Kermans Blog

The best ways to protect hardwood floors over the holidays

Published: December 12, 2019

Hardwood flooring is a significant investment, and it can be tricky to keep your flooring looking fresh during weather without some planning and preparation.

Whether you’re worried about damage from extra foot traffic from holiday entertaining or harm from destructive winter gunk like snow, sleet, and salt, there are things you can do to give your hardwood floors extra protection.

Keep reading to learn the best ways to protect your hardwood floors so that you can spend more time enjoying the holiday season and less time fussing over your flooring.

Foyer with hardwood flooring decorated for Christmas

Keep the outside elements outside

When your family, neighbors, and other visitors come and go from your home during the winter months, they will likely track in chunks of salt, snow, icy slush, grit, dirt, and more.

Although weather-related hazards are hard to keep out of your house over the holidays, there are some precautions you can take to minimize the damage these elements cause to your hardwood floors.

The best ways to protect your hardwood floors from winter weather debris include:

  • Using doormats inside and outside entryways
  • Removing shoes inside the house (and offering indoor-only slippers for guests)
  • Using a boot tray (and regularly check underneath to check for and clean-up any sitting water)
  • Cleaning your floors frequently (including your garage, porch, and deck)
  • Having towels and mop ready-to-go to ensure quick clean-up of unexpected salt and snow messes

What is seasonal gapping?

During the winter months, do the boards in your hardwood floors look like they shrink a bit? No need to worry. Many homeowners notice seasonal gapping in their flooring.

Even correctly installed hardwood floors may feature noticeable seasonal gaps when there’s an imbalance in indoor air moisture. Because wood is porous, it naturally expands and contracts when the humidity in its environment changes.

To reduce the likelihood of getting seasonal gaps in your hardwood flooring, aim to keep your indoor humidity level between 30–50% and your heat between 60°–80° degrees.

Get more expert tips for caring for hardwood floors »

Take steps to prevent scratches

With more people than normal coming and going, you also need to take precautions to prevent grit from damaging your hardwood floors. Some of the best ways to avoid dirt scratches include:

  • Adding area rugs and runners to protect high-traffic areas
  • Putting felt pads on the legs of furniture, especially chairs and other things that may move around or shift

Avoid water spills

Real Christmas trees are beautiful, but they can also be dangerous and put your hardwood flooring in jeopardy if the water you are using to keep it looking fresh spills.

Under your tree, use a waterproof tree stand mat or drain tray to catch any spilled water and protect your hardwood floors.

Looking for hardwood flooring in Indianapolis?

The winter season can be harsh on floors.

If your hardwood flooring has seen better days and you’re ready to install new hardwood or resilient flooring, we can help.

Here at Kermans, all of our designers are award-winning flooring experts with years of experience helping homeowners find the floors of their dreams.

You don’t have to go it alone. Stop by our showroom for no-pressure advice or set a time to meet one-on-one to get all of your questions answered.

Meet with a designer at Kermans »

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