The Two Most Commonly Asked Questions About Hardwood
Over the years, we've been asked many times the same two questions about hardwood floors. One is about keeping the floors the same, while the other is about changing them.
How can I keep my hardwood beautiful and clean?
Although all hardwood floors can scratch and dent according to your household activity, today’s UV cured urethane finishes with aluminum oxide will give you a hard finish to protect the wood’s surface.
Keep these tips in mind if you have pets and active kids:
Subtle scraping, wire brushing and matte gloss levels will help disguise scratches and scuffs.
High gloss levels (shiny floors) will make scratches more visible.
A dark stain choice, much like dark wall paint colors, will show wear and damage more than light colors.
Keep your pets’ nails trimmed and quickly clean up any accidents.
Protect your investment with these cleaning and maintenance routines:
Routinely sweep, dust mop or use a vacuum with the beater bar raised to keep grit to a minimum. Use a motion parallel with the planks to remove dirt in the seams.
Clean up spills quickly, using a slightly damp cloth.
Water and wood do not mix, so never damp mop your hardwood and only use cleaners, specifically formulated for wood, recommended by NWFA, such as Bona products, which are available at many retail chains.
Use felt protectors on all furniture legs and replace them frequently. They are available in many shapes and sizes at hardware and discount stores.
Walk off mats inside exterior doors should be made of breathable fabric and vacuumed often. Mats outside exterior doors should have firm bristles that function to remove dirt and dust.
Move furniture around from time to time to avoid prolonged sun exposure, which could cause discoloration.
Use natural rubber pads under all area rugs to prevent movement and debris scratches.
What if I need or want to change the color or finish?
Maybe five years from now, you decide to put your home on the market and the buyer says the color of your floor is a deal-breaker. Or, after your children have grown and moved out, you want a fresh and different visual. No worries, there are several solutions, depending on the construction of your hardwood.
Pre-finished solid hardwood can be sanded, re-stained, and refinished multiple times, over many years, to bring a worn floor back to life, or completely change the color to complement a fresh, new room design.
An engineered “face” or “wear layer” thickness can vary and correlate with the method of milling. A thicker wear layer on an engineered product can actually permit full sanding for a refresh and complete color change. Consult your dealer to determine if your engineered selection will allow full sanding and re-staining, and refinishing.
- All engineered and solid hardwood flooring can be refreshed with a fine sanding, referred to as “screen and recoat.” This process removes the worn urethane coatings to allow a new finish application.
- Be prepared to lose most distressing, wire brushing or scraping if you choose to fully sand and refinish any hardwood flooring.
Hardwood flooring is perceived as one of the most permanent interior investments in your home. If you properly care for your hardwood, your investment will last a lifetime.
Photo Credits: iStock
Twenty & Oak Flooring Experts
Twenty & Oak Flooring Experts are a team of flooring professionals with over 150 years of combined experience in the industry. They have hands-on experience with all flooring types and bring inside industry know-how to homeowners in the Southeast.