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10 Ways You’re Trashing Your Floors Without Realizing It

10 Ways You’re Trashing Your Floors Without Realizing It

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Gorgeous floors enhance the beauty of any home. But daily life can take a toll. If you’re not careful, you might be unknowingly causing damage to those expensive surfaces.

Here are ten common ways we harm our floors and expert tips to avoid the destruction:

1. Neglecting Doormats

A close-up of a dusty, dirty doormat

Doormats are your floor’s first line of defense! Without them, dirt, sand, and debris get tracked inside with every step. This gritty mix acts like sandpaper, scratching and dulling your floors over time.

The Fix: Place a high-quality doormat at every entrance. Encourage guests and family members to wipe their feet thoroughly. For extra defense, add an interior mat just inside the door to catch any leftover debris.

2. Skipping the ‘Shoes Off’ Policy

Several pairs of shoes scattered by an entryway door

Stilettos, muddy work boots, and even scuffed sneakers can wreak havoc on your floors. The dirt on shoe bottoms grinds into the finish, while high heels can cause dents and deep scratches.

The Fix: A shoes-off rule is the simplest way to protect your floors. Provide a comfy basket for shoes and a bench for easy removal near your home’s entrance.

3. Ignoring Furniture Pads

Close-up of a table leg with a felt pad on the bottom

Every time you drag a chair or slide a sofa across the floor, you risk scratches and gouges. Even with careful moving, the weight of furniture can damage delicate finishes over time.

The Fix: Invest in felt furniture pads! These inexpensive protectors come in various sizes, shapes, and materials to suit your needs. Adhere them to the bottom of every furniture leg in your home.

4. Forgetting About Pet Paws

A playful dog running across a hardwood floor

We love our furry friends, but their claws can be surprisingly harsh on floors, especially hardwood. The constant clicking and scratching, particularly from energetic breeds, can leave your floors looking worn and tired.

The Fix: Keep your pet’s nails trimmed regularly! Consider area rugs or runners in high-traffic areas for extra protection. You can even try soft booties for your pet, especially if they tend to zoom around indoors.

5. Using the Wrong Cleaning Products

A hardwood floor with streaks and cloudy patches of dried cleaning product

Harsh chemical cleaners or incorrect products can dull and even strip the finish on your floors. This leaves them vulnerable to further damage and unsightly buildup.

The Fix: Always choose cleaners specifically formulated for your floor type. Read product descriptions carefully and stick to gentle, pH-balanced options whenever possible.

6. Skipping Regular Sweeping & Vacuuming

A dust bunny lurking under a sofa

Dust, crumbs, and pet hair might seem harmless, but they act like tiny abrasives on your floors. Not cleaning them up regularly will lead to a dull and scratched finish.

The Fix: Get in the habit of sweeping or vacuuming your floors regularly. Pay particular attention to high-traffic areas. A robot vacuum can be a great hands-free solution during the week!

7. Soaking the Mop

A very wet mop leaving a puddle on a wood floor

Excessive moisture is the enemy of wood and laminate flooring. It can cause warping, cupping, and even mold growth under the surface.

The Fix: Opt for damp mopping rather than soaking wet. Use a spray bottle to control the amount of liquid, or wring out your mop thoroughly before use. Dry any spills immediately.

8. Delaying Repairs

A close-up of a warped hardwood floorboard

A loose tile, warped board, or deep scratch isn’t just an eyesore. These areas are more prone to further damage. The longer you ignore them, the more likely you’ll need costlier repairs down the line.

The Fix: Address minor repairs promptly, either with DIY fixes or the service of a professional.

9. Harsh Sunlight

A hardwood floor discolored by harsh sunlight streaming through a window

UV rays from the sun can fade and discolor floors over time. Prolonged exposure may also make wood floors brittle and prone to cracking.

The fix: Use curtains or blinds to reduce direct sunlight exposure during peak hours. If your floors are very sun-sensitive, consider UV-blocking window film.

10. Forgetting About Routine Maintenance

A person applying polish to a wood floor

Tasks like resealing hardwood floors or deep cleaning grout might be tedious, but they greatly extend the life of your floors.

The Fix: Research the proper maintenance schedule for your type of flooring. If necessary, budget for professional services to deep-clean and protect your investment.

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