Hardwood Care & Maintenance Guide
General Care and Maintenance Instructions For Allwood Hardwood Floors
Now that you have beautiful Allwood flooring in your home, proper care is essential to keeping your floors beautiful for many, many years to come. Allwood Hardwood & Bamboo floors are high-quality premium floors, meeting or surpassing the industry standard. We guarantee maximum performance, under the conditions that your Allwood floors have been properly acclimated, installed and that they will be maintained, following the Allwood instructions below.
- Vacuum or sweep the floor as often as needed to remove grit and dirt before they scratch or are ground into the floor’s surface. Vacuum only with brush or felt type attachments. Never use a vacuum with a beater bar head.
- To clean the whole floor, use a cleaner specially formulated for hardwood floors and follow the directions. Spray and mop dry. Do not allow excess cleaner to remain on the floors. Do not use steam cleaner.
- For spot cleaning, apply cleaner onto a clean cloth and rub onto the spot. Do not use abrasive pads or cleaners as they may damage the finish.
- Never clean your hardwood floor with water or wet mop. The water will get into the floor and then dry out. The repeated wet-dry process will cause your floor to deteriorate very quickly, especially along the edges of floor boards.
- Do not use oil soap, wax products, or cleaners that contain acidic material such as lemon or vinegar.
- Remove any liquid spills right away using a towel or cloth. Other sources of water might be a leaking pipe, refrigerator malfunction, blocked drainage, open door or window when raining, condensation, or too much liquid cleaner. Damage is unavoidable when excess water gets onto the wood floor, but drying it immediately may limit the damage to a minimum.
- Use floor protectors on the feet of furniture to avoid scratches. There are several sizes of floor protector pads available. Certain types of casters on furniture may damage hardwood flooring. Barrel-type caster wheels or wide, flat glides are best for protecting your hardwood floor. If your furniture does not have the right type of casters, we recommend that you change them.
- When moving heavy furniture or appliances, use extra caution to avoid scratching, indenting, and gouging. Some objects may be too heavy to be moved across a hardwood floor without proper floor covering, such as sheets of wood panels.
- If your floor abuts exterior doors, put outside doormats at the entrances to keep dirt and moisture from being tracked in.
- Inside, you may want to add area rugs to further prevent dirt and moisture from being tracked onto your hardwood floor. Make sure the backing of the rugs is soft. Hard and rigid backing may act like a sand paper to scratch your floor. Don’t use rubber or impermeable plastic mats as they may trap the moisture causing the floor to discolor or deteriorate. Always use permeable material.
- Spike or stiletto high-heel shoes may cause denting and related damage to hardwood floors, due to the extremely high compressive force they generate.
- Keep pets’ nails trimmed and smooth.
- The color shade may change over time, just like clothing materials, due to the sun and its UV light. Use drapery or tinted glass to avoid strong sunlight. Too much sunlight may produce too much heat, causing the floor to dry out, the color to fade and the floor to contract or its surface to split.
- The color of the floor under area rugs, furniture or any other objects that might block the sun light, will differ from the rest of the floors over time. If that’s a concern to you, these objects should be moved around occasionally to allow the sunlight to shine evenly over the entire floor.
Limit Expansion & Contraction
- Environmental changes can adversely impact your hardwood floor. With changes in humidity, the MC of the wood changes, resulting in expansion or shrinkage of the flooring. Simply put, the floor will expand when the interior humidity increases and shrink when humidity decreases. The goal is to keep the expansion and contraction to a minimum by maintaining a consistent relative humidity.
- The interior humidity should be kept at 30% – 50% as recommended by NWFA Installation Guidelines, or within a range that you and your installer have discussed and agreed upon, which is practical in your geographical region, before the flooring is acclimated and installed. For example, 35% – 55% may be more practical and controllable in your home.
- Monitoring and regulating devices such as thermostat and humidistat should be in place and functioning at all times. Heating and air conditioning may be enough in some geographical locations and homes to keep the interior conditions satisfactory, while dehumidifiers or humidifiers may be needed in other homes. Many factors will affect the interior humidity, so the key is to measure and regulate.
- Do not use equipment to add or remove moisture to or from the interior without regulating it.
- Wood flooring should be one of the last jobs completed on any construction project. Future remodeling that may generate lots of moisture within the interior, such as masonry, plastering, texturing and painting, should be properly monitored and may require extra heating and dehumidification equipment to keep the interior humidity at the desired level.
- Heat from a fire place, wood stove, electric heater, or sunbeams can dry out the floor in certain areas. Keep the floor temperature below 85°F in any event, by adding area rugs in front of the heat source and using draperies to shade the strong sun light.
- The subfloor should be dry and structurally sound at all times. Make sure the vapor retarder won’t be damaged by other projects that might allow moisture to seep in. Basements and crawl spaces must be dry and well-ventilated. If radiant heat is installed, make sure the temperature of the subfloor does not exceed 85°F.
Stain spots caused by food, grease, etc.: Place a NO WAX cleaner on a clean cloth to remove the stain or spot. For stubborn stains, rub the stain spot with a dampened pad with cleaner. The pad should not be abrasive enough to scratch the finish. Most problems can be prevented or minimized by wiping up any spills immediately. When removing a spot, always begin at the outer edge and work towards the center to prevent the spot from spreading.
Chewing gum or candle wax: Apply a plastic bag filled with ice on top of the deposit until it becomes brittle enough to crumble off. After deposit has been removed from the surface of the floor, clean entire area with a NO WAX floor cleaner.
If the damage is a light scuff or scratch, try burnishing (rubbing) the area with a walnut. No, seriously I mean it…use the meat of a walnut. Both the natural oils and the slight grit of the walnut can polish away most light traffic and scratches.
If that doesn’t work, you will want to consult a professional flooring installer to either perform a spot repair or help by replacing individual planks. Since your floors are factory-finished, individual planks that are heavily gouged or damaged can be replaced if your flooring style is still available.
When interior humidity is high, the floor will absorb moisture and expand, and the edges of boards may rub together, producing a squeaky sound. Care should be taken to control humidity levels within the 30%-50% range (or other range determined before the flooring was installed.) To quiet it temporarily, sprinkling a liberal amount of talcum powder between the squeaking boards will usually quiet things down. For glued-down floors with squeaking boards or loose popping sounds, inquire about the standard adhesive repair kit at your local retailer. Take care to not obstruct the expansion joints around the perimeter of your floors.