Many people opt for wood flooring over carpet. It’s easier to clean, longer lasting, and offers a certain luxury that fabric doesn’t. Still, wood floors aren’t self-sufficient – it takes effort on the homeowner’s part to keep each plank looking as fabulous as possible.
The effort is worth it. According to Popular Mechanics, proper maintenance allows a good hardwood surface to last for as long as the house stands. This makes for a solid investment that can offset the costs of the initial purchase. Per Home Advisor, the average cost of wood flooring (including installation) is $8,000 for a 1,000-square-foot area.
So, how do you get your money’s worth and keep your floors in the very best shape? Not using them isn’t an option, so try one of the following, instead:
Buy a humidifier
A humidifier pumps humidity into your home, which helps reduce wood shrinkage. If you live in a humid area, you may already have plenty of water vapor in circulation. But, if you live somewhere with a dry climate (like Colorado), consider purchasing a humidifier and using it during cold weather months.
Trim your pet’s nails
Pets spend a great deal of their lives walking up and down your hardwood floors. Some wear and tear as a result of this is inevitable. However, you can lower the incidence of scratches and stains by keeping your pet’s nails trimmed. You can go one step further by focusing on humans, as well. Request that guests take off their shoes when entering your home, especially if they’re wearing cleats or heels.
Use ice for substance removal
To remove certain substances from your floors – chewing gum, for instance – use ice to harden the substance before scraping it off. When doing the actual scraping, opt for something softer (a plastic putty knife instead of a metal one). You may also try using a credit card or your driver’s license.
Dust mop regularly
Any type of debris – from dirt to food, from pet hair to blades of grass – has the potential to scratch your floors. This means that frequent dust mopping is a necessity. Once a week may suffice, but high-traffic areas will likely require more attention. You can also use a vacuum, but, according to the Do it Yourself Network, avoid those with beater bar attachments; they’ll nick the floors.
Don’t use oil-based soaps
The oil from oil-based soap has a tendency to build up on hardwood floors; neutral PH cleaners are better alternatives. Some PH cleaners are designed specifically for hardwood – wash with these for optimal shine and longevity.
Hardwood floors are a nice addition to any home, but they come with a cost. These tips will help you protect your planks, as well as your investment.
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