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Hardwood floors are one of the most beautiful enhancements that can be made to a room. The natural wood tones add a sense of comfort and texture that is hard to accomplish with any other choice of flooring or floor covering. Fortunately, the process needed to protect hardwood flooring requires nothing more than a few common sense precautions and some regular cleaning and maintenance with the right products. If you’ve asked yourself “how can I protect my hardwood floors?” here is what you need to do.
First, it is important to make sure your hardwood floors are cleaned with the right type of cleaning agents. Many people assume that a wood soap appropriate for furniture is equally appropriate for a hardwood floor. That is not necessarily the case. Check the formula first and make sure it is specifically recommended for use on hardwood floors. If there is no mention of hardwood flooring, don’t make assumptions. Find a cleaning agent that is formulated to clean and protect the floor.
Another answer to the question of “how can I protect my hardwood floors?” is to pay attention to what type of footwear is worn by occupants of the room. Avoid any type of footwear that could cause indentations in the wood. These would include shoes with cleated soles and spiked high heels. The effect can be just like sticking a knife directly into the surface of the wood.
Constant exposure to sunlight can also fade the hue of the hardwood floor over time. To protect flooring from fading unevenly, make it a point to rearrange the furniture from time to time. This will open different portions of the floor to sunlight and help to keep the appearance of the wood more or less consistent throughout the space.
If you find yourself asking “What else can I do to protect my hardwood floors?”, make sure you catch as much dirt and debris at the doorways to the room. Accomplish this by placing small area rugs or mats at any exterior door that opens onto a room with hardwood floors. This provides a place for people to hake off sand, grit and other material that could cause damage to the floor over time. Cleaning and replacing the mat will be far less expensive that repairing damage to the flooring.
Using larger area rugs at points of high traffic will also help minimize damage to the hardwood. For example, a colorful area rug will not only anchor a conversation area in the room, but also protect the floor from the normal wear and tear of feet shuffling and the constant walking that is common to movement to and from the conversation area. In like manner, using an area rug underneath the dining room table will minimize scuffing that is common as people pull back chairs or move their feet around during a meal.
One thought that should come to mind quickly when you ask yourself “How do I protect my hardwood floors?” is to make sure liquids never stand on the flooring. Spilled sodas, water, alcoholic beverages, and juices should be addressed immediately. In like manner, it is not a good idea to allow excess amounts of cleaning agents to remain on the floor for longer periods. The excess moisture will cause damage to the integrity of the wood and permanently damage the look.
There are a number of things to consider when asking yourself “How do I protect my hardwood floors?” that are simple common sense. One final suggestion is to make use of felt padding on the bottom of chair, sofa and dining table legs if there is no area rug in use. The small amount of padding will prevent the bottom of the legs from indenting the flooring and creating a marred surface. The padding can be cut and glued to the bottom of the legs, making it impossible to actually see the padding. This one simple tip can help add years to the life of your hardwood floors.
@Soulfox -- One of those mops that does little more than use hot steam to clean floors can be very useful, too. Harsh detergents and such hurt floors, but some hot steam usually won't.
Regardless of what method you use, make sure to take care not to harm your hardwood floors. They are easily damaged and very expensive to refinish. Clean them wisely.
A lot of people damage their floors by not cleaning them properly. Here's a trick. Just a drop or two of dish soap in a bucket of water is usually all you will need to mop your floors with to get them clean and not damage them. If you want to cut through grease and dirt more effectively, add a little vinegar to your cleaning solution.
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