The countdown to Christmas has begun and it’s time to gear up for the big days. It’s a season filled with joy, good food and quality time with family and friends. But while you’re busy shopping, baking and decorating, your floors may go unnoticed. With holidays come guests, foot traffic, snow, spilled food, greasy splatters and lots of potential wear and tear. Since hardwood floor refinishing or replacement doesn’t come cheap, it’s a good idea to protect your floors. Whether you have hardwood or carpet, we’re here to help you save them from the holidays.
How to Prep Your Floors for the Holidays
Getting your home Christmas-ready doesn’t just mean decking the halls, hanging a wreath and stringing up fancy lights. Have you thought about the amount of foot traffic your floor will endure over the holidays? Here are five few simple things you can do to protect your floors (and home) from the holiday rush. This will keep it looking new and save you money down the line.
Dirt, snow and salt are your floor’s biggest enemies, more so in winter when they get dragged around your home on guests’ shoes. While this can happen year-round, it’s especially annoying in the snowy season when salt grit is used on driveways and sidewalks. Hence, it’s important to protect yourself. Use doormats both inside and outside your entrance. This will encourage guests to wipe their shoes off before entering. Avoid using rubber-backed doormats if you have hardwood floors as any moisture trapped underneath can damage your flooring.
Pets can also carry dirt and salt in on their paws, so make it a point to clean them with a towel before entering the house. You can also train dogs to wait at the door to get their paws cleaned and reward them later with their favourite treats. Cats, not so much.
Have a No-Shoes-in-the-House Policy
Many homeowners use rock salt outside their door to avoid slip-and-fall accidents, but it can stick to shoes and spread all over. Since rock salt can damage the colour of hardwood, it’s best to have a “no shoes in the house” policy. This dramatically lowers the chances of scratches and stains. Humbly ask guests to remove their footwear. Placing a shoe rack near the entrance will help in this regard.
Place Area Rugs in High-Traffic Areas
High-traffic areas like hallways, entryways or even kitchens are prone to more wear and tear than other spaces. Using area rugs and runners is a great way to avoid floor damage. When selecting rugs, choose ones made with synthetics instead of foam- or rubber-backed mats as the latter absorbs moisture and can permanently damage flooring. Make sure they have extra padding to absorb moisture from wet shoes and are comfortable should you have to stand for extended periods.
Use Stick-On Felt Pads
While dirt and spills can be easily mopped up, scratches and dents are harder to remove. But by taking precautions, you can minimize the risk of damage to floors. Holidays mean more guests and more guests means moving furniture. The unpadded bottoms of chair and table legs can scratch and scuff hardwood floors. It’s a good idea to add felt pads or glides to all chairs and tables, especially dining tables. That way, when you move furniture in and out of a room to create more space, you won’t be scratching your floors. Stick-on felt pads are easy to apply and readily available in many general stores.
Mop Up Spills
Spills are a common occurrence during house parties, where there are a lot of guests and children running around excitedly. So, it’s best to be prepared to tackle such holiday mishaps and act immediately. Keep some microfiber cloths, a roll of paper towels and floor cleaner handy. If someone spills their drink, wipe or blot any excess liquid as soon as possible and spray the area with a cleaning solution. As for salt and debris build-up, frequent mopping of hardwoods and laminates with a proper floor cleaner will help extend their lifespan. Avoid cleaning products containing wax, vinegar, polish, ammonia or oil-based soaps, as they can change the colour of your floors over time.
As you prepare your home for Christmas, use these easy and simple tips to keep your floors clean and attractive. By taking these precautions, you can spend more time with your family and friends instead of worrying about your floors. Have a great holiday!