When maintaining your hardwood floors, there are things you can do to keep it looking new.
- Do clean up spills and dirt as soon as possible. Keeping moisture and dirt off of floors will prevent dark spots and scratches.
- Use a soft bristle brush head when vacuuming and spot clean with Windex.
- Do NOT use Murphy’s oil soap or wet mop. You are cleaning the finish, not the wood, so be mindful of this when cleaning. Wet mopping adds too much moisture and can seep into the wood, causing it to cup. Here is an example of what that can look like.
- To help slow your floors from fading, use a UV tint on windows. Sunlight is a major cause of fading. Also, a prefinished floor will darken slower than a floor finished with polyurethane.
- If your floor is finished correctly, there should be no white or dark spots. However, with wax finished floors, this is possible. Avoid wax finishing, as it is not durable and can look unsightly when scratched. Make sure to clean up spills as quickly as possible.
As you choose what type of floor to put in your house, you may have questions about hardwood and what is best for your home. Here are some tips about hardwood floors that will make your decision easier.
- When installing hardwood, do not put it in bathrooms or basements. These rooms can have excessive moisture which can ruin your floors.
- Buy prefinished flooring. Prefinished means that the wood is stained and sealed at the warehouse. They tend to use an aluminum-oxide finish which is more durable than a ply-finished floor.
- Prefinished is usually cheaper than an in house finish.
- Try to avoid floating floors in the main living space. This is engineered hardwood that is just laid over foam. Because it isn’t nailed or glued down, it can pop up and curl. This type of flooring can’t be refinished either.
- When ordering flooring, add about 10% extra for cutting waste. Yes, this really is necessary especially if you are trying to lay the floor around a counter or fireplace and the flooring must be cut.
- Using a lower sheen, like 10 sheen, is better for hiding scuffs and scratches.
- There are 2 types of edges on hardwood flooring. Square edge means that the boards blend or are flush when together. This is usually finished in house because it is sanded to make sure all the boards blend. Micro-beveled is a tiny bevel between the boards along the edge when put together. Prefinished flooring is usually micro-beveled. There isn’t an advantage to either, just personal preference and both look great.
- The most popular species of flooring is either Red or White Oak. These are versatile, durable, and easy to maintain. They take stain well, so the will blend nicely into any style home or decor.
- Radiant floors have slowly become more popular.Hardwood is a natural insulator, so it isn’t the best choice to begin with, and because of this plus the cost and maintenance of this type of floor, we recommend staying away from radiant heated floors. However, if you are set on having radiant heat, it can be done. If you plan on installing radiant heat under hardwood, make sure to keep the moisture consistent. Radiant heat can “cook” the wood, drying it out, so be sure to humidify in the winter and use the AC in the summer. As always, make sure you have a qualified professional install both the heater and the floor for the best result.