Home Improvement

How to Care For Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood Flooring Helena MT increases a home’s value and are a beautiful choice for any room. They are also hypoallergenic and easy to clean, making them an excellent option for allergy sufferers.

Hardwood Floors

Ecologically, hardwood floors reduce environmental toxins by eliminating dust mites and chemical adhesives. This can make a significant difference for people with allergies or asthma.

Hardwood floors are one of the most durable flooring options available. They are not only highly resistant to everyday wear and tear, but can also stand up to scratches, dents, and stains. Durability is primarily determined by the type of wood used, its hardness and the finish applied to the surface.

Wood’s hardness is measured by the Janka scale, which gives each species a rating based on how much force it takes to embed a steel ball halfway into the hardwood. The higher the Janka score, the more durable and resistant to dents and scratches it is.

Solid woods, like oak, maple and hickory, have the highest Janka ratings of any hardwood flooring. They are ideal for high traffic areas and homes with children and pets as they will withstand wear and tear more easily. They tend to have a more rugged grain pattern that will hide scuffs and scratches better than softwoods, like southern yellow pine.

If you’re looking for a more sustainable option that still offers great durability, consider a hybrid wood floor, like bamboo. This versatile and beautiful floor comes in a wide range of finishes, including carbonized, uncarbonized, vertical, horizontal and strand-woven. With a hardness rating of 3000 on the Janka scale, bamboo is an extremely durable wood flooring option.

Both engineered and solid hardwood can be refinished multiple times, which helps to extend the life of your flooring. To keep your hardwood floors in top shape, sweep them regularly to remove dirt and dust that can cause scratches. Clean up spills and pet accidents immediately to minimize moisture exposure that can damage the surface. Use rugs or mats in high-traffic areas to prevent soiling, and install UV-blocking window film to protect your hardwood floors from harsh sunlight that can fade them over time.


The beauty of wood flooring lies in the grain patterns, color variations, and textures of the wood species itself. These natural elements create a canvas for your personal style, and hardwood floors can seamlessly integrate with traditional or contemporary design aesthetics.

Depending on your desired look, you can choose between four levels of sheen: glossy, semi-gloss, satin, or matte. Glossy floors have a high shine that reflects light and highlights any knots or imperfections in the wood. This style works best in a bright, sunny space with minimal furniture. A satin finish offers a subtle sheen that hides small dents and dings. A matte finish is durable and low luster, but may show scuff marks more readily.

Hardwood floors can be stained or colored in a wide variety of colors and tones, offering endless options for customization. You can also add texture to the surface of the hardwood, for example by brushing it or making it rough to replicate reclaimed rustic planks. This can enhance your floor’s natural appearance or provide a more dramatic aesthetic to your space.

The hardwood’s grain pattern hides dings and scratches well, and the wood is easy to sand down when necessary. The material can also be refinished to restore its original luster. Many homeowners choose hardwood for its timeless beauty and ability to adapt to various design styles. Oak is a favorite for its durability and color range, while maple offers a similar aesthetic at a more budget-friendly price.

Easy to Clean

While dirt and scuff marks are inevitable in any home, sweeping regularly and mopping hardwood floors with a wood cleaner (like Pledge Gentle Wood Floor Cleaner or Zep Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner) can help prevent damage to your flooring. Choose a mop head made of microfiber to trap dirt and dust better than cotton or sponge mops. Keeping an eye out for red flags like dullness or dryness can also keep your flooring healthy and looking its best.

If you notice a sticky residue, use a slightly water-dampened microfiber mop to wipe the surface, and rinse the area with clean water. Vinegar can also work to remove sticky residue, but you should be careful not to overdo it as this could prematurely dull your floors. If you aren’t able to remove the residue from your hardwood floors, try sanding the area with fine-grit sandpaper or using a wood floor touch-up kit. You can also add a layer of solvent-based floor wax to your regular cleaning routine to keep your flooring looking glossy and new.

Scratches on wood floors aren’t just unsightly, they can damage your flooring and can lead to stains. To avoid scratches, sweep and vacuum regularly to minimize the amount of dirt that’s tracked into high-traffic areas. You can also add a layer of protection to your wood floor by adding doormats and indoor/outdoor rugs.

If you do see any scuffs, a stain marker from a wood furniture touch-up kit can be used to cover them up, and a wax stick will help with deeper scuffs. If your flooring is severely scratched or stained, sanding and re-staining may be necessary, which requires professional attention.

Resale Value

Hardwood floors are a great choice for home owners looking to increase the value of their property. According to real estate experts, new wood flooring can add up to 2.5% to the sale price of a home. However, it is important to remember that the type of hardwood floors and the quality of installation can also impact resale value.

Solid hardwood is a natural material that exudes charm and beauty. Its unique design makes it a classic flooring option that will appeal to most buyers, especially if it is refinished regularly. Engineered wood flooring, on the other hand, is made of multiple layers of compressed timber. While it is less expensive, it may not offer the same level of durability as traditional solid hardwood.

Choosing the right flooring can be tricky. Changing styles and colors from room to room can confuse potential homebuyers. Instead, try to keep a consistent style throughout the house to create a more cohesive and appealing space. This will make it easier for buyers to visualize how the spaces could be used and help them see the potential of a home.

While there are many home renovation projects that can improve a property’s resale value, some are more effective than others. Hardwood floors are an excellent choice for resale because they are durable and timeless. While the initial investment might be higher than other types of flooring, the return on investment is significantly greater. Additionally, if your hardwood floors are properly maintained and refinished before you sell, they can last for generations. However, if the hardwood is scuffed or damaged, it can decrease your property’s resale value. To avoid this, be sure to hire a professional for the installation of your hardwood floors.


Wood flooring is extremely durable, but it requires routine cleaning and care to maintain its beauty. Scratches and scuffs can occur, especially in high-traffic areas. Some are simply a part of everyday life and cannot be prevented, but you can take steps to reduce the damage such as using furniture pads on chair legs to ease movement and prevent scratching and using stick-on felt protectors under the feet of tables to further limit surface abrasion. If you have pets, keep nails trimmed regularly to avoid harsh scratches. Door mats at entrances and rugs in high traffic areas can help to catch dirt before it enters the home, and rugs help to reduce impact of heeled shoes (which can dent wood floors).

Regular dusting with a vacuum or broom is recommended to prevent a buildup of dirt and grime that can scratch the floor. You should use the appropriate cleaners recommended by your hardwood flooring manufacturer to ensure that your particular finish is not damaged.

Over time, all finishes will begin to fade and become dull, requiring the floor to be reapplied to restore its luster and water resistance. Most manufacturers recommend reapplying the finish about twice per year, but you should consult your warranty to determine the best schedule for your specific hardwood floor.

It is also important to minimize the amount of moisture in the environment in which your hardwood floors are located. This can be achieved by using a dehumidifier during the winter/dry months and a humidifier during the summer/humid months to reduce moisture and prevent warping and contraction of the wood.