If you've recently had hardwood flooring installed or will be doing so in the near future, you're undoubtedly aware of the classic beauty that this type of flooring brings to any home environment. You're probably looking forward to the way your home will look during the holiday season as well, but by the same token, you probably have understandable concerns about potential damage to your floor during this time. This is particularly true if you're planning on having holiday gatherings and houseguests. Fortunately, you won't have to sacrifice your hardwood floors to the spirit of the season. The following are five practices for protecting your new hardwood floor during the busiest weeks of the year.
Don't Use Deicing Salts on Your Front Steps
Due to its rough, sharp edges and abrasive texture, rock salt has the potential to do significant damage to hardwood floors. Salt has a high pH level and can, over time, corrode your hardwood flooring's protective finish. Deicing products made from calcium chloride are also highly abrasive, and buildup can stain wood floors. For maximum protection, invest in ice-melting mats designed for outdoor steps and porch areas.
Place a Plastic Boot Tray in Your Foyer
Deicing salts aren't the only form of gritty abrasives that can damage wood floors. Other culprits include kitty litter and everyday road dirt. Even though these aren't as harmful to wood as chemical deicers, they can cause scratches when tracked indoors on footwear. Requiring household residents and guests to remove their shoes will help protect your floor, and keep inexpensive house slippers on hand for guests who'd prefer some sort of foot covering.
Stash Cotton Cleaning Cloths Around Your Home
Having clean cotton cloths close at hand makes it much easier to quickly mop up any spills that occur during the course of holiday activities. With everyone eating and drinking, there are bound to be a few spills, and certain foods and beverages, such as acidic white wine, may cause long-term damage if allowed to remain on wooden floors for very long.
Place Throw Rugs and Mats in High-Traffic Areas
Throw rugs and mats protect high-traffic areas from scratches, spills, and other damaging activities. To add to the festive atmosphere, choose rugs and mats with seasonal themes. Make sure they've got nonslip backing so that they stay in place and don't create slip-and-fall hazards.
Trim Your Pet's Nails
If you're like most people, you won't be leaving your furry friend out in the cold for the holiday season. Be sure to keep their nails clipped to minimize small scratches on the surface of your hardwood floor. Homeowners with indoor pets are also advised to apply a light layer of wax over their hardwood flooring for added protection.
If you do notice any scratches, contact a hardwood floor refinishing service near you.