Even in the early research stage of your home makeover, when you were spending your Sunday mornings hunting around IKEA and every evening scouring through Elle Home, you knew you’d never settle for anything less than hardwood flooring.
After all, it’s a classic material that works with every possible interior style, from industrial chic to hygge cosiness, or traditional elegance to modern minimalism.
But now that it’s been fitted throughout your home, you’re realising what a big commitment you’ve actually made.
Cleaning, avoiding scratches, polishing it into a sparkling shine every time guests come to visit – hardwood flooring may look great, but it definitely doesn’t look after itself.
With that in mind, here are a few top tips and products that’ll help you keep it in perfect condition.
1. Apply the right finish
First things first, pick the right finish for your flooring before you start bringing furniture back into the house – it’ll help protect the wood and minimise the damage caused by daily wear and tear.
Whether it’s a matt or high-shine lacquered effect you’re after, your suppliers and fitters should be able to advise you on the best option.
2. Follow some precautionary steps
Let’s face it, a home is meant to be lived in, not tiptoed around and treated like an art gallery. That means some scratches and chips are inevitable.
But you can limit damage with a few precautionary steps, like asking guests to remove heeled shoes when entering your house and putting some anti-scratching felt pads on the legs of furniture (you can order packs from Amazon for just a couple of pounds).
3. Don’t let dirt take over
We know interior decorators often talk about the atmospheric beauty of bringing the outside in, but the mud and grime your family traipse through your entire house with their grubby boots isn’t the look they’re talking about – and it’s doing nothing to help your wooden flooring, either.
So you don’t have to waste an hour every day mopping, order a dirt trapper mat online (the Mat Factory offer a few style options at purse-friendly prices) and place it conveniently by the front door.
4. Clean it properly
It’s best to avoid using water to clean your hardwood flooring (it can cause more harm than good and even warp the wood in extreme cases), so stick to dusting it with a dry mop every couple of days.
Around once a month, you can give it an extra boost with a cleaner that’s specifically designed for wood flooring.
5. Buy some decorative rugs
High-traffic areas (the hallway, living room and kitchen, for example) will show daily wear and tear much quicker, so it may be worthwhile buying a few decorative rugs for these spots.
As well as having a practical benefit, they’ll also keep you warm in winter and add some design panache to your overall interior theme.