Personal taste aside, nothing quite comes close to a beautiful hardwood floor styling up a living room / hallway / bedroom / just about any other space you can think of. But of course with great beauty comes great responsibility: What kind of polish should be used with that hardwood floor? Is it okay to clean with vinegar? How about mopping?
Relax – this guide was tailor-made for people like you who don’t quite grasp the maintenance that comes with appreciating a hardwood floor…
We know that a lot of DIY cleaning solutions tell you to mix up water and vinegar for just about everything, including hardwood floors. But are you aware that the acetic acid in white vinegar isn't good for the finish on most hardwood floors?
It might not happen immediately, but trust us that, over time, the vinegar will eat through the finish on your floor, making it look dull. And yes, we know that all wood finishes dull with time, but using vinegar just speeds up the process.
Think about a person’s weight being concentrated into that little point at the end of a high-heeled shoe – yes, it will damage the floor.
To avoid pits and dents, carry your heels to the door and put them on right before you leave the house. With guests visiting, it’s up to you to decide which is worse: a damaged hardwood floor, or asking all guests to please remove their shoes (so as not to single out heel-wearing visitors)
Your daily cleaning routine needs to include sweeping or vacuuming, mainly due to the dirt, grime and sand children and pets (and even adults) trample indoors, which scratch your floors.
Regular sweeping/vacuuming is vital for maintaining your hardwood floor’s beauty, but just remember to turn off any rotating bristles that are intended for carpeting, as they could scratch your floor's surface.
It’s quite easy keeping your home’s indoor temperature and humidity at ideal levels – as long as you’re comfortable, they’re fine. But if you’re away and decide to turn the air-conditioning or heater off, you could be putting your hardwood floors at risk.
Hardwood floors can swell due to high humidity levels, while lower humidity causes them to contract. A bit of movement in your floors is normal, but maintaining good levels of temperature and humidity can keep fluctuations from becoming an issue.
So, what’s the perfect temperature to strive to? Between 15 to 26°C, with humidity levels in the range of 30 to 50%.
Rather go with a microfiber mop that can pick up moisture to keep your hardwood floors in mind. And remember that any cleaning products should be lightly misted.
It’s quite a major job that includes sanding and re-sealing, both of which drastically affect your living environment (and should be done by a professional). Remember that you'll also need to leave your home for the duration of the project.
Before you opt for a full-blown refinishing job, consider if a screening would be adequate. A faded finish and light surface scratches can most likely be fixed by this type of service, which involves roughing up the existing finish and then applying a new coat of finish, such as polyurethane.
At the end of the day, don’t break your head about what’s right and not right for your floors. Stick to these simple guidelines and you are sure to enjoy stunning hardwood floors for years to come.
Speaking of shine, don’t miss these 7 dazzling cleaning hacks that will make your life easier.