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Hardwood Flooring Care and Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance will help ensure your floor always looks its best. Simply follow our maintenance and prevention steps outlined below to protect your investment and safeguard your warranty:


Initial Care:
Following installation, clean with a cleaner designed for real wood floors with an aluminum oxide finish. If the floor was glued down, remove any residual adhesive with the appropriate adhesive remover.


Ongoing Routine Care and Maintenance:

  • Vacuum, sweep or dust mop your floor once a week, or more if needed. The vacuum head must be brush or felt, and a wand attachment is preferable. Do not use vacuums with beater bars or hard heads. A swivel-head mop with terry cloth cover is also recommended to eliminate finer particles of grit and dirt that can act like sandpaper on hardwood floors.
  • Spills and tracked-in dirt should be wiped up immediately.
  • Never apply wax treatments to your urethane-coated floor.
  • Regularly clean the floor with swivel-head mop with cloth cover. Spray a wood floor cleaner directly onto the mop cover. DO NOT allow excess cleaner to remain on the floor’s surface. Excess liquid may damage the fiber of the wood.
  • NEVER CLEAN WITH WATER OR WET MOP. Water and other liquids may permanently damage the floor and will void the warranty.
  • Area rugs are recommended in front of kitchen sinks, at all pivot points and within high-traffic areas. Do not use rugs with solid rubber or vinyl backings. The rugs must be made of a breathable material to prevent moisture entrapment.
  • Use interior and exterior doormats at all entrances to collect dirt and moisture and prevent it from being tracked onto the floor.
  • NEVER USE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS (OR PRODUCTS SIMILAR IN NATURE) ON YOUR FLOOR: ammonia-based cleaners, acrylic finishes, wax-based products, detergents, bleach, polishes, oil soap, abrasive cleaning soaps, or acidic materials such as vinegar. Many of these products can pit or etch the finish of your flooring or prevent the proper use of recommended maintenance materials.
  • Keep animal nails trimmed to minimize finish scratches.
  • Do not damage your floor with shoes having heel taps or sharp objects protruding from the sole such as rocks, exposed nails and gravel.
  • Avoid walking on wood floors with spike or stiletto heeled shoes. Spike or stiletto high-heels must be properly maintained to prevent damage from the steel heel support.
  • Do not roll or slide heavy objects directly upon the floor. When moving appliances or heavy furniture, consider laying a solid protective covering on your floor and gently “walk” the item across it. Carpet or cardboard is not adequate to prevent surface compression scratches.
  • Use furniture leg protector pads under all furniture and make certain to keep them clean and well maintained.
  • Replace hard, narrow furniture rollers with wide rubber rollers.
  • Protect your floor from direct sunlight. Use curtains and UV resistant film on large glass doors and windows.
  • Relative humidity levels should be maintained between 30% and 55% throughout the year (especially during the heating months). Rooms must be maintained at a temperature of 60°F - 80°F at all times.

ARK Floors Proper Floor Care and Maintenance

Initial Care:
Following your flooring installation, clean with Bona® Swedish Formula Hardwood Floor Cleaner to remove any dirt and debris. If the floor was glued down and there is excess adhesive, we recommend that it be removed by your contractor with the appropriate adhesive remover for the brand he used.


FOR THE FIRST THREE MONTHS:
Most species will oxidize over time due to exposure to direct or ambient sunlight. This means your flooring will achieve a deeper, richer patina based on the original color. Because of this, ARK suggests that you do not put down area rugs until 3 months after installation so that the wood has a chance to oxidize at the same level. Otherwise, you will have to move rugs (or furniture that lays flat against the floor) every so often to even out the color.


We do, however, recommend that you keep ventilated floor mats at each entryway to collect excessive moisture and dirt that could be tracked into your home. Ventilated mats should allow light to reach the floor, however you should check under them periodically to be sure. Avoid using rubber-backed mats or rugs, as they can damage your floors.

ROUTINE CARE AND MAINTENANCE
Vacuum, dry mop or sweep your floor at least once a week, or more if needed. Don’t let sand, dirt or grit build up, as they can act like sandpaper and dull your floor’s finish. The best method of removing dirt and grit is vacuuming with a soft brush attachment on your vacuum. The vacuum head must be brush or felt, and a wand attachment is preferable. Do not use vacuums with hard heads. A Bona MicroPlus mop with terry cloth cover is also highly recommended, as these mops are designed to eliminate finer particles of grit and dirt.


Spills
Spills and tracked-in dirt should be wiped up immediately. When a spill occurs, soak up the liquid right away, mist the area with Bona® Formula® Hardwood Floor Cleaner and wipe with your Bona MicroPlus mop, MicroPlus Floor Cloth or soft clean cloth.


Spots Caused by Food, Water, Pets, Crayon, Lipstick and Rubber Heal Marks
For superficial spot cleaning, apply Bona® Formula Hardwood Floor Cleaner onto Bona MicroPlus mop, MicroPlus Floor Cloth or soft clean cloth and rub onto the spot.


Chewing Gum, Candle Wax

  1. Place an ice filled bag on top of the effected area (make sure no ice or water touches the wood)
  2. Wait until the deposit becomes brittle and remove.
  3. After deposit has been removed, clean entire area with Bona® Formula® Hardwood Floor Cleaner


Cleaning
Vacuum- Vacuum, dry mop or sweep to remove any loose dirt or grit. The best method of removing dirt and grit is vacuuming with a soft brush attachment on your vacuum. If using the Bona MicroPlus mop to dry mop, remove any loose dirt or grit after dry-mopping by rinsing with water and wringing out the mop pad prior to cleaning floor with Bona® Formula Hardwood Floor Cleaner.


Spray- Lightly mist a 4' x 6' area of your floor or directly mist the cleaning pad with Bona ® Formula Hardwood Floor Cleaner.


Clean- Using a slightly dampened, well wrung-out Bona MicroPlus cleaning pad, thoroughly clean the floor surface using your Bona MicroPlus mop. Finish one area before moving on to the next and repeat the process. When your mop pad becomes soiled, rinse with water, thoroughly wring out the pad. When the mop pad becomes excessively soiled, launder and replace with another clean mop pad. Continued use of excessively soiled pads may cause streaking.


GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Never apply wax treatments to ARK Floors.
  • Area rugs should be used in front of kitchen sinks, at all high-traffic and though fare areas. Rugs made of a breathable material are recommended to prevent moisture entrapment. (Note that exotic hardwood will darken over the first few months so we recommend moving area rugs frequently so they will be exposed to light until the color is even).
  • Water can permanently damage the floor, never clean or wet mop with water.
  • Never use any of the following products (or products similar in nature) on your floor: abrasive cleaning soaps, mineral spirits, acrylic finishes, ammonia-based cleaners, bleach, detergents, oil soap, polishes, wax-based products, or acidic materials such as vinegar. Many of these products can damage your floors finish or prevent the use of recommended maintenance materials.
  • Trim animal nails to minimize floor scratches and gouges.
  • Be careful not to damage your floor with sharp objects protruding from the sole such as gravel, rocks and nails.
  • Dents can happen, even with the hardest species. Don’t walk on your hardwood floors in high heels, spike- or stiletto-heeled shoes and keep heels in good repair. Unless already pre-installed, apply protective pads or caps such as Bona® FloorGards™ on the “feet” of furniture legs to minimize the possibility of denting and scratching or other damage to the floor when furniture is moved . Do not slide or roll heavy objects or furniture directly upon the floor. When moving furniture or appliances, lay a solid protective covering on your floor and gently "walk" the item across it. Carpet or cardboard is not adequate to prevent surface compression scratches.
  • Maintain a consistent humidity level between heating seasons in all living areas. Excessive swings in humidity levels will cause hardwood floors to swell, shrink, cup, crack and show excessive gaps between boards. The use of humidifier and/or dehumidifier systems is recommended where inconsistent humidity levels occur.
  • Protect your floor from direct sunlight. Use curtains, shutters, and UV resistant film on large glass doors and windows.
  • Don’t use wax, oil soap or other household cleaners on polyurethane finished wood floors. They can dull the floor finish and make refinishing difficult.•Individual planks, strips or parquets that are heavily gouged or damaged can be replaced.


RECOATING
If your floor is showing excessive wear beyond normal cleaning you may want to consider screening and recoating. Because every situation is different, ARK strongly recommends using a professional flooring contractor with knowledge of your flooring type and the ability to determine the level of wear your floor in particular has.


Should recoating be recommended, the first step would be to abrade the existing finish with a buffer. This would be followed by applying a finish coat. NOTE: For wirebrush and other distressed or scraped floors the appropriate buffering/abrading equipment designed for that floor’s texture must be used to maintain finish integrity.


If you care for your floor properly, you can recoat and delay the need for a complete resand and refinish, which will save you a significant amount of time and money. You can learn more and find recoating products at most home hardware suppliers or visit www.bonakemi.com. If you have questions, it’s recommended that you ask a flooring professional before recoating.


REFINISHING
Sanding the existing finish off to bare wood and leveling the floor is an option when the finish is worn or damaged beyond what recoating can repair. Refinishing your floors properly will restore the natural beauty of your floor to a new appearance and condition. With refinishing, the finish is sanded off completely to bare wood and several coats of new finish are applied. ARK Floors recommends hiring an experienced professional with knowledge of your flooring type when having any work done on your hardwood floor. As with recoating, for wirebrush and other distressed or scraped floors the appropriate equipment designed for that floor’s texture must be used to maintain finish integrity. NOTE: Sanding and refinishing should only be done one time to engineered flooring. Solid flooring can be sanded and refinished several times.