As a flooring contractor, I’ve seen houses of the same age, both with sand & finish hardwood, however there can be a tremendous difference in the condition of the floors, from hardly a scratch to totally grayed-out at the doorways. So what makes the difference, care and maintenance.
PREVENTION AND MAINTENANCE
- Dirt, grit and sand mostly brought in from outside can prematurely damage your floors. Your dog, in their excitement to see you arrive home can also scratch the floor with their nails.
- Place mats outside and inside the doors and check your dog nails from time to time. Maybe a manicure is in order, for the dog!
- Watch spills from the refrigerator water/ice dispenser and keep the area dry. If a rug is used to catch the spills, check under it for signs of moisture
- Avoid oil soaps, like Murphy Oil Soap. They leave a greasy residue and when use over time will build up to the point that the floors become cloudy. Here is the rest of the products “not to use”: ammonia-based cleaners, acrylic finishes, wax-based products, detergents, bleach, polishes, abrasive cleaning soaps, or acidic materials such as vinegar. Where did the idea of using vinegar and water come from? I always answer when asked about vinegar is “would you use it on your furniture?”
- Use neutral pH cleaners made specifically for wood floors such as Bona or Bruce. I like Bruce Hardwood Cleaner because it is less expensive. Spray the cleaner on a terry cloth mop head (not directly onto the floor) and concentrate on cleaning the traffic areas, otherwise use a vacuum.
- Lift the furniture to move it or use those furniture slides. Felt contacts under the legs will help prevent scratches.
- Direct sun can discolor your hardwood floor. Close curtains and blinds or add sheer drapes to protect from the sun’s intense UV rays. I am writing a future post about an extreme example of walnut floors that were faded due to sun exposure, fascinating.