Maintaining and Changing the Look of Wood Floors

wood floor photo

Photo: Bona

How should I maintain my wood floors?

Routine maintenance for wood flooring is really very easy. Simply sweep, dust mop or vacuum with the beater bar turned off to remove dirt and grit from between the floor boards. Wet mops and steam mops should be avoided because excessive water and steam can dull the finish or even damage the wood. When spills occur, clean the area immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth.

If the floor begins to look a little dull, using a wood flooring cleaner recommended by the installer or manufacturer will help renew luster. Avoid mass-market rejuvenators, polishes or restorers. If you are not sure which cleaner to use, visit a reputable flooring store like MODA Floors & Interiors for a recommendation.

Will I be able to change the look of my wood floors?

One of the advantages of wood floors is that they can be refinished, which makes them a great long-term value. A wood flooring professional will clean the floors to remove all contaminants and then lightly abrade the floor and apply a new coat of finish. If scratches are deep in the wood, or if there are large dents or damaged boards, trained refinishers will be able to repair the damage without affecting the rest of the floor.

The numbers of times a floor can be refinished will depend on the floor itself, the degree of repair needed and the skill of the refinisher. A professional refinisher will remove very little of the wood to make repair – generally 1/32” or less – while those without proper training or equipment might remove much more wood than that, which generally reduces the life of the floor.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association

What are the Benefits of Wood Floors?

Wood floor in bedroomWood floors offer great long-term value, are easy to maintain and add value to your home. When properly installed and maintained, wood floors can last for hundreds of years. Other flooring options that won’t last as long will need to be replaced more often at additional expense both financially and to the environment.
Routine maintenance requires nothing more than a broom or dust mop. Periodically, using a wood flooring cleaner made for the floor will help remove surface dirt.
Wood floors also add value to your home. Real estate agents report that properties with wood floors sell faster and for more money than properties without wood floors.
Wood as a building material has excellent insulation properties. It has 10 times more insulating capacity than steel or aluminum and five times more insulating capacity than concrete or cinder blocks. As a flooring material, wood retains warmth from heating systems, both from HVAC systems and radiant heat systems, increasing the overall physical warmth of the room.

Get Your Hardwood Floors Ready For Spring

Winter can be a tough time on floors with all the excess salt, debris and moisture that can accumulate during those cold months. Make sure you treat your floors with extra care as you prepare them for a new season of sun and fun.

Photo: Bona Floors

How to Revitalize Hardwood Floors

    • Clean floors last. It’s best to clean rooms from the top down so that any dust and debris won’t find their way onto a newly-cleaned floor.
    • Dry mop/dust floors. Use a microfiber dusting cloth or a vacuum to remove the initial layer of dust and debris on floors. If using a vacuum, avoid using the beater bar so the vacuum’s brush doesn’t damage the floor.
    • Spray mop floors. Use a cleaning solution designed for your floor type. Avoid DIY vinegar solutions or steam mopping your floors since they both can damage your floor’s finish leaving it to look dull and cloudy. If your mop doesn’t have a spray function, fill your cleaning solution in a spray bottle and spray floors a bit at a time to avoid any excess amount of liquid on your floors.
    • Apply a new coat of polish. Now that your floors are clean and dry, applying a coat of polish is a great way to revitalize your floor’s finish. A coat of polish can even out a floor’s look, filling in any small scratches and adding a new protective layer on top of your floor.

Here are some tips that can help protect your floors even more.

    • Use floor mats and area rugs to protect high traffic areas. If using mats and rugs, try to get rugs and mats with a natural rubber backing since some materials can discolor floors after extended use.
    • Protect floors from sun damage. Rearrange furniture or use curtains to protect floors from fading and UV damage.
    • Protect furniture legs with appropriate pads and covers. Felt or rubber pads can help avoid scratches from accidental dragging of furniture on your floors.

Source: Bona Floors

 

Protect Hardwood Floors From Chairs and Furniture

Photo Courtesy: Bona

Photo Courtesy: Bona

In the realm of floor care, a lot of attention is placed on protecting floors against outside contaminants and making sure everyone in the home is aware of good floor-friendly habits.

Sometimes, furniture and chair legs can get overlooked as potential sources of floor damage. Unprotected furniture and chair legs can still grind grit and debris into your floor’s finish. Greater concern for scratches and gouges comes from heavier pieces of furniture. For another added layer of hardwood floor protection, chairs and furniture legs need to be made more floor-friendly.

Furniture Protection Types

A popular form of chair leg protection is the chair glide or furniture pad. Quite simply, these are pads made of different types of material that are put on the bottoms of your chair legs. There are different types of chair glides, each offering different levels of cost and protection.

Tap-on/nail-on pads. These types of pads are very secure since they are attached to the furniture leg with either a small nail or screw. Tap-on pads use different materials to make contact with your floor, depending on your floor type. Care should be used with tap-on pads because if they are not properly installed, the nail or screw may be exposed to harm your floor.

Self-adhesive pads. These are peel-and-stick pads that can be found almost everywhere. They are typically made of felt or rubber and are the least expensive. However, the adhesive on these pads won’t last as long as tap-on or slip-on pads.

Slip-on pads. These pads are made to fit over a chair leg and are often made of rubber or soft plastic. These won’t have a problem of falling off like a self-adhesive pad or have the potential to scratch your floor like a broken tap-on pad.

Floor Type Matters

While most chair glides and furniture pads are sold as universal pads for all floor types, some consideration is needed for the floor type you have. Common materials to make chair glides and furniture pads are felt, rubber, cork, plastic and metal. Be especially careful with chair glides since they are made to help furniture move on the floor. Choosing the wrong material with chair glides can lead to floor damage.

Carpet. A harder material like steel or plastic work best.

Hard Floors (hardwood, ceramic tile). Felt and rubber work best. If using rubber, be wary of potential scuff marks. Make sure the felt is thick enough for even heavy furniture.

Soft floors (vinyl, rubber). Felt, rubber and plastic work best.

Furniture Traffic Considerations

Just like foot traffic, how often your furniture moves will play a part in choosing the right type of furniture pad or chair glide. For heavy pieces of furniture that won’t be moved at all, you have a wider range of furniture pads to choose from. Thick pieces of felt or rubber work well with heavy furniture.

In dining rooms or kitchens, you will have high furniture traffic, so choosing a felt pad can be a good option. Plastic pads or glides will wear down over time, so be sure to check the life of your chair glides periodically. Depending on your kitchen floor, rubber might need to be avoided for scuff marks.

In family rooms with couches and sofas, consider how hard the furniture will be treated. Will kids jump on the couch, or will you plop down in your favorite chair after a long day of work? These types of actions will cause small movements, so choose your furniture pad wisely. A rubber pad can do well in this scenario since it will help to restrict furniture movement.

Source: Bona