Preventing Damage to Your Hardwood Floors


Preventing Damage to Your Hardwood Floors

Whether your home is a quiet retreat or the life of the party, it’s good to know how to protect your hardwood floors to preserve their beauty and extend their lifespan.

Protect Against Scratches

Keep your floors free from scratches by cleaning regularly, strategically placing rugs and runners, removing your shoes indoors, and cushioning furniture and large appliances. 

Cleaning regularly prevents dirt and gravel from working its way between the floorboards or scratching the finish.  We recommend that you vacuum weekly to keep your floors clean and protected.

Rugs and runners should be placed in high-traffic areas, as well as inside and outside of entryways to trap dirt and debris before it makes its way inside.

Have guests and family members take off their shoes when they enter.  This will keep your floors clean and prevent scuff marks from dark-soled shoes or dents from stilettos that have lost their heel padding.

Make sure all furniture is padded so that your floors are protected.  This is especially important for items of furniture that are moved around regularly, such as chairs or folding tables.  If you’re getting ready for the holidays, read this blog for more tips on how to avoid floor damage.

If you have pets, be sure to trim their nails regularly or provide alternative scratching surfaces.  You can read more about pets and hardwood floors here.

Keep Your Floors Clean

Cleaning is an important part of the regular maintenance of hardwood floors.  If done right, it can extend the life of your floors.  If done wrong, it can damage the finish and dull the beauty of your hardwood.

All our prefinished floors have a durable aluminum oxide polyurethane finish, but some products, such as steel wool, paste wax, and nail polish remover can scratch, dull, or dissolve the finish.

Follow our cleaning guide to ensure that you are using the right products and methods to protect your floors.  To read more about cleaning do’s and don’ts, click here.

Keep Humidity and Moisture in Check

Moisture causes hardwood floors to expand, and excessive dryness causes them to contract.  While hardwood flooring will naturally expand and contract as the seasons change, excessive variations in moisture can lead to undesirable changes to the floor, such as cupping, buckling, gapping, or cracking. 

Once the flooring has been installed, the humidity level inside the building should be kept within the recommended range of 35-55 percent, and the temperature between 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.  This falls within the comfortable range of interior home environments.

Limit Sun Exposure

Some wood species are more photosensitive than others, especially exotic woods such as Brazilian cherry and teak.  The natural compounds in the wood react to light and often darken, leaving noticeably lighter patches underneath rugs and other furniture.  This process can take up to six months for some species.

Color variations due to sun exposure can be evened out by moving rugs and furniture around regularly or giving the floor time to change color before placing items in the room.  Bright sunlight from large, unshaded windows can also raise the temperature and lower the humidity of the wood in front of them, causing gaps or other problems when the wood is outside of the recommended temperature and humidity ranges.

Choose a wood species and floor that will coordinate well with the amount of light and sun exposure in your space.  To read more about wood species, click here.

Bring beauty into your space.

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