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Untreated Hardwood Floors
These reclaimed antique heart pine floors have a worn character that ups the appeal of this dining area; you wouldn't want to remove any of the marks, because that would take away part of the appeal.
For maintenance of untreated wood floors, Feil recommends the following steps:
Stay away from: All-purpose cleansers that contain ammonia and chlorine, as well as vacuum brushes that rotate. Rotating vacuum brushes scratch wood surfaces.
A stairway runner and a welcome mat protect this high-traffic stairway and foyer.
For tough nicks and scratches: Aside from spot-treating scratches in high-traffic areas, caring for wood floors that get a lot of traffic is really about prevention. If you have wood floors in the house, keep shoes and high heels in good repair. You know your favorite pair of cowboy boots, the one with the uneven heel and a nail sticking out? Those boots are serious surface scratchers.
Stay away from: Long pet nails, in addition to old footwear. Pets' nails should be trimmed regularly to avoid deep scratches.
Wood Floors in the Kitchen
General contractor Kenny Grono says that wood floors are a fine choice for kitchen flooring and powder rooms. "But in both of these spots you're exposing the wood to water, so you'll need to clean up spills right away," he says.
For tough stains and spills: In the event of a leaky dishwasher or a major spill, absorb as much moisture as you can with towels and dry the floor thoroughly. If you have portable fans, point them toward the affected area. Grono says, "Don't try to sand down the surface to correct the problem. It may take several months, but given enough time to dry out, the wood floor should return to normal."
For small and localized stains, like those from tomato sauce and soup, dab the area with a soft cloth (cloth diapers are great) dipped in mild dish soap and water. Be careful not to wet the area too much, or the floors will warp.
This kitchen setup shows one of the best ways to counter tough stains in high-spill areas of the kitchen: an area runner. Cotton rugs are generally best in this area because they can be washed and dried easily.
If your wood floors have been significantly water damaged, call a wood flooring professional.
Stay away from: Large amounts of water. No matter where your wood floor is in the house, never pour large amounts of water on your ﬂoor directly. While a slightly dampened mop may be used on polyurethane and other surface-sealed wood floors that are in good condition, even small amounts of water can cause the deterioration of ﬁnishes and warp the underlying wood.
Also avoid sticky and tacky rug mats and backers, which can attack and discolor the wood finish.
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