Hardwood flooring is one of the most beautiful and classic flooring options that you could put in your home. Rustic cabins, elegant mansions, and upbeat modern apartments alike look gorgeous with hardwood, from pine to oak to more unusual options like cherry or bamboo. When your floor is scratched, stained, or generally roughed up to the point of needing replacement, however, these easy tricks can give your hardwoods a much-needed boost at a fraction of the cost of replacement.
Update Hardwoods with New Rugs
Area rugs are another classic choice for flooring, and a well-placed area rug can change the look and feel of a room completely. Choose one large enough to cover the heaviest traffic areas and bring all the elements of the room together, but not so big that it looks awkward. Remember to use a protective pad underneath to prevent further damage to your floor.
Give Them an All-Natural Shine
If a dull finish and unrelenting stains are the bane of your flooring’s existence, there are dozens of products out there that can give it back its clean and gorgeous glow. With a little bit of elbow grease, you can also use this affordable technique to bring your flooring back up to snuff:
- Mix four parts water with three parts vinegar, one part baking soda, a little bit of alcohol, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil to give it a fresh smell.
- Use a spray bottle to spritz the solution onto your floor, paying special attention to the high-traffic areas, and let dry.
- Scrub the dirtiest areas of your floor with a heavy-duty sponge, spraying on more of the cleaning solution as needed, and let dry again.
- Run over the floor with a vacuum, then mop gently with warm water.
Refresh Scratches in a Day
When a deep clean just isn’t enough to refresh your hardwoods, take a day to fill in your scratches with this DIY technique. Start by identifying the deepest scratches on your floor. Fill them with a little bit of sandable wood filler, which can take a couple of hours to dry, then sand them smooth. Once the gouges in your floor have been filled, you can refresh the smaller scratches with a bit of polyurethane that has the same finish as your floor. Use a cotton swab to lightly wipe the polyurethane on the scratch, avoiding the rest of the floor. If you don’t have a full day to devote to the task, you can polyurethane small sections at a time, setting a stool or chair over the scratches until they dry to deter unobservant feet.
Paint Your Hardwoods
When the natural color of hardwood is so beautiful, it can be difficult to imagine painting it – but painted wood flooring has been popular for decades and is being used more and more as a design element in homes today. Gently sand your floor first, then begin layering thin coats of paint on the floor with a brush – a roller will create a bizarre effect on the wood. Allow the paint to dry completely between coats, and give it at least two days after the last coat before walking on the floor. It will take nearly a month to fully cure, so treat it especially gently until then.
Finally, make sure to take care of your floors now! Use felt or rubber pads on all of your furniture, and make sure to lift and carry heavy furniture instead of dragging it across the floor. Practicing scratch prevention now is easy and cheap, and it could save you thousands in floor repair later!