Mistakes to Avoid When Caring For Your Wood Floors

We’ve all been there; your brand new wood floors are looking flawless, and you’d do everything you can to keep them that way.  But in your efforts to maintain their sheen and pristine look, you end up doing more harm than good, causing their luster to fade much faster than anticipated. Believe it or not, this is a very common mistake.  In our flurry to keep floors looking their best, we end up using products and materials that aren’t suited for wood surfaces. Over time, misuse will harm hardwood flooring, possibly causing irreparable damage. Here are a few mistakes to avoid when caring for your new hardwood floors:

Using the Wrong Tools
Cleaning tools that you’d use on a laminate or tile floor will be very different than the ones you’d use for your precious wood flooring.  Failing to mind the type of cleaning tools used is bound to cause damage over time!  Steam cleaners are often touted as the best for thoroughly cleaning wood floors, but in fact, the harsh heat and moisture can ruin finishes. Opt for gentle cleaning tools like soft towels and an antibacterial floor cleaner to disinfect floors.

Using the Wrong Products
It is crucial to do your research when finding the right products to use when cleaning hardwood flooring.  When harsh chemicals are used, they eat away at the finish, which will dull, and possibly warp, floorboards.  If this is the case, the only solution may be to refinish floors entirely or replace damaged boards.  Any flooring professional should be able to help you find something that works best with your specific wood and finish!

Using the Wrong Techniques
Just like using the wrong products and tools to clean a floor will cause damage, so will the wrong technique – even when using the right tools and products!  It’s important to follow directions carefully and never assume the proper way to clean floors.  It’s best to thoroughly sweep or dry mop dust and debris away from the surface before using cleaning products.   

Using Too Much Moisture
When cleaning flooring, many homeowners tend to use more moisture than they need to.  Never pour water or any cleaning product directly onto the floor’s surface.  Instead, use a mop or similar cleaning tool to apply cleaner to the floor.  This will moderate how much moisture is on the floor and prevent puddles from forming.

Never Rearranging Furniture
While most think it’d be wise to keep furniture as it is in a room (to avoid gouging the flooring during shifts in décor), the opposite is actually true.  Rearranging the furniture every once in a while ensures that floors age evenly, and look more uniform between refinishes.  Just be sure to use the proper protection when moving heavy furniture around – gouges and major scrapes are usually irreversible!

Failing to Take Preventative Measures
And lastly, keeping your floors clean and free of dirt and debris is a crucial step to maintaining your floors, but you should also take action to prevent messes and damages in the first place.  Using doormats to catch dirt, taking off shoes indoors, and strategically placing carpets and rugs is a great way to keep floors looking their best for years to come!