Considering hardwood floors for your home? Or are you not sure what to expect from those hardwood floors you’ve inherited? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a few of the most common questions we hear about hardwood floors, and the answers you need to make a decision about whether hardwood floors are right for you, or the right way to take care of them.
Do wood floors darken or change color after they are installed?
They can. Depending on the product, your wood flooring can darken, lighten or change color over time. Because direct sunlight is the cause, furniture and rugs should be rearranged to make sure the color change is the same.
Is it normal for hardwood floors to scratch or dent?
Hardwood does not mean ‘too hard to damage.’ Hardwood floors can scratch or dent. If you are worried about the scratches and dents being too noticeable, consider hand scraped hardwood floors which hide the scratches and dents that come with a busy household.
Hardwood floors also expand and contract with the humidity, so it is normal to have some small gaps in the floor when humidity is low, such as during winter. For the same reason, be selective about what rooms you install hardwood floors in. Rooms with high humidity, such as laundry rooms and bathrooms, are not ideal for hardwood floors.
How can I protect my wood floors?
Put rugs by all exterior doors. An ounce of prevention goes a long way to keep your wood floors looking their best. Make sure you have rugs by all your exterior doors to keep the dirt, sand, water and other daily grit off your floors. That daily grit can scratch your floors or wear down the finish, making your job of keeping your wood floors (especially the finish) in peak shape.
Protect your wood floors from scratches. As long as we’re talking about preventative steps to keep your wood floors looking great, this is one of the cheapest, and most important, ways to protect your laminate and wood floors: felt pads. Make sure you have felt pads on the bottom of your chairs and furniture. Use caution (and soft padding underneath) when moving anything around to prevent scratches.
Wipe up water and spills immediately. A water spill on a wood floor can make any homeowner’s heart stop, and for good reason. Don’t let water damage or warp your wood or laminate floors. Keep paper towel or a rag handy so you can get that puddle of water cleaned up immediately.
How do I clean my wood floors?
Use regular maintenance to keep your floor clean. Sweep, dust mop or vacuum (most flooring manufacturers recommend using the wand attachment or a gentle vacuum) to clean up the small particles that can scratch and damage your floor.
Be VERY cautious when using a steam cleaner on your wood floors, or don’t use one at all. If you’ve watched TV, you’ve undoubtedly seen ads for steam cleaners. Steam cleaners are a great way to clean hard floors, and some ads suggest that steam is a great way to clean your wood floors. Their claim is contrary to the common knowledge that moisture and wood don’t mix, so we checked three of the most common wood flooring manufacturers and found that Armstrong, Mohawk and Shaw do not recommend that their customers use a steam cleaner of their wood products. Before purchasing a steam cleaner for cleaning your wood flooring, consult your manual to see if your warranty will be void if you use a steam cleaner.
Only use approved cleaners on your wood floors for deep cleaning. Wood floor cleaning is not a time to experiment. Some cleaners—even with common household ingredients—can damage your wood floor finish or the flooring itself. You’ve invested too much into your wood flooring to harm it on a whim. A few minutes of research can save you a lot of time, money and heart ache. If you don’t what kind of wood floor cleaner to use, ask the experts at Y’s Way via email, phone or through their Facebook page.