If there’s one question we never get sick of hearing, it’s “How do I care for and maintain my brand new hardwood floor?”. It’s the question we get asked after every project. And it’s reasonable, considering your floor is an investment that’s worth thousands. That’s why we never get tired of answering it. The health of your new floor depends on the care and maintenance that you undertake after we’ve packed up and left you with your beautiful final project.
To start, here are a few ways to care for your new hardwood floor after we finish your project. From things you can do yourself to services The HFC offers, we’re here to help you care for your new hardwood floor.
Felt pads are a simple and inexpensive way to protect your new hardwood floors. Applying felt pads to the feet of your furniture can prevent scratches as your furniture gets moved around. This is especially true for wooden furniture, like stools and chairs.
Rugs and Mats
If your project included installing a new, prefinished floor, we recommend putting down rugs and mats in high traffic areas. Places like hallways, the kitchen sink and stove area, or entryways can experience more wear and tear than other areas. The best rugs will prevent scratching and scuffing and protect your floors from moisture.
If we recently refinished your floors, we recommend that you wait at least five to seven days to put down rugs and mats. The dry time will depend on the type of finish used.
Sweeping and Vacuuming
Sweeping or vacuuming with a soft bristle head a few times a week will remove dirt that causes excessive wear in high traffic areas. Keep in mind that not every floor needs the same frequency of maintenance. We recommend figuring out which areas in your house experience the most traffic, and create a cleaning schedule based on that. Regular dust mopping can also reduce dirt accumulation.
Wet mopping makes your floor look nice and clean. Unfortunately, it also breaks down your finish. When it comes to mopping, only use the floor cleaner that is recommended by your floor’s manufacturer. Mopping once a week—or if you can, once every couple of weeks—will make your finish last longer. Regardless of how often you mop, make sure not to use any generic or store brand cleaners on your floor. They will void any warranties your floor comes with.
Deep Cleaning System
If we used a polyurethane finish on your floor, we recommend a deep cleaning every six to twelve months to extend the life of your finish. Our power scrubber strips off any oils and waxes that may be in your floor cleaner and removes dirt deep in the grain of your wood floors that sweeping and vacuuming can’t remove. You can contact our service team for estimates or schedule a deep cleaning.
If we used a hard wax oil or a penetrating oil finish, your floor might need to be renewed every year or two. Renewing your oil finish involves bringing the surface back to its freshly-oiled state to make it look vibrant again. Oil finishes are easy to repair, so we can also address any scratches or blemishes that may have occurred over the years.
Recoats and Renovations
If you’ve kept up with the care and maintenance of your hardwood floor above, your floor has probably lasted for a few years. But if you’re starting to see signs of wear and tear, recoating or renovating your floor finish may be your best bet. Doing this will help your floor finish lasting longer. Plus, best of all, you won’t have to sand your floor during a recoat or renovation.
Recoating is an option for polyurethane finishes. During recoating, we’ll need to remove all furniture from the work area and buff the floor. Once that is done, we’ll vacuum any dust that may be on the floor and tack it with water. Once your floor is dry, we recoat with a fresh topcoat of polyurethane. This usually takes about a day to do, depending on the size of the project.
Recoating is an option for penetrating oil finishes and hard wax oil finishes. During a renovation, we’ll need to remove all furniture from the work area and buff the floor. Once that is done, we’ll vacuum any dust that may be on the floor and tack it with water. Once your floor is dry, we then reapply the oil used to finish your floor. This usually takes about a day to do, depending on the size of the project.
If you keep to this maintenance schedule, you should never have to refinish your floors ever again. You are also saving a considerable amount of time and money. When you purchase a new floor, whether you’re installing a prefinished floor or refinishing an existing one, you’re making an investment that benefits you and your home. Learning to care for your new hardwood floor will keep it happy and healthy for years to come.