5 Ways to Avoid Damaging your Hardwood Floors


hardwood floors

Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any home. They’re also reputed to be notoriously difficult to properly maintain. In truth, you’ll find your hardwood is relatively easy to keep up without damage if you take a few precautions. Simple things such as selecting the proper throw rug, choosing the right cleaner and using glide pads will help ensure your floor remains the polished centerpiece of your home for years to come.

Spill Protection

No matter what efforts you make, spills are inevitable. However, you can avoid damaging your hardwood by taking some preventative measures. Placing throw rugs or plastic trays in key areas will protect your floor and your sanity according to the Huffington Post. A throw rug in front of the sink or a plastic tray under the cat’s water bowl will help keep your hardwood floor in pristine condition.

Throw Rug versus Welcome Mats

A rug in front of an outside door is always advised to protect hardwood. The downside is rough mats are like sandpaper to your floor. Likewise, using double-sided tape to hold a throw rug in place will strip the finish off the wood. An all natural rug pad, though, will not only remain in place but also remove damaging debris from feet and shoes. The added bonus is the rug protects your hardwood floor from water tracked in from outside.

Avoid Furniture Damage

General maintenance of your floor often means moving furniture or appliances. Unfortunately, this leads to scratches, scrapes and even gouges. You can avoid damaging the hardwood by lifting furniture. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln also suggests placing glide pads or felt pads under your furniture. Rubber disks under furniture’s feet also keeps furniture in place and spares the hardwood countless scars.

Proper Cleaning Methods

Wet mopping a hardwood floor will result in a dull finish, discoloring and damage. Likewise, vinyl and tile cleaners are bad for your floor, according to WoodFloors.org, as are self-polishing acrylic waxes. Instead, make sure you check with the manufacturer to determine which cleaners are best for your hardwood’s finish. In addition, use a soft bristled broom, a dust mop or a vacuum with a soft brush attachment.

Over Waxing

Wax only seems like a hardwood floor’s best friend, but over waxing will dull the prized finish. Buffing, on the other hand, revitalizes the finish. When you do wax, you want to avoid wax build-up under furniture and in light traffic areas. You can do this by waxing those areas every other time, keeping your finish beautiful and your hardwood floor in pristine condition.