How to Care for Wood Floors

When it comes to floor surface coverings, natural hardwood flooring is a favorite choice. Hardwood floors are timeless and strong and create a sense of warmth and luxury. Wood floors add enduring beauty to all types of homes and can meet the needs of you and your family’s busy lifestyles.

As with any type of flooring, hardwood floors require proper upkeep in order to maintain their appearance.  Preserve the aesthetic appeal of your flooring investment and follow these steps to protect and care for your hardwood floor.

Sweep and dust daily

One of the most important hardwood floor maintenance tasks is frequent sweeping and dusting. Use a microfiber dust mop or cloth which acts like an electrostatic magnet to pick up dust and debris. When your dust mop head is dirty, simply throw it in the laundry and reuse it.

Vacuum weekly

Vacuuming will help you clean up particles that have made their way into the nooks and crannies of your floor. Use the bare floor setting on your vacuum to protect your floor from the beater bar – the rotating brush at the bottom of your vacuum that can damage your floor’s finish.

Use area rugs and runners

Adding runners or area rugs will help protect the floors from scratches in high-traffic areas.  A rug by your outdoor entry doors can collect mud, sand and other debris that people and pets bring in after being outside. Be sure to use rug pads to prevent slipping.

Finish your floors with a urethane or polyurethane coat

No wood floor is indestructible but a coat or two of urethane or polyurethane will provide an extra layer of protection. These finishes add durability and scratch- and water-resistance to your floor, while enhancing the wood grain.

Clean accidents pronto

Spills and other accidents and messes are facts of life – especially if you have children or pets. Clean up any mess immediately before it has a chance to dry. Use a damp cloth and then rub the area dry. The longer any type of food or fluid sits on your floor, the greater the chance your wood will stain, warp or start to dull.

Watch what you use on your floor

Some cleaners can harm rather than help your hardwood floor. Water, ammonia and vinegar can dull your floor and soap and wax can leave residue. When in doubt about what you can or can’t use on your floor, ask your wood floor dealer for cleaning recommendations.

How to choose a hardwood floor

If you currently do not have a wood floor but are thinking about having one installed, consider these family-friendly ideas:

  • Choose a solid hardwood species – Softwood species like American Cherry or pine are not recommended for high-traffic areas used by people or pets because this type of wood can scratch and dent easily. While no wood is completely scratch proof, harder wood species such as Brazilian Walnut and Hickory are a better choice if you want to protect your floor from your scruffs and abrasions.
  • Camouflage with graining or distressing – Distressed wood or woods like oak that have grain and knots can add character to your floor while hiding dents and scratches.
  • Finish with a low-sheen – A high gloss finish reflects light which can make pet hair, dirt and scratches more visible.
  • Lighten up – Lighter woods tend to hide scratches, dents and other imperfections and damage.

How we helped a homeowner with a hardwood floor challenge

When it comes to wood flooring, Riverhead Building Supply is a flooring supply leader. Every day we help our customers solve their most pressing home flooring challenges, such as the one described below.

The problem…

One of our customers wanted a dark wood floor but has grandchildren and a dog and was concerned about scratches. She was afraid any scratches would go through the stain and show the lighter wood underneath.

The solution…

Our team introduced her to roasted red oak. The wood is gently cured with heat and the entire board takes on a rich dark color all the way through. There is no stain color that can be scratched or worn off.

The result…

While this is a special process and adds to the cost of the flooring, it was worth it to the homeowner. She felt that it suited her lifestyle and was the best choice to achieve the look she wanted.

Discover gorgeous hardwood flooring for your home. Contact us today.

Wood floors can fit into your active life, all it takes is a little pre-planning and everyday maintenance.  If you’re looking for the perfect wood floor that will look amazing for decades, contact Riverhead Building Supply. We can help you find a beautiful hardwood that will work for you and your family.