Breathe New Life into Weathered Wood Floors

After a few years, hardwood floors can start looking old and worn, but you can make them look new again with a few helpful tools.


Nice living room with wood floors
Wood floors look fantastic when they’re new, but unmaintained, they can look worn out.Pixabay

Remember the excitement you felt when you first had your hardwood floors installed? Just looking at how shiny and beautiful they were probably made you feel good deep down inside. Now, fast forward several years and things are likely a little different. Many floors get a dull look to them and just lack the luster they once had. Scratches might be prominent, and you’re worried that maybe the only way to solve the problem is having them replaced. Take heart: There are other, less costly alternatives available. Try these three things to make your wood floor shine like new again.

Mop

Bissell Hard Mop, Wood Floor Cleaner and Buffer
This hard floor spin mop reduces cleaning efforts by scrubbing floors for you.Bissell

A good mop is the first tool of choice in making your hardwood floors look new again. But before mopping, it’s important to sweep up every bit of dust, dirt, and other debris on the floor. Otherwise, you’ll just be getting it damp and spreading it around, leaving an even more smudgy looking floor that still has no luster. If you sweep, vacuum, or dust mop your floors every day, they’ll be ready to mop when you are. Many experts advise homeowners to take a lightly dampened mop and clean in the direction of the wood grain. A sopping wet mop isn’t recommended, as too much water can cause permanent damage to your floors. If manual mopping isn’t your cup of tea, many companies make power mops that also do a great job while cutting the amount of work you have to do. Many such electric mops allow the person doing the cleaning to manually spray cleaning liquid onto the floor while mopping so you administer just the right amount.

Steam Mop

BISSELL PowerFresh Steam Mop, Floor Steamer
This steam mop cleans and sanitizes sealed hard floors without the use of harsh chemicals.Bissell

If you don’t get the results you want by cleaning and then mopping, a steam mop is your next tool of choice. Note that because moisture can damage wood floors, some people wouldn’t even think of steam mopping their hardwood. But many companies have made specialized steam mops just for tough-to-clean hardwood floors, and these machines are designed to pick up whatever moisture might be left on the floor after cleaning. While steam cleaning can sometimes make your wood floor shine like it did back when it was new, only use a steam mop if your hardwood floors are sealed. To determine if your floor is sealed or not, put a drop or two of water on the floor in a normal-traffic area. If it beads and sits there for several hours, your floors are sealed. If it is absorbed, your floors are not sealed, and you shouldn’t even consider steam mopping them.

Restorer/Polish

Rejuvenate Professional Wood Floor Restorer and Polish
This wood floor restoration and polishing formula fills in scratches, restores a glossy shine, and protects hardwood flooring.Rejuvenate

Your floor could be in such bad condition that you feel like installing a new floor is about your only option. Another thing to consider is possibly sanding the floors down entirely and applying a new surface finish, but that can also be a very costly endeavor. A better option, depending on the condition of your floor, might be restoring it with a restoring/polishing compound available for just that purpose. A good wood floor restoration/polishing formula will fill in scratches while restoring your floor’s glossy shine and protecting it for years to come. Most are polymer-based and made to bond to your floor’s existing finish to resist stains and spills with no waxy buildup. While these compounds can be used on many floor surfaces, they work best on previously sealed surfaces. Before using a restorer/polisher, the floor must be completely clean. The result should be a clean-looking, shiny new finish.

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