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Dull Hardwood Floors: Potential Causes and What You Can Do

Dull Hardwood Floors: Potential Causes and What You Can Do

6 minute read

Property owners throughout the country love hardwood floors' classic and timeless appeal. Whether it’s solid or engineered hardwood, you can choose from various species like mahogany, oak, pine, and cherry wood, each with its own distinct wood grain pattern. In addition to the species of wood, hardwood floors can also be finished with a number of stain and surface finish options that add attractive color and shine. 

With the right care and maintenance, your hardwood floors will remain stunning for years to come. On the other hand, there are a few things to look out for if you have hardwood floors in your home to keep them from becoming dull and lackluster. 

Our expert team here at  Harper Floors team sheds light on the main culprits of dull wood floors. As a top flooring company offering stunning, high-quality and rich in color products like Harper Floors' Orion flooring, we know a thing or two about keeping hardwood floors in its original condition. Here, we discuss some of the worst things for hardwood floors and what you can do about them. 

Causes of Dull Hardwood Floors

High Heel Shoes

While most shoes are completely harmless when it comes to hardwood floors, high heels are not suitable in homes with hardwood floors. 

A person weighing 125 pounds standing on one foot while wearing shoes with a 1/4-inch stiletto tip exerts about 2,000 PSI (pounds per square inch) of pressure. A person of the same weight standing flat-footed only produces about four PSI. Extreme pressure on a pointed heel can lead to dents, holes, and scratches in the surface of the hardwood. All hardwood manufacturers will recommend limiting the use of both platform and stiletto heels on hardwood floors in order to preserve its original beauty. 

Excessive Sunlight

Floor to ceiling windows that bring in a ton of natural light into the home have become increasingly popular, and for good reason. Natural light creates a light, airy and open feel in an interior. However, consistent direct sunlight can over time lead to fading in hardwood floors. 

Prevent the sun from removing your hardwood floor's luster by using blinds, curtains, and other window coverings during the sunniest times of the day. You could also install UV-resistant windows or window films to safely allow light in without leaving your wood floors susceptible to fading. 

Wrong Cleaning Product

Regularly cleaning your hardwood floors is highly recommended to keep its original color and shine. However, it is possible to clean hardwood floors the wrong way. Hardwood floor cleaning products can effectively remove dirt and grime while protecting the wood's finish, yet some cleaning products can be too harsh if the product is not compatible with your hardwood’s finish. In some cases, incorrect cleaning products will leave streaks in the hardwood’s surface. In other cases, the cleaning product will clear the hardwood’s protective surface coating and strip off any gloss, leaving a lackluster appearance. When shopping for hardwood flooring cleaning products, check to make sure the product is compatible with the type of finish on your hardwood floors, whether it’s a natural oil finish, UV cured finish, or polyurethane finish, just to name a few. The right cleaning products are meant to dissolve dirt without eliminating the hardwood’s surface coating and finish.

Additionally, alkaline cleaning products like ammonia and vinegar are not suitable for cleaning hardwood floors. You should also never mop your floors using abrasive materials and products like baking soda or scrub pads. 


Too Much Cleaning Product

Now, even with the right cleaning product for your hardwood, using more than the recommended amount may also cause a dull, worn appearance to your hardwood floors.

Only use the recommended amount of cleaner according to the instructions on the label. In addition, utilize the best mopping techniques to prevent streaking. Maintain your hardwood floor's shine and beauty by buffing the surface with a microfiber mop or cloth after damp mopping it with cleaner. We recommend using a Swiffer sweeper or similar type of product rather than a traditional mop, as traditional mopping allows excess water to sit on the floor surface. 

Scratches in the Wood

Sometimes, hardwood floors look dull due to wear and tear from scratches. Everything from moving furniture without floor slides to failing to trim your pet's nails can damage the wood. Hardwood floors will eventually show their age, but you can prevent premature wear and tear by being mindful of scratches. 

If you have a dog or cat, keep their nails trimmed to prevent them from scratching the wood as they walk and run in the house. Use floor guards when moving heavy furniture, and don't wear high-heels in the house. 

Pet Urine 

Pet nails aren't the only danger to your lovely hardwood floors. Animal urine contains ammonia and uric acid, which can quickly eat away at a wood floor's finish, leaving them looking less than stellar.

Furthermore, exposing your hardwood floors to pet urine is a surefire way to permanently damage the flooring material. Not only does the urine destroy the wood floor’s finish, but it can also make its way underneath the flooring planks, creating small puddles and never fully drying, eventually causing the wood to rot.

If your pet has an accident on the floor, clean it up immediately to minimize the damage. Consider putting water-resistance puppy pads on the floor for pets you're house-training.

Breathe Life into Dull Hardwood Floors with Harper Floors

Hardwood flooring is one of the most sought-after options for homeowners and following your manufacturer’s regular care and maintenance instructions will keep your hardwood floors looking its best for decades to come.

You can get stunning factory direct wood floors at Harper Floors with complete product transparency and a team of experts to support you from start to finish. We have a team of flooring experts who can help you decide on flooring materials and shipping options. You can also browse our blog to learn about the different hardwood floor finishes or allow our team to provide one-on-one assistance in selecting your new hardwood floors today. 

If you're ready to remodel your home to eliminate dull hardwood floors, don't hesitate to contact Harper Floors. Complete our online quote request form or call 888-807-2704 to get started. 

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