Are you considering using unfinished hardwood flooring in your project?
They’re incredibly affordable, gorgeous, and easy to care for. But the real question is, how do you care for them? What do you need to do to maintain these types of floors?
The basic rules of caring for any floor can be complicated at times, much less when you add more variables into the mix. Do you know how to care for unfinished hardwood flooring?
Here are the dos and don’ts of caring for unfinished floors.
The Do’s of Caring for Unfinished Hardwood Flooring
Caring for unfinished hardwood flooring is essential to maintain its natural beauty and durability. Here are the key do’s for caring this flooring:
This not only keeps the surface looking pristine, but it also helps prevent any potential damage from occurring. When cleaning, it is important to use a soft, damp cloth or mop and avoid using harsh chemicals that can strip the natural oils from the wood.
It is recommended to sweep or vacuum the floor care prior to mopping to remove any loose debris. For tougher stains, a gentle solution of water and vinegar can be used, but it is important to dry the area immediately afterward.
Place Mats and Rugs
One of the most crucial dos is to use placemats and rugs. These protective coverings help prevent scratches, dents, and stains caused by everyday wear and tear, any type of furniture, and spills. They also help distribute weight evenly, preventing uneven discoloration of the wood.
Make sure to use non-adhesive rug pads to avoid any damage to the finish. It is also recommended to use doormats at all entrances to prevent dirt and debris from being tracked onto the floors.
Maintain Relative Humidity
Maintaining the proper relative humidity is crucial when caring for unfinished hardwood flooring. It is recommended to keep the humidity level between 35% and 55%. If the humidity is too high, the wood can absorb excess moisture, causing it to expand and potentially lead to buckling or cupping.
On the other hand, if the humidity is too low, the wood can dry out and shrink, leading to gaps or cracks in the floor. To maintain the proper humidity level, it is important to use a humidifier in the winter and a dehumidifier in the summer. This will help protect the integrity and appearance of the unfinished hardwood flooring for years to come.
Use Recommended Cleaners
These cleaners are specifically designed for use on hardwood floors and will not damage or dull the surface. It is important to read the labels and follow the instructions for proper application and usage.
Using recommended cleaners will prevent any potential damage or staining to the types of flooring, as harsh chemicals or abrasive solutions can cause irreversible damage. By sticking to recommended cleaners, you can effectively maintain the natural beauty and durability of your floor maintenance.
Apply Protective Coatings
These coatings help to protect the wood from scratches, liquid spills, and other damage that can occur over time. It is important to choose the right type of coating for your specific flooring and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application.
Before applying the coating, make sure to thoroughly clean and prepare the surface to ensure the best adhesion. It is recommended to apply multiple coats for optimal protection. Regularly reapplying the protective coating will also help to maintain the beauty and quality of your unfinished hardwood flooring.
The Don’ts of Caring for Unfinished Hardwood Flooring
Avoiding certain practices is just as important as following the right ones when it comes to caring for unfinished hardwood flooring. Here are the key “don’ts” you should keep in mind:
Avoid Excessive Water
It is important to avoid excessive water. While it may be tempting to use a damp mop or a bucket of water to clean the floors, excessive water can cause serious damage to unfinished hardwood.
The water can seep into the wood and cause it to warp or buckle, ruining the appearance and integrity of the floors. Instead, opt for a dry or lightly dampened cloth to clean up spills and avoid using excessive water on unfinished hardwood flooring.
Neglect Regular Maintenance
Neglecting regular maintenance is one of the biggest don’ts when it comes to caring for unfinished hardwood flooring. Not only does it make the floor look unsightly and dull, but it can also lead to long-term damage and costly repairs.
Neglecting to sweep or vacuum regularly can allow dirt and debris to build up and scratch the surface of the flooring. It is important to follow a regular maintenance routine, including gentle cleaning and occasional refinishing, to keep your unfinished hardwood floors looking beautiful and well-preserved.
Don’t Use Oil-Based Soaps
These types of soaps can leave a sticky residue on the unfinished wood, making it difficult to properly seal and finish. The oils in these soaps can penetrate the wood grain, causing discoloration and potential damage.
Instead, opt for a neutral pH cleaner specifically designed for unfinished hardwood floors. This will protect the wood while also effectively cleaning any dirt and grime. Remember, when it comes to unfinished hardwood flooring, oil-based soaps are a definite don’t.
Don’t Drag Heavy Objects
While hardwood is known for its durability, it is still susceptible to scratches and damage from heavy items being dragged across it. This can also cause splintering or cracking of the wood, which can be difficult and costly to repair.
Instead, use furniture sliders or lift heavy objects to avoid damage. It’s also a good idea to place protective pads underneath furniture legs to prevent them from scratching the floors.
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Sealing the Deal: The Importance of Finishes for Unfinished Hardwood Flooring
Caring for unfinished hardwood flooring requires proper maintenance and avoidance of harmful practices. One can ensure the long-lasting beauty and durability of their flooring. Remember to regularly clean, avoid harsh chemicals, and be cautious of moisture.
Keep your unfinished hardwood flooring looking its best for years to come. Don’t ignore proper care, and invest in its longevity today!
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