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How do I care for my wood floor?

A: Thanks to new finishes and floor manufacturing advances, today's wood flooring is quite simple to maintain and care for.
Weekly - Vacuum or sweep your floor. Small stones and gritty dirt will scratch the floor quickly. (Always keep mats or rugs at doorway exteriors and interiors.)
Monthly - Clean the floor with a manufacturer's recommended cleaner on a dampened sponge, and follow up with a dry terry cloth towel.
Yearly or when needed - Re-coat the floor with a surface finish when cleaning no longer restores shine and/or when floors have been heavily used.
General Maintenance - Wipe spills immediately with a damp cloth or paper towel.

Q: How do I clean my wood floor?
A: If the finish manufacturer is known, follow the manufacturer's recommended cleaning procedures and products. However, if the manufacturer is not known:

For surface finishes, including urethanes: Keep grit off the floor, dust mop or vacuum regularly and keep doormats clean. Wipe up spills promptly with a dry cloth. Use a slightly dampened cloth for sticky spills.
For general cleaning, there are good generic wood floor cleaners. Alternatively, use a mild solution of white vinegar and warm water (1/4 cup of vinegar to 1 quart of warm water), and with a spray bottle, spray a small amount on a mop or cloth and go over a small area with the mop or cloth. Buff dry. Continue until the entire floor has been cleaned.
When luster does not return to traffic areas, the floor may require re-coating. Consult us or your installer.

Do not wax a surface finish. Wax will, in most cases, be slippery. If you wax a surface finish, the floor cannot merely be re-coated to rejuvenate it, it will have to continue to be waxed as a maintenance procedure.

Acrylic impregnated floors require a spray and buff system as recommended by the manufacturer.

For waxed floors: Keep grit off the floor, dust mop or vacuum regularly and keep doormats clean. Wipe up spills promptly with a dry cloth or dry paper towel, use a slightly dampened cloth for sticky spills and buff with a dry cloth to restore luster. When the floor looks dull, buff first to see if luster will be restored before waxing. When areas of heavy use no longer respond to buffing, wax only those areas and buff all the floor to an even luster.
When the whole floor needs attention, clean the floor with a solvent based wood floor cleaner and then wax. Your floor should only need to be completely re-waxed once or twice a year depending on traffic.

Q: What can damage a wood floor?
A: Grit and dirt - Grit and dirt will eventually cause scratches and dents, which shortens the lifetime of the floor. Always use door mats and vacuum/sweep on a weekly basis.
Water and wet mopping - Any excessive water causes wood grain to raise and the wood to expand, crack, splinter and possibly, in extreme cases, to discolor or mildew.
Oil Soaps and Ammonia Cleaners - There are many over the counter oil soap based or silicone, wax, or ammonia based cleaning products that will damage and dull the finish of your wood floor. The best suggestion is to only use the manufacturers recommended cleaning products on your wood flooring.
Furniture and High Heel Shoes - Any furniture that rests directly on top of a wood floor should have felt protectors, or furniture coasters, under all its feet. Purchasing chair glides is a very cheap insurance policy for your wood flooring. For extremely heavy objects such as a piano, use rubber cups. High heels or shoes with any sharp exposed nail or stone will exert up to 8,000 lbs per square inch of pressure on a floor. That's enough to damage any type of floor covering.
Sunlight - Exposure to the sun and its UV rays can cause wood floors to fade, change color, or experience surface checking, and even cause color changes in its protective polyurethane finish. To avoid these problems we recommend using draperies or shades to help block out the sun's harmful rays.
Spills - Spills in general must be wiped up immediately to prevent stains. Most new finishes, however, prevent spills from affecting the wood if they are wiped properly.