Hardwood flooring maintenance advice

wood flooring in Sevenoaks


When considering hardwood flooring, consumers can be apprehensive about the levels of effort that may be required to maintain a high quality look. Concerns around accidental damage and a misunderstanding of the durability of a hardwood floor can wrongly deter people from choosing their preferred flooring option.


However, these worries are often unfounded and there are surprisingly simple solutions to many of the questions around maintenance. It’s not to say that you should be blasé about looking after your flooring but with a few simple steps and a bit of reliable knowledge under your belt, maintaining that dream look will be a breeze.


Will my young children and pets damage my hardwood floor?


For customers looking to install hardwood flooring in their home, this is a very common concern. Nevertheless, the kind of problems posed by young children and pets should not damage your hardwood floor as long as you take a few minor precautions.


Both will likely bring in mud and dirt from the garden as they bound through the house before you can catch them and hose them down. This presents an obvious problem for carpets but is simply a matter of a quick sweep and wipe if you have a hardwood floor. Nevertheless, it is still worth trying to minimise dirt and debris. Although it may be a stretch to ask your dog to wipe its feet on the way in, we advise placing a mat by the door to catch any initial dirt from any paws or human feet before they make it onto your floor.


Accidents happen but as long as you act quickly, any spillages should not cause long term damage. If you have a puppy who hasn’t quite mastered their potty training yet, it is definitely worth purchasing a training pad which will absorb any mess and prevent it reaching your flooring.


One issue that could present a real problem is long pet claws. Not only can they make a nail-biting scratchy noise on the floor but they could also cause some very real damage to the finish. To avoid this scenario, simply keep your dog’s nails routinely clipped and manicured.


Can high heels damage the wood?


The short answer is yes. Heels push a significant amount of weight onto a focussed point which will inevitably cause dents in your smooth floor. Even the most durable of woods will not be able to withstand the danger of the high heel shoe.


Now there’s an excuse to kick off those painful heels and adorn your fluffy slippers. Your floor (and feet) will thank you for it.


Is it a bad idea to clean a hardwood floor by wet mopping?


One important factor to remember is that too much water and hardwood floors are not generally compatible. You should try to avoid cleaning with water where possible, as too much water absorbed will cause it to swell and potentially crack. Any exposure to moisture could damage the quality of the finish and could even cause warping in extreme cases.


The best alternative to wet mopping is dry mopping. First sweep the floor with a soft-bristled broom to remove any surface dirt and debris then dry mop the floor, going with the grain. Doing this quick procedure regularly should be sufficient in keeping your floor clean.


Is it okay to use hardwood for a kitchen floor?


There is no reason why you cannot use hardwood flooring in a kitchen as long as you stick to a few ground rules. As already mentioned, high heels and pets with long claws should be banned and you should never leave any water lying on the floor.


Certain types of wood and finishes will be more durable than others so you should always chat to a knowledgeable professional before making a decision. If you’re still a bit nervous about choosing a solid hardwood floor for your kitchen then you could consider engineered hardwood instead as it is a little more resilient to humidity. For more information on the differences, have a read of our ‘Hardwood vs Engineered Wood Flooring’ article.


Will the colour fade over time?


It is inevitable that the colour will fade a little over time. Sunlight is the primary culprit in causing the colour to fade so you can minimise the effects by closing the curtains or blinds where possible.


Nevertheless, it does not have to be a bad thing – people sometimes favour the slightly faded look as they feel it fits into their home in a more effective way. It’s a win-win situation really.


Can I use vinegar or ammonia-based products to clean my hardwood floor?


Both vinegar and ammonia based products, along with any other abrasive cleaning products, will eat away at the finish of your hardwood flooring due to their high acid content. The result will be a previously beautiful floor ruined by a blotchy finish. Needless to say, you should avoid these products at all costs.




All in all, if you are keen to achieve the look of timeless sophistication that a high quality hardwood floor can give, there is no need to compromise on practicality. Armed with the right facts, hardwood floors are no problem at all to maintain as long as you exercise a little care and due diligence. To learn more about hardwood flooring maintenance and to discuss any options further, one of our experts would be happy to help.