There are a variety of easy, inexpensive ways to protect hardwood floors. Since they are an investment that can last a lifetime, but can also be very expensive to repair, every wood floor owner should be knowledgeable and enthusiastic about hardwood floor protection.
Cleaning Wood Floors
First and foremost, follow our recommendations for how to clean hardwood floors, the recommended hardwood floor cleaning products to use, as well as safety and features of cleaning equipment such as a wood floor vacuum or wood floor mop.
Hardwood Floor Protection Tips
Be proactive about removing wet, moist or damp items from your floor’s surface immediately.
- Wet door mats or rugs in wood floored kitchens.
- Boots, shoes, coats and mittens and other outerwear.
- Leaking appliances or kitchen cleanup.
- Spills, pet urine, household cleaners, etc.
In such cases, dry the floor thoroughly.
Hardwood Floor Water Damage
Learn how and why your wood floors are so susceptible to water stains and damage, even when cleaning hardwood floors with water and recommended hardwood floor cleaning products.
In addition to cleaning with care, wipe up spills and other standing water immediately. Protect hardwood floors appropriately from potted plants, kitchen appliances, pet food dishes, and other items that could leave droplets, pools or puddles of water on your floors.
Scratches and Dents
Avoid walking on the floor while wearing high heels, spikes, cleats or other shoes that may cause indentations in your wood flooring.
Place area rugs or bristle-type mats at all exterior door entries to collect larger pieces of grit, small stones, dirt, grime and moisture to limit what is tracked onto your floor.
Keep pets nails trimmed and their paws free of pebbles, dirt, and grime.
Exposure to the sun and its UV rays accelerates the oxidation and aging of wood. Though sun aging such as stains, discoloration or fading are natural occurrences, we suggest rearranging rugs and furniture periodically so that your floors can age evenly.
Keep draperies closed in fully sunlit areas such as sliding glass deck doors.
Moving Appliances and Furniture
When moving appliances or other heavy items, place a blanket and a piece of plywood under the item to protect your floors from scratches, dings and dents. Ensure that service personnel and delivery people do the same.
Protect Hardwood Floors from Furniture
Besides hardwood floor water damage, scratches, dents and discoloration from furniture is the most common type of damage to residential wood flooring.
In comparison, a small investment in furniture pads and installation will protect hardwood floors for years.
Use felt pads on the legs of chairs and all other furniture to prevent hardwood floor scratches. Keep the pads free of grit and replace as often as needed.
Not only will furniture pads protect your floor – but you’ll love the ease in which you can move items around as desired!
We suggest you keep on hand a variety of sizes and shapes (circles, squares, rectangles, long and thin, short and fat) to fit whatever style of furniture you are padding.
Use Heavy Duty pads and be particular about the brands you choose. There are lots of products on the market, but their quality and effectiveness are across the board.
Cut your furniture pads down, if needed, to fit width and length. In some situations, you may choose to grind or cut down the bottom of stools or chair legs to increase or level the point of contact on the floor.
HowToHardwoodFloors.com recommends the following:
Hardwood Floor Area Rug Pads
Area rugs are a fantastic way to protect hardwood floors in addition to being decorative and offering cushiony warmth for your feet.
However, choosing the correct backing material on either your area rugs or your area rug pads for hardwood floors is extremely important.
Contractors say that stains caused by a chemical reaction between the rug or rug pad backing and the wood floor finish are very common. Unfortunately, such stains cannot be buffed out. A full sand and refinish is required to repair the damage.
We devote an entire article to area rug pad backing material as well as recommendations for area rug pads for hardwood floors.
Choose a rug pad that is slightly smaller than your area rug. Or cut the pad an inch or two smaller than your area rug and use carpet tape on the seams to hold the two together.
The two rug pad brands that we suggest offer custom cutting when you place an order.
Protect Hardwood Floors for 100 Years
Regular maintenance is a wise investment. Though hardwood floors are often more expensive upon installation versus other types of flooring material … over the long term, solid hardwood flooring provides real value.
The real estate industry has been reporting for years that wood flooring increases the value of your home and makes it sell faster. Hardwood is environmentally friendly, great for allergy sufferers, dogs love them, they’re easy to clean, look good with any decor, can easily be repaired and rarely need to be replaced, are durable and hold their beauty and charm for generations!
All you need to do is take care of them and enjoy!