The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) recommends cleaning your floors on a regular schedule. Dust, Swiffer, or sweep the floors daily. Vacuum the floors using the proper setting on your vacuum cleaner once a week. Clean the floors with a commercial or natural cleaning product once a month. Have a maintenance coat applied every few years, and have the floors sanded and refinished every 30 years.
These recommendations are more guidelines and vary from home to home. Your maintenance routine should take into account how much wear and tear your floors receive. If you have children, pets, and heavy traffic in your home, you may need to clean more often. If your floors don’t experience much traffic, they can be cleaned less often.
Keep Your Flooring In Pristine Condition
The NWFA also advises applying felt pads to the furniture placed on wood floors, wiping up spills with a damp cloth as soon as they occur, using throw rugs in entryways and in front of sinks, and avoiding wet or steam mops. When put simply, use rugs that don’t stain, keep your floors dry, clean regularly, and don’t walk on wood floors in high heels.
Surface seals, such as urethane, polyurethane, and acrylic are the easiest to maintain. They resist both stains and water damage. Don’t use wax or oils on these floors, as these products can make them dangerously slippery and you will not be able to apply a maintenance coat. Abrasive cleaning products can dull or even scratch wood floors, so stick to products recommended by the manufacturer. You can also use good old-fashioned soap and water.
The cleaning brand we recommend is Bona cleaner. Do not use the Bona polisher because it has wax in it and if you were to ever need a maintenance coat it will not bond to wax products.
Flooring and your Pets
One of the main things to avoid when it comes to hardwood floors is abrasion. It’s important to sweep and dust mop regularly because sand and dirt will slowly wear down the finish on your floors. However, some of the most abrasive things a floor can come in contact with are our beloved pets! Cat and dog claws, in particular, will scratch and deform hardwood faster than almost anything else.
What can you do about it? For one thing, choose a tough species of hardwood with a high Janka rating for your floors, such as Brazilian cherry or hickory, since they can withstand exceptional amounts of wear. We also recommend keeping Fido’s claws trimmed down to a reasonable length.
Prevent Improper Cleaning
This might be the most important item on this list since most people don’t know proper cleaning methods for hardwood. Here’s the main thing to remember: never ever let water sit on your hardwood floors. Don’t use a big sloppy bucket or mop to clean. Don’t wait until later to clean up that spill.
The best way to clean hardwood (when sweeping won’t cut it) is to use a spray bottle and a microfiber mop. Spray lightly on the floor as you mop in order to prevent excess water from staining the surface or seeping in between the planks where it can damage the subfloor.
Avoid Too Much Direct Sunlight
Kind of odd, but UV radiation can damage the finish of your floors and lead to buckling, warping, or cracks. What can you do about it? Close your curtains during the day when you’re gone in order to keep the sun from baking your floors. Or, if you really like leaving the blinds open, put down area rugs in places where the sun shines on the floor most intensely.
If you have children, pets, and heavy traffic in your home, you may need to clean more often. If your floors don’t experience much traffic, they can be cleaned less often.