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How to Care For Wood Floors

How to Care for Your Hardwood Floor So It Stays Beautiful Forever

Hardwood floors are a real estate selling point for a reason. They elevate the space with their quality, craftsmanship, and – if you care for them correctly – their beauty. Whether you've refinished the original floors in an old home or recently invested in installing new ones, we're guessing you want them to last a long while. The best way to keep your surface shiny and smooth is to never do these seven things. Ever.

Do Not Wear High Heels

Bad news for fashionistas; all that weight concentrated down into those pointed stiletto heels means dings and dents for your precious floor. Have guests ditch their heels at the door – going completely shoeless is actually great for your home on many levels.

Do Not Let Pets' Nails Get Long

While your dog and cats innocently prowl the house, their long nails are scratching your hardwood. Keep their nails trimmed and your floor safe.

Do Not Forgo an Entryway Rug

For all those times the kids forget to take off their shoes or the exterminator barrels through your home in his dirty boots, you're going to want a rug or mat just inside the door to pick up the loose debris that comes off their feet and acts as sandpaper when it's rubbed along your floor.

Do Not Use Ordinary Cleaning Products

A countertop cleaner, tile rinse, or even ammonia might be close at hand, but they're very bad to use on your hardwood. Not only can they be too harsh for this type of flooring and its finish but the self-polishing waxes that are often used in acrylic cleaners will make the hardwood dull and slippery. In short, it's worth taking the extra time and spending the money to buy a floor cleaner specifically made for Hardwood.

Do Not Clean With the Vacuum

The harsh rotating brush on your vacuum cleaner is designed for carpets and rugs and can scratch delicate hardwood. Only use the vacuum cleaner if you have a gentle upholstery brush-type of attachment.

Do Not Use a Wet Mop

The moisture from a wet or even very damp mop can be harmful to your wooden surface. There are virtually no scenarios where it's a good idea to use a mop or wet clean hardwood. If for some reason you do clean with something wet, wipe up residual moisture asap.

Do Not Hesitate to Wipe up Spills

Move fast to wipe up water or other liquid spills immediately. They can damage the wood and stain the surface finish irreparably.

Do Not Slide Furniture

When it comes to to rearrange the living room, recruit an extra pair of hands to help you lift and move heavy pieces. Sliding them across the floor is the equivalent to taking a pair of keys to the slide of a car. It's also wise to put felt contact pads beneath the feet of heavy pieces.

Do Not Treat Your Floor Until You Know Its Finish

Older hardwood floors are generally sealed with wax finishes while it's standard for contemporary ones to be finished with polyurethane. It's important to know the difference, as floors finished with polyurethane shouldn't be waxed – the glossy finish from the polyurethane should make it so that you don't need to wax shine them anyways.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Adrian Busse
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