How to Keep Hardwood Floors Looking Their Best

Gleaming hardwood floors can make a room, and amazingly, they are also fuss-free, holding up to household traffic while still being easy to clean. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no maintenance whatsoever; as time goes on, the material will start to show its age if it’s not properly cared for. We turned to two experts—Tammy Perez, Mohawk’s director of hard surface brand marketing, and Michael Barnett, senior wood product manager at Armstrong Flooring—for their top tips on keeping your hardwood floors looking their best for years to come.

Do a clean sweep.
Sweeping and mopping hardwood floors is a no-brainer, but don’t make the common mistake of using whatever floor cleaner you have on hand, which can have chemicals that damage wood, says Perez. Instead, use a product that’s specially formulated for the surface with a damp—but not soaking—mop. “Water is wood’s worst enemy,” explains Barnett. When vacuuming, always use a soft-bristled attachment, notes Perez.

Prevent dings and scratches.
“Keep felt pads under furniture legs and be sure to lift furniture off the floor when moving it instead of scuffing it across the floor,” says Perez. She also recommends removing shoes (especially high heels!) at the door and keeping pets’ nails trimmed.

Respond quickly.
Soak up spills as soon as they happen to avoid the liquid sitting on and potentially damaging the floors. Follow up by applying a hardwood cleaner with a soft cloth. Worried about scratches? Mask knicks with a touch-up marker or filler (check with your flooring manufacturer to find one that matches your wood’s finish).

Control the elements.
Fluctuating humidity levels can damage hardwood floors over time, so keep a room’s relative humidity level stable—between 35 percent and 55 percent—by using a humidifier in dry conditions and an air conditioner or dehumidifier in hot weather, says Barnett. Fading from sun exposure is pretty much inevitable over time, but it can be mitigated by using window coverings that block UV rays. Rearranging furniture and rugs every so often will also help ensure the floors fade evenly, says Perez.


Written By: Miranda Silva –

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