A solid wood floor can add true value to your home. To keep that value you need to make sure it is maintained properly. A wood floor can last a lifetime if it is properly cared for.
That doesn’t mean you will never have to refinish your wood floor. If you have pets, for example, you may find your floors wear down more often. High traffic areas may need to be refinished more frequently than other areas, which may need to be redone every few years. It is probably easier than you think. All you have to do is sand the floor, then reapply a finishing product to seal the wood.
So how do you know if your floors need to be refinished? Start by finding a busy area of your home. Pour a tablespoon of water onto your floor. If the water beads up and can easily be wiped away, the floor is fine. If the water soaks into the wood slowly, though, and creates a dark spot your floor should be refinished in the future. If the water soaks into the wood quickly with the same dark spot it is time to refinish your floor sooner than later.
It is not unusual for wood floors to change color over time. The good news is they can be easily restored. The same goes for scuffs, scratches and imperfections. A little upkeep can help your floors look like new.
Separate from refinishing your floor, actual upkeep is relatively easy. It is simple to see and clean dirt, dust and animal dander. You will want to keep water away. Wet floors can warp and shift. They can also lose their luster. That is why it is vital to wipe up spills immediately and only use products on your wood floor that are marked safe for wood floors. You may not want to put hardwood flooring in a bathroom because of all the moisture. The same goes for the kitchen. Of course the decision is really left to personal preference.
Direct sunlight can also damage hardwoods over time. Use curtains or blinds to keep the sun from directly shining in. You can also place a few rugs in high-traffic areas to help extend the life of your flooring.
For routine cleaning, first dust the floor. You can use a mop that has been treated with a dusting agent. You can also vacuum with the floor brush attachment. A disposable electrostatic cloth can also do the job.
For a deep cleaning use a specially marked wood cleaning product. Dilute it according to directions. Doing so can keep your floor looking fantastic for years to come.