Why Hardwood Floors Can Be A High-Maintenance Nightmare

Sometimes it feels like there is no other acceptable choice than hardwood flooring in your home. Linoleum, carpet, and tile have been cast out and are removed from homes without hesitation. Watch any renovation project, and you'll hear the shriek of excitement when they uncover old hardwood floors. How can a flooring material get so much love across the board? Hardwood floors add warmth and typically vary from plank to plank, which can certainly feel cozy. And they complement most wall colors, so they feel like a safe bet, unlike patterned tiles. Similarly, carpet has earned a reputation for becoming outdated quickly, not to mention a bit of a bacteria magnet. 

Though all of this can make hardwood seem like the only acceptable option for your home, there are some major downsides when it comes to maintaining its beauty and durability. Before you know it, taking care of wooden floors can feel like a full-time job.

They scratch easily

Despite the name hardwood, this flooring material is actually quite susceptible to damage. Even an uncovered dining chair leg can cause that horrific groan from wood being scratched. While kitchens and living rooms are some of the most common areas you see hardwood floors, this is a mistake because they are also the spots that have the most foot traffic. The more activity and wear your floors are subjected to, the more likely they are to scratch, even with a protective finishing coat. 

A bounding dog excited to see you at the end of the work day, a little one dragging a toy off of the area rug, or a slight couch readjustment can all result in badly scratched and dinged hardwood floors. So if you occasionally move furniture around or have a pet or child, hardwood floors are likely not the right choice for your household. 

Even mopping isn't simple

If you've accepted that sweeping and cleaning more regularly will just be the reality of hardwood floors, consider that even basic maintenance like mopping can create issues for your hardwood floors. Yes, that standard bottle of floor cleaner you have under the sink can actually harm the hardwood rather than help it. You'll need a mopping product specifically designed for hardwood and one that's compatible with your protective coating. If that doesn't seem like too much, we also have to add that even water itself can hurt your hardwood floors. Excess water from mopping can damage the floor and subfloor, which can make for astronomically expensive repairs. 

If your floors begin to look dull over time, you may think to yourself to pick up a bottle of floor wax or polish. But again, these will only hurt the hardwood, causing buildup and leaving behind a scummy residue.