Hardwood floors are, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful and durable flooring options in the market today. They also add a great deal to the resale value of your home! Like any other home investment, however, they require routine upkeep to keep them looking their best.
No matter how shiny your hardwood floors start, wear and tear over time can dull that shine. Don’t worry, we at Supreme Hardwood Floors, Inc. can get the floor sparkling and shine again. But before we get your hardwood floors shining again, it’ll help you to know what’s dulling that shine. There are a number of factors behind a dull wood floor.
If you have no idea what you’re doing or if you stick to a lazy maintenance regimen, it is all too easy to wreak havoc upon your hardwood floors. Don’t learn your lesson the hard way. In this blog, we will blow the whistle on some things that are destroying your hardwood floors. When you recognize the source of the problem, it’ll be easier for you to prevent it from happening in the first place.
#1 Too Much Sun
If you thought the sun’s damaging UV rays are only a threat to you, you’re wrong. They are also bad for your hardwood floors! Over time, direct exposure to sunlight might bleach and discolor your floors. It may even cause warping in more severe cases. Fortunately, you can easily prevent the sun from stripping the shine and luster off your wood floors by:
- Installing UV resistant tinted windows.
- Closing the curtains, drapes, or blinds during the daytime
- Planting trees in front of windows to help block the sunlight.
#2 High Heels
If you frequently wear high heels inside your house, then this could be a piece of bad news for you! Did you know that a 120-pound woman exerts a pressure of about 4 pounds per square inch (PSI) when standing on one flat foot & approx. 2,000 PSI while on a 1/4-inch stiletto tip? If that doesn’t make things more transparent, this will – the pressure exerted by a 120-pound woman wearing high heels surpasses the naturally dispersed weight of a fully grown 6,000-pound elephant!
What we’re trying to say is that high heels can spell trouble for your hardwood floors. They are quite durable, but they’re still subject to damage from nasty dents, scratches, and holes, all of which can eat away at your floor’s finish quickly. Practice a little prevention, ladies – it’s always a good idea to take off your stilettos before walking inside.
#3 Pet Nails
Like high heels, some medium or large dog breeds (like Shepherds, Retrievers, and Mastiffs) can also exert a high enough pressure on the hardwood floors when running or playing around inside. It results in unpleasant scratches and dents all over the surface. Scratches and dents are less concerning when you allow your pet cat on your hardwood floors because they’re just too light to cause much damage. But your feline friends can still damage your floor when chasing and roughhousing. The obvious way to minimize this damage is by keeping the nails of your pets clipped and trimmed.
#4 Pet Urine
Pet urine is that one thing that can ruin your hardwood floor beyond all hope. The puddle your pets leave on your floor contains ammonia and uric acid – two organic enzymes that eat away your floors’ gloss and cause them to look dull. Try immediately cleaning up all accidents to keep damage to a minimum. Also, consider putting down water-resistant pads if you’re house-training a puppy or if your pet has a favorite spot to pee.
#5 You’re Using Wrong Cleaning Products
How you clean your floors has a significant impact on how they’ll look and how long they’ll last. If you are wrong, you risk doing more harm than good! Call it a lack of knowledge or unawareness, but many people end up using cleaning products that claim they are “wood safe” while they’re not.
When you’re shopping for wood floor cleaners, buy something that is made for hardwood cleaning and for the coating that you used on your floors. Using the wrong cleaner will not help clean your floor, and may even leave a dull-looking residue behind. It can also leave the coating on the wood cloudy and damage the floors. Here are the various types of cleaning agents that promise to make your hardwood floors glow, but in reality, only make them look worse:
- Harsh chemical solutions, for instance, ammonia, vinegar, or other alkaline products, can strip away your floor’s finish and expose the bare wood of your flooring.
- Abrasives like scrub pads, baking soda, and bottled cleaner can also sabotage your floor’s finish by scratching away at the protective surface.
- Polishes and other wood renewal-type products can leave a residue or build-up on your floors, making them look dull and waxy.
- Oil soaps & waxes can cause a hazy build-up and are very difficult to remove.
#6 You’re Using Too Much Cleaner
Another important reason to follow the instructions on your floor cleaner is to figure out if you’re using too much of it. The chemicals can build-up quickly and dull the shine of your floor. Too much is never a good thing, especially when it comes to caring for your hardwood flooring.
Generally, less is more, and it only takes a small amount of cleaner to clean your floor. Follow the instructions carefully and, when in doubt, use a little less rather than a little more.
#7 You’re Not Cleaning the Floor Enough
Sweeping or vacuuming your wood floors before you clean them is a good idea. Otherwise, you’re just redistributing dirt and dust, which keeps the floors dull. If your hardwood floors are properly sealed, you can safely wet mop them to help pick up any debris that could be adding to the dullness.
#8 Your Floor Is Too Scratched Up
Shoes, pets, and moving or sliding your furniture around are all things that can scratch up your hardwood floors, making them look extra dull. Even if you start with a well-applied finish and take care of your floors over time with regular maintenance, still your best-cared-for floor will start to show its age.
#9 You’ve Over Waxed Your Floors
The best way to avoid over waxing your floors is by finishing them with a polyurethane finish. If your hardwood floor’s finish doesn’t even call for wax (which poly doesn’t), you’ll never have to worry about wax build-up or the hassles related to the wax-and-polish routine.
If your floor was not sealed with polyurethane finish and relies on a carnauba paste wax to create the shine, it tends to make it look dull. The shine will be gone if you have applied paste wax on top of a polyurethane sealant. Even if you appropriately use wax only one or two times a year, eventually, it’ll build-up and turn dull in low traffic areas. Remember that you can strip off paste wax by using mineral spirits or any other commercial wax stripper.
If you’re going the wax route (or looking to refinish or maintain an existing waxed floor), you want to take the time to do it right. Dealing with over-waxing floor mistakes is a huge hassle. Check out this blog for a very in-depth look at how to maintain a hardwood wood floor and its advantages.
#10 You’re Using Excess Water
Never use a bucket of water and a mop to clean your hardwood floors. Excess water can rot the wood from inside and cause unsightly stains to appear on your floor’s surface. Plus, the dirt on the floor will mix with mop water and end up leaving you with even more dusty, gritty, gritty, and dirty floors. Instead, use a very damp mop (worn one) to keep your floors clean.
#11 You’re Sliding Furniture Around
Moving your furniture around without proper care can lead to unwanted nicks and scratches on your hardwood floors. Always take the time to lift furniture when you’re trying to move it around. Oh, and don’t forget to slip an appropriate-sized rug, or towels, under the furniture you need to move as an added precaution.
#12 Floor Needs to be Refinished
If the floor has foot traffic, no finish on your hardwood floor will last forever. We at Supreme Hardwood Floors, Inc. can refinish solid hardwood floors numerous times. Even engineered hardwood floors with a thinner veneer as the top layer can be refinished or sanded a couple of times before being replaced.
Supreme Hardwood Floors is Your Destination to Buy All Types of Hardwood Floors
Now that you know how to keep your floors shiny and looking like new for a long time, you’re ready to shop for the most exquisite selection of wood floors at the best hardwood flooring company in Austin, TX – Supreme Hardwood Floors, Inc.
We can easily install hardwood floors for you, and we are also your best option in Central Texas for getting your floor sanded and refinished.
Whether you’re looking for something elegant or fun, something classic or contemporary, we have the hardwood flooring option available to suit your taste. From parquet, hickory, walnut, white oak, refinished floors and everything in between, you’ll find only the highest quality of wood floors here – and at the best prices too!