Humidity: Excess water in any form, even in the air, can damage your hardwood floors over time. Once you move in to your new home, begin to slowly moderate the humidity level. Leave the humidity too high, too low, or change it too quickly, and the floorboards can warp. A target of 30% humidity is a good goal.
Preventing Dents and Scratches: Dragging or dropping heavy or sharp objects on your new hardwood floor will inevitably leave permanent dents and scratches regardless of the finish or wood species. Add felt pads to the feet of all furniture that will be placed in areas with hardwood flooring. Lift large objects off the floor to move them, rather than dragging them. High heeled shoes will also dent your floors.
Dogs: We all love our family pets, but if you are a life-long dog owner you will want to carefully consider the impact on your hardwood floors. No matter how well-groomed your dog’s nails may be, they will invariably scratch the hardest of hardwoods. As a general rule, if you wouldn’t allow your dog to walk across your heirloom furniture, you will want to think twice about allowing your dog on the hardwood flooring.
Rugs: Area rugs can accent a room’s decor and protect your hardwood flooring in high traffic areas. However, you will want to avoid rubber-backed mats that may leave residue or discolor your flooring.
Cleaning: Never clean your hardwood floor with water, steam, or water based cleaners. Cleaning hardwood frequently with a broom or dry mop removes dirt and grit that would otherwise scratch and dull the finish.
Replacing: If wear and damage to your hardwood flooring is localized to a few boards it may be possible to replace the affected area without refinishing the entire floor. You will want to consult a professional and keep in mind that as a natural product, it may be impossible to perfectly match the color and grain of your existing floor.
Refinishing: With proper care your hardwood floors will look their best for years, but they will eventually need to be refinished. For the best results it is recommended that you hire a professional and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when refinishing your floors.
Follow these tips and your manufacturer’s instructions carefully to preserve and protect those hardwood floors as a prized fixture in your new home.