Early Finish Wear – Is Your Hardwood Floor Wearing Out Prematurely?

Sanded Hardwood Floor with Polyurethane on Half of it.

Investing in a stunning hardwood floor only to have it looking dull and scratched within the year is simply sad to imagine. Here are some important tips on how to prevent premature wearing of your hardwood floor and what to do if you floor is already showing signs of early finish wear.

Your gorgeous hardwood floor is a centerpiece of your beautiful home. It seems everything else in your home is a compliment of it. This is especially so if your hardwood floor has been recently installed or refinished. Your floor shines and glistens with beauty!

Now it just needs to stay like that. With the proper maintenance procedures as described in previous blogs, this is something that is not out of reach for any homeowner.  

Unfortunately, in some cases, homeowners have experienced what may be referred to as premature wear on their floor. This means that even though their floor has been recently installed or refinished, early finish wear has already begun to occur.

What are some causes of early finish wear? How can it be avoided? What is the cure if it has already happened? Denver Dustless – long-time warrior of the hardwood flooring industry here in Denver, CO is here with the answers as the fourth blog out of five in our series called Hardwood Flooring – Issues, Causes & Fixes.

Early Finish Wear Caused by User Error

The first cause of a premature wearing out of your hardwood floor is due to lack of proper maintenance on the part of the homeowner. The key is “proper” maintenance procedures.

Wear caused by improper maintenance goes beyond a simple case of neglecting to dust mop the floor here and there (although this type of negligence may also cause early finish wear if it becomes a habit).

It implies that the homeowner – with all the best intentions – has taken the wrong measures to attempt to maintain the floor. These improper procedures may include the use of excessive water to clean the floor, or using strong cleaners that quickly wear down the floor’s finish.

Beyond this, other habits, such as letting a pet’s nails go untrimmed or frequently moving furniture (without felt pads under the legs) could also contribute to the problem. These issues are not generally the primary causes of early finish wear, but they can add extra wear over time.

When you become the new, proud owner of a hardwood floor, it’s important to ask for tips from hardwood pros on the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of hardwood maintenance in order to avoid any of these pitfalls. Of course, busy schedules and hectic lives get the best of us. No homeowner can perfectly juggle all home maintenance, we understand!

You may be relieved to find out that the biggest cause of early finish wear is NOT caused by the homeowner.

The Main Cause of Early Hardwood Finish Wear

The second set of main causes really gets to the root of the problem and emphasizes the need to hire good professional workers with a good reputation for your hardwood installation and finishing.

Why? Unnecessary wear on your floor can be caused DURING the installation process. This may include a few common mistakes such as improper sanding procedures and trying to rush the finishing process. Let’s briefly consider both of these.

Improper Sanding Procedures

For wood to take stain evenly, specifically hardwood flooring, the finish must be distributed consistently. When hardwood flooring isn’t sanded correctly, ridges of wood grain that are still raised up and not sanded down properly may not receive enough material as the grooves in the floor.

This sanding oversight causes an accumulation of finish settling in these grooves, but not enough for the higher raised grains or peaks. Here is where the finish starts to wear through prematurely. It also may give an unappealing appearance of ridges in the flooring.

Improper Timing During Finishing Process

Good, quality craftsmanship can never be rushed. Sadly, however, some ‘hardwood professionals’ and DIY floor installers have let impatience get the best of them, causing further problems down the road.

Why is timing so important? Well, as our previous blog on oil vs. water based floor stain discussed, these two basic types of floor finish each have different drying times.

When one coat is drying, it releases gasses that must be released before the second coat is applied. If the process is rushed and the next coat is applied prematurely, it results in improper curing, which in turn, results in premature or ‘early finish wear’.

Clearly, these problems should definitely be avoided in the first place. What, then, are some simple steps to take to help in avoiding early finish wear?

How to Avoid Early Finish Wear

From the get-go, it’s important to institute proper maintenance procedures. From the start, maintain your floor the right away in harmony with your floor’s specific needs. This may include regular vacuuming and dust mopping with a hardwood-safe floor cleaner.

Using throw rugs in high traffic areas or under furniture legs is also a great way to protect your floor from early finish wear, as well as add a to the appealing aesthetic in your home.

Be sure to hire a professional for proper installation and finishing to avoid potential future problems. Denver Dustless would be more than happy to do the job right for you.

In the case that you are experiencing early finish wear due to a previous unprofessional installation or finishing procedure, how can you correct or cure the problem?

The Cure for Early Hardwood Finish Wear

The brief and most stress free cure in this case your hardwood has experienced premature finish wear would be to simply contact Denver Dustless and allow us to take the weight off your shoulders.

An inspection of the floors condition may reveal the need to re-sand and re-coat. This task may seem daunting and messy at first, but for Denver Dustless, we take the mess out of the process with our dustless sanding procedure. Depending on the condition, less intense measures may be needed.

In either circumstance, when it comes to your hardwood floor, the professionals at Denver Dustless are ready to help correct and protect your floor!

We are also ready to help you get your new hardwood flooring vision off the ground (or in this case, ‘on’ the ground). Get ahold of us right away to take the first step!

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