If you have decided to place hardwood flooring in your home, you will soon be enjoying the benefits of a smooth surface that gives your rooms an aesthetically pleasing look. Hardwood floors will remain a positive focal-point in the rooms they adorn if you take the time to properly maintain the wood surface. Here are some tips to use when caring for your wood floors so they stay looking new for years to come.
Determining The Finish
When you purchase hardwood flooring to lay yourself, it will most likely have a finish on the wood to help protect it and keep it looking shiny. Most hardwood flooring pieces will have either a polyurethane or wax finish. To determine which your flooring dons, sprinkle a few drops of water on the surface and observe how quickly it disappears. If the water beads up almost instantly, the wood most likely has a polyurethane finish. If the water stays on the wood for several minutes before disappearing, the flooring pieces have most likely been treated with a wax coating.
Another way to test the surface is to wipe a clean cloth dipped in mineral spirits across a wood board making up your flooring. If the wood is coated in wax, the cloth will become waxy itself. Knowing which finish you have on your wood flooring boards will determine the cleaning method you use.
Caring For Polyurethane-coated Wood
One of the biggest hazards to a wood floor with a polyurethane coating is pieces of grit or sand. These can scratch a floor's surface, leaving it with less sheen than it had originally. To avoid scratching of your polyurethane finish, vacuum your floors at least once a week to remove any dirt particles that have made their way into your home.
Water is also harmful to polyurethane if left on the surface for an excessive amount of time. Wipe up spills immediately to avoid any warping of your wood pieces. Vinegar and water should be used to clean wood flooring with a polyurethane coating. Simply add a cup or two of vinegar to a bucket of warm water. Dip a sponge in this solution and wipe down the wood boards by hand. Dry the floor immediately after cleaning it to avoid water damage.
Caring For Wax-coated Wood
Wax-coated wood floors also need to be vacuumed weekly to avoid scratching of the surface. When cleaning a wax-coated floor, use a clean piece of cloth to wipe down the surface by hand. You can add just a bit of water to the cloth to help grab any dirt from the surface, but water is harmful to the wax in general so it is best to keep it at a minimal amount, if at all.
Instead, to keep your floors looking like new, strip the wax once or twice a year and add a new coating. To remove old wax, wipe down the floors with mineral spirits or a commercial wax stripping agent. Add a thin coating of paste wax to the floor after it has dried from the stripping process. Wipe it into the floor with the grain of the wood and allow to dry. Repeat with a second coating.
For more information about caring for your hardwood flooring, contact a company like National Carpet Mill Outlet.