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Avoiding Pitfalls in Hardwood Floor Maintenance – Essential Tips for Homeowners

Posted on June 19, 2023

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The Don’ts of Hardwood Floor Maintenance: A Comprehensive Guide

Hardwood floors are a beautiful and long-lasting investment that can significantly enhance the aesthetics and value of your home. However, maintaining them is crucial to preserving their appearance and durability. While there’s plenty of advice available on what to do to maintain your hardwood floors, understanding what not to do is equally important. This guide will explore common pitfalls in hardwood floor maintenance that homeowners should avoid.

The Appeal of Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors have a timeless appeal and offer an unmatched combination of beauty, durability, and longevity. The warm and inviting aesthetic can transform any living space. However, maintaining this appeal requires proper care and maintenance. Understanding what can damage your hardwood floor is the first step towards efficient and long-lasting maintenance.

Hardwood Floor Maintenance: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Using the Wrong Cleaning Products

Many homeowners unknowingly use cleaning products that are detrimental to hardwood floors. For instance, avoid any cleaner that is ammonia-based or contains bleach. These substances can dull the finish of your floor and may even discolour the wood. Also, avoid using wax on urethane finishes, as it can make the floor dangerously slippery and difficult to refinish in the future. Use products specifically designed for hardwood floors.

Using excessive water

While it might seem like a good idea to mop your hardwood floors with a lot of water, this can actually cause significant damage. Excessive water can seep into the wood, causing it to warp, swell, and even crack. Always use a damp (not wet) mop and immediately dry any water that gets on the floor.

Neglecting Spills

Leaving spills unattended, especially liquids like wine, juice, or pet accidents, can stain the wood and damage the finish. Always clean up spills as soon as they occur to prevent them from soaking into the wood.

Not protecting from sunlight

Just like other natural materials, hardwood can fade and discolour when exposed to direct sunlight over time. To prevent this, use curtains, blinds, or protective window films to filter the sunlight.

Not using furniture pads

Heavy furniture can create scratches and dents on your hardwood floor. To avoid this, attach felt pads to the bottoms of furniture legs. Remember to replace these pads regularly, as they can wear out and accumulate grit over time.

Ignoring routine maintenance

Sweeping or vacuuming regularly is essential for preventing dirt and grit from scratching the floor’s surface. A soft, fine-bristled broom or a vacuum with a hardwood floor attachment is best for this task.

Tips for Proper Hardwood Floor Care

While there are many things to avoid when maintaining your hardwood floors, here are a few proactive tips for their care:
  1. Regular Cleaning: Keep your floors clean and free from dust and grit. Use a vacuum or dust mop regularly.
  2. Use Proper Cleaning Solutions: Always use cleaning solutions specifically designed for hardwood floors.
  3. Annual Deep Cleaning: Consider a deep cleaning annually. This might involve using a wood-cleaning product and potentially even refinishing the floor.
  4. Address Spills Immediately: Spills should be wiped up immediately to prevent staining and damage.
  5. Use Rugs and Mats: Using rugs and mats can help protect high-traffic areas.
Protect Hardwood Flooring


While hardwood floors can significantly enhance the beauty of your home, they require proper care and maintenance to retain their charm over the years. By avoiding common maintenance mistakes and following appropriate care practises, you can ensure that your hardwood floors remain a lasting, beautiful feature in your home.

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