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How to Care for Hardwood Floors

Bidisha Mukherjee Nov 22, 2018
Hardwood floors look natural and render a classy look. However, it is essential that adequate care of these floors be taken so that they continue to look good for a longer period of time.
The beauty that a good quality hardwood floor proffers is unparalleled. Hardwood floors of oak and maple are most widely used as wood flooring. Cherry, birch, walnut are some other varieties that are used for adding richness to the flooring.
However, some efforts need to be taken for maintaining this floor--if not, the floors will lose their sheen in no time and start looking old. Here are some tips about cleaning and caring for these floors.

Cleaning Process

Cleaning is an extremely important aspect in maintaining their quality. The maximum damage caused to the hardwood flooring stems from the wrong choice of cleaning techniques used. Regular cleaning of the floors is a must because dirt, sand, and other similar particles may cause scratches and dents on the surface. This will cause the floor to lose its luster.
Use a fine quality broom with exploded tips to sweep the dust. This will ensure that the floor does not get scratched due to the broom. Using a broom by itself cannot ensure thorough cleaning of the areas between the planks, or other difficult-to-reach spots, that is why canister vacuums have attachments for bare floors. Employ these.
Make sure to mop the floor once a week with a damp cloth. Take a clean cotton mop and dip it into water, then squeeze out the excess water and after it is half dry, use it to mop the floor and get rid of the dust.
Do not use any oil-based soaps or harsh chemical-based cleaners on hardwood floors; rather, opt for neutral pH cleaners. If your floor is waxed, do not use any kind of mop to clean it.

Maintenance Process

UV rays cause extensive damage to the color of the floor. To minimize the damage, use a water-based urethane finish instead of an oil-based one to coat the floor. Using curtains, vertical blinds or sheer drapes also protects the floor from this damage.
Water is another factor that can ruin the floor. Exposure to water, irrespective of the kind of floor finish, will cause loss of shine and the surface will get distorted. In case of any accidental spills, immediately wipe them off with a dry soft piece of cloth so that they do not settle on the floor to make permanent stains.
While moving the furniture over hardwood floors, do not drag it from one place to another--this will cause scratches. Placing floor mats at the entrance door will help avoid the dirt from coming inside the house.
Remember, rubber-backed or non-ventilated mats are not good for hardwood floors. Pointed metal heels and stilettos can create dents on the floor and should be kept away from the floor.
Improper maintenance can cause irreparable damage to the hardwood floor. Therefore, you have to adopt regular steps to maintain the quality of the floor.