If you just moved into an older home in Brentwood, Ca, or if you’ve lived in your home for years, your hardwood floors might look dingy and dull. While hardwood flooring is made to stand up to years of abuse, it can get scratched or damaged from normal wear and tear. Here are a few ways to boost their brilliance and freshen them up without having to call in a floor makeover expert.
Recoat Instead Of Refinish
Refinishing isn’t always necessary. You might just need a recoating to help your wood floors regain some of their beauty. Recoating adds a new level of protection that adheres to the original finish. It’s much easier and safer than completely refinishing the floor. A fresh coat of finish will improve the look of the wood and restore its beauty while saving you both time and money.
Know Your Finish And Keep Cleaning Light
It’s important to know the finish of your wood floor to clean it properly. The right cleaning solution can make a world of difference and prevent damage. If you don’t know the finish, you can do a spot test:
- Drip some water on the floor.
- If the water beads and stays on top of the floorboards, it’s likely a polyurethane finish.
- If the water soaks into the floor, it’s likely a wax finish.
To clean a wood floor with a polyurethane finish, use a vinegar and water solution. If you have a wax finish, use a cleaning/waxing compound. Be sure to keep the floor fresh between cleanings by sweeping or using a dry dust mop regularly.
An Ounce Of Protection Can Keep Floors Looking New
No matter what type of hardwood floors you have in your home, all woods have a tendency to acquire scratches and dents. Even hardwoods like hickory and maple can take a beating in high traffic areas. Take steps to minimize the damage with pads and rugs.
- Add furniture pads to the bottom of table and chair legs to eliminate scrapes during everyday use.
- When moving furniture around, use a rug or furniture pads for added protection.
- Use accent rugs to protect wood floors from wear and tear.
- Place a thicker rug under furniture that isn’t moved very often.
- Use thinner carpet that provides more grip in areas where people walk.
A word of caution with area rugs: If placing an area rug in a room with direct sunlight, the UV rays can lighten the exposed hardwood flooring around the rug. This can cause a distinct discoloration over time.
Temperature and humidity can also affect your hardwood floors, causing buckles and gaps as they expand and contract. Use a humidifier during winter seasons as low humidity may cause the wood to shrink. A dehumidifier will lower the humidity levels in the hot summer. As long as you take the time to care for your wood floors, you’ll enjoy them for many years to come.