How to Protect Hardwood Floors in the Summer

Summer’s here! That means beach trips and vacation days are taking the place of school and work. But it also means that hardwood floors are extra susceptible to damage. Luckily, you can take a look at these tips or pass them along to your clients to help them avoid summer-related problems this season.

Here are three summer elements that pose a threat to the longevity of hardwood floors, and some ways in which you can prevent them from doing so this year.

Threat #1: Salt and sand

sandy feet

These tiny particles are synonymous with fun on the beach, but their jagged edges can do a number on your finish if they’re not controlled. Here are some ways to prevent salt and sand from taking a toll on your floors:

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1 – Place bins or mats near all doors leading outside. Make sure that you and your guests place your shoes on the designated area every time you enter the house, especially when you’re coming in from the beach. This will prevent you from tracking any sand or salt water across the floor and scratching the finish.

2 – If you have an outdoor shower at your vacation home, use it whenever you come back from a trip to the beach. This is the best way to prevent sand and salt from sticking to you and ending up on the floor, where it can damage your finish.

3 – If you find sand on the floor, vacuum it up — don’t use a broom. Dragging the particles across the floor will scratch the finish. For salt residue or saltwater, use a microfiber cloth or a mop paired with a product like Bona hardwood floor cleaner. Don’t use any cleaning products or mixtures that aren’t approved for use on hardwood floors.

(Not sure which products are okay to use on your hardwood floors and which are not? Take a look at this list of products you should avoid using on your hardwood floors.)

Threat #2: Sunlight

Sunlight FloorDirect UV rays will affect most urethane finishes. Sunlight will often turn polyurethane or tung oil an amber tone over time.

It can also discolor certain species of wood. For example, American cherry darkens over time with exposure to sunlight. Sunlight also causes certain species and stains to fade over time.

To limit the effects of direct UV rays on your hardwood floors, keep window curtains closed or redirect blinds at certain times of the day.

Threat #3: Humidity

As the humidity levels increase during the summer, plainsawn floors will grow. This is a completely natural process that usually doesn’t threaten the integrity of your floors. However, uncontrolled humidity can cause planks to split or become cupped, causing compression set along the length of the board.  Here’s how to take care of the humidity levels during the summer months:

1 – Monitor the humidity in your hardwood floors using a Hygrometer to spot potential problems before they start.

2 – Keep track of how floors are responding to humidity changes. If you begin to see any telltale signs of splits or raised edges that look a little bigger than usual, consult with a hardwood floor professional to determine if there’s cause for concern.

Keep these tips in mind as you embark upon your summer adventures, and you’ll be on your way to preventing potential headaches and enjoying your time off.

Click here to read more summer maintenance tips for hardwood floors. Feel free to call us at  (800) 787-1786 or email with any questions.

One thought on “How to Protect Hardwood Floors in the Summer

  1. Ernest London

    I like that you mentioned that excess sunlight can actually fade wood and stains over time. My wife and I are getting new floors put in soon, and we want to make sure we protect them from damage. I will be sure to get some drapes and curtains to limit the sun exposure the new floors get.


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