How to maintain hardwood floors

How to maintain hardwood floors

Hardwood floors add timeless beauty and elegance to any home. To preserve their luster and ensure longevity, regular maintenance is essential. Proper care not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your floors but also protects your investment. This guide provides detailed steps on how to maintain hardwood floors, ensuring they remain in pristine condition for years to come.

Daily maintenance routines

Daily maintenance is crucial in preventing scratches, dents, and dirt buildup on your hardwood floors.

Sweep or vacuum regularly

Dirt, dust, and debris can act like sandpaper on your hardwood floors, causing scratches and wear over time. Sweep your floors daily with a soft-bristle broom or use a vacuum cleaner with a hardwood floor attachment to remove particles without damaging the surface.

Use floor mats and rugs

Place floor mats at entryways and high-traffic areas to trap dirt and moisture before it reaches your hardwood floors. Use rugs in areas where spills are likely, such as under dining tables and in kitchens. Ensure that mats and rugs have a non-slip backing to prevent slipping and protect the floor beneath.

Protect from furniture and pet damage

Place felt pads or furniture glides under the legs of chairs, tables, and other furniture to prevent scratches. Trim your pet’s nails regularly to minimize the risk of scratches from their claws. Consider using area rugs in pet play areas to provide an additional layer of protection.

Weekly and monthly cleaning

In addition to daily maintenance, more thorough weekly and monthly cleaning routines help maintain the beauty of your hardwood floors.

Weekly mopping

Use a damp mop to clean your hardwood floors weekly. Ensure the mop is only slightly damp to avoid water damage. Use a pH-neutral wood floor cleaner recommended by your flooring manufacturer. Avoid using excessive water, steam mops, or harsh chemicals, as these can damage the wood’s finish and structure.

Monthly deep cleaning

Every month, perform a deep clean to remove any stubborn dirt or grime that regular mopping may have missed. Use a microfiber cloth or mop to apply a hardwood floor cleaner, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Pay special attention to corners and edges where dirt can accumulate. After cleaning, wipe the floor with a dry cloth to remove any excess moisture.

Preventative measures

Taking preventative measures can significantly extend the life of your hardwood floors.

Control indoor humidity

Wood is sensitive to changes in humidity, which can cause it to expand or contract. Maintain indoor humidity levels between 30% and 50% using a humidifier or dehumidifier, depending on the season. This helps prevent gaps, warping, and buckling in your hardwood floors.

Avoid direct sunlight

Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause hardwood floors to fade and discolor. Use curtains, blinds, or UV-protective window films to shield your floors from sunlight. Rearrange furniture and rugs periodically to ensure even exposure and prevent uneven fading.

Clean spills immediately

Spills can cause stains and water damage if left unattended. Wipe up any spills immediately using a soft, dry cloth. For sticky or stubborn spills, use a damp cloth and a mild wood floor cleaner, then dry the area thoroughly to prevent moisture penetration.

Long-term maintenance

Long-term maintenance involves periodic inspections and refinishing to keep your hardwood floors looking their best.

Inspect for damage

Regularly inspect your hardwood floors for signs of damage, such as scratches, dents, or areas where the finish has worn off. Address minor issues promptly to prevent them from becoming larger problems. Use wood filler to repair small dents and scratches, and apply touch-up markers to restore the color.

Refinish when necessary

Over time, even well-maintained hardwood floors may show signs of wear and tear. Refinishing your floors can restore their original beauty and protect the wood. Depending on the level of foot traffic and wear, hardwood floors typically need refinishing every 7 to 10 years. Hire a professional to sand and refinish your floors, or follow the manufacturer’s guidelines if you choose to do it yourself.


Maintaining hardwood floors requires consistent care and attention, but the results are well worth the effort. By incorporating daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning routines, along with preventative measures and periodic refinishing, you can preserve the beauty and durability of your hardwood floors for years to come.

For more expert advice and high-quality hardwood flooring products, visit Floor & Home Inc. in Westwood, NJ, or Park Ridge, NJ. Our knowledgeable team is ready to help you with all your flooring needs. Explore our website for more information and to browse our extensive collection of hardwood flooring options.