Hardwood floors are beautiful and durable. However, certain factors can easily damage your wooden floors if they are not properly looked after. Environmental factors such as snow, salt and dirt being trodden into the house can have a detrimental effect of the beauty of your wooden flooring.

With just a few simple measures you can keep your wooden floors looking good and protect them from damage.

How to look after a wooden floor

Deal With Spills Immediately

If you knock over a glass of water or any other liquid, wipe up with a dry or slightly damp cloth immediately. Wood will swell and shrink depending on the moisture it is exposed to. To avoid splits and cracks, make sure you mop up any spillages.

Make sure you ban wet and sticky shoes from the house and if you can catch them, dry and clean damp and muddy paws before they step onto your wooden floors.

Try to keep your home’s humidity levels down as well as too much moisture in the atmosphere will also create problems with gapping and splitting. A good temperature to keep your home at is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Regular Cleaning

You should try to sweep your wooden floors daily with a soft-bristled broom, or dust them with a soft cloth, especially if you have pets shedding hair. If possible, aim to vacuum once a week, this will help ensure that any particles left behind from sweeping are removed.

You can mop your wooden floors with specialist wooden floor cleaner. There are specific wood soaps designed to clean and protect oil-finished surfaces. Our experts will be able to advise you on a good soap to use if you are unsure.

Make sure that you don’t use too much soap, and we would recommend that you avoid using soap flakes.

Top Tip: Use two buckets to clean your wood floors. One with a soap solution and the other with clean water for rinsing the mop. This helps prevent a greyish film developing from the dirty water.

Top Tip: Microfibre mop heads, which have become very popular in recent years, are slightly abrasive and could cause damage to your wooden floor. Instead, use a cotton yarn twist mop instead.

Protect From Furnishings

Furniture legs are some of the biggest causes of scratches to wooden floors. It is easy to guard against this damage with the addition of some simple felt furniture tips. The tips are available in most DIY stores and are easily attached to your furniture with the none damaging adhesive they are supplied with.

It is still advisable to lift furniture when moving it as dragging across the floor, even with protectors fitted, is likely to cause more damage.

Rugs may be useful to protect your flooring from sun damage and can also be used as a design feature. However, if they are not secured, they can cause problems. A rug that slides around is not only a trip hazard, but it will also scratch the surface of the wooden floor. We would highly recommend that you use no-skid pads, which are rubber backed, to protect both the floor and the people in your home.

Pets and Shoes

Ok, so we love our pets, but those dog’s nails are a sure fire way of adding scratches to your floors. So it is important to keep their nails trimmed.

Our pets are not the only ones guilty of damaging the floors with their feet however. Shoes inside the house should be a big no no. High heels are particularly damaging as they will leave dents and scratches in your lovely wooden floors. Any shoes can cause scrapes, scratches and dents and don’t forget; they are also the source of the external environmental factors that cause problems.

Protecting a Wooden Floor

Excessive Sunlight

Too much sunlight can wreak havoc on our hardwood floors. It can cause fading and discolouration, so it is important to take steps to protect the flooring from excessive direct sunlight.

You can protect your wooden floors by using curtains and blinds, but you may also consider putting a UV coating on the windows themselves. As discussed above, a rug/mat can also be used to protect areas that are heavily exposed to sunlight. However, be aware that you may get uneven colour if you don’t move the mat around depending on the area that is being exposed.

Removing Stains

If for any reason you were unable to mop up a spillage immediately, you may find that you have a stain on the floor. Ink and red wine can be particularly troublesome. We would advise against using too much liquid to try to remove the stain as this will cause problems with the wood warping and splitting. Instead, you may need to sand down the area that has been stained and re-finish. Our How-To guides can help you with this.

Finally Re-Finish Wooden Floors

Every 3 – 5 years it is advisable to refinish your floors. This will ensure the beauty of the natural wood is maintained and will take care of any slight damage that has been caused over time. Re-finishing also protects your floors from further damage and maintains the look for years to come.

Our floor restoration experts are on hand to give you any advice you may need. We can repair and restore your wooden floors giving you the finish you desire and the protection your wooden floor needs.