Top Ways You’re Ruining Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are one of the most desirable features for homes. They look great and can last a lifetime, but they require some special considerations. In fact, there are a lot of things people do on a daily basis that contribute to their deterioration, without even realizing it. So, let’s look into these things—and since the new year is upon us, why not make a resolution to avoid these behaviors to protect your beautiful floors!

Using the Wrong Cleaner

The products you use to keep your floor looking and smelling clean can do more harm than imagined. Giving the area the refreshing citrus smell of lemons and oranges is not always healthy for the wood floor. There are so many different kinds of wood finishes and each one can require a different type of cleaner that it will work best on. It’s quite possible that you’re using a cleaner that has heavy chemicals in it that will damage the finish. So, make sure whatever your regular maintenance is, you’re doing it in accordance with the manufacturer of the wood.

No Welcome Mat

Sure, not having a welcome mat doesn’t seem like a big deal, but spending a few extra dollars on one is worth it when you have a hardwood floor. It’s your first line of defense against dragging in mud, water and debris on the floor. Without one, it will be like walking in with sandpaper on the bottom of your feet causing a lot of damage.

Untrimmed Pet Nails

Pets add so much love and companionship to the lives of their owners. The clickety-clack sound of their nails on a wood floor might seem cute and endearing, but long, un-trimmed nails can cause damage to the floor’s surface. So, keeping their nails trimmed is an inexpensive way to protect your floors and make your pets feel more comfortable—win, win!

Unprotected Furniture Legs

The legs of every piece of your furniture should have protective pads under them. Without them, the weight and movement of the furniture can easily scratch and dent the finish of the floor overtime. Also, make sure you aren’t dragging heavy furniture or appliances across the hardwood—always lift to move.

Wearing High Heels

High heels come in all different colors, designs and are considered a staple for many wardrobes. So, it’s unfortunate that hardwood floors experience damage from high heels that are of course unintentional but are obvious within a short amount of time. The thinner the heels are, the worse the damage on the surface of the floor. So, wait to put the heels on as you’re exiting the house and check them at the door when you walk in.

Using the Wrong Vacuum Attachments

Vacuuming is an important chore for keeping dust and dirt off your floors and out of tiny cracks and crevices—but you have to make sure you’re using the right attachments. The beater bar on your vacuum can gouge wood floors. So, instead, use the hardwood brush attachment.

Letting Spills Wait

No matter how well you patrol, liquid spills are going to happen. You can limit the opportunity for damage by cleaning it up right away. The longer water, milk, orange juice or any liquids stay on the surface, the deeper the damage. Mop it up and follow up with a damp rug for any sticky liquids. It’ll keep your wood floor in great condition, even for homes that opt for wood in kitchen areas.

Also, if your pet has an accident on the floor and you leave it for too long, it will ruin the floor. Always clean it immediately to keep the damage to a minimum. If the accident happens on an area rug, make sure to clean and dry both the rug and the wood floor underneath.

Using a Steam Mop

Don’t use one of the popular steam mops on the market on your hardwood floors. Using steam is like pouring hot water on your floor and using hot water is one of the worst things you can do to your hardwood floors.

Not Sweeping Regularly

Sweeping hardwood floors isn’t only a good cleaning tip, but it can also lengthen the life of your floors. Dust, dirt and other abrasive particles can scratch and dull the finish of wood floors once they’re underfoot. Tidying up often though, will keep them from causing lasting damage.

Too Much Sun Exposure

Too much sun exposure can cause your wood floors to dull significantly faster than they normally would. Keep the blinds or shades drawn when the sun is at its strongest to limit discoloring and drying out the wood’s finish.

Everyone wants to maintain the natural beauty of their hardwood floors, but these ways we’ve gone over can make that task more difficult. Fortunately, now that you know about these behaviors, you can avoid them to help effectively care for them. Then you get to have the beautiful hardwood floors you’ve always wanted for a long time!


At Avalon Flooring, we want to make sure you’re happy from your first step in our showroom to your first step on your new flooring—and as your partner in home design, we’ll be there every step along the way. Consider us your “One-Stop Shopping” destination for all things flooring…(and window treatments)!

Our design consultants are equipped with the knowledge to guide you through the wide selection of products we offer, and our expert installation team is professionally trained to make sure everything gets installed the way you envision. We know your home is an expression of your sense of style, and we’re here to make sure you’ll be proud of it for years to come.

If you have any questions, please email us.