I live in a neighborhood of 1950s era single-family homes. Before we purchased it, ours was renovated from a 3-bed / 1 bath home to a 2-bed 2-bath home. Fortunately, the original oak hardwood floors were left intact and in great shape throughout the house. The only room that doesn’t have hardwood floors is the guest bath, which was added, and has ceramic tile floors.
Before moving into this house, I’d never given much thought to caring for hardwood floors as most homes I’d lived in had carpet or a mix of flooring options. Living in a home with hardwood floors is usually great! Though there are a few things to be cautious of, overall hardwood floors have been easy to care for and a great choice for our home.  Here’s how we care for them:
How I care for my hardwood floors
1. Use area rugs. We have area rugs in our living room to add a cozy feeling and also to protect our floors from rocking chairs, couch legs, etc. We also have them in the bedrooms under both beds. They again add a nice softness when you get out of bed on a cold morning, and protect the flooring too.   Even in our kitchen we have an indoor/outdoor flooring mat to add some cushion while cooking and to protect the floors from spills.
2. Use felt padding under chair and table legs and protective office chair mats in your office area for the same reasons as #1.
3. Vacuum often. We vacuum more than we mop or sweep. This way we can easily keep dirt, debris and dust from piling up on the floors.  It’s an easy way to keep the floors clean and protect them from scratches.
4. When mopping, use a wood-floor cleaner. When I mop, I make sure to use a cleaner specifically for wood floors. Most of these are a spray-and-mop type of cleaner, which is great. There’s no water to get left behind and damage your floors!
5. Clean up spills immediately. We search out pieces of ice when they fall, wipe the bathroom floor if water gets on it after a shower, and only run the dishwasher when we’re home. Because we have wood floors in our kitchen, and even in the laundry area (not recommended, but it is what it is here…) we are very careful to make sure everything is in working order and that we’re home in case an accident with a dishwasher or washing machine occurs.
6. Forgive yourself when accidents happen. Several months ago I was getting a dutch oven out of a storage closet and the lid dropped and landed on the wood floor, leaving a noticeable scar. I was really upset about this. We’ve had so few accidents and our floors look SO great, and now they’re marred by this scar.  This is one downside of hardwood floors; they’re softer than something like tile and scars like this can happen when something gets dropped. This is another reason why using area rugs is a good idea! In the end though, I had to remember that accidents happen. Call it “character” for the floor now.
cat on floor
If you’re intimidated by hardwood floors, or worry that they’re hard to care for, they’re not! Don’t be afraid to enjoy the beauty and ease-of-care these floors can provide.