Hardwood Flooring Hardwood Maintenance

5  Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Your Hardwood Floors

When it comes to redecorating, one of the single most effective things you can do is update your flooring. Trading your old carpet for a beautiful hardwood floor can really add a splash of style to your space and instantly update the overall look and feel of your home.

But before you take the plunge and invest in hardwood flooring, it’s important that you understand the specific care requirements that come with them. Although timber flooring may seem like a low-maintenance option, a certain amount of TLC is required to keep it looking spick and span.

What’s more, you may have to throw out everything you know about cleaning too! It is all too common that those with wooden floors end up ruining them simply by cleaning them incorrectly.

While it may seem a daunting prospect to choose a flooring option that is a little temperamental, don’t reconsider just yet. All it takes is a little knowledge of how to clean your hardwood floors so you don’t make the mistake of inadvertently damaging your floors.

Here are five of the most common traps people fall into when cleaning their hardwood floors.

  1. Using An Incorrect Vacuum Attachment

Unfortunately, not all suction tools were created equal. In reality, some vacuum attachments can have adverse effects on hardwood floors. Over time, an incorrect vacuum head can scratch wooden surfaces and leave more pesky spaces for dust or dirt to hide, all in all, making them harder to clean. In this case, definitely steer clear of any attachments that contain rotating brushes or a beater bar with stiff bristles, as these heads are too abrasive for soft wooden materials and will cause damage.

Alternatively, you should opt for an attachment which has a soft brush or felt component with less resistance. You could also consider using a vacuum with a lighter or smaller canister as these machines aren’t as heavy and are less likely to create dents or marks.

  1. Mopping Wooden Floors As You Would Tiles

Wooden floorboards are porous, which means they absorb and hold moisture. So, it makes sense that using a wet mop to clean is a no-go when it comes to wooden flooring. The greatest risk you run into here is water seeping down into the floors and causing warping, movement, or swelling.

That said, you can still mop your floors, but it’s best to avoid mopping with a saturated brush. Instead, grab a mop that’s basically dry, or only slightly damp, to maintain that polished look. Your wood floors will thank you later!

  1. Using Common Household Cleaners

Vinegar and ammonia-based cleaners are highly renowned in the household cleaning world, as they are known to be both cost-effective and versatile. However, using such products on hardwood floors is an absolute faux pas. While these products, will without a doubt eliminate debris or stains, they will also damage the wood’s finish by slowly eating away at the surface. 

Not only this, you should also avoid natural cleaning agents like baking soda and abrasive bottled sprays, as these cleaners will lessen the protective coating of your hardwood floors.

Opting for an oil-based cleaning product is your best bet. Oil-based cleaners are best for hardwood floors since they will not damage the wood’s appearance, prematurely age the wood, or diminish the protective surface.

If you’re unsure what cleaner to use, you should contact your flooring manufacturer who will be able to advise you on the best care instructions for your product. 

  1. Excessive Amounts of Water Left On The Floors

Water is the enemy of hardwood flooring. Although it is impossible to avoid small spills here and there, it is important to note that excessive amounts of water can cause the wood to buckle. Not only this, exotic hardwood styles like Brazilian Cherry, Jarrah or Merbau could develop discolored patches as a result of water.

  1. Neglecting Regular Hardwood Maintenance

After your hardwood floors are installed, you’re home free, right? Unfortunately, no! Wooden floors need long-term care to ensure they continue to look good as new. Most people don’t realize this, but sweeping regularly can not only eliminate dust but also extend the lifespan of the wood.

Also, if you begin to notice scratches here and there, it’s best to repair these floorboards as soon as you can. The sooner you attend to little problem areas, the easier the repair job will be; it’s the difference between buffing out a spot and sanding the entire board down to refinish. To this end, think about caring for your hardwood floors like you do lawn maintenance: regular mowing takes considerably less time, energy and money than tending to an overgrown jungle of weeds!

Hardwood Flooring Hardwood Maintenance

6 Things You Need To Think About Before Installing Wooden Flooring

When it comes to remodeling your home, wooden flooring can beautifully transform your space like nothing else. That said, many people don’t fully understand the implications of their design choice when making it; namely that you can’t just pick any old wood and be done with it!

Choosing your flooring is a little more complex than just picking out the type you like the look of. But with a little knowledge under your belt, you’re sure to find a flooring option you love which is fit for purpose too.

Here are 6 things you need to think about before you choose your flooring. 


  1. Your Specific Circumstances

Depending on your living habits, your floor might take an awful beating, so it’s important to choose a wood that can withstand your lifestyle. Those with young children or pets, or those who have a lot of traffic through their house should opt for a hardier wood, like White Oak or Australian Cypress.

Likewise, if your floors barely see a high heel, paw or toy, then a softer wood like American Black Walnut or Beech are options for you. 

If you’re unsure of the durability of a specific wood, you can check out its Janka rating or discuss your options with a local flooring consultant who will be able to give you recommendations on suitable woods for your lifestyle.


  1. The Type Of Look You’re Going For

Once you’ve narrowed down your search by the wood strength, you need to consider the type of look you’re going for. While you may love one style in the showroom or online, you must think about how it will fit with your overall aesthetic; it may not have the desired effect in your space. 

As a rule of thumb, darker woods create a sophisticated edge and suit larger homes while lighter woods are great for a modern, fresh vibe.

It’s also really important to pick a wood that doesn’t clash with the cabinetry, fittings and overall style of your room. Taking home a sample piece of flooring can help you establish whether a certain wood type will work or not.


  1. The Lighting Inside Your Home

Design elements aside, lighting is another crucial factor in choosing a flooring option. Dark woods lend themselves to spaces that have a lot of natural light and lighter colored cabinets, trimwork and décor. Conversely, if you don’t have a lot of natural light and your design aesthetic is on the dark side, a lighter flooring can not only compliment your other design choices but also ensure the room doesn’t appear smaller than it actually is.


  1. General Maintenance And Upkeep

Hardwood flooring isn’t just set and forget. The upkeep of your floor is something you need to be aware of before installing it. When you install your floor, a protective coating will be applied to the surface to ensure the longevity of the boards, but over time this will fade, and you will need to recoat them. 

Although you won’t have to do this too often over the lifetime of your floors, the frequency in which you do this will depend upon how much wear your floors endure and how well you upkeep them in terms of day to day maintenance.

That said, general maintenance is generally quick and easy, but it’s something you must be diligent about. While vacuuming and sweeping should be part and parcel of your floor cleaning routine, mopping should not. Applying steam or excessive wetness to your floors can damage their finish so wiping up spills with a damp cloth as soon as they occur is essential. Any cleaning product you use on your floor should be fit for purpose. 


  1. Whether You Want To DIY

When it comes to installation, you have two options; to DIY or not! Obviously, professional installation will save you time and effort, but doing it yourself will undoubtedly save you money. Before you balk at the idea of installing your own flooring, it’s not as difficult as you may think. While it may seem a daunting prospect, with the right training and support (usually provided by your floor supplier), it can be a piece of cake! 


  1. The Most Important Thing To You

Essentially, choosing your wood comes down to you deciding what the most important factor is to you. By doing this, you can dramatically narrow down your search and pick the right wood for you quickly, rather than aimlessly wading through a myriad of options. You can spend hours trying to decide which way you should go and you’ll usually always have to compromise somewhere. Outlining your main requirement can really help you feel more comfortable in choosing a floor that doesn’t tick absolutely every box! 

If your main concern is budget, opt for a cheaper wood. If longevity and hardiness are paramount, choose a wood in line with this, and so on!

Happy wood hunting!


General Home Improvement

5 Tips For Keeping Your Commercial Property In Customer-Ready Condition


Most of us are well-versed in the best ways to keep our homes in good condition. From weekly cleaning to routine maintenance, keeping on our homes in ship-shape is second nature.

But when it comes to commercial properties, a whole new list of maintenance-related issues come to the fore. Whether your business is customer-facing or otherwise, many business premises undergo much rougher wear and tear than a residential property would ever be exposed to. From high foot-traffic to a lower level of vigilance to keep things in great condition, the task of keeping a commercial property well-maintained is a tedious, yet essential one. 

So, how can you keep your commercial property not only looking great for customers but safe for visitors and staff too? Here are the top 5 most important things you should consider.


  1. Look After Your Floors

Commercial floors take a beating, and it’s not only retail stores which are subject to extreme wear and tear. The impact of rolling of computer chairs, staff movement and other related occupational hazards in office environments must not be underestimated.

When renovating your commercial property, it’s essential that you consider the material you use to ensure it is fit for purpose. One great option is hardwood flooring if you’re looking for a real “wow” factor in your property, but it does come with certain considerations. If you have hardwood floors in your property, it is absolutely vital that you protect them from moisture and keep them well-maintained. Choosing a wood that is hardwearing and durable is also essential.


  1. Service Your HVAC

Nothing irks staff and customers more than being uncomfortably hot in your premises, and it’s something that will impact your business on a level you may not have considered. Employees lose productivity while you lose customers! 

With that in mind, getting your air-conditioning unit serviced by a professional HVAC servicing company will undoubtedly help you avoid such an impact on your business. You must make sure you’re diligent about scheduling this in too. Regularly changing filters and having your unit serviced annually (at least) will protect your HVAC and save you money in the long run.


  1. Don’t Forget To Look Up

While you’re looking at what’s right in front of you, don’t forget to look up! Keeping your roof and ceiling well-maintained will inevitably safeguard you from potentially property-ruining leaks. Plus, while your ceiling isn’t the make or break of your business, ensuring the upper echelons of your property don’t leave your customers with a negative impression of your business is important.

If you have a commercial metal roof, your maintenance schedule will be less rigorous than if you have an asphalt or single-ply roof. That said, all roofs need routine maintenance and they should be checked annually for early identification of any problems which may become costly down the track.


  1. Make-Over The Right Way

Sometimes, you’ll want to freshen up your space to give it an update and present a professional look to your customers and staff. When a complete makeover is out of the question though, there are a few small things that you can do to make a huge difference. 

Firstly, look at your windows. They’re often an underestimated element of interior design but by simply changing your window treatments, you can change the whole vibe of your space. If you have the budget to take things one step further, considering new flooring, such as hardwood, vinyl or carpet can transform your property from bland to grand in an instant. 

On a budget? You can still make a difference with a splash of paint, some decorative items and indoor plants.


  1. Remember Your Exterior

First impressions count, and that goes for your staff and your customers. So, what is their first impression of your commercial property? Is the paint on the outside of your building faded or flakey? Does your landscaping look like you care? Is your storefront inviting? Stand and look at your property as your staff or customers would before they enter and ask yourself, “Am I portraying a good impression of my business?” If the answer is no, fix the issues you identify!





General Home Improvement

7 Indoor & Outdoor Entertaining Area Renovation Tips Just In Time For Summer

With entertaining at the heart of the season, you may be considering giving your entertaining spaces a little (or big!) makeover this summer. 

Between summer cookouts and late-night movie nights out on the deck, when it comes to inviting guests into our homes, we all want to make an impression. Whether you’re looking to make big changes or you’re wanting to spruce up your space on a shoestring budget, there are a number of ideas that will help you wow!

Check out these 7 summer renovation tips which are sure to impress your visitors.


  1. Flooring and Decking

Upgrading your floors can completely transform a drab space into a fresh, modern and beautiful area bound to make your guests take notice. Hardwood flooring is incredibly effective in entertaining areas as it not only looks stunning, but it can withstand foot traffic too (if you pick the right one!). What’s more, during summer, when many homes throw open their patio doors, hardwood flooring creates a cohesive flow between indoors and outdoors, especially if you have decking. 

If you do have decking, consider sanding and re-oiling it before summer comes around. It might feel like a big job but it’ll be worth it when you see the life breathed back into your old boards.


  1. The Devil’s In The Detail

It’s the small things that can make all the difference. So, if you want to revamp your space without making any major changes, think about decorative items which will brighten things up. A summer vibe can be achieved with vibrantly colored kitchenware – think waterjugs, glasses and table linens – summery flowers and sweet smelling candles. 


  1. Keep It Cool

We all love summer, but sometimes, the heat can get a little too much! Making sure your guests have a way to stay cool while you’re entertaining can make for a much more enjoyable experience. Obviously, look after the basics first and make sure your AC unit has been serviced and the filters have been changed (TIP: get a professional HVAC servicing company to do it so you don’t have to!), but then have fun with your cooling options. Opt for some outdoor fans which suit your aesthetic, offer your guests water spray bottles and create a stylish ice-box area so your guests can keep their drinks cool.


  1. Think Of The Children

Entertaining isn’t just for adults, backyard BBQs are often a whole family affair. So, as well as creating a space for the big kids to enjoy, think of the little ones too. Think inflatable pool, playground equipment and giant backyard games. If there are teenagers in the mix, create an outdoor chill-out zone they can enjoy.


  1. Remember: it’s all about the food!

Summer isn’t summer without the food! If you don’t have a high-quality grill, it might be time to invest in one. Creating a focal point around your outdoor food-preparation area is a wise idea in terms of design and functionality; the grill itself acts as a design piece and the food is right near your guests, just where they want it!


  1. Think About Your Windows

Window treatments are an often overlooked part of interior design, but with a little love, your windows can actually change the whole feel of your space. Depending on the look you want to go for, you have a multitude of different options open to you. That said, the versatility of roman blinds in terms of style and color makes them extremely effective when trying to create a certain feel in a room. As a pro tip, make sure your window treatments don’t clash with your floors ie, if you have dark hardwood flooring, lighter window treatments would work; if you have white tiles, colorful blinds and drapes may be ideal.


  1. Infuse Your Home With Scent

Creating an inviting atmosphere for entertaining doesn’t just stop with what you can see. When guests walk into your home, you want them to feel the fresh, vibrance of summery delight! Using fresh lemon in your detergent when cleaning, lighting a summery candle or diffusing some zesty essential oils will go a long way to setting the scene for summer in your home. What’s more, if you do have hardwood flooring or wooden furniture, consider polishing them with a lemon-scented polish.

Hardwood Flooring Hardwood Maintenance

Best Maintenance Practices for Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors can be both visually pleasing and increase the value of your home; they are durable, add warmth to a room and offer great stain resistance. However, keeping your floors looking like new for years to come you will need to do some routine maintenance. The following practices will ensure that your hardwood floor will always look great.

How to Keep Your Floor Clean

Sand and dirt can scratch your hardwood floor, so it’s important to sweep, dust or vacuum your floor regularly. This will prevent sand and dirt from harming your floor. If you have children or pets who track in lots of sand and dirt, you may have to sweep or vacuum your floor every day. When vacuuming your floor, use the attachment or setting for bare floors. If you use the beater bar, it may scratch your hardwood floor.

Every week, you should wipe your hardwood floor with a damp mop or a clean cloth. This will help to clean any dirt that you missed when sweeping or vacuuming.

Periodically, you should clean your floor with a cleaner made specifically for hardwood floors. Never use soapy water or a wet mop on your hardwood floor.

Cleaning up Spills and Stains

Hardwood floors are very stain resistance, however, if you allow liquid to stay on a hardwood floor for an extended period, it may cause damage or stains. To prevent damage or staining, wipe up any spills immediately. Always use a clean soft cloth to prevent scratching of your floor.

If you have a tough stain like paint, ink, lipstick or oil, you can try cleaning the stain with acetone nail polish remover on a soft cloth. When you have removed all traces of the stain, be sure to clean the area with a clean cloth that is dampened with water.

If you get candle wax or gum on your hardwood floor, apply ice to harden the wax or gum. Then use an old credit card to scrape off the wax or gum. Once you have all of the gum or wax removed, you can clean the area with a clean cloth that is dampened with water.

Things You Should Avoid with Hardwood Floors

Only use cleaning products that are designed for hardwood floors. Do not use any type of abrasive like scrubbing pads or scouring powder. These can scratch and destroy your floor. Don’t use ammonia, bleach or oil on your floor because they could stain or discolor the floor.

If you have high traffic areas, like hallways or entryways, you may want to use floor protectors to prevent your hardwood floor from being scratched or scuffed. Don’t use rugs with a rubber backing because they may cause stains on the floor. They may also stick to the hardwood floor and leave behind residue that is very difficult to remove.

Place furniture pads under any heavy furniture and they will help prevent scratches and indentations from your furniture. If you move furniture take care not to slide it across the floor. Either pick up the furniture or place it on a piece of plywood or carpeting before you slide it across the floor.

Learn how to select the best hardwood floors for your home.


Home Decor

Home Decor Tips For This Summer

Summer is just around the corner. People are shedding their winter coats and reaching for cut-offs. With summer comes socializing. We have friends and family over for cookouts and patio parties. Just as we spruce ourselves up for the sunny skies, we take a good look at our homes to see if they are summer ready.

Whether you live in a Denver home or in a more affordable city like Milwaukee, Wisconsin, let’s look at some easy ways to update your home decor in time for the summer months.

Let There Be Light!

We naturally want to let sunlight in through the windows. Maybe you spent the winter months with flowing drapes, colorful wool throws, and a fire in the fireplace. Of course, you are going to pack away the blankets and clean out the fireplace. But, while you are doing that, take down those drapes.

The windows in our homes are very important. We use a great deal of time and a great deal of money to have efficient and beautiful windows. Then we drive to the closest department stores and buy curtains. Here is a tip. If you just must buy drapes, have them custom made to fit your windows. They will look better and last a lot longer. But, you may consider buying custom blinds instead.

Why would custom blinds work so well? Because the trend today (and for many years to come) is to place hardwood floors instead of carpet. Buy custom blinds to match your hardwood floors and your home looks like a model home. Everything fits perfectly.

As for the fireplace, you can buy a pretty decorative screen to block off the fireplace. But, if you want to be a bit more creative, place some iron candle holders in the fireplace. Stagger them in different heights and sizes. Large candles draw attention to the eye when they are unlit. Lighting them gives your room a romantic glow with the flames flickering in the dark area.

sitting on chair painting portraits
photo credit: Aleksandr Slobodianyk

Wall Galleries

In the 1970s people decorated their walls with framed photos of their family. Then the world went “arts and crafts” nuts and our memories were being replaced with cross-stitched pictures, sun hats with flowers and lace hot glued to them and roosters. We don’t know how roosters became a home decor fashion statement, but they did.

Now, family photos have made their way to the halls once again. They may be hung with “word art” but they are being hung. Here is a really cool twist to this idea. The days of average people going to an artist to sit for a painting are no more. But, now you can select your favorite photograph of your family, a loving grandparent who has passed away or even a little baby. You send it to the artists. They upload the photo and paint you a beautiful oil painting on canvas. You can make this portrait the focal point of the room. Other options include watercolors, pencil, and chalk. Click here for more information, just give it a try.

kitchen with wood floors


It is perfectly fine to put down an area rug to protect your hardwood floors, but if you want to keep up with the trend, hardwood flooring is a must.


The days of all white kitchens have finally slipped away. If you just changed your kitchen to that look, you can rescue yourself with black accessories. Black and white are holding for a while. Shaker cabinets have been the top of the line cabinetry for decades. They were designed to be high quality with no maintenance and understated beauty. They were created in the 1800s by a group of religious members of the same name.

You can order your RTA cabinets with open fronts or some with glass doors. There is no wrong way to use Shaker cabinets.

Get away from the white walls. Pastels are trending this year in colors like yellow, baby blue, and green. You will not see shiny paint this year. Matte is where it’s at. Matte finishes on cabinets and countertops. As for countertops, the going thing is concrete. The colors are up to you. Gray, black, steel blue or green looks good as long as they are (you guessed it) painted with a matte finish.

Trends for kitchens and bathrooms include the vessel sink with chrome faucets. When you have a pretty vessel sink, it quickly becomes the focal point of the room.


There is always a need for plants in the house. But, 2019 will push away from the rainforest in the kitchen and bath. A few plants (hanging) is great. A small herb garden in the kitchen? Awesome. Other than that, place your vegetation on the patio.


Buy a summer duvet cover. Place a matching rug on the floor. Use what you have learned about window treatments and add wall mirrors.

patio furniture outside
photo credit: Marianne



Place an indoor/outdoor rug on your patio. Use the extra space to plant a few of your favorite veggies or berries.

As you can see, there are many ways to update your home for warmer months. Get started now, and you will be ready in plenty of time. Your home will have the wow factor that you dream of.


6 Tips for Measuring and Maintaining Humidity Levels in Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are beautiful additions to any property. They offer charm and beauty, and can really add value to your home. They can be expensive, however, which is why you have to do your best to maintain them as much as possible. One of the biggest concerns is humidity. Humidity can really damage hardwood floors and can wreak havoc on the rest of the property. This is why it is essential to catch the first signs of humidity as early as possible. We have some tips that can make this easier.

Choose the Right Meter

One of the most important things you can do to measure humidity in hardwood floors is to buy the right humidity meter. There are so many available that it can be a daunting process. There are meters that come with all manner of special features, but a simple one can be just as effective. A very important thing to consider when choosing a meter is the reliability of the company that makes them. Read their warranty and read reviews to ensure that you are getting the best, most accurate meter. With a bit of research, you will be able to find a reliable option for your needs.

Store in Similar Conditions to Home

If you really want to ensure that the hardwood floors will be able to withstand the normal air humidity in your home, store the wood in as similar conditions to that of your property as you can. Many people choose to store the planks in a room of the home, without adjusting the conditions at all. This will give you a good idea if the kind of wood you are choosing will face humidity issues once installed.

Do Not Forget Sub-floors

Many people spend a lot of time and money buying the perfect wood and checking it for humidity issues and they forget the sub-flooring completely. This is not a good idea. For people who are replacing the flooring, it takes only a little bit of time to check the sub-flooring material and it can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. This is especially important for homes with sub-flooring that is concrete, wood chip, plywood, or planks.

Choose the Right Wood Type

Not all wood types have the same humidity levels. Some of them are inherently more humid, which is something you have to keep in mind when checking them with meters. Some meters are not created to measure certain wood options, so it is important to know if the meter you have purchased will work on the flooring you have chosen for your home. If you are not sure about the best options, there are lots of companies that can point you in the right direction and give you basic information about the different wood choices.

Wood Flooring

Hire Experts

Another great way to ensure that the humidity levels in your hardwood floors are correct is to hire an expert. There are companies that are dedicated to this kind of work and that can even offer solutions if the humidity levels are too high. Many flooring companies can offer these extra services for a small fee, so it is definitely something to consider before having the hardwood installed. To choose the right people, be sure to ask for references and to ask if they have all of the right insurance in place.

Follow Humidity Measuring Instructions

You can buy a great meter, but if you do not use it correctly, it will not be able to help you. All of these meters come with full instructions, but there are also instructional videos online that you can turn to if you are still not sure of how to use it. Take time to really learn the ins and outs of the meter, including how to use some of the special features. By following the instructions to the letter, you will be able to measure the humidity in your floors without too much trouble.

All of these tips can make measuring humidity levels in hardwood floors much easier and much faster. Get a reliable meter that can read the levels in all manner of wood, and be sure to check the warranty. Checking sub-flooring is also vital, since humidity there can seep into the hardwood floors, and be sure to choose the wood carefully. Some wood types have higher humidity levels than other and you do not want to be surprised when you measure it. With all of these tips, you can install your floors safely and with the knowledge that your boards will not buckle or bend with humidity.

Hardwood Flooring

This is How to Care for Hardwood Floors & Make Them Last

Not all of us are contractors or have the ever convenient hardwood flooring expert cousin or friend of a friend. And, for those of us who own homes, we would love to magically have a few of those skills sets now and then. We need to know how to care for hardwood floors.

From major disasters (like not knowing what to do about your foundation being rotted out by termites) to smaller issues (like how to turn off the water when leaving the house for your much earned month-long vacation) knowing how to care for your home is critical. Unfortunately, hardwood flooring care is not always as “common sense” as we might like to think.

Here, we are hoping to make caring for your home a little bit easier with some helpful tips and small things you can do to ensure the quality of your hardwood flooring remains long after the kids are grown up and the dogs have gone to heaven. So if you are wondering how to care for hardwood flooring, from pine to beech to oak, this article is for you.

In most cases with caring for hardwood flooring, the little things to ensure longevity pertain to proper cleaning and regular maintenance of your home. Here are some tips to keep your hardwood floors pristine.

1. Keep Your Hardwood Floors Dry

Keep Your Hardwood Floors Dry Like the Desert

If you think you can slop water mixed with pine-sol onto your hardwood flooring when you need to clean up the dried mud stain in the living room like you are high school janitor think again. The wood will absorb the water, and you will drastically decrease the quality of your flooring when the wood begins to warp and cup or depending on the conditions possibly rot.

Instead of Mopping, Try This:

Try to stick to sweeping hardwood floors when they begin to get dirty. In high traffic areas that are at risk of getting dirty from muddy shoes or accidentally have a sticky drink spilled, get creative with your decor and put down rugs and mats in those areas. Place a rubber lattice mat underneath to avoid slipping or the rug moving out of place. If you must use a little moisture to get up a mess, use a cleaner that is formulated for hardwood and mists onto the surface, using a slightly dampened rag to help get up more stubborn messes.

While we’re on the subject, other cleaning products to avoid cleaning hardwood flooring with are:

  • Soap-Based Detergents
  • Wax-Based Detergents

These products do nothing but cloud your finish and create build up on the surface of the wood.

2. Wood Floors Require a Gentle Touch

Be Gentle With Your Hardwood Floors

Perhaps you do not enjoy mopping anyway and were planning on getting the vacuum as your cleaning implement of choice. Sure we’ve fixed the moisture issue, but most traditional vacuums have metallic elements that can easily scratch right through the finish and eventually start damaging the hardwood itself.

Instead of Vacuums and Steam Cleaners, Try This:

Invest in a microfiber cloth; it will easily attract and pick up dirt, allows access to hard to reach nooks and crannies when cleaning hardwood floors. They are wonderfully washable, so if you encounter something particularly nasty no cleaning out a vacuum bag for you, chuck it in the wash and let the bad memory of that dead beetle covered in cobwebs behind the sofa wash away too. And, most robotic vacuum cleaners are gentle enough for wood floors, so don’t be scared if this is what you’re using.

3. Get to Polishin’ Your Floors!

Polishing may sound like something you would need to call an expert in for, but nay my fellow it is simple. Just follow the instructions below and watch your hardwood flooring shine again.

How to Polish Hardwood Floors:

Think of it like when you are painting a room, except you are trying to get it on the floor.

  • Remove all the furniture in the room.
  • Give it a good cleaning just before applying the polish
  • Apply the polish with an applicator – both polish and applicator are typically readily available in most stores (polish cans give directions for what kind of applicator
  • Allow the polish to set, if there is a lot of traffic in the area plan to leave the polish to set for at least a day undisturbed before returning it to use. Places that are less frequented can be back in use typically in an hour or two.

Tips for Technique:

  • Don’t pin yourself into a corner: Make sure you are working towards the exit, not away from it.
  • To ensure evenness in the polish make sure you apply in strokes that are feathered (crisscrossed, for us non-painters). This technique also guarantees no spaces are left bald.

Polishing fills in all the cracks and scrapes from the regular wear and tear of life. Polishing hardwood floors can be done every few months or so depending on how much wear and tear the area experiences.

Strip it and Refinish it

As you learn to care for hardwood floors, one day, you may need to ask, ‘Should I refinish or replace my floors?‘ Refinishing hardwood flooring is the biggest job of our short list of little tips. But, it’s easier than replacing them.

The process of refinishing hardwood flooring isn’t impossible. Some determination, a little elbow grease, and a Saturday should get the job done.

Now, you don’t technically have to strip off the existing finish to refinish hardwood flooring, roughing it with sanding will allow the new coat to stick just fine to the existing finish. Products like polyurethane work very well for this project, though in older homes some of the waxes and finishes used won’t work with modern finishes. In that case, you are probably better off stripping it off and completely replacing it. If you are comfortable with power tools, an electric sander will be your ally in this project.

Refinishing floors yourself follows the same process as polishing does, with the addition of the sanding or stripping, depending on your needs before applying the fresh layer. Refinishing hardwood flooring only needs to be done every few years, rather than every few months.

Find out how to select the best hardwood floors for any home.

Hardwood Flooring Hardwood Maintenance

Tips for Cleaning Your New Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are often the most attractive feature in any room. Hardwood flooring in good condition can add warmth to your home and contribute to the total value of the house; keeping hardwood floors in good condition, however, is vital to bringing out the glowing qualities that make this true.

At MacDonald Hardwoods, a Denver hardwood flooring company, we understand what an asset hardwood floors can be. We also understand that flooring is often subject to constant dirt and grime, sliding furniture, and the scuffling paws of household pets. In order to help protect your hardwood flooring, we provide Denver customers the safe and effective wood floor cleaning products and also offer the following tips.

A Matter of Maintenance

We realize that the majority of maintenance for hardwood floors is done by the homeowner. For this reason, we provide easy-to-use cleaning products that are fast and efficient. A regular cleaning routine is a key to keeping the floor free from dirt and other materials that can potentially scratch the finish. Our MacDonald Hardwood Floor MacVac is the perfect tool for quick removal of this kind of debris.

Protection Where It Counts

Wood floor cleaning is also about prevention. We recommend:

  • Placing mats and rugs over high-traffic areas of the house such as hallways and entrances.
  • Placing small pieces of felt padding beneath all surfaces that come in contact with the wood, as this can prevent accidental scratches caused by inadvertently shifting furniture.
  • Cleaning all spills as soon as they occur and maintaining everyday dust with a robotic vacuum.
  • Maintaining a relative humidity between 45% to 55% saturation to prevent swelling, shrinking, or cracking in the flooring.

Our MacDonalds Hardwoods Easy Floor Cleaner will assist in quickly removing damaging liquids while restoring the protective finish in the area.

Knowledge is Power

Our specialists are able to assist customers with every aspect of the maintenance and cleaning of their wood flooring. From cleaning product recommendations to environmental risk factors, our knowledgeable staff is always available for assistance. Call MacDonald Hardwoods at 800-639-3006 for more valuable tips and training on how to take care of your hardwood floors.

Eco-Friendly Flooring Hardwood Flooring Species

Bamboo Flooring vs Hardwood: Which Should You Choose?

If you look at your home as a body, you will begin to understand that each area is like it’s own organ; every part must work together to create a functioning organism. Your floors are like the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet. They’re crucial for everyday living. So, making the right flooring choice is vital. This guide explains the differences between hardwood and bamboo flooring to make your decision easier.

When remodeling your home or building a new one, you have many things to consider. Choosing the type of floor you will use is just one of your responsibilities, and not everyone knows what steps to take to achieve their desired results. Like most major areas of your home, your floor is an investment that will affect your life for years to come.

First, What is the Pricing Difference Between the Two Flooring Types?

As you choose a path, the price of your flooring should always be near the front of your mind. Even a difference of a few dollars adds up when you consider the size of your floor and the number of materials you must use to finish the job. Depending on where you buy bamboo, you will pay about $2 to $5 per square foot.

You notice a relationship between price and quality, and spending more usually means you get a higher quality. In the $2 to $5 price range, quality does not change a lot, so you won’t have too much about which to worry. If you go below $2 per square foot, you will run into quality issues over time.

It’s now time for you to review the price you pay when buying hardwood flooring, and this information is excellent for protecting your budget. Knowing the cost in advance saves you a lot of trouble and helps safeguard your bank account. Standard hardwood will cost between $3 and $5 per square foot, which is a fair price.

You get decent quality and materials that can last for years with proper care when you take this path. On the other hand, you can find exotic hardwood flooring for more than $10 per square foot. Consider your budget and long-term goals when choosing your flooring material.

Installation for both types of flooring should run around the same price.

Next, Here’s a Quality Comparison of Hardwood and Bamboo Floors:

The quality of your floor should play a central role in your decision if you want your floor to last for as long as possible. If you have your eye on bamboo flooring, you should keep in mind that it does not have an official rating system. In other words, you never know what you are going to get when buying bamboo flooring for your home. Your best option is to search for reputable dealers with a record of customer satisfaction.

Quality is much easier to predict when you use hardwood because of the National Wood Flooring Association and other groups rate hardwoods on their size, hardness, quality, moisture tolerance, evenness and more. Look at the rating when you buy hardwood floors, and you will know what you are getting.

Now, the Durability of Hardwood vs Bamboo:

Hardwood is a popular flooring choice and gives you plenty of fantastic advantages you won’t want to overlook. People use some of the strongest trees available when making hardwood, such as oak, hickory, and cherry. The Janka rating measures the hardness of wood, and the hardest is 3,500. While cherry is ranked 950 on the scale, red oak is 1,220. So, hardwoods vary tremendously Keep in mind that some hardwoods are softer than others when making your choice.

To build upon this, let’s take a look at bamboo flooring. On the Janka scale, bamboo scores around 1,762. So, in most cases, bamboo is the more durable choice. Although most people think of bamboo as wood, that is not the full picture. Bamboo is a woody grass that looks and feels similar to wood. Natural bamboo is as hard as or harder than the highest quality hardwood floors. But, keep in mind the fact that treated bamboo loses a lot of its hardness.

Finally, Do You Have Environmental Concerns?

Both hardwood and bamboo are biodegradable and won’t contribute to the global construction waste problem. This is one of the main reasons why homeowners choose to use either of these materials on their floors. By 2025, construction waste is expected to nearly double, making sustainability a priority.

But, they have varying features where the environment is concerned. For example, bamboo grows much faster than trees. In addition, during the harvesting process, bamboo roots don’t need to be removed. The stalks are simply cut, and they later regrow from the same spot. Since you don’t need to replant bamboo, farming requires less fuel than hardwood per harvest. If you care about the planet and want to reduce your carbon footprint, bamboo flooring won’t let you down.

Some people view hardwood as not being environmentally friendly, but that is not usually the case. While it takes most hardwood trees 20 years to grow, they produce a lot of materials in that time. Plus, you don’t have to harvest wood as often as bamboo. When you compare them both, though, it’s clear that hardwood trees use more resources than bamboo flooring. When it comes to our carbon footprint, the way companies operate plays a major role in the amount of waste they produce.

What Can You Do to Decrease Your Footprint when Building or Renovating?

Do you want to know, with certainty, that you’re making a sustainable flooring decision? A trustworthy hardwood flooring expert will support the Lacey Act, which outlines North American laws to protect endangered species and their environment. The act pertains to both hardwood and bamboo suppliers. So, be sure to find out if your flooring installation company supports these laws prior to making a decision between exotic hardwood and imported bamboo.

Not only do you need to make sure  your suppliers and builders are conscious of the environment — there are steps you can take to ensure an eco-friendly home improvement process as well:

  • Learn to practice source reduction — generate less waste by using fewer materials.
  • Try to salvage what you can from your own deconstruction and check out thrift stores like Habitat for Humanity for building supplies and materials before you begin a renovation or construction project.
  • Educate yourself about how various building materials can be recycled rather than thrown in a landfill.
  • Motivate yourself by understanding the advantages of used, recycled, and salvaged supplies.


When it comes to bamboo flooring vs hardwood, the choice you make impacts your home (and the planet) for years to come, so getting it right the first time is critical.  Some people are split down the middle and have no clue what path they should take. If you can relate to that, stop thinking about it and call a flooring expert to help you make a final decision. If you live in the greater Denver area, contact us — we are happy to help find the best hardwood floors for you.