Hardwood floors are known for their durability and aesthetic - if properly taken care of, they can last a lifetime - but people also do realize that they are an investment and require a lot of maintenance to keep them looking their best. Yes, over time, they can tend to scratch and wear down but luckily, it’s pretty easy to sand and refinish them to look good as new. There are, however, quite a few mistakes that homeowners commonly make that speeds up the wearing of their floors and shortens the amount of time they can last without being refinished.
Hardwood Flooring Mistake #1: Using wax too often
It’s still pretty common to use wax as people are under the misconception that this helps to preserve their hardwood floors. In actuality, the wax leaves a sticky finish that only attracts more dirt, dust, and dander to stick to its surface and gives it a cloudy, gross finish. Waxes will make your floor look nicer...in the short-term. Long-term, these products will wear down the polyurethane faster, requiring you to refinish your floors sooner. The more you use them, the faster your floors will degrade. To ensure easy and fast floor cleaning in the future, you should not use wax.
Hardwood Flooring Mistake #2: Using products not designed for hardwood floors
We understand: you see “miracle” products promising to give your hardwood floors “an instant facelift” or “quick shine.” Or you’ve been scrolling through Pinterest and seen DIY projects that boast similar promises and use ingredients like vinegar, oil soap, and water that you can pick up at your local grocery store. Don’t fall for it!
You know what you should be using on hardwood floors? Products specifically designed for hardwood flooring. Nothing fancy. And that includes your vacuum. Most vacuums are designed for carpet and will damage hardwood floors.
Hardwood Flooring Mistake #3: You roll furniture across your wood floors
Rolling furniture and chairs are the enemy of hardwood floors. When you roll across the floor, you are not only scratching the surface, but you are also wearing down the polyurethane. And what’s worse, dirt gets stuck in the wheels which can get into the scratches the wheels are forming.
If you do have a rolling chair on your hardwood floor, we recommend placing a rug or plastic mat underneath the wheels.
Hardwood Flooring Mistake #4: Wearing your shoes indoors
You might be surprised what a big difference taking your shoes off when you step inside can have on your hardwood floors. You might also be surprised by the things that can get attached to the bottom of your shoes: small pebbles, dirt, other unmentionables that can scratch and stain your floors. And the damage only gets worse when you track rain, snow, and salt onto your hardwood floors. By taking your shoes off at the door, you can literally add years between each time you have to refinish them.
Hardwood Flooring Mistake #5: You don’t have entry mats by every entryway
We all know that water and hardwood floors don’t mix well together so areas by your entryways tend to wear down the fastest. We highly recommend you place entrance mats on both the outside and inside of the door.
Hardwood Flooring Mistake #6: Your furniture is scratching the floors
Felt pads are a lifesaver for homeowners. Put them on any furniture, particularly chairs, that will likely scratch and damage the floors. Make sure to check them regularly because they can tend to lose their adhesive or wear down.