5 Tips for Keeping Your Hardwood Floors in Prime Condition

Avoid common hardwood floor mistakes and maintain shine with these simple tips. With proper care, your hardwood can look as good as new for years! 

Tiffany Rowe, Seek Visibility (Partner)
3-minute read
image of man cleaning floor with rag

Hardwood flooring makes an aesthetically pleasing addition to any home. In addition to looking better than other popular flooring types, hardwood can last a lifetime if proper care is taken. Unfortunately, many homeowners allow their hardwood floors to fall into disrepair, leading to costly premature replacement. Follow these 5 easy tips to keep hardwood flooring in prime condition for years to come:  

Tip #1: Vacuum on a Weekly Basis

Hardwood flooring is fairly easy to clean, especially when compared to other surfaces. Unlike carpeting, which conceals and traps dirt, dust and dander, hardwood flooring leaves them exposed, thereby making it easier to get rid of them. To ensure that your hardwood floors remain dust-free, make a point of vacuuming on a weekly basis. This will prevent dust and other undesirable elements from accumulating and keep your floors looking brand new. Assuming no one tracks dirt inside and no spills occur, this is the only type of regular cleaning your hardwood floors will need.  

Tip #2: Keep Water Off Your Floors

Water is one of hardwood flooring’s biggest enemies. Not only can prolonged exposure to water damage a floor’s finish, it can also result in deep penetration and lasting stains. With this in mind, make a point of keeping water off your hardwood floors whenever possible. For example, if you’re expecting rain, take care to close every window in the vicinity of your flooring. Additionally, if you keep potted plants on your hardwood floors, you’ll be wise to place trays beneath each one. Lastly, spills of any kind should be wiped up quickly.   

It’s true that hardwood floors are easy to care for—they’re also prone to lasting damage if proper care isn’t taken.

Tip #3: Use Mats 

To prevent people and pets from tracking water, mud and other potentially damaging elements onto your floors, incorporate absorbent doormats throughout your home. Mats provide a place to wipe your shoes upon entry. Absorbent mats are particularly useful during the winter months, when snow and ice are abundant. Snow-covered boots should never make contact with hardwood flooring, so be extra vigilant about making guests remove their footwear throughout the winter season.  

Tip #4: Polish Several Times a Year

If your hardwood flooring has a surface finish, it’s recommended that you polish it every two to three months. Since the majority of hardwood floors contain polyurethane surface finishes, there’s a good chance yours have this too. Polishing your floors with a buffer pad will help get rid of the small scratches and scuffs it accumulates through everyday use. Furthermore, if your floors contain a urethane finish—or any other glossy finish, for that matter—you should never use wax on them.

Should you require assistance in polishing your hardwood floors or repairing minor damage, reach out to seasoned handymen with flooring experience. In snowy and rainy cities like Detroit, handyman services are more likely to have experience examining and repairing hardwoods.

Tip #5: Limit UV Exposure

Prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause hardwood flooring to fade, thereby diminishing their appearance. To prevent this fate from befalling your hardwood floors, take care to limit their exposure to sunlight. If there are any windows in the vicinity of your floors, outfit them with window coverings designed to block out UV rays.

In many respects, hardwood is the ideal flooring type for any home or business. In addition to looking great, it’s incredibly resilient, easy to care for, and long-lasting. Since hardwood flooring requires little in the way of maintenance, there’s no reason for homeowners to put its upkeep on the backburner. While it’s true that hardwood floors are easy to care for, they’re also prone to lasting damage if proper care isn’t taken. Luckily, with a little bit of consistency and follow-through, you can keep your hardwood floors looking their best for decades.