How to Care for Oak Floors

Oak floors provide homes with natural beauty and need to be properly maintained to prolong their lifespan. Fortunately, oak floors are easy to care for and only require minimal maintenance.

A first step in preserving the look of your oak floors is prevention. It is important to avoid walking on your floors in spiked heels, or shoes that have heel taps or sharp objects protruding from their soles. If you have pets, you should be sure to keep their nails trimmed to avoid floor damage. In addition, to minimize the amount of dirt and moisture your floor is exposed to, it is a good idea to place both interior and exterior doormats at all entrances. Use furniture protectors under all table and chair legs to avoid scratches. It is also important to replace hard, narrow furniture rollers with wide rubber rollers.

An additional measure you can employ to keep your floors looking fresh is to place an area rug in frequently trafficked spots such as in front of the kitchen sink. To protect your oak floors from fading caused by overexposure to direct sunlight, it is a wise idea to use curtains and UV-resistant film on large glass doors and windows.

Despite your best efforts to keep your oak floors untarnished, it is only natural that minor damage will occur. All spills and dirt should be wiped up immediately. If spot cleaning is required, it is recommended that you use a cleaner specifically designed for a hardwood floor with your particular finish. Do not use the following products on oak floors: ammonia-based cleaners, acrylic finishes, wax-based products, detergents, bleach, polishes, oil soap, abrasive cleaning soaps, or acidic materials such as vinegar.

Aside from spot cleaning your oak floors as necessary, it is also suggested that you vacuum, sweep, or dust mop weekly. It is crucial to never clean or wet mop your floors with water, as that may result in permanent damage. When vacuuming, check to ensure that your vacuum head is brush or felt. If possible, a wand attachment is the preferred choice. Vacuums with beater bars or hard heads should not be used as they may also damage your floors. Hardwood floor swivel-head mops with microfiber covers are good cleaning tools as they eliminate fine particles of grit or dirt that may be missed by a vacuum or broom.

To remove stains caused by food, grease, lipstick, crayons, etc. it is recommended to use a cleaner specifically intended for hardwood floors. When doing so, always follow the manufacturer’s direction precisely. To remove gum or candle wax from an oak floor, apply a sealed bag of ice until the debris is brittle enough to crumble off. To correct minor scratches and abrasions, use a repair kit designed for hardwood floors. A touch-up pen or fill stick can be utilized to mend chips, broken edges, and gaps. For deep scratches and gouges, it may be necessary to replace the individual board.

Related Information

Where to Buy Oak Floors

The Benefits of Oak Flooring

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