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Protecting New Hardwood Floors

Question: I just had new hardwood flooring installed in my grand room and dining room. It looks fantastic and I would like it to stay that way for the rest of my life. What is the best way to take care of my new hardwood floor?

Answer: There are a few things that are detrimental to hardwood floors.

The one item that will make a new hardwood floor look warn, is grit. Very small particles of dirt, sand or other abrasive will act like sandpaper as people walk over it and hence it will mar the finish on the hardwood flooring. Your new hardwood floor should be swept with a soft bristle broom daily. Cleaning products such as the Swiffer will drag fine particles over the flooring, acting like a sheet of sandpaper, so I do not recommend their use on hardwood flooring. Do not use a vacuum that has a powered beater bar as the revolving bristles can mar the hardwood finish. You can damp mop the floor once a week.

Although most of the new hardwood flooring finishes have UV protection in them, direct sunlight can cause the finishes to fade and/or yellow, so it is wise to keep window treatments such as blinds and drapes closed during periods of high sunlight.

Water and other liquids can cause hardwood flooring to swell and that will cause the hardwood floor boards to buckle. Liquids that may be spilled on the hardwood flooring should be wiped up immediately.

Only use cleaning products that are recommended by the hardwood flooring manufacturer. Believe it or not they do know what is the best cleaner for the hardwood floor boards that they manufacture!

Placement of mats at entrances to the home will help to catch some of the grit that will be on the bottom of shoes, before it is deposited on the hardwood flooring.

Place felt pads under furniture legs to prevent scratching should the furniture be moved.

The last item to consider is a problem called "tracking". This occurs on hardwood flooring when a section of the flooring is in an area that receives more traffic than the rest of the hardwood floor. In some cases a room can become a path between other rooms. When one area of hardwood flooring is subjected to a lot more wear than the other areas after awhile that path will be visible as the finish is being worn down at higher rate than the rest of the hardwood flooring finish. If you have such a situation, consider placing a runner over the high traffic path!

 

 

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