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Hardwood flooring is a smart choice for your home or office because of the warmth of wood and its durability, promising a lifetime of use and enjoyment. Many types of wood are used to create hardwood flooring planks.
There are enough styles and types to match any budget and compliment your interior design. Whether your personal style is modern, traditional, craftsman, vintage, country, or other interior design schemes, you can find the perfect hardwood floor for your home.
Hardwood floors are great for any room and add unmatched natural beauty to the look and feel of your home. The only consideration when planning on installing wood floors is your kitchen and basement. If there is a risk of water leakage or water standing on and under hardwood flooring, it can damage the planks and need to be replaced.
What Kind of Wood is Used to Make Hardwood Flooring?
- What Kind of Wood is Used to Make Hardwood Flooring?
- Getting the Most out of Your Hardwood Flooring
- Take These Steps to Keep Your Hardwood Floors Clean
The easiest way to have hardwood flooring installed by either a contractor or if you do it yourself, is to use prefinished flooring. Prefinished flooring comes already sanded and sealed and is available in endless color tones and styles. This avoids the smell from having to stain the unfinished floor planks. Solid hardwood flooring is just that; solid wood. It can be sanded and then refinished many times to change the hue according to you home décor. Solid wood though, can warp from humidity so it may not be a good choice for basements that are below grade or below the property surface.
There is always engineered hardwood flooring. This is actually a veneer, or thin layer of real wood that’s glued to layers of wood underneath the surface. It’s similar to plywood. Engineered hardwood flooring is some of the best wood flooring. It’s stable due to the layers of wood, durable because of the impermeable finish, and is safer for use in basements that are below the grade of your property. It’s also resistant to water damage.
The type of wood used for hardwood flooring needs to be some of the hardest wood. The wood from trees such as oak, maple, cherry, walnut, ash, and mahogany are all long-lasting and durable wood sources. You will pay higher prices for the better wood species and especially mesquite, teak, and jarrah. One of the more recent kinds of hardwood flooring that is growing in popularity is bamboo hardwood flooring. Bamboo is actually a grass, but bamboo is an exquisite looking hardwood floor and lasts even longer than floors made from tree sources.
Of course another ‘green’ solution for hardwood flooring and one that is also rising in popularity is ‘reclaimed wood.’ Taken from old barns, fences, shacks, and other dilapidated buildings, reclaimed wood will offer intrinsic designs offered after years of use and wear. Reclaimed wood is great if you’re renovating an older home and will cost you almost half of that of new hardwood flooring.
Now that we’ve covered the type of hardwood flooring and the sources for the wood used to create them, let’s talk about keeping your hardwood floors clean
1. Howard FW0016 Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish
Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner is an original blend of beeswax, carnauba wax, and orange oil. It’s perfect for enhancing the natural beauty and depth of the grain in all hardwood floors. It’s easy to use and leaves your hardwood floors with a gorgeous shine.
2. Bona Hardwood Floor Polish – High Gloss
Bona Hardwood Floor Polish High Gloss is a great product to use on all your hardwood floors. It’s an easy application and dries fast to avoid smears and smudges. Use it every two to three months to keep your floors beautiful!
- Non-toxic and GREENGUARD Certified
- 3 bottles at 32 ounces each
- Dries quickly
- Designed to be used on any wood floor
- Keep floors fresh and looking their best
- Is quick and easy to use
- Leaves no waxy buildup
- The snap-up lid on may not seal after the inner seal is broken causing the bottle to leak
3. Weiman High-Traffic Hardwood Floor Polish
Easily rejuvenate your hardwood floors with Weiman Hardwood Floor High Traffic Polish & Restorer. Not only does this wood floor cleaner repair scratches, it leaves a beautiful finish that prevents new ones.
- 27 ounce
- Extend the life of your hardwood flooring
- Removes Scratches
- High Gloss Finish for High Traffic areas
- Micro filling technology removes scratches, and prevents new scratches from forming
- Can be used on any finished hardwood surface
- Can be used around kids and pets without causing harm
- Polish and restore hardwood floors in one easy step
- Try small areas first. May leave white smudges
4. Orange Glo Hardwood Floor 4-in-1 Monthly Polish
For the best shine and finish for you hardwood floors, OrangeGlo 4 in 1 Monthly Hardwood Floor Polish will polish, shine, protect, and revitalize your wood floors. This polish will leave you with a professionally polished shine
- Pack of two bottles
- 24 ounces a bottle
- Fresh Orange Scent
- Cleans, shines, protects and revitalizes
- OrangeGlo are Experts in wood care
- Brings out the natural beauty of your hardwood floors
- Great for homes with pets and lots of foot traffic
- Users found after several applications there was a film on their floors that had to be removed
5. Quick Shine High Traffic Hardwood Floor Luster and Polish
Restore the luster of your hardwood floors with this Quick Shine Hardwood Floor Polish. Worn and dull wood floors don’t need to be sanded and refinished. Use this hardwood floor polish to restore the shine and brilliance of your wooden floors.
- Made in the USA by Holloway House
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safer Choice label
- 27 ounces
- Made with high quality Carnauba wax
- Renews the richness, color and beauty of hardwood floors
- Added durability to withstand heavy foot traffic
- Fortified with pure, natural, plant-based carnauba
- Leaves a gorgeous shine
- Safe for children and pets
- Users found after several applications there was a film on their floors that had to be removed
Getting the Most out of Your Hardwood Flooring
Installing hardwood flooring in your home is large investment; and a worthwhile one. You’ll enjoy the beauty and grandeur of hardwood floors for years to come. But floors take a beating in any home or business and keeping them in good shape and looking beautiful takes a bit of work.
We walk on our floors, drag furniture over them, let the dog run across them, drop hard items on them, and track in dirt all over them. To keep them shiny and fresh, you’ll want to learn about the best way to clean hardwood floors. Follow these steps to get your hardwood floors clean and shiny:
- Clear the floor of any furniture, rugs, or objects
- Vacuum or sweep to remove all surface dirt
- Test an area of the floor first by applying some hardwood floor polish following the directions on the bottle
- Working from one corner outward, apply the polish as directed.
- Allow to dry ‘completely’ before moving furniture back or other items
Keep your floors clean between polishing by vacuuming up debris and dirt several times a week. Shoes track in all sorts of small items such as gravel, sand, pebbles and other things that can scratch and scuff your hardwood floors.
Vacuuming often prevents dirt from being ground into the finish causing it to lose its luster. Sweeping doesn’t do a good job as you end up with much of the dirt or surface allergens being swept around in the air to settle back down later. Use a vacuum or at the least, a microfiber dust mop to keep floors clean during the week.
Hardwood flooring is one of the largest investments you’ll make for your home or your office. It’s important to keep the wood floors clean and free of dirt and debris. Maintaining your floors will help the wood to last longer whether you have hard wood or engineered wood flooring. And by keeping scratches filled in with hardwood floor polish, you can prevent moisture from getting under the surface of the wood floor panels and causing rotting or decay. It’s very difficult to replace wood floor panels once the floor is installed. It could mean removing an entire area of your flooring to replace one section that was damaged. This makes for a costly repair and may leave you with mismatched colors of hardwood floor from newer wood floor planks that may not have the same wood grain or tone as your original flooring.
Take These Steps to Keep Your Hardwood Floors Clean
Polishing your hardwood floors is a process that should be done every two to three months or sooner if the floors have taken on a dull or scratched look. In between polishing, it’s good to do a few things that can help your floors looking great.
Have door mats at all entrances to our home. By having people wipe their shoes on floor mats, you prevent all of the gravel, sand, pebbles, or other abrasives from being dragged across the floor’s surface. In fact, leave a shoe rack by all the entry doors and have people leave their shoes on the rack before entering the house.
Another way to help your hardwood floors stay clean is to wipe up spills as soon as they happen. By leaving liquids on the hardwood floor, you risk damage to the wood. If left to dry, the liquid may dry up sticky and you’ll have a mess to scrape up before you use your choice of wood floor polish.
Keep an old towel by entrances where pets come in and out. If you can catch them before they run for the food bowl—you can wipe off their paws to remove mud, twigs, plant burrs, and other strange items our pets seem to pick up outside! Train your kids to help with this task.
If the family mechanic comes in with tools and car parts, don’t let them set these items down on the hardwood floor. The weight of these objects may cause the metal edges to dig into your wood and leave divots or deep impressions on your floor. The same is true with gardening tools and gear. Let your family know to leave these items outside in the shed! And if you have plants from your garden in pots that you want to bring inside, be sure to purchase sturdy, leak-proof water-catcher bottom trays for each pot. Moisture from water that leaks out of the pots will cause staining and erosion on your hardwood floor surface. It’s especially true for engineered wood flooring.
Another culprit when it comes to keeping your hardwood floors clean is the chaos that ensues in the kitchen when any kind of cooking or baking is being done. Kids love to be little helpers when a recipe is being put together. But many of the ingredients end up on the floor. To prevent damage to your hardwood floors in your kitchen, clear away plenty of counter space so ingredients can be prepared within a few inches of the edge. And keep those sharp knives and kitchen tools from dropping to the floor. They too can cause indents and scratches.
Of course, with all the care you take, your hardwood floors will need that periodic cleaning and polishing. Plan the day you’ll polish your hardwood floors and be sure there won’t be a lot of foot traffic or pets to interrupt your cleaning and also give the polish enough time to dry. As a rule of thumb, double the time to dry as included with your floor polisher instructions to be sure you won’t have any mishaps from shoes or furniture. And when choosing a polish for your hardwood flooring, be sure to read our reviews so you can choose the best hardwood floor polish for your home!