Caring for your hardwood floors

The elegance of the hardwood floors can hardly be competed against, no matter how many new styles come and go. But their elegance and beauty also needs special care to enhance their longevity not to mention their looks. Hardwood floors come with natural strength and grace but often both are lost in the confusing maze of incorrect information and bad maintenance that stems from this ignorance. If you have opted for hardwood floors for your home then chances are that you have paid a premium for it. Don’t let your investment wash down the drain or spoil the elegant look that your home sports today.

Learn how to care for your floors and you will always have a home to take pride in for a lifetime. A quick look at some simple tips:

  • Tip #1 – Maintenance – The easiest maintenance comes from the right information which means using the right cleaner and the right cleaning tools is essential. Your designer, flooring retailer or manufacturer will have the detailed cleaning instructions which need to be followed closely. Specialized products that removes dirt, grease and other damages easily are highly recommended. Stay away from water, silicone, ammonia or undiluted vinegar, oil soaps, liquid or paste wax and products with citrus, lemon or Tung oil while cleaning. These react to the wood and can cause lasting damage and decay. For spills and stains, mop with soft cloth instead of using abrasive tools and spraying the cleaner directly on the floor. To remove dust vacuuming is the best option.
  • Tip #2 – Prevention – Scratch or damage resistant wood is expensive and even then you need to exercise caution. Regular floors can last much longer with a little prevention tactics at play. For high traffic areas one can lay down rugs to protect the wood, place entry mats to prevent scrapes and marks from rushing feet, lift and carry furniture across the wood instead of dragging them, and try to take off your shoes (especially sharp heels) when walking across these floors. Those with pets need to exercise extra caution by keeping their nails trimmed and their paws free of dirt at all times.
  • Tip #3 – Schedule – Setting up a proper schedule to clean the hardwood floors is a great idea. We all lead busy lives and often chores such as cleaning the floors can take a backseat on our days of rest. But these would eventually lead the floors to decay and rot further which means all-round loss. To avoid this one should set a regular schedule for deep cleaning at intervals that is suitable or comfortable, say weekly for light cleaning and monthly or bi-monthly for deep cleaning. A light sweep on a daily basis, if time permits, can work wonders for its shine and look. However, for spills or other similar accidents one should not wait for the stain to deepen. Instead one should mop up and clean right away.

Proper care for your floors will enhance their look and keep the elegance of your home a source of perennial joy.