Hardwood floors are recognized as being synonymous with elegant interiors in recent times. Having installed them your supplier and fitter will have discussed with you about the fact that they require special attention that is different from other types of flooring materials. A good example of these differences is that using a vinegar and water mix may not be enough to clean them with good results every time.
The key point is that there can be things going on in your home that little by little, on a daily basis, your hardwood floors could be being gradually ruined and you may not even spot this until it is too late. Follow these 5 important tips to help to protect your hardwood floors from damage and give them as long a life as you and they deserve.
The welcome mat menace
The innocuous welcome mat may seem a useful and essential part of your home furniture at the entrances to your home. Where you put them is really important and surprisingly the worst place is inside the door on your hardwood floors. The reason this is a problem is that a welcome mat has a hard and abrasive base, as it slips as people clean their shoes and boots it will act as badly as sand paper scuffing and will be scratching your floor.
People kick off grit and dirt from their shoes this falls through the mat gradually, so this increases the damaging effect of these mats, often called walk off rugs, which will grate and scour the wood floor surface. The best recommendations are to inlay the mat into the floor by cutting a space for it to fit into securely or use a tile or stone lip where the mat sits to avoid it coming into contact with your hardwood floors.
Standing on a problem
If you think about it for a moment anywhere where you stand a lot, for example in front of the kitchen sink, or well walked corridors are under the risk of damage from over use. One of the best solutions is to choose carpets well fitted with runners to avoid them slipping and sliding around. If you prefer to not lay carpets or non-slip rugs you need to understand that regular scratch repair will be necessary when you sand down the varnish and replace it before the underlying wood gets damaged.
Pesky throw rugs
It may have seemed pretty and attractive in the shop where you bought it, but a throw rug can go from pretty to pesky in a few seconds from the moment that they start slipping around causing people to slip and potentially harm themselves. As a solution some people recommend tacking them down to the floor or using double sided tape to make them secure.
This in itself a problem as the adhesive can damage the hardwood floor as it is practically impossible to get the rug off without damaging the rug or the floor or both. Each time the rug is peeled off it is inevitable that some varnish will be stripped off to. Avoid sticky cushion mesh style mats with rug pads too as these leave adhesive build up. The best advice is to look out for and buy rug pads made of natural materials that don’t have a sticky finish.
Furniture pads are friends for your hardwood floor
Assuming your couch or chairs are not placed on a rug they will slip a little bit each time someone sits on them, over time this slipping about will start to score your hardwood floors and the damage will gradually get worse if you don’t do something about this problem. Going out to get furniture pads is the recommended advice, depending on the size of the feet for your couch or chairs a two-inch rubber pad for each leg will do the job nicely, they have two advantages one that they stop damage to the floors and they stop the chair or couch from slipping.
Beware of the outdoors coming to visit
If you have a swimming pool or even a temporary paddling pool in your garden and you have children you will be familiar with this danger for your hardwood floors. Kids come running in still dripping from their time in the pool and while they are drying off or asking you for something they are basically showering your hardwood floors forming puddles wherever they go. You will need to move fast to dry down these puddles before they damage the wood.
This is not all, there are other potential water damage causes. Pot plants in your home should never be placed directly on your hardwood floors as overspill or even humidity can cause wood damage, even the humble dog water bowl is not your friend as spillages can cause considerable damage, so use a plastic mat under the bowl to protect your floors.