How can you take care of your hardwood flooring? Before you get your lovely new hardwood flooring done, it is best to find out about the TLC it needs. Hardwood floor is quite easily maintained, easy to clean and perfect for a busy household. However, if you are not prepared or aware of how to look after it, your stunning new floor can be permanently damaged in no time. Make sure to read till the end for useful tips on how to keep your hardwood floor intact and looking new for longer.
What is Hardwood Flooring
If you are not an expert in flooring the term ‘hardwood’ can be confusing. It is used somewhat loosely to describe flooring made of wood. But not all wood or solid wood floorings are hardwood.
Solid flooring is milled from one whole piece of wood. So is hardwood. However, hardwood flooring is made from trees that grow slowly and as a result they have a tougher structure. The complexity of hardwood tree cells makes the wood more dense and durable. The most common trees used for hardwood flooring are the trees that lose their leaves in autumn, such as oak, walnut, maple, mahogany, birch, teak and ash.
Most common softwood flooring is made from pine, yew, or larch trees.
How to Look After Your Hardwood Flooring
You don’t have to clean these floors often. But any cleaning or mopping takes time; you might as well do it right without causing any extra trouble for yourself.
Most of the time, sweeping and vacuuming are enough to clean your hardwood floors. When you must mop, remember that even the best quality hardwood flooring is not waterproof. If your hardwood floor gets in prolonged contact with water, it will absorb and expand. This results in surface cracking, warping, or splitting. There may be discolouration or flaking of the flooring as well.
To prevent permanent damage to your wooden floor, use only a damp mop when cleaning your hardwood floor. Make sure that any spills, small or big, are dried up straight away with a cloth. Do not wipe it; pat it dry. Remove any wet floor covering such as mats or carpets. If a small amount of water gets absorbed, it should dry over time and look new again.
If a significant amount of water gets absorbed by a large surface of your hardwood floor, you will need to contact wood floor professionals. They will be able to treat your floor and dry it without it bending. But, this can be pricey.
If you want to refinish a water-damaged floor, you may need to wait for a few months before you can do that. Even if the top layer of your hardwood flooring looks and feels dry, the subfloor layer takes much longer to dry completely, even when dried by professionals. If you do it too early, you may risk damaging your floor even more.
Not only water but also humidity and heat have a very similar expansion effect. For this reason, it is advised not to have wooden flooring in bathrooms. Moisture damage is prevented by keeping the air circulating in the room and by opening doors or windows, if possible. Keeping the temperature in your house stable during all the seasons will reduce the expansion due to moisture and the shrinking effect of heat on your hardwood flooring.
Some cleaning products may contain chemicals that can damage instead of clean your hardwood floor. It is best to do a spot check on a small surface to make sure it does not damage it. Make sure to follow the instructions on the product to learn how to apply the testing dose and how long to wait before you can safely use it.
The best homemade cleaning solution for cleaning your hardwood floor is made by adding 1 cup of vinegar to 4 litres of water. If you want to be safe, it is best to check with the manufacturer regarding what product can be used to clean your hardwood floor.
Scratches on your hardwood floor are the next big nuisance. The area that is most affected is at the entrance of any room. Where possible, use doormats and mats. Ask your visitors to take their shoes off when they enter.
If you have animals in the house, cut their claws regularly. Also cleaning their paws when they enter helps to remove any small stones that could potentially scratch your floor.
Scratches in your hardwood flooring are mostly caused by moving around pieces of furniture like chairs, tables or sofas. The good news is that this is avoidable. The most simple, inexpensive and, most importantly, effective solution to prevent your hardwood flooring from getting scratched is to invest in good quality furniture pads.
Furniture pads can aid in keeping your floors in tip-top shape. There are different furniture felt pads that you can use from self-adhesive, non-slip furniture pads to nail-in or screw-in furniture pads. You can visit our Amazon storefront to get SIMALA 5 star rated furniture pads products.
If you are not yet sure which one best suits your needs, find out from by reading our related blog posts