Everything You Need to Know About Hardwood Floor Care

No one can argue that hardwood is the most gorgeous kind of flooring, but it also needs a lot more care and maintenance than other types.
Everything You Need to Know About Hardwood Floor Care

Last update: 21 June, 2019

Hardwood floors are beautiful, elegant, and sophisticated. But a hardwood floor also needs a lot more care than other materials like tile and ceramics.

But don’t worry! There are still some techniques out there that can help you keep your hardwood floors looking great all year-round. Keep on reading to learn what they are!

Characteristics of hardwood floors

A hardwood floor with streaks and scuffs.

Wood has been one of the most commonly used materials in home construction and decoration for centuries. Even today, a hardwood floor can make a home much more elegant and warm. 

But one of the main problems with a hardwood floor is how delicate it is, and how much care it needs. For one thing, they get scratched and scuffed really easily, and you need to wax them frequently. Keeping up general maintenance with it can also become costly.

At the same time, it’s hard to deny just how wonderful a feeling it is to walk into a house with shiny hardwood floors. They make you want to take off your shoes and sit on the floor so you can get a closer look at their beauty. Unfortunately, in this case, that beauty has a cost that you should think about before you pick out a flooring material

Tips on hardwood floor care

So, you’ve just moved into a house with hardwood floors, or maybe you just want to install them in your current home. If this is your situation, you’ve probably been thinking about how much harder it is to maintain hardwood.

It does need more care, but the results can be astounding. Besides, the honest truth is that it just needs a little specific care to keep it looking just like new. 

1. Protect it from water and humidity

Water on a hardwood floor.

Unlike tiles, wood absorbs the humidity in the air, along with any water or other liquids that spill onto it. You should ideally keep your home’s humidity at around 35-60% throughout the year. That will help you prevent the wood from cracking and coming apart. You can get a humidifier or dehumidifier depending on your home’s particular needs.

2. Do periodic maintenance

Periodic maintenance is a vital part of hardwood floor care.

You should be cleaning your hardwood floors around once a week (some people say every other day). Sweep or vacuum away all the dust, dirt, and any other particles lying on the floor. Then, use a dry mop and push it across the entire surface.

We also suggest doing a deeper clean ever two weeks. For this, you’ll want to use products specifically for wood, which means they have a neutral pH. Always remember to dry the floors well to prevent them from water damage.

3. Be careful about how much sunlight they get

A hardwood floor in a living room.

This doesn’t just go for hardwood floors in an outdoor space. The sunlight that makes it into your house through the doors and windows also hits the floor. You might not believe it, but it really can do damage! Our suggestion is to get a special screen that filters out UV rays.

Another simple trick is to move the furniture every once and a while. Doing that will prevent specific areas from being darker or stained, which can happen after prolonged exposure to the sun.

4. Varnish once or twice a year

Varnishing wood to help keep it like new.

Hardwood floors need to be nourished and hydrated with specific products. Varnish is almost always a good option and can help you keep your floors looking as good as new.

Just remember that if your floors have an oil-based finish, you’ll need to use wax or oil-based cleaning products. You’ll also need to use a soap with oil when you’re cleaning them.

5. Get rid of imperfections

Re-finishing a wood floor.

Daily life will naturally cause damage to your hardwood floors, especially if there are kids or pets in the house. One good way to get rid of those marks and stains is with a touch-up marker (you can find them at home stores) that can cover up small issues. Find one that’s closest to the color of your floors for the best effect.

If the floor has any holes or cracks, you’ll need to repair them with wood putty or filler and sand them before you do any painting or finishing.

If you want your hardwood floors to stay looking great for a long time, we also have some other recommendations. For example, don’t walk around in heels, don’t let your kids play with toy cars or balls inside, and hang curtains that will prevent too much sunlight from getting in.