The use of wood flooring has become more common in facilities such as retail stores, restaurants and hotels. Often considered easily soiled or damaged, keeping a building’s wood flooring looking its best doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if some preventive maintenance strategies are put into place.
"While matting should be placed outside the entrance to a facility with wood floors, matting with a rubber backing should not be placed on the wood floor itself," says Mike Englund, a custodial trainer and product manager for Powr-Flite. "Rubber backs can discolor the floor. It is better to install some type of rug at the entry that does not have a rubber back."
Other suggestions include:
• Clean the floors regularly using a soft broom, a dust mop or a vacuum. Avoid using a wet mop as much as possible.
• If vacuuming, use a backpack; the beater bar on an upright can potentially scratch the floor.
• Place protector pads on furniture feet to avoid scratching the floor if these items are moved.
• Clean up spills immediately.
• If possible, try to keep people from walking on the floor wearing sports cleats or high-heeled shoes.

"As to cleaning chemicals and finishes (wax), there are specific products designed for use on wood surface floors," says Englund. "What I always advise is contacting the manufacturer and asking their advice on what products to use—and even more important, not use."