How to protect hardwood floors would be a prime consideration before you choose one. Get expert advice with these nine great tips for keeping your hardwood floor in top condition.

Hardwood is one of the most traditional flooring options and is still popular today (particularly in old homes where it can serve as part of the history).

While it is likely to outlive a carpet or laminate floor, you still need to take measures to protect hardwood floors. Below are nine different ways to preserve the condition of your hardwood floors. 

To protect hardwood floors, sweep/vacuum them

Dirt and dust that is left to accumulate on a wooden floor can slowly cause corrosion and staining. Regularly sweep or vacuum your hardwood floor to get rid of debris before it has time to leave a mark. Regular cleaning could be particularly necessary if you have kids or pets

Avoid using too much water when mopping

You shouldn’t mop wooden floors too regularly – and when you do mop them, try to avoid soaking the floor. Instead, wring out the mop so that it is damp. While mopping can help to get rid of stubborn dirt, don’t soak the floors with water because this can cause the wood to swell. In the long run, this can lead to warped and discoloured floorboards. Avoid steam mops because they will damage not protect hardwood floors.

Clean up spillages straight away

Not cleaning up spillages on hardwood floors can allow the liquid or substance to seep into the wood. This will lead to permanent unsightly stains (the only way to remove these is likely to be to sand and refinish your flooring). Most stains can be avoided by attending to spillages straight away.

Keep an eye out for pests

Various pests including insects and rodents can chew through wood. The most serious pest to look out for when protecting your wooden floors is termites. If flooring seems hollow, there are pinpoint holes or you notice sawdust-like droppings, it could be a sign that you have a termite infestation. By looking into termite treatments, you may be able to get rid of these critters. When it comes to large infestations, you may want to hire professional pest control to protect hardwood floors.

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Trim your dog’s nails

Dogs with sharp nails can quickly scratch up a hardwood floor. You should get into a habit of trimming your dog’s nails frequently. Trimming your dog’s nails is not only beneficial for your floor, but is also good for the health of your dog – if nails get too long, they can become easily caught and may cause injury. You can learn to trim your dog’s nails yourself or hire a professional groomer to do it for you.

Don’t wear heels in the house

If you like to wear high heeled shoes, get into the habit of taking them off before you enter your house. Stiletto heels will scuff up your home’s flooring over time. The same goes for any footwear with pointy or hard soles. Most regular flat footwear shouldn’t cause any damage so wear these indoors to protect hardwood floors.

Avoid dragging furniture

You can easily scratch up wooden floors by dragging heavy furniture across them. Where possible, always lift and carry furniture when moving it. An alternative option is to put furniture on castors so that it can be wheeled across the floor. Furniture pads are also worth using to protect your floor from damage when heavy furniture is stationary (over time, the weight can cause marks to form in the wood). 

Use rugs and mats in strategic areas

Rugs and mats are one of the easiest ways to protect hardwood floors from damage. You don’t have to carpet the floor with them – simply place them in strategic areas where they are likely to be more prone to damage from spillages or scratching. This could include placing a rug under a dining table or putting a mat by the front or back door. To make cleaning easy, consider rugs that are machine-washable or mats that can be wiped clean (such as splash mats for putting under high chairs and pet bowls).

Consider adding a finish to your floor 

A finish may be able to protect your flooring from stains and scratches. This could be an oil and wax finish or a lacquer. A good finish will protect your flooring without altering the natural appearance of it too much. It is often better to hire a professional to apply a finish than to attempt it yourself – this way you can ensure that the finish is evenly distributed and properly applied.