With today's advances in wood flooring stains and finishes, cleaning your wood floors has never been easier. Regular maintenance requires little more than sweeping with a soft bristle broom, and vacuuming with a soft floor attachment (Do not vacuum with the beater bar on). You also should clean your floors periodically with a professional wood floor cleaner such as Bona-Kemi (Bona-X) or dry Swiffer’s.
Do not use wax or oil products on urethane finished floors. Do not use sheet vinyl or tile floor care products on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes causes wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly.
Use throw rugs at the kitchen sink and stove, and both inside and outside doorways, to help prevent grit, dirt and other debris from being tracked onto your wood floors. This will also help prevent scratching.
Periodically coating with a urethane finish will correct loss of sheen.
Do not wet-mop a wood floor. Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly dampened towel. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue.
Put felt-faced or plastic glides under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching.
Avoid walking on your wood floors with cleats, high heels and sports shoes. These can scratch the finish, or even dent your floor.
When moving furniture, do not slide it on wood flooring. It is best to use a dolly or pick up the furniture completely. Replace felt-faced glides every 6 months on furniture legs to prevent scuffing and scratching.
Some homes may need a humidifier throughout the winter months to keep wood movement and shrinkage to a minimum. This system can be installed with your HVAC.
Excessive and early wear: This can be caused by improper floor maintenance that fails to remove grit from the floor, or the introduction of water or excessively strong cleaners. Pet nails and unprotected furniture legs also contribute to the problem.
Discoloration: oil-modified finishes will amber in appearance and will yellow over time. Wood in direct sunlight will change color and lighten over time. Window coverings should be used in appropriate areas to prevent fading. Wood also changes through oxidation.
Stains: Spilled water, pet stains and other liquids, including improper cleaners, can stain the finish. Cloudy surface finish can be fixed by lightly rubbing with a proper cleaner and buffing, although some stains require screening and recoating. If the stain gets in the wood some boards may need to be replaced.