If you’ve put in hardwood you’re probably after that unmistakable look and feel that comes from a genuine natural material. But the timeless charm of hardwood comes at a price—a literal price, because it’s generally one of the more expensive flooring options popular among West Michigan homeowners.

So, how do give this flooring the care and attention it needs to maintain your investment and keep it looking great for years to come?

#1 – Cleaning

  • DO have a weekly cleaning routine for your hardwood floors to remove dust, dirt, and crumbs that can build up in the tiny creases and gaps between the wood planks over time. A regular broom or a dust mop work well, or you can vacuum if your vacuum has a bare floor setting that disables the brush rotation.
  • DO NOT use a wet mop, as moisture will dull the wood’s finish and may even damage the material underneath.
  • DO NOT let spills or other standing moisture ‘just dry out’. Clean it up as quickly as possible. If moisture makes it through the finish and into the wood itself it can cause the wood to swell and deform, resulting in serious damage.
  • DO wax or polish your hardwood floor twice a year. Wax hardwood finishes can easily be touched up with a fresh coat and the appropriate polish can give a polyurethane-finished floor a like-new smoothness and sheen.

#2 – Daily Use

  • DO close your curtains during the day and when you aren’t home to keep the sun off your hardwood floors. The light and heat of the sun can trigger serious fading on all kinds of materials over long periods of time, hardwood included.
  • DO invest in felt foot pads for the bottom of furniture, especially kitchen tables, chairs, and stools. This will prevent scratching, and it’s normally a good idea to have extra sets around for when any wear out.
  • DO consider area rugs or runners for your higher-traffic corridors to help protect the wood from the worst of your daily wear and tear. But avoid any rugs with heavy vinyl or rubber backings, which can trap moisture between the rug and the finish.
  • DO NOT track dirty, wet shoes over your hardwood floors without cleaning up afterwards. Use a shoe tray or walk-off doormat instead.
  • DO NOT wear stiletto heels on your hardwood floors as much as you can help it, as the small pressure points can crush and scuff on the surface.
  • DO NOT use hairspray, bug spray, furniture polish, or other aerosols on or around your hardwood. The chemicals in these products don’t play nice with most hardwood floor finishes, and can leave cloudy or discolored areas that can’t easily be repaired without extensive refinishing.

#3 – Restoration