My floors have a textured finish with a very low luster sheen while many hardwood floors have a very smooth finish with a sheen that varies from minimal sheen to high gloss.
Low luster/minimal sheen and a satin finish sheen are the most popular choices for residential homes.
Today I’m sharing a few basic tips as well as the products I use to take care of our wood floors.
I regularly vacuum and sweep the floors but the process I’m showing you today requires a bit more muscle.
Let’s begin by saying this is suggested for your floors every 6 months. Doesn’t happen that often around here. Not by a long shot.
The process begins by moving almost the entire contents of the living room into the dining room and entry.
Where the most unwelcome sights appear.
(I can’t believe I’m showing you this. This proves how much I love you guys.)
Among the expected dust bunnies was a motley collection that included hair clips, feathers, an odd sock and one perfectly preserved contact lens. When the day was done I was .39 cents richer.
The first step is vacuuming, sweeping and dusting. Never use water on your wood floors. Use a damp rag if necessary for cleaning spills.
Vacuuming is recommended over sweeping but our vacuum is old-as-the-hills and likes to spit things back out while on flat surfaces so I tend to sweep. Scott still tries to vacuum but I think it’s an effort in futility.
Speaking of Scott, the attachment (aka old t-shirt wrapped and knotted) to my “dust mop” is his invention. I can’t complain. It does the trick.
Between vacuuming, sweeping and finally running a dust mop over the floors they should be clean enough for the next step.
Dura Seal Wax & Cleaner in the color Coffee Brown was recommended by the installers for maintaining my floors and I have to say I’ve loved it. It’s so easy to use with really good results. You can also choose Dura Seal Neutral for lighter woods.
This product has the consistency of a wood stain. Using plastic gloves and old t-shirts, torn into smaller pieces, we (#1 Son and myself) worked our way across the wood floor rubbing the Dura Seal into the floor in a circular motion.
Allow it to dry for about 20-30 minutes and then polish the floor with a dry cloth. When I say “polish” basically this is repeating the circular motion with a clean soft cloth. I’ve been known to do this while standing on a towel, scooting and scootching my way across the floor. Don’t judge. By the time I get to this point I’m tired on being on my hands and knees.
The day before we waxed the floors the pest control guys came by and sprayed. I found this on my floors and about had a fit. The Dura Seal cleaned it up without any problem.
In this before picture you can faintly see the difference on the floor where the rug was. The Dura Seal didn’t completely even out the color difference but came very close.
Side note…we used wood floor vents for the rooms with wood floors.
ELECTRICAL FLOOR OUTLETS
Most of the homes in Oklahoma are built on a slab foundation so this step in construction – where to place a floor outlet – must be decided well before the foundation is poured. If you have a crawl space below your home an electrician can install a floor outlet after the fact. A much easier option for deciding where to place a floor plug.
This is one of the best decisions I made.
I had this outlet, and the upper portion of 2 wall outlets, wired to a wall switch. I use these outlets for my lamps (and Christmas trees, too!) and flip them on with one switch. I LOVE THIS!
Deciding where to place a floor outlet is not an easy task.
It’s a permanent decision. There’s no do-overs with a slab foundation.
When planning this step I poured over our plans, trying to figure out furniture placement (including future furniture options – sofa? 2 chairs? etc) and the best position for the outlet.
This room is approximately 18′ by 18′. Initially I planned for the outlet to be centered and placed 4′ in from the hallway tile (which would have put the outlet under the sofa). At the very last minute I moved it to 6.6″ in. I should have left it where it was.
It’s now under the rug, under the coffee table. Which actually isn’t a bad spot but under the sofa would have been better. I bought a SlimLine Flat Plug Extension Cord to use here and it’s worked great.
The best tip I can give for deciding the placement of your floor outlet is Space Planning.
Study your floor plan and research the measurements of the furniture being used in the space. Today, there are many visual tools like floorplanner.com to help with this process. But you can still accomplish this process old school using furniture templates.
For me…the optimal placement for a floor outlet is under a sofa, chair or end table but other options would be directly behind a table or group of chairs for easier daily access.
Regardless of how difficult a decision it is, it’s definitely worth installing a floor outlet. I’m proof that even if you make a mistake and the outlet doesn’t end up exactly perfect…it’s better than not having one at all.