Because not everyone has a Cinderella


Now that you have a brand spankin' new floor, the anxiety slowwwwly creeps in. How in the world do I take care of this? There is a lot of information, so please bear with me. I will attempt to keep you somewhat entertained as I guide you through this important topic. As always please leave any questions on our Facebook page.

Any floor covering is an important investment in your home. Here are a few essential tips that will help your new floor last longer.

? Sweep or vacuum regularly to rid your floor of dust and eliminate abrasives that can scratch the floor finish.
? Quickly wipe spills from the floor to protect wood from excess liquid.
? Regularly swept or vacuumed floors will almost eliminate any need to "clean" the floor with a cleaning product. But when a cleaning product is needed, we suggest only using a "hardwood specific, non-oil based cleaner." Cleaning products should be sprayed on to the sponge mop or hand towel, never on to the floor itself.
? Use mats outside and inside entrances to prevent sand and abrasive build-up on your hardwood floor. Avoid synthetic rubber or other dense mat backings that prevent airflow beneath rugs and retain abrasives and humidity.
? Use mats near sink, dishwasher and workstations to protect floor from cooking utensils, water spills, detergents, oils and other kitchen mishaps.
? Apply felt pads under any furniture or chair legs to ease movement and prevent scratches on the wood floor. Keep pads clean at all times and regularly check for signs of wear.
? Opt for large, soft polyurethane or rubber casters rather than narrow, rigid plastic ones.
? Protect your hardwood floor when moving heavy objects. Place on a reversed mat and slide smoothly over floor.
? Be careful with pointed objects such as spiked-heeled and sport shoes that may damage the finish of your wood floor, especially if they are worn or damaged.
? Maintain relative humidity level around 45% for your good health, your wood floor and furnishings. Wood is a natural material that reacts to relative humidity variations when moisture is absorbed or released.
? The floor needs to be protected from sunlight and intense artificial lighting to reduce discoloration of exposed wood. This phenomenon with wood surfaces is normal and natural, and varies according to species.
? Occasionally move furniture and carpets around and reduce intense light sources to minimize color contrasts.


Things to avoid:

? Never pour cleaner or any other liquid directly onto floor surface.
? Do not use a wet mop that leaves excess water on your hardwood floor.
? Do not use wax, oil-based detergents or other household cleaning agents on your floors, since these products may dull or damage the floor finish, leave a greasy film that makes floors slippery, and make maintenance of your hardwood floor more difficult.
? Do not use a steam cleaner/sweeper on your hardwood flooring.

Now by way of disclaimer, these are just some general maintenance tips. You should always check with the manufacturer for their maintenance guidelines. For some, how you maintain your floor will dictate whether they honor their finish warranty or not.

Types of Finishes
Let's talk about the different types of finishes because they each have their own unique personalities.
First is your every day run of the mill polyurethane. It doesn't matter if it's UV ceramic, aluminum oxide, or a combination, the maintenance guidelines listed above are totally applicable. The only difference would be the process of recoating. What in the world is recoating suddenly just popped into your head, right? Simply put, it is the process of applying an additional coat of polyurethane. "But I have a 50-year warranty on the finish" is probably the next thing that popped into your head. This is true, however, there is not a manufacturer out there that will warranty against scratching. Once the finish gets scratched, depending on how deep it is, dirt and moisture tend to get ground into those spots and can make your floor look unsightly over time.The recoating process fills in all of the scratches sealing the precious wood from whatever abuse you and your family dish out. The scratches may still be visible, but they will be sealed and your floor protected. "How often should I recoat my floor?" Great question. I recommend every three to five years, but it really depends on how active your family is. I recommend that you at least have your flooring professional look at your floor after three years to evaluate the condition and make an informed decision at that point. And now, another disclaimer. Depending on the brand of flooring you have installed, recoating may void the finish warranty. The structural warranty should not be affected but most manufacturers will not honor their finish warranty after recoating. So the decision is yours.

The next type of finish is a natural oil finish. Natural oil finishes have been around for decades, but due to their soft, subtle sheen, they have made a resurgence in the flooring industry. "What is the difference between a polyurethane a natural oil?" Another great question. Polyurethane is a film finish that may penetrate the surface to some degree but primarily sits on top guessed it a film. Essentially it's like putting huge sheets of really durable Saran wrap on your floor. Natural oils, on the other hand, penetrate into the fibers protecting the floor from the inside out. Picture the wood fibers as a series of straws running through the wood. The natural oil fills those straws and forms a barrier to keep dirt and moisture out. Natural oiled floors do require more frequent maintenance. Most recommend every 1 ? 2 years to re-oil the floor depending on the activity level of your household. That might seem like a lot, but the beauty of oil is in the ability to repair or touch-up minor damage and scratches. In addition, the floor can be oiled without moving all of the furniture as is the case with a polyurethane. The care of a natural oil floor is really going to be dependant upon the type of oil used in the finishing process. Each has its own soaps, cleaners, and oils. So please check with the manufacturer for details.

The last finish we will talk about is a UV Oil. The UV Oil is what I like to call a hybrid between the polyurethane and the oil finish. In order for the UV lamp to cure the oil, polyurethane-like resins must be added to the oil. So what does that mean for maintenance? In short, it will clean like a polyurethane but will still require re-oiling. It is also will touch-up like an oil but will be more like a polyurethane when it comes to durability.

I cannot emphasize enough to check with the manufacturer of your floor for their maintenance guidelines. If you need assistance please contact me at

Happy Spring Cleaning!