Hardwood floors are a favorite for many homeowners. It is a timeless, classic look that looks good in almost every style of home.
To keep hardwood floors looking completely spotless, however, you do have to provide them with careful maintenance. Polished hardwood floors will make your house look luxurious, but scruffy or grimy hardwood floors can quickly make your house look dirty (even when it isn’t).
If you want to keep your hardwood floors looking nice, keep the following tips in mind.
Clean up any spills immediately
Liquids left on hardwood will eventually cause the floor to discolor and warp, creating a permanent stain on your beautiful floors.
It doesn’t matter if it is water, a pet accident, or any other type of liquid you need to clean it up as soon as you see it. Use a dry paper towel or a cloth to clean up the liquids.
If you have children or pets, you may want to consider waxing or sealing your hardwood floors. This adds another layer of protection that can help prevent warping.
Mop or sweep regularly
You’ll notice that dirt and other debris shows up really easily on your hardwood floors. This is normal, but it is also annoying.
Get in the habit of running a dry mop or a broom over your floors every day. Many people prefer using a dry mop to a broom because the harsh bristles of a broom can scratch your floors.
Another alternative to a broom is a lightweight carpet sweeper. Carpet sweepers can pick up dirt from your hardwood and they’re more gentle than a broom. If you currently don’t have a sweeper, here is a well-written review that can help you determine what sweeper to buy.
Don’t forget to vacuum
Sweeping or mopping several times a week is a must when it comes to maintaining your hardwood. However, sweeping and mopping doesn’t take care of the finer pieces of dirt that fall into the cracks of your hardwood.
Over time, this dirt can build up. Not only does this make your hardwood floors look disgusting, but it also introduces allergens into your home.
Most vacuums come with an attachment that is specifically meant for hardwood. Once a week, run your vacuum over your floors to get rid of any dirt or allergens that are lurking between the cracks.
Restore shine by polishing
Even if you’re regularly mopping or vacuuming your floors, they’ll eventually lose their polished look. Hardwood floors are still beautiful even when not polished, but if you want that luxurious shine back, you need to polish them.
You’re first going to want to vacuum your floors to pick up any debris. Then, read the directions on the back of the polish you’re using. The instructions for each type of polish will be different.
When you polish, start in an inward corner and slowly work your way to the door. The polish will need time to dry, so be careful where you step!
Scratched floors can be repaired
Realizing that a chair scuffed your floor or that your pet’s nails left little marks in the wood can be disheartening. The good news is that scratches in wood can be repaired!
For small scratches, try using a wax stick or a wood nourishing oil. You could also try applying a wood stain that matches the color of your floors.
For deeper scratches, you’ll first need to use a wood filler to fill the gap, and then you’ll need to apply wood stain. Most home improvement stores will be able to blend a filler that matches your existing floor.
Discolored floors have to be refinished
If your floor does manage to get stained, discolored, or warped because of a liquid, you can first try using a floor restoration cleaner on them. Sometimes this can help make the damage less apparent.
Most of the time, however, discolored floors need to be refinished. This means sanding your floors down to the bare wood and then applying several coats of stain. You’ll also need to apply a coat of finish wax.
Refinishing your floors takes time and money. The nice thing about refinishing floors, however, is that you do have the chance to change the color of your floor.
Regularly taking care of your hardwood floors can help prevent them from getting scratched or discolored. Make sure to mop or sweep your floor throughout the week, vacuum once a week, and polish as needed. If your floors do get damaged, try not to get too discouraged with a little TLC, you’ll have them looking great again!