Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hardwood Floors: Maintaining Their Beauty And Shine

Hardwood floors may be the crowning glory of every home they grace. With a little care and effort, you can ensure that your wood floors will last a lifetime and provide you with elegance, style, and sophistication. Knowing what type of finish you have is important to ensure that you are protecting and maintaining your investment. It may be a Polyurethane covering or a wax finish. You need to know the type of finish your floor has so you can choose the proper cleaners and polishers for your floor.

No matter what type of finish your floor has one rule remains the same. Water is most damaging to hardwood floors. There is just no getting around it, if water penetrates the surface finish of your floor and works its way into the boards, your floor will be damaged. Therefore, it is recommended that you use a slightly damp mop when cleaning your hardwood floors. A slightly damp mop will effectively clean the surface of your floor without allowing the water to penetrate through the finish. A very high glossy sheen on your wood floor means that it has a Polyurethane finish. If the floor looks matte, then it is a wax or oil based finish. There are specific hardwood floor cleaners designed for both finishes so make sure that you use an appropriately based cleaner.

Dusting and vacuuming are vitally important to maintaining the beauty and shine of your floor. Dirt can work its way into the crevices of your floor and cause damage. By dust mopping and vacuuming you can keep the high gloss appearance of your finish with out investing too much effort, time, or money. Using a soft brush attachment or a dust mop will pick up loose debris and dirt and protect your floor from damage. On average, expect to dust your floors weekly and when there are unexpected messes.

You should also protect your floors from surface damage. High heels, animal claws, and the legs of heavy furniture may all pose a threat to the shine of your floor. Unfortunately, they are also sources for gouges and permanent scuff marks as well. Protect your floor by placing area or throw rugs in high traffic areas, making sure that people don't wear high heels on the floor, and by adding furniture pads to the bottom of your furniture, chairs, and table legs. If you have pets that will be spending time walking on your floors, make sure that their claws are properly trimmed to prevent them from scratching the wood surface. By taking these precautions and using a commercially prepared floor cleaner and polisher designed for your floor's finish, you can ensure that your floors will provide you with a lifetime of excellence, beauty, and shine.