Protecting Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated August 21, 2019)


For those who would like to add a touch of the country to their home, then you may want to thing about using unfinished wood. After all, unfinished hardwood flooring can truly add a unique look, and feel to any home. There is one thing that you will need to keep in mind about this flooring option. The same thing that makes it beautiful, also makes protecting unfinished hardwood flooring a little more difficult.

By its very nature unfinished hardwood flooring comes without the "natural" protection that a finish can provide. Here is everything that you need to do in order to get the most out of your flooring, while also protecting it for years to come. You'll be surprised at just how easy it can be.

  • Vacuum. One of the essential steps for protecting your flooring is to clean it. Perhaps the single easiest way to clean an unfinished hardwood floor is through the use of a vacuum. If you do use a vacuum, you will want to ensure that you have the beater setting turned off. This means you turn off the little rotator that spins around in the vacuum head. The spinner, or beater can actually cause damage to your floor.
  • Dust mop. If you are afraid, or uneasy to use a vacuum, then you will want to regularly sweep, and mop the floor. However, since you will want to avoid using any water on your floor (typically water and wood floors do not mix) you will want to use a dust mop. A good dust mop, if used on a daily basis, can keep an unfinished floor remarkably clean without damaging the floor.
  • Mineral spirits. A fantastic method for protecting and hardwood flooring is to use mineral spirits. Simply get a cotton rag or cloth damp with the mineral spirits. Once you have the rag damp, rub the cloth along the wood, being sure that you are going with the grain of the wood. This will help to clean the wood, while also offering a minimum amount of protection. This should be done as needed, but no less than once a month in order to provide a warm natural glow to your wood floors.
  • Test all cleaners. Not all cleaners are going to work well with unfinished wood. This means that, prior to using any new cleaner you will want to test the cleaner on an inconspicuous part of the floor. Another option would be to save a piece of the flooring material for future testing. Either way, apply a little bit of the cleaner and wait to see if there is any adverse reaction.
  • Test for splinters. Unless you are willing to gamble with your toes, you will want to periodically test the floor for splinters. This means that you should run a cloth (not your foot or hand) along the entire length of flooring, and keep an eye out for any snags. Stop the minute that you notice any snags, and make a note of where it was. Lightly sand this area of the floor to remove the splinter. This will not only protect your floor from unnecessary damage, but also your bare feet.
  • Regular cleaning. In the long run, the best way to protect unfinished hardwood flooring is through regular cleaning. You will need to develop a daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning routine and stick to it like glue. Regular cleaning will limit the buildup of any dirt and grime which can quickly damage an unfinished floor.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is 9 + 9?

2016-06-10 17:58:36


I tried to sign up for your newsletter but got an Aweber message to use a different email address, but this IS my email address. Just letting you know in case you need to adjust anything with Aweber. Thanks for your tips!

2014-09-10 11:47:15

Camelia Miller

I am looking for a liquid wax that I can use on my unfinished hardwood floors. I used a product called Dark and Rich by Bruce. The store that carried this product closed in my town and I can't find it online. Can you recommend another similar product or tell where I can purchase this product. Thanking you.


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