What is the best way to maintain hardwood floors?

What is the Best Way to Maintain Hardwood Floors

Maintaining your hardwood flooring in shiny, pristine condition isn't as difficult of a task as the majority of homeowners may think. It doesn't matter if your wood flooring is made from solid, engineered, or reclaimed wood, the maintenance routine is the same and quite simple and easy to execute. As a matter of fact, simple cleaning is the biggest secret to keeping your hardwood floors looking gorgeous.

Hardwood floors are long-lasting, striking and timeless and show beautifully when maintained properly. While cleaning your hardwood flooring might not be extremely difficult, there are certain steps that are key to getting it done right.

Below are 5 ways you can easily maintain your hardwood flooring;

KEEP THEM DRY

Wood can absorb water, and when that happens the wood can swell and crack. With this in mind, it is important to clean up any spills or liquid immediately from your hardwood floors. This doesn’t mean you can’t mop your hardwood floors, but you should use a damp mop versus one that is saturated with water. On the same note, you should avoid using steam cleaners on your hardwood, as the steam can enter the woods with small crevasses and can lead to damage.

WATCH HOW THE WOOD REACTS

Changes to temperature and humidity can have drastic effects on your hardwood flooring, and your flooring will show you this by reacting to the change. By paying attention to your flooring you can notice changes us as bowing wood, or cracking which could be an indication that your flooring is absorbing to much moisture. If the spaces between your wood planks look as if they are wider than they used to be, this could be an indication of low humidity.

CHOOSE YOUR CLEANING PRODUCTS WISELY

There are plenty of hardwood floor cleaning products available on the market, so when it comes to choosing the right product for your floors, there really isn’t a rule of thumb to go by. Different finish types require different forms of care, so ask your local flooring expert or refer to the manufacturer for their cleaning product recommendations.

There may not be a universal cleaning product for all hardwood flooring, but there is a must avoid for all hardwood, and that’s any cleaning product that is made of harsh chemicals. As these can damage and even strip the finish of your wood.

TOUCH UP SURFACE SCRATCHES

You can’t prevent scratches from occurring, small surface scratches and the occasional unsightly scratch are painful to see, but are a reality of hardwood. You can fill in or cover these scratches up using a colour-matched stain marker or crayon. Hardwood floor repair/coverup kits are readily available and can be picked up at your local hardware or flooring store.

RECOAT

When your hardwood floor begins to show signs of wear, it may be time to step in and recoat. Don’t worry, this process doesn’t involve sanding. You will actually apply a new coat of finish to the top of the hardwood, bringing back the floor's original lustre and reviving the finish. A recoat will extend the hardwood’s lifespan, by adding a protective layer on top of your flooring.

Keeping your hardwood floors looking amazing for years, isn’t difficult when you know the right steps to take. Taking on small tasks often, such as sweeping, light moping, and filling in scratches will help you pay attention to your floors allowing you to notice any changes more quickly, and is the best way to maintain your floors.


Which is better hardwood or laminate flooring?

Which is Better: Hardwood or Laminate Flooring?

While most experts often refer to hardwood flooring as one of the best flooring options, laminate flooring does have its own unique features and key benefits. With hardwood flooring occupying the top spot when it comes to plank flooring, laminate flooring isn't too far behind. Most homeowners, builders and flooring experts consider laminate flooring to be the next best thing to hardwood flooring in terms of quality, durability and aesthetics.

Choosing between hardwood and laminate flooring isn’t always an easy decision, even when you know their unique qualities.

To help you with your decision, our experts have outlined 5 important flooring qualities below, comparing hardwood and laminate.

Appearance

When it comes to natural beauty, solid hardwood flooring is unmatched. No matter the shade, hardwood floors are known to have impeccable aesthetics. This is even true with less expensive species of hardwood, as they still boast a unique grain that adds character to your flooring. Today’s laminate floors mimic solid hardwood flooring very well, some even recreate the unique character and grain of real hardwood. However, this may not be as predominant with all available laminate flooring, and with closer inspection, you can notice the subtle differences from real hardwood.

Water and Heat Resistance

Both laminate and hardwood floors absorb moisture and can be susceptible to damage when exposed for prolonged periods of time. This, therefore, makes neither laminate nor solid hardwood a suitable flooring material in humid or overly wet locations. Laminate flooring handles moisture somewhat better than hardwood and won't swell or bow in moist conditions.

Care and Cleaning

Both hardwood and laminate flooring are quite easy to clean. Hardwood flooring can be cleaned either by sweeping or vacuuming. If in need of something more thorough, damp-mopping with a wood flooring cleaning solution will definitely give you that shiny look you strive for. Laminate floors can also be cleaned with a vacuum or broom, mopping a laminate floor should be done with a damp mop as well. When cleaning both laminate and hardwood floors, avoid the use of excess water and harsh chemicals.

Durability and Maintenance

Durability and maintenance are part of the conversation with any flooring type. However, when comparing hardwood and laminate flooring you need to give the edge to hardwood. When properly maintained and cared for hardwood flooring can last a lifetime. Properly installed laminate has a life expectancy of 15 to 25 years but can last longer with proper care. Laminate is considered the more durable material as it is made of pressed wood, it has a higher resistance to scratches and wear-and-tear. Unlike hardwood floors, when seriously damaged, laminate floors cannot be refinished or sanded. They need to be completely replaced. The maintenance routine for both is very similar, periodic observation and cleaning is required. When observing your floors, look for areas that may show signs of wear or damage, such as shifting planks, cracks, dents, chips, swelling and other damage indicators.

Both hardwood and laminate flooring have their strengths and limitations, but when it comes to naming one flooring option as the better choice, it’s not a one over the other answer. Selecting the right flooring for your project depends on the features that matter to you and that will fit best in the space you are utilizing them for. Hopefully, the qualities we have outlined above will help you choose which is best for you.