Hardwood floors can look utterly amazing (take a look at Easy Step Flooring for some ideas) but only if you look after it properly. Here’s what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it.

 Moving furniture around without soft feet

You can get little pads that go on the feet of your furniture to stop them scratching your floor. If you’ve been moving your furniture around for years without thinking about this then you could be creating scratches and marks that are there to stay. Check your floor and clean up any marks. Then get some soft sticky pads to put on the feet of your furniture.

 

Letting your dog’s claws scratch your floor

Your dog can scratch your floor just by running around. Keep the claws short and perhaps put down rugs in the areas where your dog likes to run around.

photo credit: orayzio via photopin cc

photo credit: orayzio via photopin cc

Too much direct heat

Changes in temperature can make a floor expand and contract. Hardwood floors are generally quite good at dealing with this but if you see any change in your floors then you may need to think about better insulation or moving a heat source.

 

Too much moisture

If you have damp or are in an area prone to flooding then this can ruin your floors. Moisture can make the wood bulge and swell and a lot of the time it won’t go back to its original state. If damp is the problem, get your house treated as soon as possible. You might need better insulation or a more effective heating system.

This is also why you should never mop a hardwood floor. You can wipe up spills with a damp cloth but don’t use a mop.

 

Not using the right products

General household cleaning products aren’t always suitable for hardwood floors. Avoid using these all together and stick to cleaners that are made specifically for your type of floor. This will help you to avoid discolouration and marks.

You can’t use ammonia on hardwood floors, nor should you use wax with a glossy finish.

 

You’re not using the right vacuum attachment

Vacuuming a hardwood floor is preferable to sweeping as you can get dust from between the boards. Make sure you use a bare floor attachment, though.

 

Too much sunlight

Direct sunlight can cause discolouration of the wood. Use a sheer curtain or blind over any windows that let in a lot of sunlight. Also be aware that mirrors can reflect sunlight onto a spot on your floor and this can cause discolouration too.

 

High heels on your wooden floor

Avoid wearing stiletto heels on your hardwood floor as these can leave marks. Other heels are generally okay but often it’s better to be safe than sorry and to remove all shoes at the front door.

 

photo credit: Chapendra via photopin cc

photo credit: Chapendra via photopin cc

Leaving your floor exposed in high traffic areas

If you have a hardwood floor in your hall then this would be the perfect place for a rug. High traffic areas are those most likely to get marked and a rug will stop this. It’s also a good idea to have a rug in areas where spills occur.  If something does get spilled on your floor, wipe it up as soon as possible with a paper towel. If it’s something sticky, you can use a damp cloth.

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