looking brand new. For deep dents and pockmarks caused by furniture or heels, you might need to go through with the more expensive and difficult sand-and-refinish process. Sand down the finishing material on your wood floor all the way to the wood, then refinish it with wood sealer and finisher (follow the directions on the finisher closely for best results).