Wood Care

Hardwood Flooring Care

  • Do not use sheet vinyl or tile floor care products on wood floors.
  • Self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly. See your dealer for appropriate cleaner.
  • Use throw-rugs or runners both inside and outside doorways to help prevent grit, dirt, and other debris from being tracked onto your wood floors. This will also prevent scratching.
  • Do not wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly dampened towel.
  • Use soft plastic or fabric-faced glides under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing or scratching.
  • For wood flooring in the kitchen, place an area rug in front of the sink.
  • Use a humidifier throughout the winter months to keep wood movement and shrinkage to a minimum.

Color Change in Pre-finished Hardwood Flooring:

Slight color changes occur in wood floors gradually with time and exposure as a result of oxidation and/or photochemical activity.

Homeowners often notice a slight difference in height from one board to another on a pre-finished wood floor. This is called over-wood or lippage and is defined as the vertical distance between two abutting boards. Pre-finished boards are manufactured to be within a certain tolerance and may have a slight variation in height from board to board. Due to the fact that the boards are sanded at the factory prior to installation some deviation between the individual planks is unavoidable. Typically the boards come from the factory with a maximum deviation the height of a business card.

Some over-wood in a home is perfectly normal and does not indicate a flaw in the boards or unacceptable deviation in the sub-floor. Nor does it affect the integrity of the floor. According to the National Association of Home Builders’ Residential Construction Performance Guidelines, over-wood or lippage under 1/16 of an inch (about the size of a credit card) is considered to be within tolerance.


Cupping, or “washboard” is seen when, across the width of one piece of the flooring material, the edges are high and the center is lower. This condition usually develops gradually. Moisture imbalance through the thickness is the only cause. The material was manufactured flat and was flat when installed. Job site or occupant-provided moisture is greater on the bottom of the piece than on the top. Find the source of moisture and eliminate it. Common moisture sources and their corrections are:

  • Airborne Relative Humidity– dehumidify air space or– humidify air space during the heating season
  • Wet basement – ventilate, dehumidify
  • Crawlspace – total groundcover with black plastic 6 mil.; vents; add exhaust fan on timer
  • Rain handling provisions – correct to drain away from house
  • Reduce excessive lawn & garden moisture, waterproof foundation
  • Repair leaks, i.e. plumbing, roof, doors
  • Don’t hose patio
  • In kitchen, the dishwasher and icemaker are notorious leakers/li>

Expansion is also the result of site moisture and may have moved the floor tight to vertical surfaces. If so, remove flooring along the wall, or saw cut, to relieve pressure. The ultimate cure is to allow time for the corrections to take effect, permitting the floor to improve on its own.


Gapping in solid wood floors cannot be stopped completely. Wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity. Using a humidifier during the heating months may help reduce the amount of gapping in solid wood floors. Also, some wood species may expand and contract less than others. Engineered wood floors are much more dimensionally stable than solid wood floors and will show little or no gaps between planks.