In terms of durability and appeal, hardwood is one of the top flooring choices available for homes. When potential buyers look at homes, one of the first things they pay attention to is whether the space has hardwood floors, and that single factor alone can increase the total value. Of course, installing hardwood floors isn’t cheap, but it can be a smart investment for the long term. To ensure that your hardwood floors look great years from now as they do when first installed, proper cleaning and maintenance is important, and hiring a professional is often the best option for homeowners. Use this guide for tips on cleaning hardwood floors, caring for engineered hardwood floors, refinishing your floors and what to expect when hiring professionals for these jobs.
Top Tips For Cleaning Hardwood Floors
In order to ensure that your hardwood floors last for as long as possible, cleaning them should be part of your weekly routine. As often as possible, pick up dirt and small pieces of debris using a broom or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. This reduces the chances of scratching the surface of the wood, and it keeps the space cleaner overall. In addition, you should mop the floor with lukewarm water. Be careful not to use more water than is necessary, and wring the mop or cloth out before cleaning the floors. Excess water can damage the floors, so this step is a necessary one. If you want to perform a deeper cleaning using a cleaning solution that can target any grease, be sure to look for one meant for your exact type of hardwood, and only use it if your flooring is finished and sealed.
Cost of Hiring Professionals for Floor Cleaning
If you have waited too long and now the idea of cleaning your own hardwood floors is daunting, or if you simply have a busy schedule and can’t make the time, then hiring a professional to clean your floors can be a great idea. While the average cost of hiring a maid service is $183, make sure that you choose someone who has experience working with hardwood, or they could end up damaging your floors. Look for professionals who use low-speed buffer machines and polishing pads to completely clean your floors and restore their original shine, and expect to pay around $300 for pristine hardwood floors in your home.
Preventative Tips To Get You Cleaner Hardwood Floors
Cleaning your hardwood floors can be a big job, but taking a few preventative measures can make it seem less daunting. For example, placing a mat just outside of your door encourages people to clean their feet before entering, which will cause less dirt to make its way into your home. You might also want to start removing your shoes when you enter the front door, or you could place a runner in the entry hallway. These gestures may seem small, but they can go a long way in making your home and your floors easier to keep clean.
Caring For Engineered Wood Floors: Is It Different?
In many ways, the process of cleaning engineered wood floors is identical to that of hardwood floors. One of the big differences is that while spills and stains can be sanded off of hardwood, engineered wood planks that are badly stained need to be replaced. For that reason, wiping up spills in a hurry is incredibly important when you have engineered wood floors. Otherwise, the cleaning tips already mentioned will work just as well with both types of wooden floors.
When to Refinish Hardwood Floors
Even with proper care and maintenance, your hardwood floors can begin to look dull and aged over time. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean that they need to be replaced. Instead, you can hire a professional to have them refinished, which is a process involving sanding the surface, varnishing it for a polished look and then sealing against water damage. It is time to refinish your hardwood floors if they are beginning to sag, if you see warping or if there is significant damage to the wood throughout the room. Since this is a labor-intensive project, homeowners should strongly consider paying an average of $1,747 to have professionals do a high-quality job.
Steam-Cleaning Hardwood Floors
If you want a deeper clean than simply mopping but you don’t want to refinish your floors, you can opt to use a steam cleaner on your hardwood. While you can rent a machine on your own, the commercial steam cleaners used by professionals are more effective and more efficient, and they can get you the result you want. Cleaning the space before professionals arrive can speed up the process.