Wood floor inlays make quite the impression.
If you’re a homeowner who wants to create beauty and elegance with your hardwood floors, an inlay is the perfect addition to your home. These tips make it easy to maintain your wood floor inlay.
Choose the Right Location
One of the first steps to maintaining a hardwood floor inlay is choosing the right location. This may not seem like a maintenance matter, but if you’re a homeowner who wants to keep your wood inlay looking its best, you’ll want to position the inlay in a place where it is:
- Protected from intense or direct sunlight,
- Out of the way from the worst foot traffic in your home,
- unlikely to be damaged by spills, and
- unlikely to be situated directly beneath a piece of furniture.
Often, the best rooms for an inlay are north-facing so that the floors are unlikely to fade because of sunlight.
Reduce Chance of Scratches
Scratches occur on hardwood floors for a variety of reasons. This is especially unfortunate on hardwood inlay, because the inlay is itself a kind of focal point in the room, and scratches stand out more in areas that draw a lot of attention.
To protect your hardwood inlay from scratches, do the following:
- Establish household rules to prevent people from walking on the hardwood floor in shoes.
- Place furniture pads on any furniture in the room (even if that furniture is not normally positioned directly over the inlay).
- Establish household rules preventing pets with claws from walking in that room.
You should also inspect your inlay on a regular basis to check for scratches. This way, if scratches appear, you can take steps to get rid of the scratches before they become deep.
Dirt and grit can scratch hardwood floors when it’s stepped on or kicked around. Keeping the room properly swept can help.
Dry mop with a mop that has a microfiber cloth or with a more traditional mop. Do this daily, or at least a few times per week if the room is used regularly. If the room is not used regularly, dry mop as often as the situation warrants.
Address Spills Immediately
Stains can mar your hardwood floors, detracting from the natural beauty of the inlay. Some stains even make it hard to discern the inlay’s pattern. Address spills immediately to protect the inlay and the beautiful pattern. Keep a towel in the room to address spills when they happen.
Screen or Refinish When Necessary
Screening your inlay (and the floor around it) involves lightly buffing the finish and then applying a new layer of polyurethane. Screening is a good way to rejuvenate the floors when the finish is scratched but the wood itself is in good condition.
Refinishing is the process of sanding down the wood on the floor when it becomes scratched. Most floors don’t need to be refinished until the wood becomes significantly scratched. Refinishing brings the floor to a state that is like new.
Most hardwood floors only need to be refinished once every great while, and many homeowners have a hard time telling when their inlay needs to be screened and when it needs to be refinished. Work with a professional floor installer and refinisher to decide which process is necessary for your inlay.
Keep in mind that refinishing hardwood floors often eliminates the stains. When the inlay is refinished, your flooring professional will have to re-stain the inlay to bring back its beauty. Talk to your refinisher about whether or not you want the same color stain or a new pattern of color in your hardwood inlay.