Your beautiful new natural hardwood floors are not only a major investment, but also a significant interior design element enhancing the appearance and value of your home. Obviously you want to maintain the appearance and condition of your new floors for as long as possible and the following information will assist you in caring for them.
Hardwood floors require special care… These guidelines and recommendations will help keep them looking their very best.
Preventative Hardwood Floor Care
- DO Maintain a normal indoor relative humidity level between 30% and 60% at all times throughout the year to minimize the natural expansion and contraction of the wood. Humidity levels outside of this range could potentially cause cupping, cracking, gaps, as well as width variations and will void the manufacturer’s warranty.
- DO Use care with sharp objects.
- DO Remove shoes with spiked or damaged heels before walking on your hardwood floor; they can leave scratches or indentations in hardwood.
- DO Trim pets’ nails regularly.
- DO Rearrange your rugs and furniture periodically to allow the flooring to age evenly.
- DO Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, which can soften the tone of different species of hardwood to varying degrees and accelerate the oxidation and aging of wood.
- DO Protect the floor when moving by using a dolly for heavy furniture or appliances. Never try to slide or roll heavy objects across your hardwood floor.
Protective Hardwood Floor Care
- DO Use entry mats, which will help collect the dirt, sand, grit and other substances such as oil, asphalt or driveway sealer that can be tracked onto your hardwood flooring.
- To prevent slipping, use an approved vinyl rug underlayment. However;
- DON’T use rubber- or foam-backed plastic mats, as they may discolor the flooring.
- DO Use floor protectors and wide-load-bearing leg bases or rollers to minimize indentations and scratches from heavy objects. (Tip: As a rule, the heavier the object, the wider the floor protector should be.)
Routine Hardwood Cleaning
- DO Use a soft cloth to blot spills and spots as soon as they happen. Always avoid allowing liquids to stand on your hardwood floor.
- DO Sweep, dust or vacuum the floor regularly. If vacuuming, use a hard floor attachment to avoid scratching or dulling your floor’s finish
- DO Clean the floor with a specially formulated hard surface floor cleaner to wipe away dirt and soil without damaging your floor’s finish.
- DON’T Use oil-based, wax, polish or strong ammoniated products, which can dull your floor’s finish.
- DON’T Use steel wool, scouring powders or other abrasive cleaners, which can scratch or damage your floor’s finish.
- DON’T Wash or wet-mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, warping, de-lamination and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.
- DON’T Use any type of buffing machine.
Specialty Hardwood Cleaning
Remove sticky substances, such as candle wax or chewing gum, by applying ice to harden the substance and then gently scraping with a plastic scraper. (Tip: A credit card makes a good substitute.) Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth. Clean tough stains with a specialty Hard Surface Cleaner.
For detailed instruction, how-tos and tips visit: https://shawfloors.com/care
Special Tips for Care in Dry Climates
- Year-Round: A humidifier is recommended to prevent excess shrinkage due to low humidity levels. Electric heat, wood stoves, and fire places increase dry conditions in the high mountain desert.
- ALWAYS avoid excessive exposure to water.