Your Guide to Client Floor Care Guides

Contractor floor care guides

As a hardwood floor contractor, you sometimes have to deal with clients who call you up to report a problem with the floors you installed … and want to blame you for it.

These situations cost you precious time and sanity. It’s difficult to explain to an angry client that flooring gaps are normal during the winter, or that they ruined their own floors by walking around in high heels.

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You can try to prevent these headaches by providing clients with a fact sheet after you’ve completed an installation or refinishing job. The sheet should outline general maintenance tips and tell your customers what to expect from their floors.

In addition to managing expectations, a good care sheet helps clients understand what they should and shouldn’t do to their floors. Education is the best prevention.

Whether you have a floor care guide already or you’re planning to make one, make sure it covers at least the following bullet points:

Outline proper cleaning techniques and maintenance

Your care guide should provide cleaning tips to prevent your clients from damaging their newly installed floors with neglect or the wrong products.

Suggest that your clients vacuum frequently to avoid buildup of debris that can scratch the floor’s finish. Highlight the benefits of putting mats and runners near any doors leading outside, especially during the winter months.

State in your care guide that clients should consider buying felt pads for the bottom of their furniture. Suggest that they remove high heels at entrances to prevent the creation of unsightly dents in their floors.

After outlining what your clients should do, tell them what not to do.

Use lots of space to warn against using popular cleaning products without following the manufacturer’s instructions. Being liberal with Pine-Sol will damage the floor’s finish over time, and your clients should understand this.

Recommend that they use cleaning products that are specially formulated for hardwood floors, like Squeaky Clean, instead of the popular brands. Advise against using a soaking wet mop to clean their floors.

Tell your clients that the glossy goodness won’t last forever

Explain that dulling can be expected as the finish ages.

If you’ve used a finish with a high sheen level on a client’s floor, this is especially important to state in your care sheet.

Explain that this doesn’t necessarily mean the integrity of their floors is compromised. It’s just that the finish might need a buff or recoat, especially if it’s been a few years since the top coat was applied.

Explain that flooring gaps are to be expected during the winter

Hardwood floors move. You clients should understand this.

Take special care to explain in your fact sheet that floors will likely contract in the winter due to the drop in relative humidity levels, possibly leading to gaps and squeaky floorboards.

Inform your clients that the optimal relative humidity level for preventing flooring gaps is between 35 and 50 percent. But warn them that this is very difficult to maintain during the winter months, especially in the New England and mid-Atlantic regions, where a majority of the heating systems are forced hot air heat.

Detail the process of expansion and contraction in hardwood floors. State that once the moisture content and relative humidity rise again in the spring, any gaps in the floor should disappear as the planks expand back to their normal size.

This will help you avoid getting calls from people who are looking to blame weather-related issues on a shoddy installation job.

Help your client understand their finish system

Is the finish you applied to your client’s floors oil-based? Water-based? Wax? What does this mean for the floor’s maintenance?

Your cleaning instructions should take this information into account. Helping your clients understand the finish system will make them less likely to tarnish it with the wrong products.

Although 95 percent of the jobs you do probably end with either an oil-based or water-based finish, make sure to write up a special care sheet for clients who want other types of finish for their floors.

4 thoughts on “Your Guide to Client Floor Care Guides

  1. Pingback: Tips for Installing Wide Plank Flooring - Philly Floor Blog

  2. Edie Glenn

    I have used Bona Floor Cleaner for years and occasionally I would use the Bona Polish & never had a problem with either one except for this last time. I used the Bona Polish and noticed after it dried I had some areas that I thought I had missed so a couple of days later I redid those areas. Well, that was a big mistake! It seems I hadn’t missed any areas but that the polish was not working properly and when I redid the areas I thought I had missed, it just made it worse. I now have 3 large areas that are dull from the polish while the rest of the floor is shiny. At one point a long “string” of white goop came out of the bottle that looked like paste! I shook the bottle liked they said but I don’t know what the problem is.

    Any solutions? I’ve gone online and everyone is all over the place as to what to use. Thanks for any help.

  3. Colleen

    Polishes and rejuvenators will cause problems, I have seen many floors with excessive build up and discoloration.
    Please use only the recommended floor cleaner. Bona and Basic hardwood floor CLEANERS are also safe.


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