Hardwood floors are a permanent fixture in many homes. However, a side effect of covering hardwood with wax or polish is that it can become slippery, a characteristic which one does not otherwise associate with wood. Add to this a little dirt and debris, and you have the perfect conditions for a slip-and-fall. You should minimize this slippery risk for your own safety.
Hardwood isn’t naturally slippery. It gets to be that way from wax or polish. A simple way to altogether avoid a slippery floor is to let the surface wax or polish fade and not replace it. Homeowners may sacrifice the look of a pristine, shiny floor, but what they get in return is a far easier surface to walk on.
Want to make the wood flooring you get from Relative Space less slippery? Here is a detailed guide on how to do so:
Sweep & Mop
By keeping our wood floor tidy, you remove the dirt and debris which could be making the slipperiness worse. To clean, combine one part vinegar with two parts of water. Spray a minimal amount of liquid across the floor and mop it. This will safely remove dirt and old residues. Be careful not to soak the floor, however, as excess liquid comes with its own problems in contact with hardwood flooring.
When there’s a spill, clean it up before it stains or becomes sticky. If you make a mess, tidy it up. Also, set up a routine sweep schedule where you go over the floor once a week. This will help maintain a clean floor and prevent it from becoming slippery.
Doormats & Rugs
A great way to make the floor less slippery is by changing what’s underneath your feet. In addition to sweeping and mopping, place doormats at each entrance to the house. When someone enters, the mat will hopefully catch any debris they bring in. Encourage guests to remove their footwear if they intend to come all the way in. This will help keep unnecessary dirt and debris from even making it onto the floor.
A high-quality rug is another great addition to any kitchen, living room, entranceway, or bedroom. It also contrasts nicely with the polished, flat hardwood. Although covering the whole floor with rugs and/or non-slip pads isn’t an option, in certain areas, it can add safety without taking away from the design aesthetic.
Wear Non-Slip Footwear
Non-slip footwear, such as slippers, can help you navigate across slippery hardwood. Though hardly a solution for overly slippery floors, non-slip footwear will at least provide some safety and assistance. Particularly for people above the age of 50 where a risk of fall carries with it major consequences, do what you can to avoid the likelihood of a slip.
Apply Less Product
What’s sure to make a wood floor more slippery than it should be is using too much wax or polish. If you want the shine of a beautiful floor and don’t want to compromise on that, adjust how much product you’re using. See if this makes a difference. You may be surprised to find that you’re employing too much wax – a very common mistake a lot of homeowners make.
Recently, more products have hit the market that still provide a shine to the floors while minimizing their slipperiness. Many waxes exist in this category. This way, you’re maintaining a shiny floor with none of the risk of slips and falls.
Strip Your Floor
Wax and polish fades over time. This means re-application has to happen. What some don’t know is that in order for a wax or polish to work as intended, one must first strip the floor of its existing finish. Skipping this step means you’re building up wax over wax. This is a common cause of a slippery wood floor.
Fortunately, the solution is simply to strip the floor and eliminate all that wax buildup. From there, you can choose to re-apply a wax or polish, or alternatively leave it alone. There’s nothing wrong with allowing your hardwood floor to have a more natural ‘wood’ look.
Choose A Non-Skid Treatment
If nothing else has worked and you still need to make your hardwood floor less slippery, commercial non-skid products work exceptionally well. Be sure to find a product that works specifically on hardwood floors. As with other floor products, test it first on somewhere inconspicuous to verify that it isn’t going to alter the finish.
Keep Your Floor Dry
A hardwood floor’s level of slipperiness can worsen when there’s moisture on them. After you’re done mopping, give it some time to dry and encourage people to avoid the room until the flooring’s not so wet. This is also something to be aware of any time you’re coming in from a rainy day, having just cleaned snow off the car after a snowfall, or in any situation where the underside of your shoe is wet.