Everyone has a different view on how much respect their floors deserve, but there’s no debating that they are one of the most used surfaces in any house.
Enter some homes, and the floors are not a concern. Feel free to walk on them, keep your shoes on and not give them another thought. Other homes come with a strict “shoes off” policy, making sure the carpets, floorboards or tiles are kept in pristine condition.
No matter which camp you fall into, there are certainly some steps you can take to make sure that your floors last the distance.
Don’t forget to clean them
This one probably goes without saying, but not cleaning your floors on a regular basis can cause damage over time.
Dirt and dust can gather and scratch the floor without you even noticing. If you don’t sweep on a regular basis, it can slowly damage your hardwood floors. If you want to ruin your floors, don’t sweep them. It’s that simple.
Nails get stuck on carpet; they scratch hardwood floors and even tiles. Besides the potential damage, the sound of dog claws on the floor is enough to drive some people batty.
Clean up spills quickly
Spilt juice on the way out the front door? It may be easier to leave it than be late, but leaving stains on the floor is a big no-no.
If your pet, you or your kids have an accident on the floor and you leave it for too long, it will ruin the floor. You’re in danger of finding patches on carpets that will always smell not-quite-right, tile grout that becomes discoloured and wood floors with long-lasting damage.
When it comes time to wet-clean your floor work on small areas at a time and use only a damp mop.
Don’t ditch the front mat
Waking straight onto your floors without passing by a welcome mat is basically wishing your floors would ruin.
A mat is the buffer between the outdoors and inside where you can wipe off any dirt and grit that’s collected on your shoes.
If you step directly from outside onto either hardwood or, god forbid, carpet, you’ll leave dirt, grit and create scratches.
Leave the high heels at the door
Wearing high heels is a great way to ruin hardwood floors.
Because heels tend to be pointier and the body’s weight isn’t evenly distributed, they leave dents in the floor.
This is particularly true for stiletto heels. Do your floors a favour and leave the heels at the door. Place a comfy pair of slippers near the door if you need a reminder.
Give furniture pads a go
Not everyone uses them, but everyone should. Especially on items such as chairs where they are constantly moving along the floor, furniture pads are non-negotiable.
Any time you sit down on a sofa or a chair that’s right on top of hardwood floors, the piece will shift ever so slightly, and the legs will mark the floor.
When it’s done repeatedly, the marks will get worse and worse. That’s why furniture pads are so important.
Steer clear of chemicals
Liquid is the enemy of hardwood floors. Today, the high quality of the hardwood that is laid in homes is treated to handle certain amounts of liquid, but you should not drench your floors with a liquid cleaner.
When it comes time to wet-clean your floors, which should be about every four to six weeks depending on foot traffic, work on small areas at a time and only use a damp mop.