How to Care for Heart Pine Floors

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Heart pine is appropriately named for the heartwood center of the pine tree from which it was chosen. It was over-used during the Industrial Revolution, causing a shortage of this hardy wood. Heart pine floors that have been reclaimed add beauty and value to your home and help to preserve hardwood forests from being cut today. They are extremely durable and work well with almost any decor. The wood harvested in our generation lacks the durability of that produced in the 19th century because of the over-cutting of forests.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum with hard floor setting
  • Entry rugs
  • Small scraps of felt
  • Wood glue
  • Soft sponge or cloth mop
  • Mop bucket

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Sweep the floor carefully with a vacuum that has soft wheels and no sharp edges. Be sure to place the vacuum on the appropriate setting for the type of floor. Do not use attachments on the floor as they may scratch the surface. If you do not have a vacuum that is ideal for hard surfaces, use a dust mop to sweep up dirt from the floor, but do not use a straw or corn broom as these bristles are too stiff and may mar the surface.

Place entry rugs near doorways and other areas that may receive heavy traffic. You could also place a runner in a hallway or use a large area rug to center a dining area. Make sure the rugs have a soft foam backing. Avoid using a straw or grass mat, or rough entry mats that are normally intended for use outside. Outdoor carpeting is also a poor choice of floor covering because it is usually coarse.

Protect your floor from any furniture scratches by covering the feet of chairs, tables or other movable objects with felt. Purchase felt that is pre-cut in sizes that fit a standard kitchen chair. These felt pieces sometimes come with an adhesive backing already on them. In this case, you will simply peel away the backing and stick onto the bottom of your chair leg. If you have an unusually large or oddly shaped piece of furniture, cut a piece of felt the size you need from any scraps of felt you may have and simply glue to the bottom of the furniture where it has contact with the floor. Trim the felt with a tiny pair of scissors or utility knife.

Mop the floor with a damp sponge or cloth mop, taking care to wring out well since too much water may cause damage to the floor. Use a soft cloth or sponge to clean the floor by hand. Do not use harsh cleaners or heavy detergents. Plain water is normally effective in cleaning floors most of the time. If you do need to add a cleaning agent, bleach or ammonia is not recommended. Instead, use a gentle cleaner designed for hardwood floors. Murphy's Oil Soap and Pine-Sol may both be used sparingly if necessary.

Keep your floor in good condition by inspecting your sinks, refrigerators, dishwashers and other appliances for leaks. Water damage could cause permanent rotting to the floor even if it is protected by polyurethane. Keep sharp objects off the floor. Clip your pet's nails on a regular basis. Do not walk on the floor with high-heeled shoes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Heartwood pine naturally expands and contracts and may develop gaps during the winter months.

References

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