Protecting and Maintaining Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring in Santa Rosa is an investment and as such, it should also be properly protected and maintained. There are many simple ways to keep hardwood floors looking like new, but besides the great appearance, the right care also has other benefits that should not be overlooked.

One of the most important steps to protecting and maintaining hardwood floors is cleaning. Good hardwood floors need to be cleaned on a regular basis and that includes removing all dust. In order to clean hardwood floors, it is important to have the right tools that will not scratch or damage the sealing or wood.  A mop with a microfiber or disposable pad suffices.

When cleaning, it is standard procedure to use cleaning solutions. Not all cleaning liquids are suitable for hardwood flooring, though, and certain kinds will actually cause damage. For example, vinegar contains acid that can eat through the seal finishing that is applied to all hardwood floors and even water can pool up and eventually get through cracks to eventually rot the wood.  Special, non-toxic hardwood flooring cleaners are available from a number of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County hardwood flooring supply companies.

Another great way to protect hardwood flooring in Santa Rosa is to put down a protective mat or thick area rug in places that are considered high traffic, such as entrances or where seating is located. This is important to do, because this added layer will reduce the wear and tear on the floor and greatly extend its life.

However, since well cared for hardwood floors can last for years, it is almost impossible to prevent damage from happening at some point in time. Fortunately, there are good and reliable companies offering hardwood floor repair in Santa Rosa. Repairs are not always cheap, but not nearly as expensive as replacing the hardwood flooring would be.


Hardwood Flooring Choices

No home is completely finished until the right flooring is put down. Wooden floors are a popular choice, but there are several different hardwood flooring choices available and that makes picking out the right one a difficult decision to make. Since hardwood floors in Sonoma County are expensive, it is worth getting advice from an expert and keeping this information in mind when making a final choice.

Hardwood flooring in Santa Rosa should be purchased from a company that knows their products. This includes being able to provide advice on which types of wood species are suitable for a customer’s floors and needs, as well as what is needed for installation and care of the hardwood floor.  Santa Rosa hardwood floors all have pros and cons that depend on the type of wood used, as well as the finishing and grade quality. For example for high traffic areas or businesses, commercial grade flooring has to be purchased, even if it is more expensive than regular residential grade flooring.

When it comes to flooring choices, the most common type of real hardwood flooring in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County is oak. This is for several reasons, including the fact that it matches a lot of furniture, décors, and the tight dark grain and medium brown coloring are a personal favorite of many people with hardwood floors. Also important is that oak tends to cost less than other types of hardwood floor materials, though it is not necessarily the cheapest. The second most popular species is maple, which is pale in color and has a fine grain. However, there are also more exotic and luxurious looking (and, of course, more expensive) Santa Rosa hardwood floor types, such as walnut, cherry, or beech.

Another consideration to make when weighing the advantages and disadvantages of a particular type of wood is hardwood floor repair. Some types of hardwood floors are more susceptible to damage and since repairs should be done professionally, this can add to the total cost of a floor. Some things for you to consider as you’re making the wood floor choice for your new home or remodeling project.


Fixing this Santa Rosa Hardwood Floor was for the Birds

After we recently refinished several rooms of hardwood floors in a Santa Rosa home, and at the end, the homeowner asked me how she should keep the floors clean. My first thought was “take a flat shovel to it” — but that thought is going to require a bit more explanation in order to understand. You see, the problem in this home wasn’t just keeping the hardwood floors clean, it was keeping them free of embedded objects.
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Protecting Hardwood Floors from Dog and Cat Claws

For landlords and tenants of rental homes with hardwood flooring, a question that often comes up is: “What is a normal amount of wear and tear to expect on my wood floors?”

I received a call from just such a Santa Rosa hardwood floor-owning tenant recently who was vacating her home. She wanted to know if scratches from her dog could be covered up by buffing and applying a new coat of finish to the flooring.  Not having seen the floor in person, I told her that if the scratches were very light surface scratches, they might go away with a buffing and a coat of finish.  However, I doubt they were very light surface scratches, and it’s more likely the entire floor would need to be sanded to the bare wood and completely refinished–a considerably more expensive proposition.

An example of this is a floor I examined after receiving a call from a homeowner.  She stated her floor had been recently installed, and the finish applied by the flooring contractor was no good since it was scratching off the maple flooring. When I looked at the floor, I showed her the grooves in the flooring (not scratches) were still shiny.  She had a medium-sized Dalmatian whose claws were crushing grooves in her new maple floor. The finish had actually adhered to the crushed wood.  The finish the contractor had applied was very good indeed.

Back to the tenant.  She next asked me if the scratches her dog had put in the flooring were considered normal wear and tear.  My first thought was “You’ve got to be kidding.”  However, it then struck me me that ‘normal’ wear and tear is really a relative matter based on expectations and agreements between landlord and tenant.  “Did your landlord know you were going to have a dog live in your home?,” I asked.  “Yes” she replied, “he even encouraged it.”  In this case, my opinion (which is not intended as legal advice to anyone in this situation as tenant or landlord) is that the scratches should be considered normal wear and tear, and the tenant shouldn’t be held liable for the damages since the landlord knew what the situation was.

If you were to allow an elephant to stay in your home, what would you expect normal wear and tear to be?  Probably quite a bit. There’s no escaping the fact that dogs that move over wood floors will cause damage to those floors over time.

Buffing and applying a coat of finish will make grooves and moderate scratches stand out more with the uniform finish.  A flat finish will help, but won’t make the problem go away entirely.  If you want to protect your wood floors from claw damage, do a Google search for: “soft paws for dogs” or cats, or “dog (cat) booties.” There are plenty of products out there that can help you to preserve that finish, and keep fido (or fifi) inside with you on those cold Winter nights.

Until next time,

George Sieg
B & G Hardwood Flooring