Maintaining Vintage Hardwood Floors

With the proper maintenance, vintage hardwood floors, also known as antique or reclaimed floors, can be the most beautiful fixture in your house. Vintage hardwoods sometimes come from old-growth lumber, which make them an irreplaceable treasure. So proper maintenance is key.

All hardwood floors are popular for their beauty, durability, and ease of maintenance. Here are a few things to remember when maintaining vintage hardwood floors.

Sweep and vacuum often.
Dirt and grit will scratch floors very quickly. And dust allowed to settle into the cracks and crevices of your vintage hardwood floors will quickly dull the finish. Sweep daily, if necessary, with a soft-bristle broom. And vacuum every few days with a soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Never use a vacuum with a beater brush as that may damage the finish on your floor.

Clean frequently and properly.
Weekly cleaning with the right kind of cleaner for your particular floor is crucial. Never use soap and water. Never use oil soaps on urethane coated floors. And never wax a urethane-finished floor. There are different kinds of cleaners made specifically for every kind of floor finish, so follow the manufacturer's instructions and read the labels on every product to ensure compatibility.

Clean up spills as they happen.
Never let liquids or wet foods sit for long because they can stain your floor. Clean up spills as soon as they occur.

Keep water away.
Water is a wood floor's worst enemy. Not only will it stain wood, but prolonged exposure will warp and rot wood flooring over time. Clean up any water spills promptly. Keep potted plants in a non-porous glass or ceramic dish-even on a rubber mat-and avoid overflowing when watering. Also check periodically for any plumbing leaks or exterior drainage issues that might be allowing moisture build-up as this will destroy a wood floor very quickly.

Protect from scratches.
Wipe the bottom of your shoes thoroughly before walking on hardwood flooring. Or remove your shoes completely like they do in Japan. Trim your pet's nails often. And put pads under the legs of your furniture.

Decorate with area rugs.
Using area rugs and runners in high traffic areas as your décor will help minimize wear and tear.

Integrating the right habits into your daily routine will keep your floors shining like new for the life of your home.

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