No one will deny the fact that hardwood floors are beautiful. Hardwood floors are some of the most beautiful floors that you can have, due to the rich and unique texture that hardwood flooring consists of.
Not only are hardwood floors beautiful, but they’re also quite durable, as well. If you install good hardwood flooring, and ensure that the flooring is kept nice and clean, then it will last for quite some time.
Unfortunately, though, it’s very easy to ruin your hardwood floors. There are certain mistakes that people often make, with regards to how they maintain their hardwood floors, that lead to the hardwood flooring rotting, decaying, and falling apart.
In this guide, we’re going to be looking at the five most common mistakes that people make, when it comes to their hardwood floors. That way, you know what not to do.
Mistake 01: Using Too Much Water When Mopping
Water is an exceptionally useful cleaning material. Using water, you’re able to loosen up all kinds of dirt, dust, and gunk that happens to be on your hardwood floors. But, at the same time, it’s very easy to use too much water.
When you’re mopping your hardwood floors, a lot of that water is absorbed directly into the wood. All of that water will, inevitably, dry out. But, if you use a lot of water, it will take a long time for all of that water to dry out.
Naturally, this can easily lead to a situation where your hardwood floors begin to rot and deteriorate, due to the presence of excess moisture. And, that’s what usually happens if you mop your floors, with water, on a day-to-day basis.
Instead of mopping your hardwood floors every day – or even every week – you should use a broom, and a vacuum cleaner. With the broom, you can sweep up most of the dirt, dust, and grime that’s on the floor. And then, whatever’s left can be vacuumed up.
Most of the time, this process works incredibly well. If you do this every day – or even just every other day – then you won’t run into any problems, and your hardwood floors will look great. But, sometimes, there are messes and stains that require some thorough mopping. If that’s the case, then you should mop.
When you do that, make sure you mop lightly, and that you use just enough water, rather than too much. If you do that, then your hardwood floors will stay strong and continue to look nice.
Mistake 02: Using The Wrong Cleaning Products
More often than not, it’s best to avoid using chemical cleaning products on hardwood floors. Most chemical cleaning products use alkaline or vinegar, and neither one of those chemicals should be used on hardwood flooring.
Vinegar and alkaline break down the finish that’s on your hardwood flooring. If you use a chemical cleaning product that contains one of those two ingredients, you probably won’t notice this at first. But, if you continue using that same product, you’ll begin to notice that the finish is slowly rotting and falling away.
Instead of using chemical cleaning products that contain vinegar and alkaline, it’s wise to use cleaning products that are oil-based. Most oil-based cleaning products work well on hardwood floors, because they don’t use any harsh chemicals, and they also use natural ingredients. But, there are some oil-based cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals, so make sure to pay attention.
If you do decide to use a cleaning product that contains vinegar or alkaline, make sure to use as little of the product as possible, and to apply it very gently. If you apply it too quickly, that could damage the finish that’s on the flooring, or even distort the appearance of the piece of wood that you’re cleaning.
When you’re done using the cleaning product, make sure to wipe it up immediately. You don’t want any of those chemicals to be absorbed into the flooring. Ideally, you’ll only do this once a month – at the most – because doing it too often will damage your hardwood flooring.
Mistake 03: Using A Steam Mop
No one is going to deny the fact that steam mops are exceptional tools. Using a good steam mop, you’re able to clean up just about anything. But, as mentioned earlier, hardwood is a material that tends to absorb most of the moisture that it comes into contact with, and steam is pure moisture.
When you use a steam mop to clean your hardwood floors, most of the water vapor that the steam mop puts out will become trapped in the spaces within the flooring. This will then cause the hardwood to begin warping and distorting, which can then cause the hardwood to begin rotting and decaying.
If you go online, you’ll find numerous cases of people using steam mops on hardwood floors that have been sealed. But, even if your hardwood floors have been sealed, it’s generally advisable to not use a steam mop on them.
The reason for this is because, as hardwood floors age, the seal begins to crack and fall apart. Most of the time, it’s subtle and hard to notice. But, there are openings within the seal, and this makes it very easy for moisture to penetrate into the flooring.
When a hardwood floor is sealed, that generally includes the seams that separate each piece of wood. But, those seals are the weakest, and after a short period of use, those seals begin to crack and fall apart. This is another way that moisture from a steam mop can fall into the hardwood flooring, leading to the problems described earlier.
Instead of using a steam mop, it’s best to stick with sweeping, vacuuming, and light mopping. The less moisture you use, the longer your hardwood floors will last.
Mistake 04: Not Having Any Rugs Or Carpets
Rugs and carpets are very important, for two reasons. First off, they add a strong aesthetic quality to whatever room you place them in. But, the most important reason to use rugs and carpets is because they are able to protect certain areas of the hardwood flooring that receive a lot of foot traffic.
If you place a rug right in front of the entrance to your home, this ensures that most of the dirt and mud that’s on your shoes is wiped off. This, in of itself, will keep your hardwood floors from getting too dirty.
Placing a rug in front of the entrance to your home is just one example. Ideally, you’ll have rugs and carpets placed throughout the entirety of your home, but especially on and near the spaces that have hardwood flooring. This keeps a lot of gunk and grime from falling into the hardwood flooring.
Not only do those rugs and carpets keep a lot of gunk and grime from falling into the hardwood flooring, but they also reduce the wear and tear that the hardwood floor sustains. If you spend a lot of time walking on a carpet, that carpet will prevent your feet/shoes from directly touching the hardwood flooring, which is especially useful in areas where there’s a lot of foot-traffic.
Mistake 05: Not Cleaning Your Hardwood Floors
The biggest mistake that people often make, is failing to clean their hardwood floors. In order to keep your hardwood floors strong, sturdy, and beautiful, it’s absolutely vital that you clean them on a regular basis.
To clean your hardwood floors, all you really need is a broom, and a vacuum. With the broom, you can sweep up the dirt, dust, and grime that’s on the floor. All of this stuff can be swept up into the dustbin, and then you can throw it away.
Just doing that ensures that your hardwood floors will not only look a lot better, but that they’ll last a long time.
For all of the dirt and dust that’s trapped within the seams of the hardwood floors, as well as spaces that the broom is unable to penetrate, you’ll need to vacuum. Vacuuming on a weekly – or even biweekly – basis will ensure that your hardwood floors will be free of small clumps of dust, random crumbs, and all of the other grime and gunk that the broom misses.
All you need to do is sweep and vacuum every two-weeks, at the very least. Ideally, you’ll do this every week, but every two-weeks works quite well. But, if you don’t do that, and you allow your hardwood floors to go uncleaned for a long period of time, that will lead to them falling apart and deteriorating much faster than they should.
In the end, hardwood floors are some of the most beautiful floors that you can have. But, hardwood floors are sensitive, and if you aren’t careful, it’s easy to ruin them.
To ensure that your hardwood floors remain nice and strong for as long as they can, make sure to remember the five common mistakes that we’ve outlined. Just doing that will greatly enhance the lifespan of your hardwood floors!