There are some fabulous hardwood floors in Loudoun County, from historic homes to high-quality new construction. Hardwood has so many advantages including durability, character and style. When you first install hardwood flooring, it has that never-been-stepped-on brilliance, but it doesn’t take long for that shine to fade. Here are a few tips for keeping your hardwood floors shiny.

The Dirt on Hardwood

It’s pretty simple: the main enemy of a shiny floor is the day-to-day dirt we all bring in on our shoes. Bit by bit, we grind off the finish with gritty dirt from outside. So keeping dirt off your floors is one of the best ways to keep hardwood floors shiny. Removing shoes European style is on the rise in Loudoun homes, in part to help keep dirt off those gorgeous floors. Another great strategy is strategically placing small rugs in doorways and runners in high traffic areas like hallways.

Keeping Hardwood Shiny: Dos and Don’ts

In addition to avoiding dirt as much as possible, here are some great dos and don’ts from the National Wood Flooring Association.

Hardwood Dos

  • Buff your wax-finished hardwood to restore shine.
  • Wipe up spills right away with a damp cloth.
  • Put pads on your furniture to avoid scratching.
  • Use a humidifier in the winter to keep gaps from forming.

Hardwood Don’ts

  • Don’t use a wet mop or steam cleaner on a wood floor.
  • Don’t wax a polyurethane or other surface-finished floor.
  • For wax-finished floors, don’t wax too frequently--once or twice a year should be enough.
  • Don’t use tile cleaner on any wood floor.
  • Don’t walk on the floor with high heels or sports cleats
  • Don’t let the room get too hot or too cold-between 60 and 80 degrees is ideal.

How Do I Clean My Hardwood Floor?

In short, using water is a no-no, while gently removing dirt and dust is the way to go. We love this sample hardwood cleaning and maintenance schedule from the NWFA:

  • Sweep or dust mop daily.
  • Vacuum weekly (on a bare floor setting).
  • Clean with an approved hardwood cleaning product monthly.
  • Hire a pro to put a surface finish maintenance coat on every 3 to 5 years.

Hardwood: Start With Quality, Then Maintain

For new hardwood floors, starting with a great base is key. This means finding a trusted flooring company to make sure your new hardwood is properly installed and properly sealed. The pros will also help you choose the wood type that’s right for your home based on color, style, location, projected wear and tear and light exposure. Starting with a high-quality, professionally installed base will keep you in good shape for decades to come. We recommend several layers of polyurethane finish to protect your hardwood in the short and long term.

When Is It Time to Sand and Refinish My Hardwood?

While basic maintenance can help keep your hardwood clean and shiny for years, sometimes a facelift is the best approach. You can give even heavily damaged hardwood new life through professional sanding and refinishing at a fraction of the cost of replacing the floor. And solid wood can be refinished multiple times before it needs to be replaced.

Your flooring professionals will remove the existing finish using a walk-behind sander, repair any damage, remove dust and apply a new coat of stain, followed by several layers of polyurethane finish. It’s important to select a service provider with lots of experience using a drum sander to avoid costly mistakes and damage to your high-quality base floor.

Keeping Hardwood Shiny: TLC and Professional Maintenance

Keeping your hardwood floor shiny means day-to-day TLC from you, with help from your trusted flooring company for more in-depth maintenance. Start with a top-notch installation, followed by everyday basics like keeping dirt away and cleaning dry instead of wet. And when it’s time to sand and refinish to keep your floor looking great, the pros at Loudoun Valley Flooring have literally got you covered.