Hardwood floors can add a truly majestic touch to a home – majestic, that is, until they become a dull mess of scratched-up, faded wood that’s too expensive to replace and impossible to fix. With hardwood floors, the best treatment is always prevention, which luckily is fairly easy, as long as you’re proactive in caring for the floors on a continuous basis. Follow these tips to help prolong the life and integrity of your hardwood floors, at minimal cost and effort.
1) Clip Pet’s Nails. Dogs – and to a lesser extent, cats – can wreak serious havoc on hardwood floors. One scratch resulting from a particularly energized pet can weaken the integrity of the varnish, eventually breeding several more …until it’s abundantly evident exactly where Fido waits excitedly for dinner every day. Having a groomer or veterinarian expertly clip pet’s nails can help prevent such damage. While we can’t vouch for their efficacy, we’ve heard that tiny rubber nail covers for cats and dogs, available in a variety of colors, also exist to serve a protective purpose…though you won’t catch us trying to hold down our tabby for a pedicure.
2) Invest in floor covers for highly-trafficked areas. Carpet runners and mats placed where people frequently walk –down hallways, in front of the refrigerator, in entranceways, etc. – can do wonders when it comes to preserving your floors. These items are relatively inexpensive, unobtrusive and can easily be found in colors or patterns that match your existing décor. You can also get creative and use them as a bold accent piece, as well.
3) Pad the bottom of your furniture legs. It may not seem like a big deal if the floor beneath furniture gets scratched – until you decide to refresh your room by rearranging it and struggle to hide gashes and scrapes. The easy solution for this issue? Either put a small carpet underneath, or apply small furniture pads, made for the purpose, to the bottom of furniture legs.
4) Institute a “shoes off at the door” policy. While shoes themselves likely won’t cause scrapes – with the exception of stilettos – the small pieces of grit, stone and other sharp materials they track in can grind into your hardwood floor, wear down the varnish, and lead to worn spots that are difficult to repair or mask. Making your house a 24/7 sock-or-slipper party will do wonders when it comes to protecting floors.
5) Renew the finish by sanding and applying fresh polyurethane. Don’t worry – you only need to do this one every few years. No matter how carefully you protect your floors, any normal wear-and-tear will lessen their sheen and reduce brightness. Very light sanding and an application of polyurethane can help you put off refinishing indefinitely.
We hope you found these tips helpful! If you’re worried about your hardwood floors and think it’s time to bring in expert intervention, feel free to give our cleaning company in Bucks County a call for advice and a free quote on all your cleaning needs.