Maintaining Finished Hardwood Floors

September 14, 2016
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For decades, hardwood floors have been a design staple in various styles of interior design: from rustic to traditional to contemporary spaces. We think it’s safe to say that hardwood floors will continue to be classic and a source of natural beauty within our homes for many years to come.

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When properly maintained, hardwood floors can retain their natural beauty for decade. The key to keeping your hardwood looking its best is to regularly care for it. Today we will share with you our tips and tricks for properly maintaining hardwood so you can enjoy this design classic in your spaces for years to come.

Protecting your hardwood is the first essential tool for keeping it beautiful. Make sure to be very careful when moving heavy furniture: get a friend or partner to lift or use felt pads to protect from any potential scratches. If you have excitable pets like we do, you’ll know that it is very important to keep their nails trimmed to avoid damage to your hardwood. In areas of heavy traffic, you may choose to incorporate an area rug to protect the floor beneath it. If you have areas of your hardwood that are exposed to lots of natural daylight, use window treatments like solar blinds or curtains to protect your floors from UV discolouration. Finally, avoid wearing stilettos inside your home, as hardwood can be easily damaged this way.

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Regularly cleaning your hardwood is also an important step to prevent dirt and dust from gathering between the adjoining edges. Vacuum once or twice a week and wash your floors every two weeks for good measure. Always use a cleaner that is specially formulated for hardwood, as regular cleaning products may cause damage to your floors. One of the best ways to clean your hardwood is to use a damp, microfiber mop with a hardwood cleaner. Make sure you give your mop a really good wringing; you always want to use as little water as possible on hardwood, as water can easily cause cupping or warping.

Every ten years or so, you may want to screen/buff and recoat your hardwood floors. This step essentially refreshes your hardwood and creates a healthy glow. Buffing/screening your floors removes the topcoat of polyurethane (but not deep enough to expose the raw wood). When you recoat after buffing, you are able to change the level of sheen on the finish of your hardwood, if desired. (Note that this process will not work on waxed hardwood.)

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Also note that buffing does not address any discolouration, fading of colour, or scratches. Not to fear: if you have accumulated some damage to your hardwood, you can choose to sand and refinish your hardwood. By sanding and refinishing, you are able to address scratches, change the stain of your hardwood, and refinish with the same or different sheen. Although this is the most costly type of maintenance for hardwood floors, it can restore damaged hardwood and make it appear as new.

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As we’ve learned, the keys to maintaining your hardwood floors are to protect the floor, regularly vacuum and clean, and to refresh every few years with buffing. We hope this blog has helped to simplify how to care for your hardwood and has encouraged you to love its natural beauty as much as we love ours!

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