Wood floors are beautiful, unique, and with the proper care and common sense will last for as long as the building is standing. Most wood flooring problems occur due to abrasive material scratching the finish, excessive water or moisture exposure, or subjecting the wood to an extremely dry environment. The following suggestions will help take the guesswork out of proper maintenance.
- Some households institute the practice of leaving footwear at the entrance. This is routine for many cultures of the world and is an especially good idea if you expect traffic with snow, mud, gravel or anything else that could compromise the appearance of your wood floor.
- Place walk-off mats at all entryways to keep abrasive dirt and grit, and moisture from being tracked in. Area rugs can prevent further tracking. Do not use rubber, foam back, or plastic mats as they may discolor the floor over time.
- Use felt pad protectors for furniture to prevent scratches. Replace when worn or gritty. Heavy furniture and appliances should be supported by wide-bearing non-staining glides or rubber casters.
- Maintain normal relative humidity levels of 35%-60%.
- Place area rugs or runners in high or concentrated traffic areas. Use mats or rugs near sinks or dishwashers to avoid excess moisture.
- Pets’ nails should be clipped and maintained to prevent scratches.
- High heel shoes should be in good repair. Stiletto heels or the exposed metal post of any high heel shoe will exert between 2000 – 8000 lbs. / sq. in. and will damage most any flooring surface.
- Strong sunlight exposure will subtly change the patina of most woods over time. Reduce sunlight during peak hours to reduce color change.
- Wipe spills promptly with a damp well-wrung cloth before they become sticky or dry.
- Wet mopping should be done with a damp microfibre mop or equal.
- Dry dust mop and vacuum regularly as needed to keep your floor free from abrasive dirt and grit. For hard to clean spots and spills and periodic maintenance, we recommend warm water, a microfibre mop and elbow grease.
- Move heavy appliances or furniture by sliding them on a large piece of clean upside down carpet. For excessively heavy objects, place on a pad of plywood between the weight and the carpet.
- If your floor is finished with a penetrating oil, use the recommended after-market maintenance oil or soap. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- Do not allow water to stand on your floor at any time or “swab the deck” when cleaning. Excessive water will damage your wood floor.
- If a “film” finish, do not use oil soap, paste wax, silicone-based polishes, ammonia, chlorine bleach, or any abrasive cleaners or applicators (like steel wool) that might scratch/react with/accumulate on the floor finish.