Without proper care, your hardwood flooring will look faded and worn over time. Fortunately, we’re here to offer our tips on how to protect engineered and real wood flooring so it looks beautiful for years to come. Residential flooring contractors make sure that they installed it properly to last long.

However, your home came with those beautiful hardwood floors or you gave it an upgrade by having them installed yourself, protecting and maintaining them is vital to a long and beautiful life. This does not need to be difficult, especially if you establish a routine that can help keep them looking their best year after year.  

Protecting Hardwood Flooring

Clean Spills Immediately

Hardwood flooring isn’t waterproof like vinyl or tile, which is why you’ll need to clean up spills immediately. Gently blot the spill from the surface of your wood flooring and wipe clean with a fresh towel. If you plan on installing hardwood flooring in your living room, we recommend placing mats near the front door to catch dirt and moisture.

Move Furniture to Avoid Faded Color

UV rays can fade the color of your wood flooring over time. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your hardwood flooring from looking too faded. For example, if you get a lot of natural light in a room, you may want to install awnings over your windows.

A certain amount of sun exposure is unavoidable, which is why we recommend rearranging furniture ever so often so the floor is faded evenly. Otherwise, you’ll notice a clear outline of your couch when you decide to rearrange furniture 5 years from now.

Reduce High Humidity

Since hardwood is a natural material, it expands and contracts with humidity. When the humidity is at its highest (typically in the summer), you may notice wood boards cupping. Cupping is what happens when the wood fibers absorb the water vapor in the air. The wood boards don’t have anywhere to go as they expand, which is why you might notice the edges of the boards being higher than the middle.

The best way to protect your real wood flooring from humidity is to rely on your heating and cooling system. Your air conditioner doesn’t just keep your home cool, it also lowers humidity the longer it runs.

Avoid Low Humidity

Low humidity draws out the moisture from your hardwood flooring so it contracts over time, resulting in gaps between boards. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to monitor the humidity in your home with a hygrometer. Some thermostats even show humidity. We recommend keeping the humidity in your home between 35% and 55% year-round. Your solid hardwood flooring will thank you.

Hire Reputable Contractors

You don’t live in a haunted house, so why do your hardwood floors squeak and creak? The answer could have to do with the way your hardwood flooring was installed. Sometimes, contractors will use a thin particle board for the subfloor or space the floor joists too far apart.

Every flooring option has its pros and cons. While we just spent an entire blog post talking about how to protect hardwood flooring, don’t let this deter you from installing this beautiful material in your home. Many of the homeowners we work with love the natural aesthetic of hardwood. Hardwood flooring is also great for connecting rooms in an open floor plan while adding value to your home.