NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/CONSUMER REPORTS) — Hardwood floors can look amazing and add a timeless touch to any home. But when they get worn, scuffed and scratched, they quickly lose their luster.
If you're thinking of replacing your hardwood floors or just installing them, there are some things you'll want to look for. If you've already got them, here are some ways to keep them looking great.
"Hardwood floors are a great choice if you’re looking for flooring that never goes out of style. And like any good flooring, wood needs to be able to stand up to lots of abuse," said Tobie Stanger, a Consumer Reports home editor.
To see how well flooring resists dents, scratches, stains and general foot — and paw — traffic Consumer Reports runs a series of tough tests.
Solid wood flooring from Teragren is made from bamboo and aced Consumer Reports' scratching and dent tests. It’s also very good for resisting stains.
If you get a lot of foot traffic consider the LL Flooring Red Oak instead. It earned one of the top scores in Consumer Reports' abrasion tests.
Whether you’re installing new floors or your home has them already, keeping them looking good for years to come does require some special care.
"A no-shoes inside rule can be great if you can enforce it. But it can be tough with kids and pets tracking dirt in," Stanger said.
Place a doormat outside of all of your entrances to keep people and pets from tracking in dirt and mud. Consider area rugs or runners in high traffic zones like in front of the kitchen sink or oven.
To keep scratches away, use felt protectors under your furniture legs and always lift furniture instead of sliding. A good vacuum can help too.
The Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly upright vacuum is a great choice for bare floors and carpets. As the name implies, it can handle your pet’s hair, too.
If you’re tempted to mop your floors — go easy on the water, and never use a steam mop since they can damage hardwoods.