The following steps are a general guide:
- Step 1: Protect – Use floor mats at all exterior entryways. Dirt particles can scratch into your wood’s finish. When entering from outside wipe your feet on entry mats and shake the mats out frequently. Use mats in front of sinks or other potential wet areas to absorb spills. Beware of non-ventilated rubber-backed rugs – they can damage wood floors over time. Use window treatments to guard against the fading effects of sunlight. Use protective pads under furniture legs. Keep pet’s nails trimmed.
- Step 2: Clean – Sweep the floor regularly with a high quality broom and/or a vacuum without a beater bar. Mop with a no-wax floor cleaner, but don’t wet-mop! Clean sticky spots with a damp towel or sponge, and dry up spills immediately.
- Step 3: Screen and recoat – If your wood’s finish gets worn over time you may want to consider having the floor screened and recoated. Screening grinds down a wood’s polyurethane finish. Recoating with new urethane can make your floor look like new again.
- Step 4: Sand and refinish – If damage is too widespread to replace certain boards or too severe for screening and recoating, sanding and refinishing may be your only option. If you maintain your floors regularly it should be 20 years or more before this becomes necessary, if ever.