As a responsible Indianapolis hardwood floor owner, you probably know that you need to sweep your hardwood floors regularly. You know you need to use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar to get in between the wood planks for a nice deep clean. You know you need to have mats at entryways to reduce abrasive dirt from causing lasting damage. You know the basics, but you may not know of these tips that can keep your hardwood healthy, beautiful and long-lasting
Humidity is Hardwood’s Friend
Most hardwood floor manufacturers recommend having a whole home humidifier to help keep your home at a constant moisture level, especially in the cold, dry Indiana winter months. With insufficient moisture in the air, the wood boards can distort or the urethane finish can fail. The specific optimal humidity level for your flooring may vary, but in general it should be between 35%-55% to keep your hardwood looking its best for years to come. Check with your flooring company or the manufacturer for their recommendations.
Keep your Hardwood from Fading
Because wood is a natural product, it changes with the surrounding environment as it ages. For instance, where wood flooring is exposed to sunlight the color will tend to lighten or darken over time, depending on the species of wood. In order to minimize the effects of natural light over the life of your hardwood floor, 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 huge problem for hardwood floors, but be aware that direct exposure year after year will affect areas that are not shaded or covered by rugs or furniture.
Wearing Shoes on Hardwood Can Cause Damage
You might have soft cushions or pads underneath furniture to protect your floors from scarring and scratching, but did you know certain types of footwear, such as stiletto high heels, can cause the same type of unsightly damage to your hardwood floor? Many manufacturer warranties will specifically exclude claims from damage caused by stiletto heels or similar types of footwear. Make sure you slip those heels off before walking on your hardwood floor—and the same goes for metal cleats, golf shoes or any other kind of spiky-heeled footwear that puts pressure on the material.
The Truth about Hardwood Sanding and Refinishing
Over time, even the most careful Indy homeowner will find scratches, dents and other minor imperfections in their hardwood floors. When that time comes, you may want to consider sanding and refinishing your floors. While this may not take care of the deepest impact marks, it will reduce the visibility of damage due to normal wear and tear, as well as 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 (some engineered hardwood can be sanded, but be sure to consult your flooring dealer or manufacturer).
Don’t be afraid to consult a professional to make sure you’re getting the refinishing done right. You may be surprised find that your floors need only a “screen and re-coat,” an easier process which usually costs about half the total cost of sanding and refinishing. A screen and re-coat involves removing the finish and applying new coats of finish to refresh the floor, without the need of sanding away scratches. Though this will not eliminate impact marks, for less intense hardwood refreshes it is definitely a great option.
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.
Want more info on hardwood before you make your next flooring decision? Check out Tish Flooring’s free Indianapolis Hardwood Guide.