Hardwood floors are a brilliant addition to any home. Characterized by their natural wood colors and unmatched strength, they are the preferred choice of flooring by countless homeowners. But if you're thinking about investing in hardwood floors, you'll need to know how to maintain them.
Wear the Right Shoes (Or Go Barefoot)
You should use caution when walking on hardwood floors, especially if your shoes have pointed bottoms. High-heeled shoes should be completely avoided, as heels can "dig into" the hardwood, causing permanent damage. Instead, choose shoes that have a flat, non-abrasive bottom.
Some homeowners believe that hardwood floors attract more hair, dust and dirt than carpet. If you have hardwood floors in your home, you'll probably notice debris such as this coating the surface. This doesn't necessarily mean that hardwood floors are more likely to develop debris, but rather it's more visible on them. By sweeping your hardwood floors regularly, though, you can keep them clean.
Avoid Spilled Liquids
While easier said than done, you should try to avoid spilling drinks or other liquids on your hardwood floors. Assuming it's genuine hardwood (not laminate), the flooring will absorb moisture deep into its pores. Natural wood is like a sponge, absorbing or releasing moisture depending on its surrounding environment. If you spill liquid on your hardwood floors, they may warp, crack or even rot, none of which is something you want to experience as a homeowner.
Watch the Humidity
In addition to avoiding spilled liquids, you should also watch the humidity level in your home. If the humidity is too high, excess moisture vapor in the air will settle into your floors, essentially saturating it with water. But if the humidity is too low, all of the moisture within your floors will be released, causing them to dry out. A good rule of thumb to protect your hardwood floors from such damage is to maintain a relative humidity of 40-60%.
Clean with a Damp Mop
It's best to avoid using cleaning oils or soaps on your hardwood floors. Instead, stick with a damp mop. This should make easy work of even the dirtiest hardwood floors. For stubborn spots, you can use a special hardwood floor cleaner. These products contain ingredients that are safe to use on hardwood floors, so they shouldn't cause damage.