How to Maintain Hardwood Floors

How to Maintain Hardwood Floors


Hardwood floors are a popular choice for homeowners due to their durability, timeless appeal, and the warmth they bring to any space. However, maintaining the beauty of hardwood floors requires specific care to ensure they last a lifetime. Proper maintenance not only keeps your floors looking their best but also protects your investment. This guide will provide essential tips on how to maintain hardwood floors effectively.

Maintaining Your Hardwood Floors

Regular Cleaning Techniques

Sweeping and Dust Mopping

Regular sweeping or dust mopping is crucial to remove dirt and grit that can scratch the wood's surface. Use a soft-bristled broom or a microfiber mop to gently clean the floors. Avoid using vacuums with beater bars or hard heads, which can damage the wood.

Mopping with Care

When mopping your hardwood floors, use a damp mop with a mild, pH-neutral soap. Do not overwet the floor or use steam mops, as excessive moisture can cause the wood to swell, warp, or develop mold.

Preventing Damage

Utilize Floor Mats and Rugs

Place mats at exterior doors to trap dirt and moisture from shoes. Use area rugs in high-traffic areas to minimize wear. Ensure the rugs are made of breathable materials to prevent moisture entrapment.

Furniture Pads

To prevent scratches, place felt pads under the legs of furniture. Be careful when moving heavy items across the floor; always lift rather than drag them.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can fade and discolor hardwood floors. Use curtains, blinds, or UV-resistant window films to protect your floors from sun damage.

Dealing with Spills and Stains

Immediate Cleanup

Spills should be wiped up immediately with a soft, damp cloth to prevent water marks or stains. For sticky or oily spills, a little pH-neutral soap mixed with water can be used sparingly.

Tackling Tough Stains

For tougher stains like wine or pet accidents, use a manufacturer-recommended hardwood floor cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbing tools, which can damage the finish.

Periodic Maintenance

Polishing and Re-coating

Polishing hardwood floors can renew and refresh their appearance. This should be done every few months, depending on the traffic levels. Consider a professional re-coating every 3-5 years to restore the protective finish.

Sanding and Refinishing

For deep scratches or significant wear, sanding and refinishing may be necessary. This process removes the old finish and a layer of the wood, allowing for a fresh finish to be applied. This is typically required every 10-20 years.


Maintaining hardwood floors is not just about keeping them clean; it involves protecting them from damage and appropriately addressing wear and tear. By following these simple yet effective tips, you can ensure your hardwood floors remain a beautiful and valuable part of your home for many years to come.

If you're looking for more detailed advice or specific products to help maintain your hardwood floors, visit FLOORMAX. Our experts at our locations in Laurel, Germantown, Silver Spring, and Elkridge, MD, are always ready to assist you with top-notch solutions and guidance tailored to your flooring needs.