Hardwood Floors: How to Keep Yours Looking Like New

Do you have hardwood floors? If not, are you thinking about installing them? Hardwood can be more expensive than its counterparts, but it also lasts much longer and looks incredible! In fact, if you properly clean and maintain them, wood floors can last the lifetime of your home. This can rarely be said for its alternatives, such as carpet or linoleum. As an added plus, wood floors are a breeze to take care of. Here are a few tips to keep your floors looking like new for years to come.

No Shoes

When it comes to walking, shoes are a great invention. They cause a great deal of wear and tear on your floors, however. Therefore, it might be a good idea to leave the shoes at the door. Some people are okay with a no shoes in the house rule while others prefer to wear shoes wherever they go. If you prefer to wear shoes in the house, just know that it will cause extra wear on your floors and will likely make them a little more difficult to keep looking new. Dirt and grime carried in on shoes can leave an abrasive layer on your floors that can scratch them or leave them looking dull. If you prefer not to enforce a no-shoes rule, just make sure you keep those floors clean on a regular basis.

Keep it Clean

All hardwood floors are not created equal, and neither are the products designed for cleaning floors. Whether your hardwood flooring is unfinished, waxed, or oiled, read all the labels on a cleaning product before you use it to make sure it is safe to use on your floors. Once you have settled on the best cleaning product, wood floors can be simple to keep looking great. A simple sweep and mop is generally all that is required. Make sure to mop up spills as quickly as possible. Spills are never good to let sit on any type of flooring, but it can cause particular wear and damage to the hardwood.

Buff the Scuffs

Scuffs can occur on your floors for a variety of reasons, and they are a simple fact of life when it comes to hardwood. The good news is they are easier to get rid of than most people think. You may need to try different methods to remove a scuff, but they are not permanent and can easily be banished!

  • Dampen the corner of a soft cloth and rub it over the area. This may be enough to gently remove the scuff from your floor. Dry the area with the dry part of the cloth once you have removed the scuff.
  • Lightly dab the area with a damp sponge or cloth. Rub the area with a pencil eraser, then use the sponge again to wipe away the eraser debris. Wipe dry.
  • Buff away the scuff with a tennis ball! This surprising technique works like a charm on some scuffs. Simply rub the tennis ball over the area and watch the scuff disappear. The fabric on the tennis ball is abrasive enough to buff away the scuff, but it is gentle enough that it won’t harm your floor.
  • For tough scuffs, wipe the area with a damp cloth and dry. Mix a tablespoon of olive oil with a tablespoon of vinegar and pour a small amount of the solution on the scuff. Let it sit overnight. Dry the area with a soft cloth the next morning.


Long-term Maintenance

For the long haul, you should add a maintenance coat to your floors every three to five years to keep it looking like new. The particular type of coat you use will depend on your style of wood flooring.

Prevent Damage

While you can’t prevent eventual wear and tear on your floors, you can lessen the damage with a few simple tricks.

  • Prevent scratches and scrapes on your floors by placing felt protectors under chair legs and other furniture. Many people tend to overlook the application of felt protectors, but they can save years of wear and tear on your floors. Just make sure to replace them if they become detached or worn thin.
  • Use rugs in high-traffic areas to help keep the floors clean. Rugs are great when they are used properly. Make sure you wash the rugs on a regular basis or they will do nothing more than look pretty and scatter dust. You should also always use a rug pad underneath to ensure the rug doesn’t stick to the floor and leave a residue when it is removed.
  • Protect your floors from the sun. As much as you may love the bright sunlight streaming through your window, it can discolor your floors over time. Blinds, curtains, or other window treatments are suggested to keep your floors from being discolored by sunlight. You can also use a protective UV coating on your floors for an added level of protection.

Hardwood floors are one of the classic floor designs that add beauty and elegance to any home. Keep yours looking new with these simple tips from Classic Floor Designs.


Pros and Cons of Finished vs. Unfinished Wood Flooring

Originally, hardwood flooring was available only as bare planks. After the unfinished planks were installed, the entire surface would be finished with stain and a polyurethane treatment. Now, you have more choices. Wood flooring is also available with factory-applied finishes. This type of finished flooring is durable and often comes with a long warranty. If you’re wondering which option is best for you, learn about the pros and cons of each so that you can choose the right one for your project.

Do You Want To Walk On Your Floors Right Away?

When opting for finished wood panels, you can use the room as soon as the planks are installed. However, unfinished wood must be sanded and finished after it is installed. Some water-based polyurethane finishes dry quickly, but they may take several days or weeks to cure. You won’t want to set up your furniture or walk on the floor with shoes until the finish has cured.

You’ll be able to detect an odor from the polyurethane until it has completely cured. That can be a nuisance for those who are living in the home during this time. You won’t have to deal with a chemical smell if you install flooring that has already been stained and sealed.

Finishing hardwood on site may also produce dust that can settle throughout the building. Using factory-finished floor planks prevents this from happening. If you decide to have us install bare hardwood or refinish your floors, however, rest assured that Classic Floor Designs use a no-dust refinishing system that safely removes particles so that you can stay in your home. Our dustless system also cuts down on post-installation cleanup time.

If you’re installing flooring in a new construction or large-scale project, you might prefer using unfinished wood. Contractors often prefer to finish the floors last so that they don’t get scuffed or damaged by tools, work boots or grit.

Do You Want The Widest Range Of Finishes Available?

Although prefinished wood flooring comes in a wide variety of finishes, it doesn’t compare to the customization that you can achieve from finishing bare planks. As long as the flooring is made from solid hardwood, it’s possible to sand down prefabricated planks to reveal the grain underneath, allowing the finish to be customized. However, the factory topcoat is so durable that this can be a time-consuming process. Sanding down prefinished hardwood thins it out, and you can only do so a few times before compromising the integrity of the material.

When it comes to repairing damage, it’s easier to touch up a small section of site-finished floors than prefabricated planks. You’ll be able to refinish it with the same materials, and the repaired area will be more likely to match the rest of the floor. If you’re trying to redo the flooring in one room to harmonize with the rest of the home, you might get a better match with unfinished wood.

Do You Require Maximum Durability?

While both types of flooring are incredibly resilient, prefabricated wood floor planks are usually more resistant to stains, water damage, and discolorations. In short, the treatment used on factory-finished hardwood is easier to maintain than the treatment used on site, and it lasts longer. A warranty on a floor that’s finished on site might last up to five years. On the other hand, prefinished wood is often warranted for up to 25 years or even a lifetime.

All hardwood will develop scratches and indentations over time, especially in high-traffic areas. If you have kids or pets, you might be able to keep factory-finished wood floors looking new for a longer period of time than on-site-finished options.

Is A Smooth, Seamless Finish Important To You?

Unfinished wood flooring is sanded after it is installed. This helps to produce an even surface even if the subflooring is irregular. It also flattens out the seams between the boards. If you’re going for a glossy, mirror-slick finish, you probably won’t be able to achieve your goal with factory-finished boards.

Factory-finished wood planks are typically beveled, or slightly rounded, at the edges. This produces a marked seam when they lie against one another. These grooves can collect dirt and moisture.

When it comes to choosing the right type of wood floors for your project, your budget might dictate the ultimate decision. Although factory-finished wood is usually more expensive per plank, the cost of the finishing materials eventually bumps up the cost of bare hardwood installation. Plus, various species of wood have different costs.

If you are still on the fence, the experts at Classic Floor Designs can help you weigh the pros and cons of the different types of flooring so that you can enjoy your home for years to come. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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