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Cleaning and maintaining your wood floors has become so simple and quick due to the advancements in wood flooring stains and finishes over the years.

Regular maintenance requires little more than sweeping with a soft bristle broom or vacuuming with a soft floor attachment if your wood floor includes a beveled edge that could collect debris.

We also recommend that you should periodically clean your floors with a professional wood floor-cleaning product. There are also other steps you can take to minimize maintenance and maintain the beauty of your wood floors in our guide and tips.

Download our care guide with helpful tips and suggestions to help sustain the longevity of your flooring.

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  • Do not use sheet vinyl or tile floor care products on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly.
  • Use throw rugs both inside and outside doorways to help prevent grit, dirt and other debris from being tracked onto your wood floors. This will prevent scratching.
  • Do not wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly dampened towel.
  • Do not over-wax a wood floor. If a wax floor dulls, try buffing instead. Avoid wax buildup under furniture and other light traffic areas by applying wax in these spots every other waxing session.
  • Put stick-on felt protectors under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching. Replace these often as dirt and debris can become imbedded on the pad and act like sandpaper on the flooring surface.
  • Avoid walking on your wood floors with cleats, sports shoes and high heels. A 125-pound woman walking in high heels has an impact of 2,000 pounds per square inch. An exposed heel nail can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact can dent any floor surface.
  • When moving heavy furniture, do not slide it on wood flooring. It is best to pick up the furniture completely to prevent scratches.
  • For wood flooring in the kitchen, place an area rug in front of the kitchen sink.
  • Use a humidifier throughout the winter months to minimize gaps or cracks.

The Janka Hardness Test measures the resistances a sample of wood has to denting and wear. It measures the force required to embed a 11.28mm (.444 inch) steel ball into wood up to half the ball’s diameter. This method leaves an indentation.

A common use of Janka hardness ratings is to determine if a wood species is suitable for flooring.

The harder the wood, the longer it will last under heavy use, however, harder wood also takes longer to sand and refinish.

hardwood floor hardness scale


25 Wood Species Ranked from Hardest to Softest

  • Ipe / Brazilian Walnut
  • Cumaru / Brazilian Teak
  • Brazilian Rosewood
  • Strand Bamboo
  • Brazilian Cherry
  • Red Mahogany
  • Southern Chestnut
  • Brazilian Cherry / Jatoba
  • Santos Mahogany
  • Jarrah
  • Tigerwood
  • Pecan / Hickory
  • Solid Bamboo
  • Engineered Bamboo
  • Hard Maple
  • White Oak
  • White Ash
  • American Beech
  • Red Oak
  • Caribbean Heart Pine
  • Yellow Birch
  • Heart Pine
  • North American Walnut
  • North American Cherry
  • Southern Yellow Pine
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Learn how to maintain and protect your hardwood floor, as well as how often it should be refinished.

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National Wood Flooring Association Member • NWFA Certified Sand & Finisher Professional