How to protect your hardwood floors
Hardwood flooring is an important investment that can beautify your home and increase its resale potential when you put it on the market. Like other kinds of flooring, hardwood floors require special care to keep them looking like new for years to come. None of these steps are difficult, and they all go a long way to preserving the beauty and durability of your flooring.
One of the greatest threats to hardwood flooring is the scratching that will dull the floors over time. Furniture and appliances that slide across the floor, pet nails, dust, and other culprits can scratch the floors, making them more susceptible to damage from liquids. An abundance of scratches will also mean that you will have to refinish the floors sooner rather than later, adding to the expense of upkeep over time. Fortunately, there are several products on the market that can help you keep hardwood floors free from scratches. Placing furniture on area rugs or putting special felt tips on the bottom of furniture legs will keep them from scratching the floor when the furniture moved around. Scratches from appliances can be prevented in a similar manner, though you will probably just want to use the felt tips and not area rugs. When too much dust accumulates, people can track it across the floor and cause tiny scratches, so it is important to keep floors swept and also to mop them with a damp mop on a regular basis. Keeping the nails of your cats and dogs trimmed will keep them from scratching the flooring as they walk about your house, and an abundant of extra area rugs will help solve the problem as well.
Besides the protection from scratches that good area rugs can offer, these accents can brighten up the décor of any home. It is important, however, to rearrange area rugs periodically to keep the fading from the sun even. Those areas of the floor not covered with rugs will fade from the sunlight over time, so adjusting your rugs so that they are not always in the same place can help keep your floors from developing many discolored spots. Moving the furniture periodically is key for guarding against fading as well.
You should also be aware of the damage that moisture can do to hardwood floors. Any spills should be cleaned up immediately because liquids can seep into wood flooring and cause it to warp and buckle. A good coat of wax that is periodically reapplied will form a barrier against liquids, and it will also guard against scratches from other objects. If you live in a humid climate it will also be important to keep the air in your home as dry as possible lest this moisture cause warping and buckling in your floors as well. A good dehumidifier will remove the water from the air and thereby protect your hardwood flooring from moisture damage.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you keep your hardwood flooring like new for many years. Further information on wood floor care is available on the following sites as well:
Understanding Hardwood Floors and Their Needs
• Luxury Housing Trends — a basic overview of wood floor care
• Understanding and Caring for Hardwood Floors — some good information on protecting and understanding hard wood flooring
Hardwood Floor Care and Protection
• Hardwood Floors 101 — some basic information on protecting hardwood floors from a seasoned professional
• National Wood Flooring Association: Preventative Maintenance — learn from this site how to guard against damaging your wood flooring
• Pioneer Thinking: How to Care for Hardwood Floors — a good article on caring from hardwood floors from the Hardwood Manufacturers Association