Hardwood flooring, generally have a long lifespan. If you want to keep the shine on your hardwood to last longer, there are 5 simple steps you can take right now.
1. Hardwood floors typically have one of two finishes: polyurethane or wax. Not sure what you’re standing on? Rub your finger across the surface, if a smudge appears, the floor is likely waxed.
Sealed wood floors typically have a urethane, polyurethane, or polyacrylic coating. This protects them from stains and water damage. The easiest way to clean is to shop for a cleaning kit that is specifically formulated for hardwood floors. They typically have a mop handle and 2 or more terry cloth heads as well as the cleaning solution in a spray bottle. Follow all instructions in the kit. Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is a great choice. (Steer clear of acidic vinegar solutions, which can dull wood floors over time and may even void your wear warranty.) You can also damp-mop (be sure the mop is wrung out very well), using a dry microfiber cloth to wipe up any excess moisture. Clean high-traffic areas like the kitchen once a week; for less-trafficked areas, mop once a month.
If you have waxed wood floors, you’re off the hook—sort of. Since this type of flooring can be damaged by even small amounts of water, keep damp mops away from this surface, and instead sweep, dust mop or vacuum regularly.
2. Hardwood can go through a process which is called 'Ambering Up'. This is the process of the wood aging and getting darker. It is more prevalent in natural woods and lightly stained woods. Darker stains resist this process more. It can take up to 3 years for your wood floor to gain its final color. Moving your furniture and rugs regularly will help this process occur evenly. If not, you may be shocked to find a lighter color under your rugs when you move.
Most of us, when we set up the rooms of our home, we do it the same way each time. We put the couch there, the rug over there, TV stand at that side of the room, and then the next thing you know years go by! Months and years of long term furniture placement can cause hardwood flooring damage. Preventing this kind of hardwood floor damage is simple, easy and free: just move your stuff around! It doesn’t have to be frequent or a lot of work. Just move your furniture, plants, rugs and other items around two or three times a year. That’s all it takes to protect your hardwood floor investment.
3. Protection, protection, protection! Always use rubber or felt pads under your furniture. This not only prevents scratches, it makes it very easy to shift heavy furniture around in order to clean. Use rubber under any furniture that you want to be more stable though, couches can be moved a little too easily with felt. If you have teenagers, you know they often jump into the couch. This can send the couch across the room if you are using felt pads!