- On hardwood floors, you may notice imperfections such as knots, variations of color and grain, which are characteristics of the wood.
- Never scrub hardwood floors with soap and water, as this can cause darkening, warping and even buckling.
- Hardwood floors must be cleaned and regularly maintained using the products recommended by the finish manufacturer.
- All the wood in your home will contract or expand according to the moisture in the air.
- The same reaction to humidity or the lack of it is happening constantly in your wood floors.
- Tiny cracks between edges of boards may appear when unusually dry conditions are present and are most prevalent during the heating season.
- This can usually be REDUCED simply by installing a humidifier.
- With a more proper balance of moisture content in the house, both family and floor benefit from a healthier environment.
- When interiors become damp in rainy weather, boards may expand so that edges rub together and produce a squeak.
- To correct this, first try lubrication such as a liberal amount of liquid wax between the boards.
- Another remedy may be to sift a small amount of powdered soap stone, talcum powder, or powdered graphite between adjacent boards where the squeak occurs.
Protect the natural beauty of your Hardwood flooring
Hardwood floors bring an earthy, warm beauty to your home. They’re durable and, with proper care, last for decades. You can keep them looking lovely by following these tips on how to clean hardwood floors.
- Use a dust mop or vacuum to remove dirt, dust, pet hair and other debris that could scratch the floor.
- Don’t use a vacuum with a beater bar attachment as it could damage the surface of the floor. Use the floor-brush attachment.
- Depending on traffic and the number of pets and children you have, you’ll need to do this at least once a week.
Dust mopping won’t remove the dirt and grime that build up over time. For periodic deep cleaning, you’ll need to use a liquid cleaner.
- You can use a commercial wood-cleaning product, like Bona or Murphy’s Oil Soap.
- Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- You can also make your own cleaner by mixing onepart vinegar to 10 parts warm water. Add a few drops of liquid Castile soap.
Whatever cleaner you choose, the process for how to clean wood floors and how to clean engineered hardwood floors is the same.
- Saturate a rag or sponge mop in your cleaning solution.
- Wring it out thoroughly so the mop is damp, not wet.
- Mop the floor with the cleaner, being careful to not put too much liquid on the floor. Rinse the mop with clean water, wring out excess, and damp mop the floor to remove the cleaner.
- Wipe up excess water with a clean, dry towel because standing water will damage the floor.
You can also use boiling water and two teabags to clean hardwood floors. The tannic acid in tea creates a beautiful shine.
- Let two teabags steep in the boiling water for a few minutes.
- Pour the tea into a bucket.
- Take a soft cloth and wring it out in the tea. The cloth merely needs to be damp, not soaked. This will enable the floor to dry quickly.
- Wash the floor and be ready to be amazed by the sheen.
Covering scratches that remain after cleaning is part of knowing how to clean a wood floor.
- Take a crayon the color of the floor and rub it on the scratch to fill the gap.
- Turn a blow dryer on high, heat the area where the crayon was applied and buff it with a soft cloth.
Prevent dirt and damage to your newly cleaned floors.
- Put doormats inside and outside exterior doors to cut down on the dirt and moisture tracked in.
- Avoid scratches by using floor protectors under furniture and putting down rugs in high-traffic areas.
- Knowing how to clean a wood floor will keep yours looking beautiful for years.
While cleaning is easy, there are a few things to avoid:
- Don’t use oil based, wax, polish, or strong ammoniated or abrasive cleaners.
- Don’t use steel wool or scouring powder.
- Don’t wash or wet-mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, warping, delaminating, and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.
- Don’t use any type of buffing machine.
Other routine care instructions:
- For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
- Do not use any type of buffing machine
Use protective mats
Good quality entry and exit mats will help collect the dirt, sand, grit, and other substances such as oil, asphalt, or driveway sealer that can otherwise be tracked onto your flooring. Do not use rubber- or foambacked plastic mats as they may discolor the flooring. To prevent slippage, use an approved vinyl rug underlayment.
Use floor protectors on furniture
Use floor protectors and wide-load-bearing leg bases/rollers to minimize indentations and scratches from heavy objects. As a rule, the heavier the object, the wider the floor protector should be.
Maintain relative humidity level
- Maintain a normal indoor relative humidity level between 45 and 65% throughout the year to minimize the natural expansion and contraction of wood
- Heating Season (Dry): A humidifier is recommended to prevent excess shrinkage due to low humidity levels. Wood stove and electric heat tend to create very dry conditions.
- Non Heating Season (Wet): An air conditioner, dehumidifier or periodically turning on your heating system can maintain humidity during the summer months. Avoid excessive exposure to water during periods of inclement weather.
Avoid sharp objects
While your Shaw Hardwoods floor is one of the most wear resistant floors on the market, sharp or pointed objects can damage it nonetheless.
Watch your feet
Don't walk on your flooring with stiletto-style heels, spiked golf shoes, or cleats. They may cause indentations in your flooring.
Watch your pet's feet
Keep your pet's nails trimmed to keep them from scratching your flooring.
Rearrange your rugs and furniture
Periodically rearranging your area rugs and furniture will allow the flooring to age evenly. UV sunlight will soften the tone of different species of hardwood to varying degrees.
Protect the floor when moving
Use a dolly when moving heavy furniture or appliances. But first, put down a sheet of quarter-inch plywood or Masonite to protect the floor. Never try to slide or roll heavy objects across the floor.