The Big Mistake To Avoid Making When Taking Care Of Wood Floors

Who doesn't love the look of an immaculate wood floor in a home? In addition to its timeless appearance, a wood floor is also allergy-friendly and relatively low maintenance. So when a spill or scratch does happen, it can quickly become a source of anxiety. For a small scratch, you might first consider grabbing the sandpaper to buff it out quickly, but that would be a mistake. Using sandpaper on a finished wood floor surface can lead to a costlier problem than a mere scratch.

While sandpaper is used in the construction process, once installed, a wood floor should require no further sanding. Cleaning a mess or treating a spot with sandpaper may remove the initial blemish, but you're taking a big risk. Sandpaper is an abrasive material and can further damage wood grain. To avoid this cleaning mistake, opt for care methods that utilize oil and gentle scrubbing. Your beautiful floor will thank you.

How to care for and repair wood floors

Wood floors are beautiful, but they're not impervious to damage. A spot, scuff, or scratch in your wood flooring may tempt you to break out the sandpaper. It makes sense, in theory, because sandpaper is used to smooth wood. However, using sandpaper or any sanding instrument on a finished wood floor will remove the finish and expose the wood beneath. Because the finish acts as a sealant, sanding it away exposes the woodgrain to air and causes it to dry out. Dry wood is prone to splintering and cracking if left untreated. So a simple cleaning mistake could irreparably harm a beautiful wood floor.

Instead of using sandpaper on your finished wood floor, consider steel wool and DIY options. Gentle scrubbing with floor wax and steel wool or a magic eraser (aka a melamine sponge) will lift stains without sacrificing the wood finish. Wax paste, oil and baking soda, and even walnuts are suitable for repairing a minor scratch. When fixing things like pet claw marks or scuffs from moving furniture, meanwhile, the goal is to fill in the scratch and color it as best as possible to match the floor. Treating deep scratches requires more effort, materials, and knowledge, so hiring an expert may be the best option in such cases.