How to Care for Hardwood Flooring

Installing hardwood flooring can significantly increase the value of your home. The ROI on a renovation like that ranges from 70-80%. However, your hardwood floors won’t last long if they aren’t properly cared for.

How do you protect such a substantial investment, keeping your floors looking flawless for years to come? 

Stunning hardwood floors

Before you can properly care for your hardwood floors, you need to determine what kind of finish they have. Once you know that, you can choose the proper cleaning products and protectants to use on them.

Some of the most common finishes are sealants (like polyurethane) and waxes. To tell the difference, wipe the floor with a moist cloth—if a residue or buildup appears, then your floors are most likely sealed with wax. 

Use the Right Cleaning Supplies

Different kinds of wood require different kinds of care. For example, maple wood can have a matte or glossy finish. You’ll need to use the right cleaning product to leave the finish intact and avoid damaging the wood.

Always check the product’s instructions before applying it to your floor—you don’t want to wreck the finish! 

Use Floor Mats

How do you prevent those muddy puddles from forming near your doors? Your floors were spotless this morning, but now they’re covered in dirt. Puddles from shoes leave unsightly stains on your hardwood floor and can cause water damage.

Wood Floor Protection

Set up absorbent mats near the front and back doors of your home. You may also want to place some near your kitchen or bathroom sink. The next time your guests enter with dirty, outdoor shoes, there won’t be any sign of it on your hardwood floors.

Apply a Sealant or Wax Finish

An extra coating on top of your floor can protect it against water damage, impacts, or everyday wear and tear. It’s very important to apply the appropriate finish to your floors—if your hardwoods are coated in wax, but you apply a polyurethane sealant, you can seriously damage the wood.

Hardwood Floor Finishes

After you apply a finish, your floors will be good to go for the next few years. Consider reapplying it every 3-5 years.

Use Furniture Pads

You just bought a new sofa, and you’re ready to roll it into your living room. But first, take pause—does it have furniture pads on the bottom? If not, you can end up with deep scratches on your hardwood floors that are hard to fix. 

It’s a good precautionary measure to put pads on each item of furniture you have, even if it isn’t that heavy. Doing so will prevent accidental scrapes if it gets moved around.

Wipe Up Spills ASAP!

When water is left to sit on the floor, it causes damage to the wood in the form of splits and gaps. Even with the highest-quality hardwoods and the strongest finish, a pool of water will ruin your floors in no time.

If you knock over a glass of water, or your furry friend has an accident, throw down a towel on the floor immediately to absorb the liquid.

Be Aware of Seasonal Changes

As sturdy as hardwood can be, it has one main weakness: humidity. Each time the seasons change, your hardwood floors are subject to different levels of moisture in the air. Too much moisture, and they’ll warp—but too little, and they can splinter.

Protect your floors during winter by setting up a humidifier. This will offset the dry, hot air that can cause your floors to shift and crack. In the summer, you might need a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture. The best humidity level for most hardwood floors is between 30-50%.

Sweep Often

Does it really make a difference whether you sweep the floors once a week or once a month? When it comes to hardwood floors, the answer is yes.

Sweep your wood floors often

The small spaces between your hardwood floors may not look like much, but over time, they can get filled with dust and hair. It’s a lot easier to sweep regularly than to do a deep cleaning of these cracks. If you prefer to vacuum, be sure to choose a nozzle that has soft bristles—anything too abrasive can cause damage.

When mopping the floor, wring out the mop head as thoroughly as you can. This will prevent an excessive deposit of water.

There’s nothing like the sight of immaculate, rich, and high-quality hardwood floors. They elevate your home to the next level. Keep these care tips in mind and your floors will stay stunning for a long time.


Brought to you by Guest Author, Adrian Martinez, from the Outreach Team at KJP Select Hardwoods. KJP offers a diverse selection of wood and woodworking products; their inventory features over 80 species of wood, including domestic and exotic hardwoods.


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