Maintaining your newly installed hardwood floors is a vital part of keeping them beautiful for years to come. When you properly maintain your floors, they can last for decades and become a beloved part of any home. The maintenance steps for different flooring types varies based on what type of wood flooring you have. We will be covering the maintenance and care of site finished hardwood flooring.
Site finished flooring is a great option if you want to add a stain to your floors but there are other benefits as well. One of the biggest benefits is the ability to refinish these floors. Refinishing hardwood flooring means to sand off the existing finish and reapply a fresh layer. This process brings your flooring back to its original beauty and allows you to add a stain to your flooring. Refinishing your hardwood is part of maintaining your flooring but it is not part of regular maintenance. We will talk more about the regular maintenance below and how it can help stretch out the time between full refinishes of your hardwood flooring.
The Importance of Daily Maintenance
Daily maintenance is important for protecting your floors. Daily cleaning helps to keep debris off your floor, sand and debris can abrade and remove your flooring finish. Overtime debris will remove the sheen from your floor and cause the finish to dull. Daily dust mopping is one of the best ways to keep your floor free of debris. Dust mopping means using a dry mop like a Swiffer to clean your floor. You can also vacuum the floor or sweep with a regular broom. A handheld vacuum like a Dyson is a great way to quickly remove debris from your wood flooring without damaging it.
Consider where you live, if you live somewhere with a lot of rain or snow you will want to have special mats at all your doorways to dry your feet. If you live close to the beach you will need to get special mats that collect sand from shoes and feet. Additionally, if you have a gravel driveway or walk in gravel you will want to make sure there is no gravel stuck in your shoes before you walk on your floor. This can cause dents and scratches in your floor. Ideally your home should be a shoe free zone if you have wood floors.
Schedule Deep Cleanings
Periodically you will need to perform a deeper clean. Deep cleaning hardwood floors means thorough vacuuming and careful mopping. Vacuuming your floors helps to remove any debris that are in the cracks or seams. Mopping should not be done frequently to prevent damage to your finish but can be done periodically. Spot cleaning is advised between deep cleans. When mopping your wood floors, you will want to make sure you do not wet mop. Use a microfiber cloth and a spray bottle to clean you floor, only applying a small amount of cleaner to get the surface clean but not enough to saturate your floor. The type of cleaner you use will depend on that manufacturer of your finish. It may seem silly to consult the manufacturer on cleaning products, but it can be an important step in maintain your floor. There are cleaners that are designed to work with your finish and others that can cloud or damage it. If you use a cleaning service talk to them about how to properly care for your floor. Provide them with safe mopping solutions and ask them to only use those on your floor.
Avoid using tools like auto scrubbers or buffers on your floor unless you have been properly trained in how to use them and have ensured they are allowed by the finish manufacturer. They can cause damage to the floor if not used properly.
Consider a “Maintenance Coat”
You will want to have your floor re-coated annually. This is referred to as a maintenance coat or a buff and coat. The floor is buffed by a professional and then a new coat is added to revitalize the floor. This helps to restore the look of the floor, add another wear layer and cover any minor imperfections. This fresh coat of finish will add to the water resistance of the floor as well as the stain resistance. The new finish coat restores the even sheen the floor once had.
When setting up your buff and coat you will be given the option to choose your flooring finish. There are a lot of flooring finishes out there but the most common are water based and oil based. There are draw backs and benefits of both products. When choosing the finish, you will also need to select the sheen level. The sheen level refers to the amount of shine in the floor finish. The options are matte, satin, semi-gloss and gloss. These finish types have variable amounts of sheen, satin is the most popular option followed by matte. Gloss may seem like a good option because the shine is appealing but unfortunately it shows a lot of imperfections and debris on your floor. Matte is not for everyone; it can look dull and lifeless to some while others love the modern look.
Like we talked about earlier you will eventually need to refinish the floor. This is required every 5-8 years but with proper care and maintenance that time period can be extended.
There are additional steps you can take to protect your floor. Always put protective felt pads on furniture and change them out regularly on frequently used pieces of furniture like dining chairs. Clean up spills immediately. Keep the floor dry, wipe up any water that’s tracked in quickly. Add throw rugs to places that are high traffic, especially areas with doors that lead outside.
Work with a Local Hardwood Floor Maintenance Contractor
Maintaining your hardwood floor may seem like a daunting task but, it is just good housekeeping and care. Keeping up on your maintenance pays off over time and you will have a floor you are proud of for years to come. We highly recommend performing the daily and periodic maintenance yourself but calling in professionals for the annual maintenance coats and refinishes. Remember, working with a local, Boston hardwood floor contractor will make all this work much easier! They’ll set you up with a schedule and show you how to best maintain your floor!