4 Tips to Protect Your Hardwood Flooring and Finish

Posted on: 21 July 2016

A solid hardwood floor can last many years, especially if you take care to apply the correct care and maintenance practices to keep it shining. To begin, you must understand the properties of the hardwood floor that you have, as well as the finish applied for protection. Different finishes require different care regimens. Read on to learn how to keep your floor looking new years after it was installed.

1. Vacuum often

In a house without young children or pets, you can get away with a weekly or twice-weekly vacuuming regimen. Otherwise, try to vacuum every day or every other day. Fine dust and gritty particles on the floor can scratch your finish and flooring, especially if people are always moving around. Be careful about your choice of attachment: you want a felt surface or soft brush which runs along the floor's grain. Rotating brushes or beater bars can leave tiny scratches on the finish. In the absence of a vacuum, invest in a microfiber sweeper or dust mop.

2. Doormats, house shoes and rugs

Invest in doormats and rugs in plenty, particularly in areas that witness high traffic. Have a doormat outside and an extra-long one inside to ensure people rub out as much dirt as possible from their feet before settling in the house. You can have a few pairs of house-shoes near the entrance so people can shed their 'outside' shoes before getting into the house. Further indoors, rugs can be used to protect high-traffic areas. Choose rugs without backing, as these can trap moisture and damage the wood or finishing over time. Be careful with rugs and mats if you have young children and pets – installing anti-slip pads under the rugs/mats can keep them in place and prevent slips and falls.

3. Use the right polish

Wax should only be applied to already-waxed floors. Avoiding waxing floors with polyurethane, shellac or varnish finishes as this will cause the floor to be overly slippery. You can use a general-purpose restorer (test on a small hidden area first before applying on the entire floor). Better still, get a polish that is specifically indicated for your own floor.

4. Remove spills

Try to keep playing children from your floors, especially while they're eating or drinking. Clean up any spillages immediately with a soft cloth. Be careful about using furniture polish or hairspray, as these can cloud up your finish. Use a damp cloth to wipe accidental spraying. To remove traces, you can apply a non-ammonia-based window cleaner. You should also have no-wax floor cleaners in a handy place to remove residues following spillages. Avoid mopping – water will cause your floors to warp, especially if your finish has worn off. Close windows in the rainy season and ensure potted plants have a tray underneath to hold the drain-off.

For assistance, talk to a professional like Parquetry Flooring Co Pty Ltd.