There is nothing quite as beautiful as a well-kept solid wood floor, but caring for a wood floor can be intimidating. Many people decide to go with wood flooring because of the classic and sophisticated look, but they don't stop to think about what they'll need to do to keep their new flooring looking great. While a well-kept wood floor looks great with just about any décor, keeping it looking its best can be somewhat of a mystery. Fortunately, the experts at Georgia Carpet are here to help you learn how to care for and maintain your solid wood floor. If you want your floors to remain as gorgeous as the day you installed them, it is best to have a care plan. If you're not sure where to start, the flooring experts at Georgia Carpet are here to help with three easy steps that you can follow to achieve a fabulous solid wood floor.
Step 1: Keep Your Solid Wood Flooring Dry
Choosing new flooring is exciting, but most of the time when we go to pick out new hardwood flooring, we tend to get caught up in the resistance technologies and protection benefits advertised, forgetting that wood is naturally absorbent to liquids. It is kind of like putting a dress on a dog, it may be wearing human clothes, but it's still a dog. The point of that rather far off metaphor is that regardless of what the wood has been treated with or the finish it has been given, nothing will completely stop water damage. Not to say that there aren't excellent quality finishing products available - and you should absolutely look for these - but that simply there is no way to completely protect from liquids.
So, what can we do about it?
The answer is very simple: just avoid getting it wet. In the event that a pesky spill does happen on your simple hardwood floors, clean it up immediately. The longer that you have a spill sitting on the floor, the more time it will have to soak into the wood and the more damage it will do. Also, if your house tends to be a little on the humid side, a simple solution would be to get a small dehumidifier for the space with wood flooring. You can find dehumidifiers anywhere and they can save you a lot of heartache when it comes to your floors while also making the air in your home more comfortable.
Step 2: Keep your Solid Wood Flooring Clean
Your floors see a lot of action and in a normal day, that translates to a lot of dirt, dust and debris. While some of this dirt can be seen and swept away, there will still be a large amount of dirt that you cannot even see and other contaminants as well. Did you know that you contribute to the buildup on your floors more than any other item in the house? Your body is made of about 10 trillion cells, and your skin is about 16 percent of your body weight. In cells, that comes to about 1.6 trillion skin cells. Because your body is constantly shedding dead cells and creating new ones, the average person winds up shedding about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells in an hour, or about 1 million skin cells a day. And where do they go? On your furniture, under your bed, etc. Mostly these shed skin cells land on the floor, and this is just you, that it is coming from.
The fact is that so many variables take place in creating dirt and dander. This is why it is so important to know how to clean solid oak floors and to clean your floors regularly, even if you don't physically see any dirt. At Georgia Carpet, we recommend sweeping a minimum of twice a week and vacuuming at least once a week. You may want to sweep and vacuum more often in high traffic areas of the house. How often you clean matters just as much as the tools you use to clean. When sweeping, use a soft bristle broom, because over time if you are using a hard bristle broom you will eventually strip the wood's surface layer by layer. A soft bristle broom can prolong the life of the finishing of your floors.
While sweeping and vacuuming should be done regularly, mopping is arguably the most important aspect of cleaning hardwood floors. Why? Because most people mop with a water solution, which as we've already discussed is bad for your floors. Swap out your water solution and mop with only wood solutions, as they are made specifically for wood floors and usually require little to no water, making these cleaners the best way to clean hardwood floors. These formulas are designed to resist being absorbed by the floor, so you won't have to worry about accidental damage.
Step 3: Keep your Solid Wood Flooring Protected
Protecting your wood floors involves more than just applying a protective coating to the top. Everyday activities like moving furniture, wearing heels and letting the dog into the house can cause damage. Heavy furniture can actually dent your hardwood floor over time because of the constant pressure on the wood's surface. You can remedy this to a degree by placing felt pads on the bottom of your heavy pieces or by changing the feet on your favorite furniture items to a larger design that better distrust he weight of the piece. Taking your shoes off when you get home and wearing soft slippers instead can also protect your flooring against scratches and indentations while keeping the dog's nails trimmed will help protect against pet damage. For high-traffic areas, protect your flooring with throw rugs and runners. A rug or runner will not only protect your floors, but also add color to your decor, resulting in a win-win situation.
Heavy dents are almost impossible to get out with standard sanding, so if you take these steps you will not have to worry yourself with this. Finally, further protect your solid wood flooring by keeping those dirt particles at bay using door mats. Strategically placing door mats will make sure that dirt isn't tracked into the house or ground into the floor.
Taking care of your new wood floors is easy when you follow these tips from the experts at Georgia Carpet. Enjoy beautiful looking floors for years with regular cleaning and simple prevention measures.