Hardwood maintenance


Hardwood maintenance

Protect the investment in your home - make caring for your hardwood flooring a part of your normal cleaning routine.

Follow our guidelines to make sure your wood floors look great and retain their value for years to come:
  • Avoid hardwood damage
  • Routine care for hardwood
  • Long term care for hardwood

Avoid hardwood damage

  • Mats or area rugs should be used at each entry to collect dirt and grit that you or your guests may track in. These tiny particles act like sandpaper and will scratch your hardwood floor.
  • Place mats in any areas where water may be splashed, such as near a kitchen sink,
  • Area rugs (with slip-resistant backings) should be used in high traffic areas of your home.
  • Avoid using non-ventilated mats or rugs or those with rubber backing. (They can damage your floor by trapping moisture and causing warping and discoloration.) Instead, use those designed specifically for hardwood floors. Remember to shake them out regularly to remove dirt and grit.
  • Trim your pets' nails regularly to minimize finish scratches.
  • To prevent surface damage, avoid rolling heavy appliances and furniture on the floor. Use plywood hardboard or appliance lifts when necessary.
  • Use furniture leg protector pads (felt) under all furniture legs.
  • Replace hard, narrow furniture rollers with wide rubber rollers.
  • Keep the relative humidity in your home between 35% and 55%.
  • Protect your floor from direct sunlight to prevent fading.



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Routine care for hardwood

Cleaning techniques vary depending on the installation and finish of your hardwood floor.
For "sand & finish" hardwood floors, we recommend using an 8" x 14" terry cloth dust mop with a rotating head to make cleaning corners, under cabinets, and along baseboards easier. Spray a professional wood floor cleaning product to safely remove tough stains and spills without dulling the finish of your floor. Larger areas may be cleaned by misting the wood floor cleaner over the area and wiping until clean and dry with a soft towel or swivel head mop.
(Manufacturers of "pre-finished" hardwood floors recommend their own specific products designed for routine maintenance of their floors).

Floors with a urethane finish should never be waxed and require cleaners that won’t leave a film or residue.
A hardwood floor cleaner is useful in removing occasional scuffs or heel marks. Simply spray some cleaner on a cloth and lightly rub the stained area. Sticky spots can be cleaned with a damp towel or sponge.

Do not use any of the following products (or products similar in nature) on your wood floor:
Ammonia based cleaners, acrylic finishes, wax based products, detergents, bleach, polishes and oil soaps, abrasive cleaning soaps, or acidic materials such as vinegar. These products will dull the finish and affect the performance of your floor. Using them will impede your ability to re-coat your floor later.

Be careful.
Since wood naturally expands when it is wet, never wet mop or use excessive water to clean your floor. Large amounts of water can cause the wood to swell and may cause your floor to crack or splinter. Because it is a natural product, hardwood will expand and contract due to moisture level changes. Minimize the exposure that your hardwood floor has to water and clean up spills as soon as they happen.Never walk across your floor in poorly maintained shoes that have heel taps, spiked heels, or any sharp object protruding from the shoe.

Don't allow furniture to rest on the floor on small metal tips or hard domes.

Avoid the use of rubber, foam back, or plastic mats as they may trap moisture and can possibly discolor your floor.

Long term care for hardwood

Hardwood floors that don't have a urethane finish should be waxed every 12-24 months (about as often as you would clean your carpet.) In drier climates, during the winter, and in heavy traffic areas, waxing slightly more often may be necessary.

Buffing your hardwood floor between waxing will restore the original sheen. Large, heavy weight buffing machines give a better sheen to wax finish than small, lightweight machines. Only a fiber bristle brush attachment should be used.

*Floors with a urethane finish should never be waxed and require a cleaner that will not leave a film or a residue.*

Wax buildup
Occasionally, wood floors lose their shine because of successive layers of old wax. To restore natural beauty, use mineral spirits to strip old wax away. Let your hardwood floor dry and then apply a liquid paste wax product. Once the wax has dried, buff your hardwood floors to the desired sheen.

Since your hardwood floor dimensions will be slightly affected by changes in the humidity levels of your home, these levels should be controlled to remain within the 35-55% range. To protect your investment and to ensure that your floors provide lasting satisfaction, follow the tips below:

In the heating (dry) season, a humidifier is recommended to prevent excessive shrinkage in hardwood floors, due to low-humidity levels in the winter months. Wood stoves and electric heat tend to create very dry conditions.

During the non-heating (humid, wet) season, proper humidity levels can be maintained by using an air conditioner or dehumidifier during the summer months. Make sure mats are placed at your entries to avoid excessive exposure to water from outside during periods of inclement weather.

DO NOT obstruct the expansion joint around the perimeter of your floor in any way.

Spots caused by food or water

Rub the spot with a cloth dampened with hardwood cleaner. Wipe dry. If it remains, rub the spot lightly with a hardwood scrub pad dampened with liquid paste wax. Buff with a clean cloth.

To learn more about the beautiful hardwood flooring that we carry, visit Heath Flooring Concepts in Dallas here where we proudly service the areas of Cartersville, Rome, Acworth, Hiram, and Powder Springs.