*Taking Care of Wood Flooring

October 24, 2010

One of the best assets any home can have are beautiful, well-maintained wood flooring.  Although hardwood flooring is sturdy and will last for years, it can be easily scratched or may stain if not taken cared of well.

When cleaning wood floors, it is important to use a quality cleaner: it will not damage the finish or coating on the wood, yet strong enough to remove dirt and stains.  Over time, polyurethane coating or finish can fade or become discolored.  The coating will also be stripped in different areas which will make grime and dirt become ground in the wood thus, harder to clean.  After a few years, the coating will need to be totally stripped and replaced.

To find out if it is time to strip your hardwood floor, test an inconspicuous area with water.  If the water beads up, the varnish or coating is still there.  But if the water soaks into the wood, the coating is gone.  Before these can be re-varnished, the top coat will have to be buffed and stripped with a commercial wood floor cleaner.  If there are stains on the wood that can no longer be removed, these will need to be sanded.  Once the area has been stripped clean, it can then be coated once again.

Remember: there is no need to place more than 2 layers of coat on the wood floor.  A thicker finish can change the color shade of the floor.  A thicker coating will not make your floor harder either.  Hardness and density depend on the type of wood.

The objective of a polyurethane coating is to protect your hardwood floors from stains, dirt, and moisture.  The coating is meant to take the abuse on the floor instead of the bare wood until it is time to recoat.  Maintaining the coating by stripping and replacing every 5 or 7 years will make your hardwood floor last for decades to come.

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