Sunday, April 26, 2009

Six Things To Remember About Your Hardwood Floors

"Installing hardwood floor instantly raises a house’s aesthetic value. It gives it a touch of elegance, glamour and sophistication --which is precisely why hardwood floor care is a matter not to be taken lightly. Wrong hardwood floor cleaning practices could damage and dramatically decrease your floor’s appeal.

To help you properly take care of your precious flooring, here is a short guide on the six things you should remember about your hardwood floors:

§ Water is not a friend of your floor.

Water and hardwood floors don’t mix. So when juice, wine or any other similar liquids gets spilled on your floor, be sure to wipe it off immediately with a dry and soft cloth. Water can harm your floor in two ways. First, it could considerably lessen the luster of your floor (which is probably the most attractive thing about it in the first place). Second, it could cause your floor to warp and change its shape.

§ Regular, careful cleaning is absolutely necessary

Dirt, dust and the other particles can serve as tiny abrasives. As such, while they could do nothing more than make your carpeted or ceramic-tiled floors, they can seriously damage hardwood.

It is therefore advised that you regularly clean your floor of dust and dirt using soft brooms, cloth and vacuum cleaners (remember to use the attachments made specifically for hardwood floors, though). It is also best if you put welcome mats near your home’s entrances so people could wipe their shoes before they enter your home.

§ It is best to leave major hardwood floor refinishing jobs to the professionals.

While you might fancy yourself to be the ultimate do-it-yourself man, it is best to leave major hardwood floor refinishing jobs to professionals with the right experience, training and tools. If you are having second thoughts about paying for professionals, then remember this: it’s cheaper to pay for professional refinishing services than to replace hardwood floors irreparably damaged by a botched do-it-yourself job.

§ Be careful with the cleaners you use.

Sometimes, even the best intentions could have adverse effects. If you think you’re doing your hardwood floor a favor by cleaning it vigorously using strong cleaners, well, you’re not. Cleaners like oil soaps can leave residues on your floor that will make it harder for you to apply maintenance coats later on.

When you clean your floors, it is best if you use cleaners that are made specifically for hardwood.

§ Unlike carpets and ceramics, hardwood scratches.

Unlike other types of flooring materials, is quite prone to scratches. So NEVER drag furniture and other heavy objects on your floor lest you want large, ugly markings to mar the smooth, shiny and flawless beauty of your floor.

§ Rugs are good.

The hard pounding of high-heeled and boot-clad feet can cause serious damage to your floor. To minimize shoes-induced damages, you can either prevent people from walking on your hardwood or, more realistically, you can put decorative rugs on the high-traffic areas (e.g. living room) in your home.

Your beautiful hardwood floor is the focal point of your home. Follow these steps to ensure that they remain so."