As a responsible hardwood floor owner, you probably know that you need to sweep your floors regularly. You know you need to use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar to get between the planks for a deep clean. You know you need to have mats at entryways to reduce abrasive dirt. But there are a few ways of caring for your hardwood flooring you probably haven’t considered.

Most hardwood floor manufacturers recommend having a whole home humidifier to help keep your home at a constant moisture level, especially in the winter months.  With insufficient moisture in the air, the boards can distort or the urethane finish can fail. The specific humidity level for your flooring varies, but in general it should be between 35%-55% to keep your flooring looking its best for years to come. Check with your flooring company or the manufacturer for their recommendations.
Because wood is a natural product, it changes with its environment. For instance, where wood flooring is exposed to sunlight the color will lighten or darken over time depending the species. In order to minimize the effects of natural light over time life of your hardwood flooring, you can use shades and blinds to protect certain areas (especially when you are not using the area) and shift furniture and rugs periodically. Sunlight is not a problem for hardwood floors; just be aware that direct exposure year after year will affect areas that are not shaded or covered by rugs or furniture.

You might have soft pads under your furniture to protect your floor from scarring and scratching, but did you know high heels, especially stilettos, can cause serious damage to your hardwood floor? Many manufacturers’ warranties specifically exclude product claims that can be damage caused by stiletto or similar shoes. Make sure you slip those fashionable shoes off before walking on your hardwoods—and the same goes for cleats, golf shoes or any other kind of spiky-heeled footwear.

Over time, even the most careful homeowner will find scratches, dents and other minor imperfections in their flooring. Then it might be time to consider sanding and refinishing your floors. While this may not take care of all deep impact marks, it will reduce the visibility of visible damage due to normal wear and tear and extend the life of your floors. Before sanding, make sure you’re dealing with a solid hardwood product or at least one that is suitable for sanding. Don’t be afraid to consult a professional to make sure you’re getting the job done right. You may find that your floors only need the less expensive process called screen and re-coat.  This process is usually about half the cost of sanding and refinishing.  It involves removing the finish and applying new coats of finish to refresh the floor. Screen and re-coat service involves no sanding and it will not eliminate surface scratches, but we see many jobs that would benefit from this less expensive process rather than a thorough sand and refinish.

Hardwood floors are a big investment, so do your part to keep them looking beautiful. A few simple preventive measures can keep them looking great for generations to come. If you have questions about caring for your hardwood floors, call Tish Flooring, an Indianapolis hardwood flooring company, at 317-879-TISH. We’ll be happy to answer your questions or help you find a new floor covering you love.