Hardwood floors are rather expensive so owners must exercise every effort to protect them. Since they come from exhaustible resources, trees, and take years to produce, they are more tedious to care for and maintain compared to concrete and other types of building materials. Thus, if you're looking to use hardwood for your flooring, you should be prepared with the right protection methods and tools. How can you protect your hardwood floor? First, don't expose it to too much sun. The ultraviolet rays from sunlight is one of key reasons why some hardwood floors become discolored over time, regardless of its finish or stain.
We are referring to the same ultraviolet rays that cause damage to your skin. UV rays do the same to any other type of organic material. To shield it from the sun, install a screen on your windows or use curtains. You can use sheer drapes so it's not so dark in the room.
There are hardwoods that lighten from sun exposure, while materials like oak and cherry will tend to become darker. To slow down the discoloration process, apply water-based urethane finishes to your floor. Oil-based finishes are okay but they have a tendency to turn yellow or amber when exposed to sunlight. Second, make sure it's always dry. Water is a hardwood floor's worst enemy. It can seep into the material and cause nasty stains and decay.
You can protect your floor by applying thick coats of finishing, but keep in mind that finishes also thin over time so you have to reapply regularly. Wipe up spills immediately and don't leave wet rags on the floor for a long period. Also, use only dry cloth to wipe your hardwood floor. Never use a damp mop.
Another way to protect your hardwood floor is to put felt glides under the legs of heavy furniture so they don't scratch the surface when moved. Felt glides also cushion the weight of your furniture so they don't make shallow holes on your floor. The point of protecting your hardwood floor is this: if you want it to last longer than your lifetime, you have to give it the care it needs. And since hardwood floors, when maintained well, can stay on even after a century, they definitely deserve protection.
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