3 Steps to Solid Hardwood Floors that Shine!
You just got your new solid hardwood floors and you want to keep them just like they are!
Then reality sets in, how in the world are you supposed to do this, and why did your Mother never let you in on this secret? Just joking, well maybe a bit serious. If you are looking for an easy guide to taking care of hardwood flooring you have found it. And luckily for you it’s as simple as 1-2-3.
Step 1: A great looking hardwood floor is always dry!
Let’s face it when we pick out an incredible hardwood floor for our home, we don’t really base what we choose on the specs, we go for what is calling to us. But even those of us who are careful shoppers get caught up in the promises of moisture resistance and protection. These benefits are common on most hardwoods because of the amazing technological breakthroughs in past years. But heed my warning, no hardwood floor is moisture proof! Wood is naturally absorbent, it literally drinks water to survive. So moisture proof is theoretically impossible and no coating will be 100% impermeable. If you put clothes on a dog, and the dog eats people food, would that make it a human? Absolutely not! So you can’t put something on wood and call it water proof!
So step one is very simple, keep it dry. Accidents happen and your flooring will inevitably become wet, when it does though do not let it sit there. The longer it sits, the more damage it will do. For all of our moisture happy, humid climate readers, do yourself a huge favor and measure the humidity in your home before purchasing solid hardwood flooring. Under certain humidity no matter what you do to your flooring, it will not hold up and may cause warping or buckling. If it is too late, you can try a small dehumidifier in rooms to bring the levels of moisture down. I’ve even seen cases where using a natural grass rug such as sea grass or sisal can help to moderate a room’s humidity.
Step 2: Clean on a schedule.
In the time that it takes for a day to pass in most homes, the floors are bombarded with dust, debris, dirt, and the ever lovely natural oils that come from animal fur and bare feet. Even though you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Your body is made of about 10 trillion cells, and your skin is roughly 16% of these cells or 1.6 trillion cells. Human cells die off at an alarming rate and your body will shed these dead cells. In fact, the average person looses about 30,000 to 40,000 of these bad boy dead skin cells in an hour.
Sick, not really. But it sure counts for a lot of debris on your floors, which brings me back to my original point. The best way to keep your solid hardwood floors showroom quality is to clean thoroughly and consistently. I’m recommending that you sweep at least twice a week and vacuum once a week. This is the bare minimum! If it is noticeably dirty it would behoove you to get up and sweep it. Also please use a soft bristled broom, over time hard bristles constantly scrubbing the surface of your hardwood flooring will give it a dulling effect.
Mopping is essential when it comes to keeping a hardwood beautiful, but only if done right! Don’t throw a ton of water on your floors please, mop with only wood solutions made specifically for your floors and never use water to mop it. This will dry it out as the floor air drys. Using a great solution made specifically for hardwood surfaces will actually moisturize your wood floors keeping them healthy and shiny.
Step 3: Protect it like your family!
After all, this is what your family is living on. I’m not just talking finish, I’m talking overall protection. Moving stuff around, muddy shoes from a rainy day, heels, dog nails, all of these can contribute to the slow destruction of your solid hardwood flooring. Variables such as these are a warranty killer for your flooring. Heavy furniture can actually do a good deal of denting to your floors, save them by placing felt tips on the legs of the furniture so they do not weigh heavily on pressure points. You can also use throw rugs in high traffic areas as well as entrance mats at doors that lead from outside to inside.
Heavy denting is the one thing that is impossible to remedy with standard sanding. So be careful if you don’t want to drop a ton of money on a professional!
I hope you were able to get a functional strategy and game plan together for your solid hardwood flooring. If you have any questions please feel free to comment and I will reply as soon as possible with a referenced answer.
Thanks so much for reading and I can’t wait to hear from you!