how to protect hardwood floors holidays

Holiday How-To: ‘Tis The Season to Protect Your Hardwood Floors

It’s coming: The snow, the salt, the boot-wearing foot traffic. Yes, it’s that time of year when havoc can be wreaked on our floor’s finish while we’re caught up in all the festivities. But don’t worry, we bring you good tidings! These five simple, preventative steps can protect your hardwood flooring so that it remains beautiful for seasons to come.

hardwood flooring protection

1. Let it Snow…But Outside

First and foremost, you’ll want to keep the elements on the other side of your door. The best way to stop salt, slush, snow, and dirt from getting on floors is to place doormats at all interior entries. You may already have a mat on the outside, but by putting a slightly larger one on the inside, you’ll help ensure that nothing that can damage your floor’s finish can be tracked or accidentally kicked in. There are a lot of cute seasonal mats available that can become part of your annual holiday décor. We do caution, however, that you not use one with a rubber or foam back as these can discolor your floor by trapping moisture. 

2. Get Footloose

Even though floor mats will prevent dirt and moisture from tracking into your entryway, there is still the possibility that some residue can remain on footwear. Additionally, shoes or boots with heels can ding, dent, or scrape floors. Asking guests or family members to remove their footwear at the door is the surest way to protect your floors, and using a boot tray helps keep everything organized.

hardwood floors protection

Have one or more boot trays adjacent to the entry mat so that footwear can be removed right at the door. If you can’t find a boot tray, try using a towel or storage container to place by the front door. And if you’re entertaining on a chilly night, have cozy holiday slippers ready for guests when they remove their shoes. It will keep them warm, your floors safe, and if you’re wearing them too, it can become a party theme!

3. Decorate Without Incident

Time to put up your decorations? Take a few precautions to make sure that your floors don’t also become decorated with scratches or other marks. Set boxes of decorations on a blanket or towel and slide them across the floor as needed instead of dragging the boxes. Bits of glue, glitter, and wire may be coming through the sides of the box ready to mar your hardwood floors.

holiday decor on hardwood floor

If you haven’t already, put furniture pads under the couch, table or any other item you’ll be moving to make room for decorations. It’s also a good idea to put plastic or some type of padding between the floor and any freestanding decorations, especially if you set up a real tree, where pine needles and water can hurt your floor’s finish.

4. Prep, Prep, Prep

You can easily head off any potential issues with a few precautions. First, make sure your floors are clean going into the holiday season. Give them a good once-over with the manufacturer’s recommended products, and sweep, dust, or mop leading up to your holiday parties. This can help ensure that dust and debris won’t be dragged around during all of the activity, plus your floors will look party-ready! Be sure not to use any waxes or coatings though, as they may not only damage your floors, but also be slippery for guests to walk on.

Prep to Protect Hardwood Floors

With the change in weather, you’ll also want to make sure that you are maintaining the right moisture level for your hardwood floors. Dropping temperatures and cranking the heat will lower humidity, which can result in cracking, splitting or, shrinking planks. While minor temperature and humidity fluctuations between 60-80 degrees (with a relative humidity range of 35-55 percent) are tolerable, we recommend that you get a humidifier up and running to maintain the correct level of humidity throughout the season. Bonus, your skin and sinuses will benefit too!

We know that the winter months are probably the busiest time of the year for most people. Though we hate to have added to your to-do list, we hope that we have given you a few good ideas to protect your floors this season.

Well, that’s it from us for this year. We’ll be back in 2019 with more new info to help keep your home healthy. From all of us at LIFECORE, we wish you and your family a happy, healthy holiday season.

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