Brand new hardwood floors should last a lifetime if properly cared for. You’ve made the investment in beautiful oak, maple, pine, hickory, birch, cherry, or bamboo floors. Here’s how to take care of your solid hardwood floors (recommendations differ for engineered hardwood floors) for years to come.

It’s Actually Easy!

Solid hardwood floors are not particularly difficult to take care of, if you know how. Daily maintenance involves a quick sweep of the floor with a soft bristle brush or microfiber mop. On a weekly basis, your floors can be vacuumed on the bare floor setting. Using a professional wood floor cleaner is recommended every month or two, and it’s good to apply a maintenance coat every 3 to 5 years. Here’s an easy breakdown of the schedule:

Daily – sweep with soft bristle brush or microfiber mop

Weekly – vacuum on bare floor settings

Monthly – clean with recommended wood floor cleaner

Every 3 – 5 years – maintenance coat

Every decade – sand and refinish (if needed)

What Not To Do

While the regular upkeep is fairly simple, there are some things that you should never do to your hardwood floors or you’ll risk damaging them.

  1. Leave standing liquids – quickly clean up any spills with a dampish cloth
  2. Use vinyl or tile floor cleaners – these cleaners are not for use on wood floors, and can make the floors slippery and appear dull.
  3. Wet-mop or steam mop hardwood floors – water and steam can dull the look and damage the wood.
  4. Walk on floors with cleats or damaged high heels – these shoes can do untold damage to a hardwood floor.
  5. Slide heavy furniture across floor – this is a surefire way to scrape and gouge your hardwood floors. Lift the furniture, or slide cardboard or a thick rug under the furniture before moving it.

To Wax or Not to Wax?

Floor Coverings International – West Columbia owner Rob Greenlaw never recommends waxing a solid hardwood floor. According to Rob, “With today’s polyurethane finishes, wax causes dirt to build up and is extremely hard to get off if you refinish the floor.”

Other Helpful Tips for Hardwood Floors

While the maintenance of solid hardwood floors is pretty easy, here are some pro tips to help you prevent any mishaps and extend the life and look of you wood floors.

  • Use door mats at entry ways to prevent debris and grit getting on your floors and causing scratches.
  • Put felt protectors under the legs of furniture to prevent scratches on the floors.
  • For a hardwood floor in a kitchen, place an area rug at the kitchen sink to stop too much liquid hitting the floor.

If you’re considering a new hardwood floor for your home, check out what Floor Covering International – West Columbia has to offer. Then, schedule a free, in-home consultation to see our samples and discuss your budget. We’re sure to have something that will work for your home and your wallet.