Maintaining Your Hardwood Floors
Once installed your hardwood floor will look beautiful, but time and traffic, stains and spills, will take their toll.
So, you need a short course on taking care of your floor, and for that you’ve come to the right place.
We want you to know all about hardwood maintenance because the more you know the better able you’ll be to keep your floor looking new.
Wood is a natural, beautiful and timeless design element.
Consistent and correct maintenance will insure it remains that way.
Entrances are your first line of defense.
With all of the abrasive dust we have to contend with here in the desert, be sure to use walk-off mats or area rugs on either side of exterior entrances to minimize and contain dirt being tracked in at entryways. And shake them often. These tiny particles act like sandpaper and will scratch your floor.
Be sure to avoid using rubber-backed or non-ventilated mats or rugs as they can damage your floor. Instead use mats or rugs made especially for hardwood floors.
In addition to entryways, remember to place mats in any areas where water may be splashed, such as near a kitchen sink.
Invest in these tools.
Buy a good quality broom and sweep your new floor regularly to pick up grains of dirt, dust and other particles.
A vacuum cleaner, without a beater bar, can be helpful in between planks and other hard to reach areas. Once dirt and grease are gone, buffing can help restore the luster of your hardwood floor.
Keep in mind these cleaning tips.
Cleaning techniques vary depending on the installation and finish of your hardwood floor.
For “Finish in Place” and “Engineered” hardwood floors, we recommend using an 8”x14” terrycloth mop with a rotating head that makes cleaning corners, under cabinets and along base boards an easy task. For a cleaning agent, we recommend “Bona Hardwood Cleaner”. It is an effective, environmentally friendly and non-toxic formula. Use it on all types of residential hardwood floors. For convenience, it doesn't require any rinsing and doesn't leave behind a dulling residue. Monterrey Tile stocks the 32 oz. size.
All floors with a urethane finish should never be waxed and require cleaners that won’t leave a film or residue.
“Bona Hardwood Cleaner” is useful in removing occasional scuffs or heel marks. Merely spray some cleaner on a cloth and lightly rub the stained area. Sticky spots can be cleaned with a damp towel or sponge.
Do not use ammonia cleaners or oil soaps on a wood floor, as they will dull the finish and performance of your floor. These products will also affect the ability to recoat your floor later.
Since wood naturally expands when it is wet, never wet mop or use excessive water to clean your floor. Large amounts of water can cause the wood to swell and may cause your floor to crack or splinter.
Being a natural product, hardwood will expand and contract due to moisture level changes. Minimize water exposure to hardwood floors and clean up spills as soon as they happen.
Know this about deep cleaning.
If your floor is showing excessive wear beyond normal cleaning you may want to consider screening and recoating.
Screening is the process used to abrade the polyurethane finish that is currently on the floor. Then, fresh coats of urethane are applied. Screening and recoating will rejuvenate and prolong the life of your hardwood floor.
If the damage to the floor is severe and has gone through the stain of the boards down to the bare wood, you can sand and refinish.
This should only be done if a screening and recoating does not solve the problem. This is an extensive process where the floor is sanded down to the bare wood, re-stained and then refinished. This process can NOT be done on “scraped finish” flooring, as it will remove the hand scraped texture.
If the damage is only in a small area you may want to see if replacement boards are available to alleviate having to refinish an entire area.
Be sure to hire an experienced professional when having any work done on your hardwood floor. Consult with Monterrey sales person for our “short list” of wood restoration contractors.
Finally, protect against time, sun and traffic.
All hardwood floors will fade, darken or change shades over time. Exposure to sunlight will greatly increase this process.
Window treatments are recommended, as well as rotating area rugs and furniture regularly to allow floors to age evenly from UV exposure.
Cover furniture and table legs with protectors to guard your floor against damage. Take care when moving heavy objects across your floor to avoid scuffing.
Stiletto heels can cause dents and scratches that are not covered by your warranty. Love your pet but regularly trim their nails or claws to avoid scratches on the hardwood floor. The point here is to be cautious of sharp objects that may scratch or damage the floor.
A hardwood floor of beauty and pride can be yours today and tomorrow if you know how to care for it right from the start, clean it on a regular basis and schedule professional maintenance when that is called for.