Caring For Your Hardwood Floor
Hardwood floors can give your home a classic, refined beauty that’s hard to compare with other types of flooring. From the durability of oak, to the most exotic and beautiful imported woods, your hardwood floor is an expression of your style and a big investment for your home.
Each style of hardwood has pros and cons, and ultimately it’s up to you to decide what your specific needs are. After outlining your needs, educate yourself about the different advantages each brand and style has to offer. One of the main things you should consider is the amount of care each type of wood floor requires.
It’s hard to beat the look and style of rich wood floors. Cleaning is pretty simple most of the time; usually just going over with a floor mop can get dust, allergens, and other contaminants. Here are some other things to consider when looking at hardwood floor care:
Alternatives: The term "hardwood" usually refers to any type of wood, or composite flooring. But there are other options available:
Cork: While it doesn’t last quite as long as hardwoods, it is "softer" and much more forgiving than wood.
Bamboo: Aside from being super durable and strong, it’s a naturally renewable resource. Certain types of bamboo flooring are harder than oak, and almost always cost less.
Basic Care: Water is hardwood floors’ number one enemy. Make sure to clean up any spills immediately. Some steam cleaners can be used on hardwood floors, it’s a good idea to check with your manufacturer to find out if it’s o.k. to use a steam cleaner without damaging the floor. Also if your finish is cracked or worn, steam can seep into the wood and cause damage.
Get rid of Grit: Obviously, dirt and grit can wreak havoc on the finish of your floor. Invest in a good microfiber mop, and upright vacuum specifically designed for wood floors. Another good idea is to have a doormat at the entrance to your home.
Rugs: Area rugs are a good way to enhance a room or space that have hardwood floors. When picking a rug, consider the backing that the rug has. Some of the non-slip rubbers and adhesives rugs use can cause a reaction with the finish of your floors. It’s also a good idea to rotate the placement of throw and area rugs, this can reduce centralized fading and dull spots.
Sun damage: Over time, the sun can cause discoloration of your wood flooring. Some finishes available contain a sunscreen that can delay the effects of the sun on you floorings color. Another good idea is to protect your floors using drapes, blinds and curtains to limit the amount of sunlight hitting the wood.
In the end, you want to keep your flooring as healthy as possible. It’s nice to be able to clean with little more than a floor mop, but there are a lot of different factors that can be considered when dealing with hardwood floor care. Again, your floors not only add character and style to your home, but they’re also a big investment that, if properly cared for, can add significant value to your property.
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