Joan Crawford was infamous for her obsession with cleaning. Quick tempered and controlling, Crawford had more than her share of trouble keeping her hired help. “I’m not mad at you; I’m mad at the dirt” was the Joan Crawford refrain.
Crawford would be none to pleased to hear that there is no such thing as maintenance free when it comes to flooring materials.
So, with your hardwood flooring installation now complete, how do you strike a balance of caring enough for your floors…but not caring too much in the Joan Crawford way?
Thankfully, even in households with dribbly, accident-prone toddlers, manipulative cats and dogs who know what buttons to push to get attention, and in-laws who think they know better than you, prevention and common sense will take you far.
Scratches, scuffs and scrapes: How to prevent them?
All members of the household need to change their behavior to preserve the new flooring.
So, when your permissive mother-in-law (who doesn’t always use the best common sense) babysits your kids, tell her to not let them draw on the floor with permanent markers like she used to let them do on your battered old flooring.
And when your child rides his plastic-wheeled Little Tikes toy (a birthday gift from your thoughtful mother-in-law), tell him to ride it outside or in your basement rec room and not on your hardwood.
Footwear for Furniture: Buy “shoes” for any furnishings with legs that touch the floor. Remember the rule for hardwood floors is the reverse of people wearing shoes—furniture can wear shoes, people can’t. In fact, before your flooring is even installed (or refinished), visit a hardware store and ask for “Furniture Sliders.” These round sliders are backed with adhesive on one side and usually felt or something soft on the other side. Apply the sticky side of the sliders to the feet of your sofas, loveseats, end tables, bookcases, armoires.
Sunscreen for Flooring: Would you expose your skin to direct sunlight and think you won’t look a bit leathery in 20 years? When it comes to sunlight, protect your hardwood floors, too. Rugs on the floor are a good sunscreen (plus you’ll meet a Joan Crawford standard of clean as the rugs will protect the floors from dirt).
Often because people just don’t take the minimal time and energy to apply a high-factor sunscreen, they end up with spots, even skin cancers. It doesn’t happen immediately…but just wait a few years. Pimples, spots or moles “suddenly” change color…and that’s how it starts. The sun can insidiously damage flooring, too, so consider blinds or shades for your windows. You’ll reduce exposure of your floors to the sun, which over time can damage your finish. Also, try to rotate the rugs in your room weekly. Otherwise your flooring may develop ugly “tan lines”—variances in shades of finish from the sun.
Aside from protecting the floors from scratches and sun, naturally you’ll want to vacuum the floors regularly and teach people how to treat your floors right—by checking their shoes at the door. Implement these suggestions and you will protect your flooring—and not in a Joan Crawford way.
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