I’ve heard a lot of people say they love the look of hardwood floors, but hate the maintenance part. Cleaning and caring for something as valuable as hardwood floors can be intimidating, but once you have established your own routine, you’ll realize that it’s not that difficult.

Learning how to maintain hardwood floor is essential for keeping your investment looking good.  With a little care, your floor can go decades without the need to be refinished, sanded or even need a new coat of varnish.

Check out the tips below to maintain the beauty and strength of your wood floors for the years to come.

Basic care

This is one of the easiest but most underestimated steps in the process. Sweep and dust mop your floor every day and vacuum it at least once a week. Most of your probably do this already, but it always bears repeating. Vacuuming is recommended as it allows dust and dirt to be pulled between the boards.

Water is a no-no

Water will not only ruin your floor, it can also penetrate deep into the wood. That said, you should never use water to mop the floor. Also, don’t allow water to stand on your floor for any length of time. Wipe up spills immediately to prevent permanent stains.  You can use a damp cloth to remove sticky spills, but be sure to dry the spot immediately.

Floor mats are your best weapon

Sand, grit and dirt are your hardwood floor’s worst enemies. They can cause dents, scratches and dulling. Protect your floor from damage by placing a floor mat at the entrance. This will prevent build up of dirt and sand on the floor. It is also a good idea to place runners and area rugs along high traffic areas.

Shoes off

Avoid walking on hardwood floors when wearing high heels, sports shoes and shoes with cleats. Or better yet, remove your shoes at the front door to prevent damage.