Excessive amounts of water and wood don’t mix. Wood is a natural material that swells when it absorbs water and shrinks when it dries out. Even though some finishes are resistant to water, there are seams where boards are put together. Wipe up liquid spills before they soak down into these seams and your floor will remain unmarked, smooth, and level. Only use cleaners made by the manufacturer of your wood or laminate floor. Never use a damp mop to clean a hardwood floor.
Avoid furniture glides and spike heels. Those round-headed domes on the bottom of furniture legs make heavy furniture easy to slide around. But glides can tear up any floor while sliding, or dent the floor permanently under a stationary leg. All the furniture’s weight is concentrated on a tiny point, sometimes as much as 500 pounds on a 1/16-inch circle.
Narrow ball rollers and spike heels are just as bad. They strike a wood floor with more force per square inch than an elephant’s foot. Spread the weight. Use wide, flat, smooth plastic caps or rollers instead. You won’t dent or gouge your floor if you use the proper leg rests. Put a piece of carpet or fabric under furniture to move it. Grit is one of the biggest dangers to your floor. Tracked-in dirt is like sandpaper on a hardwood floor. Use a walk-off mat or rug at every outdoor entrance to catch the grit. Be sure to vacuum or shake it out regularly.
Hardwood Cleaning do’s and don’ts.
- All floors with a urethane finish should never be waxed and require cleaners that won’t leave a film or residue.
- A hardwood floor cleaner is useful in removing occasional scuffs or heel marks. Merely spray some cleaner on a cloth and lightly rub the stained area. Sticky spots can be cleaned with a damp towel or sponge.
- Do not use ammonia cleaners or oil soaps on a wood floor, as they will dull the finish and performance of your floor. These products will also affect the ability to recoat your floor later.
- Since wood naturally expands when it is wet, never wet mop or use excessive water to clean your floor. Large amounts of water can cause the wood to swell and may cause your floor to crack or splinter.
- Being a natural product, hardwood will expand and contract due to moisture level changes. Minimize water exposure to hardwood floors and clean up spills as soon as they happen.
- Mats (heavy bristle) at all entrances help keep dirt and moisture from being tracked in.
- Area/throw rugs are recommended in high traffic and spill prone areas (i.e. under sink in kitchen). Rugs should be slip-resistant with a backing that will not discolor the floor. (Rubber, foam backed or plastic are not recommended.)
- Proper floor protectors under furniture will help reduce the risk of indentation by distributing weight. For furniture that will be moved often, protectors made of carpet or felt are recommended to help prevent scrapes and scratches.
- Stiletto or spike heel shoes, especially those in poor repair, will cause denting and damage to your floor. Loads in excess of 2,000 pounds per square inch can be produced by such footwear even when worn by a slight person. Manufacturer will not accept claims for damage from such exposure.
- Vacuum regularly (low height setting without beater bar). This is the best way to remove dust and dirt before it gets walked into the surface of the wood.
- Sweep and/or dust mop (as necessary).
- Wipe up spills promptly. Slightly damp (not dripping) cloth is acceptable.
- Cleaners only. For other floor care information, refer to your manufacturers’ floor care guide. The type of finish on your new floor will dictate the type of floor care and products required.
Hardwood Care products are available at all Coles locations. These products are made for hardwood floors to restore the original luster of your wood. Use the restoration product designed for your particular floor.
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