How to Care for Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are beautiful, and they can increase the value of your home. They are much easier to clean than carpet also. You don’t have to spend hours vacuuming, and if something spills, you just wipe it up and don’t have to worry about a stain or lingering odors.
However, hardwood floors do require a bit of special care to ensure that you don’t strip the floors of their stain, dull them or scratch them. Here are a few tips for how you can care for your hardwood floors to keep them looking beautiful for many years to come:
Sweep Often
One of the easiest ways to keep your hardwood floors clean and to prevent scratching is to keep them free of debris. You can do this by sweeping often – every day if necessary. If you have a vacuum cleaner that is designed for bare floors, it is preferable since it can get dirt from between the cracks in the boards. However, using a regular vacuum will just scratch the floors.
Clean with a Damp Cloth
Mopping your hardwood floors can subject them to water damage. Even if you think you aren’t putting a lot of water on the floor, you are more than likely putting on more than it can handle. Instead, use a damp cloth to clean the floor. A Bona Mop or similar tool can be useful for cleaning large areas at one time.
Hang Blinds
Certain hardwood species and select finishes can dull over time when they are exposed to sunlight. You don’t have to make your house a mausoleum, but you should hang blinds or curtains that you can close when the sun gets too bright. Blinds are a good option since the direction can be changed to divert sunlight up instead of closing off the room to any sunlight at all.

Choosing the Right Sealer/Finish for your Floor

Few floor types truly compete with hardwood floors, which are prized for their beauty and practicality. To keep your hardwood floors looking their best, take time to seal and finish them. However, first determine which sealer and finish are right for your particular floors. The following are the main types of sealer and finish.
Shellac is among the older finish types, and it is still used by some woodworkers for its high gloss and versatility. Varnish, as with shellac, is another type of finish that was used on floors prior to the 1960s. Lacquer, meanwhile, is fast-drying. It is generally applied with a sprayer rather than with a cloth or brush. Lacquer dries so quickly that it locks out dust and other contaminants. Polyurethanes offer the highest possible gloss and a durable finish. Wax, which is even older than shellac and varnish, soaks into the pores of wood before hardening. Used with a stain, it allows you to create the color of floor you prefer. Finally, there are wood floor oils that serve as penetrating sealers. Tung oil is the most popular of these, as it is easy to apply, self leveling, and time tested. We reccomend Waterlox Tung Oil.
Once it has the proper finish, your hardwood floor is likely to look beautiful for years. Whether you are preparing to restore an old hardwood floor or preparing to seal and finish a brand new one, make sure it is treated with care for the best possible look and protection.