What to Do When New Floors Shows Signs of Wear

by Jason Brubaker

There is no flooring more beautiful than natural wood flooring. And while many people are surprised to learn it, wood flooring is also easy to care for and durable if you work to preserve its natural beauty. Additionally, wood flooring presents an image of quality that can enhance any brand and decor.

The best of both function and beauty, infused wood floors are designed to stand up to high traffic areas in restaurants, hotels, and retail establishments with minimal care. However, over time you may find that traffic or circumstances have caused scratches or other signs of wear.

Try to take care of these first signs of wear as soon as you notice them, but be sure to follow the right steps to avoid making the problem worse. Don’t use large amounts of water for cleaning, regardless of temperature, and never use abrasives or harsh cleansers. Instead, follow these simple steps.

Caring for Stains and Spills

Clean up liquids such as spilled water and beverages, food or pet urine as soon as you can, using cloths or sponges. Don’t rub, and try not to spread the liquid beyond the original area. Once the floor is dry, use a small amount of a high quality hardwood floor cleaner such as Bona Pro Series Hardwood Floor Cleaner to restore the luster to the floor.

Put a small amount of the cleaner on a clean dry cloth and lightly apply it to the affected area in a circular motion. Rub until dry to avoid raising the grain of the wood.

Gum, Wax or Crayon

Fill a plastic bag with ice and place it on top of the substance until the substance becomes hard and brittle enough to scrape or crumble off. Never put ice directly on a wood floor, even wrapped in a towel. Make sure it is enclosed in a plastic bag to prevent the water melt from damaging the floor further. Use a dull instrument such as the edge of a credit card or a plastic spatula to gently remove the substance. Pick up or vacuum away the pieces, then apply Bona Pro Series Hardwood Floor Cleaner as described above to restore the luster.

Oily Stains: Lipstick, Tar, Oil, Scuffs, Grease

Oil can create tough stains on hardwood flooring, but mineral spirits can help break it up. First, cover the stain with ice in a bag as described above. If the results are unsatisfactory, use a small amount of mineral spirits on a clean cloth to wipe away the remaining stain. Start at the outer edge of the stain and work your way inward to avoid making the stain larger. Be sure the space is well ventilated during this procedure. When the stain has been removed, use Bona as described above to restore luster.

Repairing Scratches

Small, superficial scratches can be easily masked by using a high-quality scratch product such as Cal-Flor Scratch Away or a Zenith Tibet Almond Stick. Be careful to apply the stick only to the scratched area. You can also use wood touch-up kits that are widely available in flooring and hardwood retail locations.

Deeper scratches that have penetrated farther into the wood may require more drastic measures. Start by using the touch-up repairs described above. For especially deep scratches, you may want to try applying a polyurethane stain with a fine brush. If the results are not cosmetically acceptable, then you may need to refinish the plank or area. If that is the case, follow the steps below.

Complete Refinishing for Gouges and Deep Scratches

Start by ensuring that the area for refinishing is free from dirt, wax or any cleaning residues. Sweep and vacuum the affected area to be sure all traces of grit are gone. You may want to mask off the area using a high-quality painter’s tape. Tapes made by 3-M are good for this purpose.

Next, spray Bona Prep over the target area, being careful not to get any on adjacent areas. Buff the floor area using a Bona conditioning pad. After buffing Remove the residue using a white cloth slightly dampened with Bona Prep.

Once the floor is dry, lightly sand any remaining scratches by hand until the floor is even. Sand in the direction of the grain and be careful not to over sand. Vacuum the area, and use a tack cloth to remove any remaining grit or particles. Now use a Bona conditioning pad to gently abrade the area so the new finish will stick. Tack the surface again to ensure it is completely smooth and that there is no remaining debris.

Once the floor has completely dried, apply two coats of Nydree Flooring Touch-Up polyurethane or another high-quality satin finish polyurethane product such as Bona Traffic/Traffic HD Satin or Bona Mega Satin to the affected area. Allow the area to dry between coats, and lightly abrade and tack the area before applying the second coat.

Keep the area clear of traffic during this process, and ensure adequate ventilation while applying chemicals and during the drying and curing time. This should restore the appearance of your beautiful wood floor, eliminating unsightly gouges and deep scratches.

The best way to prevent having to refinish your beautiful hardwood floors is to take good care of them during day-to-day operations. This includes regular vacuuming or dry mopping, prompt attention to spills and avoidance of water. See the section below for more tips on the best regular maintenance to prevent signs of wear on your wood flooring.

Regular Maintenance

The first defense against showing wear on hardwood floors is proper care and maintenance. Caring for wood floors is simple and does not require special equipment or cleaning routines. In fact, just a few simple steps will keep wood floors looking great, even in high-traffic areas.

Always use mats to trap water, sand, and dirt in front of entrances, especially during inclement weather. When cleaning, use only a damp mop and the least amount of water possible, and try never to let stains or spills sit for long periods before wiping them up. Never use a wet mop or dump water directly on the floor. Use a high-quality wood floor cleaner such as Bona when necessary, and don’t use wax, household cleaners, window cleaners or even vinegar on your wood floors.

Part of the value of wood flooring, in addition to its beauty, style, and warmth, is the easy care nature of the finish and the durability built into infused wood products. With three times the durability of other floors, wood flooring is a cost-effective solution. Infused wood flooring has 300 percent more dent resistance than un-infused wood flooring, and it has undergone rigorous testing to ensure it resists stains and abrasions.

With minimal care and daily maintenance, wood flooring will last for years without showing signs of wear or sustaining any damage. In the event that your beautiful floor does become stained or scratched, follow these simple steps to restore its shine and you and your customers can continue enjoying it for years to come.