8 Ways to Protect Your Wood Finish

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These days, more and more homeowners are opting for wood as their choice of flooring. It is not just functional, but it also adds that unique touch of elegance to your home. If you are worried about maintaining its beauty, need not worry! You will be delighted to know that there are ways that will help you protect your wood finish.

1. Clean and Sweep Regularly

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One of the simplest ways in which you can protect your wood finish is by sweeping and cleaning up regularly. This is because even the smallest particles such as dirt, dust, gravel, as well as other debris can easily dull, dent, and scratch your wood floors, especially if they are stepped on or dragged throughout the house. Also, if you notice some dirt, clean up immediately, and do not wait for your schedule for sweeping. Cleaning up fast as soon as possible, preferably using a soft cloth, will also lengthen the life of your wood finish. With this, you can also choose the type of cleaning equipment that you will use for cleaning.

2. Use Runners and Walk-off Mats

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Using runners and walk-off mats can also help in providing protection to your wood finish, particularly in areas where you expect high-traffic. These areas usually include entryways and hallways. The use of doormat is another amazing way to protect your wood finish, because it can double up as a catch-all spot in order to prevent dust, dirt as well as other fragments from easily invading your house. As a tip, however, it is recommended to use a rug pad, placing it underneath any runners or mats, especially those with rough or burlap backing. These also have the tendency to dull the overall finish.

3. Keep the Floor Dry

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Reality dictates that any type of wood finish can easily be damaged by liquid spills. Water spills are most common, especially if you have younger kids at home. Therefore, the very moment when you notice liquid getting on your floor, make sure to wipe it up right away in order to avoid spotting or warping. This is also caused by moisture which can warm boards, or crack the finishes. Keep in mind that Polyurethane floors are not really waterproof, as the wood finish on the sides and bottom are completely raw. Moisture easily seeps in between the gaps of the boards, thus warping the wood from beneath.

4. Choose the Right Cleaners

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It is highly recommended to be extremely cautious regarding the type of cleaners that you need to use on your wood finish. There are a lot of products which claim to be safe, but most of them contain harmful chemicals that can result to damage on the wood finish, especially when used repeatedly. These cleaners have the tendency to strip off the wood finish, dulling the shine of your hardwood.

For one, you can check the manufacturer of the product in order to make sure that the product is safe on your floor. If you are not familiar with wood finishes, you can also contact a professional in wood flooring in your locality in order to get advice and help on the type of cleaners that would be best for you. As a rule of thumb, avoid products that contain ammonia or vinegar, since they are highly acidic substances which can etch or dull your wood finish through time. Oil soaps may also result to build-up which can be challenging to remove.

5. Leave Your Footwear at the Door

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A lot of people do not know that the type of shoes that we wear inside the house can affect our wood finish. If you are used to wearing shoes inside your house, it is recommended to give attention to the type of shoes that you are wearing. High heels can result to damage on your floors, since the heels act like small hammers on wood.

In order to avoid this damage, it is better, therefore, to leave your footwear at the door, or prepare a shelf for your shoes outside, or nearby the entrance of your home. This is particularly applicable if you have kids who may be returning home from an active day of playing their favorite sports. By leaving your shoes outside, the chances of damaging the wood finish is reduced. At the same time, you are also controlling the entry of dirt and bacteria into your home.

6. Maintain a Regular Care Schedule

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Wood finish requires regular maintenance in order to maintain their luster, durability and shine. Aside from cleaning it properly and regularly, it is also recommended to plan on sanding lightly or recoating them with a layer of finish once every 5 or 7 years. When your wood finish is cared for appropriately, it can help your wooden floors last for generations, serving as a beautiful feature of your home. This is also important if you plan to sell your home, as buyers might look into the quality of your floors as well when negotiating for the value. Regular cleaning also requires making sure that you immediately get rid of any dirt or debris discovered on your floors.

7. Minimize use of water when cleaning the floor

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When cleaning your floor, it is usually not advisable to use a lot of water. Rather, you can use a slightly damp mop, especially when working on polyurethane wood floors. This is because excess water may seep down into the seams, running the wood finish, and even the wooden floor beneath the layer. If you cannot control the amount of water that goes into the mop, you can always use a spray on a microfiber mop or cleaner. However, if you need to clean up really sticky spots, you can also use a sponge or rag dampened with water, but make sure to dry them immediately using a paper towel.

8. Prevent Scratches from Pets

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If you have pets living with you at home, it would be best to make sure that their nails are clipped short and filed smoothly. This is because of the tendency that their claws damage your wood floors and finish, especially if they belong to a heavier or larger breed. For cats, you can opt to have them wear claw caps. This will not just protect your wood floor from scratches, but your furniture as well.

Another way to deal with scratches is by placing some felt pads under sofas, chairs, and tables. This will help in preventing scuffs and scratches which may occur when you use or move furniture. Some felt pads are available in tap-in or stick-on style, and are considered as a generally affordable way to protect your floors.


Planning to get a wood finish for your home? With the list presented above, you are guided with the best ways in which you can provide protection to your finish and make it last a long time.

Did you like the tips mentioned? Do you have any comments or further suggestions? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. Don’t hesitate to share this article if you liked it.

  • September 9, 2017
  • DIY