At this point you’ve judged your site for a sustainable solid hardwood installation. You’ve chosen the right hardwood species for you and your space. And you’ve taken steps to prepare that installation, perhaps including arranging for a professional to perform the installation. But, now, that the floors are in, what now?
Hardwood flooring has a great reputation for longevity. In many cases, hardwood floors have proven to be robust structural elements to properties over hundreds of years. But, the key to lasting hardwood floors aren’t just about how long they continue as a functional floor covering. It’s also about look. The goal for many is to extend the length of time that a hardwood floor manages to look as vibrant and decorative as the day they were first installed.
In the spirit of that, and here in the last of the ’5 ways’ hardwood flooring series, Here are 5 ways to preserve your solid hardwood flooring so that it will continue to lend visual flair for years to come:
- Clean your floors regularly. And make sure, of course, that excessive moisture isn’t a part of your regimen. As it has been asserted many times on this blog, and on other flooring blogs and sites, excessive moisture is the arch-enemy of a stable and healthy hardwood floor. Instead, use dry mops to clear dust away. Move the mop gently to avoid scratching the finish due to sand or other outdoor element that may have been tracked in. And speaking of which …
- Use floor mats and runners at entrances. This may seem like a simple thing. But, mats and runners can collect sand and glass particles from outdoors that may otherwise end up on your hardwood flooring. Of course, make sure that if your runners or mats get particularly dirty, or wet, it’s important that they not sit on your hardwood flooring either.
- Attach pads to furniture legs. One major cause of floor scratching is furniture legs that gouge when furniture pieces are moved or are bumped. To make sure this doesn’t happen, there are many fine products out there that you can use to affix to your furniture legs to avoid this problem. Once again, sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective.
- Beware your footwear. Well, at least be sure that your stiletto heels or athletic shoes and your hardwood flooring never become acquainted. According to some sources, a 100 pound woman exerts 1500 psi of pressure on a single high heel, which is more psi pressure than an barefoot elephant. You don’t want that on your hardwood floor. And speaking of animals …
- See to your pets. There are all kinds of factors here, having to do with surface scratching, stains, and moisture damage. Clipped nails work wonders. House training is a definite plus to. And even little details like making sure that spillage from water dishes are minimized, or better yet eliminated. Your pet and your floor can live in peace. But, you’ll need to be the U.N, so to speak.
The overarching principle here is vigilance when it comes to things like spills, and in being committed to incorporating the preservation of your hardwood floor into your weekly or even daily routines. And it’s not like the work you put in in little increments isn’t going to pay off later in a big way. Your preserved hardwood floor will stand as a true visual asset to your property as well as a practical one.