To maintain the appearance and functionality of your hardwood floor, proper care is essential. Thanks to today’s modern finishes, caring for hardwood flooring is easier than ever. Keeping the following guidelines and recommendations in mind will help ensure that your floor ages beautifully. 

Vacuum your floors as part of a regular weekly routine, as well as after any event that has left dirt behind. Gravel and dirt of any kind have the potential to damage the floor if not removed properly and promptly. Vacuuming, with a floor attachment rather than a beater bar, is preferred to sweeping because it not only addresses the surface of the floor but pulls particulates from between the planks. To minimize the amount of dirt and grime on your floors, place mats outside and inside of all exterior doors, and provide a shoe removal area.

The occasional spill should be cleaned up immediately with a dry cloth. A damp cloth may be used for a stickier mess, but the area should be dried afterwards. Never pour water directly on the floor or use it to mop the floors as wet mopping and excessive water will damage the flooring. String and sponge mops should not be used as they hold a lot of water.

For deeper cleaning, use a Mullican Flooring-approved wood cleaner on a monthly basis.  Cleaners such as Bona Hardwood Flooring Cleaner, Basic Coatings or Mullican’s own hardwood floor cleaning system are recommended options. Avoid using household cleaning products, and never use oil soaps or wax. 

Other ways to protect the integrity of the floor include taking precautions with footwear, animals and furniture. For high-traffic areas or children’s rooms, consider using area rugs to keep wear to a minimum. These rugs should be approved for hardwood floors and have a mesh backing or one with a grid pattern to allow the floor an opportunity to breathe. 

The removal of shoes upon entry is always a good idea, particularly when high-heeled shoes are in disrepair or have lost their protective caps. Pets should have their nails and claws trimmed on a regular basis to avoid scratching and gouge marks. 

Felt pads, wide vinyl pads or rubber rollers should be placed on all furniture legs. When moving furniture, care should be taken to place something between the furniture and the floor. For heavier pieces or appliances, place a sheet of plywood under the object being moved to distribute the weight and reduce denting and scratching. A piece of carpet, face down, or a clean blanket can be used for lightweight items. 

Humidity is also important, as excessive moisture can cause the floor to swell or expand. Your flooring professional can help you determine the appropriate moisture level for your space. Shutting off heating, ventilation or air-conditioning systems for extended periods of time, such as summer vacations, can have a detrimental effect on the floor.