It’s no secret that hardwood floors add depth, character, dimension and beauty to your home, as well as value, durability and insulation. But whether it’s from having children, pets, and dinner parties or just in the course of living your day-to-day life, you are inevitably going to see some wear and tear to your beloved hardwood floor. Despite these unavoidable markings, there is no reason that the attractiveness or reliability of your hardwood floor should suffer. By simply knowing a little hardwood flooring first aid tricks, you can continue to enjoy the good looks and stability of your wood floor in the future for years and years to come.
Wood flooring first aid depends on the type of finishing used on your hardwood floor. For the purposes if this post, we’ll divide the finishing options in to two categories: first, wax or penetrating stains and second, surface finishes such as polyurethane. It is important to note that when removing any type of stain form your wood floor, always begin cleaning at the outer edge of the stain and work your way in to the middle. If known and when possible, be sure to use the manufacturer’s cleaning, refinishing and repairing products. Also, when in any doubt, it is best to consult a professional because it is better to pay a small cost upfront to have the job done properly than to pay larger sums to fix a job done poorly or simply live with substandard workmanship.
One of the most frequent problems seen with hardwood flooring is the issue of scratches. Even when we feel we’re being careful, you may be surprised what benign everyday occurrences may leave behind on your hardwood floor. And that is not to mention the impact of kids, pets and houseguests. In the event of scratching, if you have wax or penetrating stain finished flooring, simply wax the affected area by using a clean and soft cloth. For poly or surface stained flooring, use one of the wood repair touch-up kits made from urethane finishes that are available from any wood floor retailer.
Another common problem is that of food stains. With a wax finish, gently rub the stain with a damp cloth, then rub dry and wax to complete the process. If you have a polyurethane finish, use a specialty cleaner made specifically for urethane finishes and for especially stubborn or hard-to-clean areas, scrub using cleaner and a specialty scrub pad for urethane flooring.
Water stains are another frequently seen stain on hardwood flooring. For wax, rub the spot with #000 steel wool and wax. In the event that this is inadequate, then sand lightly with fine sandpaper then use #00 steel wool and mineral spirits, and allow the floor to dry, and then stain, wax and hand buff. If you have a polyurethane finish, use a specialty cleaner made specifically for urethane finishes and for especially stubborn or hard-to-clean areas, scrub using cleaner and a specialty scrub pad for urethane flooring.
For heel scuffs in a wax finished floor, rub in a small amount of wax with steel wool and hand buff to a shine. Again, if you have a polyurethane finish, use a specialty cleaner made specifically for urethane finishes and, for especially stubborn or hard-to-clean areas, scrub using cleaner and a specialty scrub pad for urethane flooring.
In the event of mold and mildew on your wood floors, for wax finishes use a soft clean cloth with a wood cleaner. Again with poly finishes, use a specialty cleaner made specifically for urethane finishes, and for especially stubborn or hard-to-clean areas, scrub using cleaner and a specialty scrub pad for urethane flooring.
For chewing gum, crayon or candlewax stains on either style finish, apply a plastic bag filled with ice until the deposit is brittle enough to crumble off. Clean and hand buff the area. Should you experience oil or grease stains on a wax finish, first thing to do is rub the area with kitchen soap containing a high lye content or saturate cotton with hydrogen peroxide and place over the stain. Then saturate a second layer of cotton with ammonia and place it over the first layer, Repeat until the stain is removed, then let the area dry and hand buff.
For ink stains on a wax finish, first rub the spot with #000 steel wool and wax. If this isn’t enough, then lightly sand with fine sandpaper and clean the area using #00 steel wool and mineral spirits or a wood floor cleaner. Allow the floor to dry, then stain, wax, and hand buff. If the spot remains, apply a household bleach or vinegar and allow it to soak for an hour. Rinse with a damp cloth, wipe dry and smooth with fine sandpaper. Finally, stain, wax and hand buff.
So hopefully this brief rundown of common occurrence stains will help equip you with the information you need to provide first aid to your flooring. As always, the experts at Topmark Floor & Design are here to help you with any and all of your flooring needs. Feel free to contact us anytime!