Tag Archive for: hardwood floor care

The rich, natural beauty of hardwood floors adds elegance and warmth to almost any room. So much that it makes the appearance of a scratch, scrape, or gouge look especially out of place. 

Yet, as much as you try to avoid damaging your floor, it’s almost impossible to expect everyone else to be as diligent. Kids, dogs, guests, service technicians, and furniture movers can all leave wood floors looking pretty rough.  

In this article, we’ll discuss various solutions for repairing scratches in your hardwood floors as appropriate to the type and size of the scratch. You might not be able to keep accidents from happening, but in this article, we’ll also discuss ways to keep them from damaging your hardwood floors. 

Please note that as always, it’s best to test remedies and products in an inconspicuous area. Be sure to follow the product manufacturer’s directions and recommendations. 

Also, wear safety goggles and personal protection as appropriate including a respirator whenever working with solvents or solvent-based products. 

Identify and Assess The Damage

Major scratches in wood flooring
Major scratches in wood flooring

The depth and width of a scratch are important factors in determining how to proceed. If the scratch is superficial and doesn’t interfere with the wood underneath the seal, then only the seal needs to be repaired. 

If your wood floors are unsealed, or the scratch is deeper than the sealing layer, the treatment processes are different. These instructions assume your hardwood floor is finished with a water-based (lacquer) seal. 

Determine the extent of the damage. Are there several scratches? Scratches and gouges? 

Determine the extent of the work area. If a large area of your hardwood floor needs to be repaired, consider dividing it into smaller, manageable sections. 

Prepare The Work Area

This is arguably the most important step in the process of fixing scratches on wood floors. Any dirt or grime that isn’t removed will either affect adhesion or become part of the repair itself. Possibly both. 

  1. Use a damp, lint-free cloth to clean the affected area. The area must be completely free of dust and any other debris
  2. To clean the scratch itself, use an old toothbrush or non-ferrous scrub pad. You can also dab some mineral spirits onto the pad to clean out any grime. 
  3. Use a damp cloth to thoroughly remove the mineral spirits.
  4. With sandpaper that’s 150 grit or finer, gently sand the affected area following the direction of the wood grain. 
  5. Use a vacuum to remove dust and debris created from sanding. 
  6. Clean the surrounding area again with a damp, lint-free cloth. 
  7. Wipe dry. Use a fresh lint-free cloth if the one you’re using is too damp or has debris on both sides of it 
  8. If the scratch or gouge is damp, be sure to allow it to dry completely. Or you can aim a blow dryer at it on the cool setting for a few minutes. 

Fixing scratches on hardwood floors calls for sanding at various stages throughout the process. Be sure to clean and dry as described above (steps 6-8) after every sanding. The next step should not be started before this is done.   

Fixing Superficial Scratches on Hardwood Floors

For a Scratch That Hasn’t Penetrated Below The Seal, 

  1. Continue to sand the scratch with sandpaper until it’s smooth and level with the surrounding area.
  2. Apply sealant. Be sure to select a (water-based) sealant in a sheen type that’s the same as the existing one. Consider using a spray-on sealant. Spraying usually makes it easier to blend the new application with the existing one. 
  3. Allow the sealant to dry according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Minor scratches in wood flooring

Fixing Minor Scratches on Hardwood Floors

For Scratches That Have Penetrated The Surface 

  1. Use 150 grit or finer sandpaper to sand over the scratch. Sand in the direction of the grain using light strokes. You’ll be sanding to expose the raw wood with the least exposed wood being farthest from the scratch. 
  2. Place some wide Long Mask painter’s tape just outside the edges of the scratch. You’ll now be confining the work area to the space inside the tape.

    The tape you select must be appropriate for use on finished floors and veneers. The reason certain masking tapes are referred to as “long mask” has nothing to do with the length of the tape. The term refers to the length of time the tape can stay on a surface before removal becomes difficult. Depending on the selection, these tapes can remain on a surface for 14-60 days without damaging the surface they’re applied to. Regular masking tape doesn’t offer this benefit.

    If a masking tape is blue in color, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a true long mask tape. Be sure to select carefully.

  1. Select a wood filler that matches the type of wood you’re repairing (e.g. beech, maple, pine, etc.). If the color dot on the package doesn’t match your wood, it’s okay to select a different species of wood. (Rule of thumb: Select a color that’s lighter than the field (background) color of the raw wood being repaired.) You can mix fillers of different colors (species) or you can add stain to the filler to create a match. Alternatively, you can reserve the sanding dust from this project and mix it with clear resin. But it’s doubtful the process will yield as much dust as necessary. 
  2. Apply the wood filler onto the scratch.
  3. Use a plastic putty knife to scrape away excess wood filler mixture. The mixture should be level with the surrounding floor. If it sits just slightly above level, that’s okay too.  
  4. Allow the filler to dry thoroughly according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 
  5. Remove the painter’s tape. 
  6. Sand the filled scratch until the dried filler is level with the rest of the floor. Sand any area around the scratch that has filler on it. All residue around the scratch needs to be removed completely. If not, the repaired scratch will appear to have a very unheavenly halo around it when the project is complete. 
  7. If it wasn’t mixed in with the wood filler, apply a coat of stain. For a deeper color, apply another coat after allowing the first coat to dry. Remember to always select a lighter color when in doubt. You can mix another stain into it to create a match. 
  8. Apply the (finish) sealant and allow it to dry thoroughly. 
  9. To replicate the grain of your floorboard, or to make it appear continuing, see “How to Create the Look of Wood Grain On Wood Filler”, below.
  10. If you think another coat of seal is necessary, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Some call for a light sanding between coats. 

Fixing Deep Scratches and Gouges on Hardwood Floors

Major scratches & gouges in wood floors

Dogs tend to scratch repeatedly when they’re anxious to get past a closed door. This is especially true of puppies. Because of this, the area in front of entry doors can be extensively damaged. 

Of course, entryways are also the most likely places for deep scratches, gouges caused by improper handling of furniture and appliances. But even so, dogs seem to be the biggest offenders.  

If you’re sure your dog has stopped scratching for good, and you’re done moving heavy objects, then the steps for fixing minor scratches on hardwood floors are appropriate to take.

However, if :

  • The depth of the scratch or gouge on your hardwood floor so deep that the substrate is exposed or 
  • The length of a scratch or gouge is located within 1/4” from any edge of the floorboard or 
  • You’ve already repaired this particular area of a floorboard more than once 

Then, you should probably consider replacing the damaged floorboard(s). 

How To Prevent Scratches and Gouges on Your Hardwood Floors

  • Use a good floor vacuum. Small stones and other types of hard matter can scratch hardwood floors when trapped under a moving or sliding object (e.g. a mop head or chair foot). Keeping your hardwood floor as free of dust and debris as possible will help  prolong its life 
  • Apply felt pads to chair feet. Apply new pads before the old ones wear out. 
  • Apply castor cups to couch and bedframe casters. For more information, read our article on keeping furniture from sliding on wood floors.
  • Crate train your dog.
  • Keep your dog’s nails clipped.
  • Place rugs in strategic locations (e.g. Inside the front door, under the coffee table, and in the hall)
  • Switch out shoes with non-slip socks when entering from outside.
  • When moving appliances or heavy furniture, save your hardwood floors and your back by Investing in an Airsled.

For any homeowner, mold is one of the scariest household problems you can find. Unfortunately, it can grow easily with just a little moisture, organic material, and time. Hardwood flooring is one material that is prone to mold growth, especially in a bathroom or kitchen where water is present.

Mold can be extremely dangerous to people. For that reason, large mold problems require professional removal. If you discover mold that covers a large area or appears to be growing on studs, subfloor, or other structural elements of your home, call a professional.

If you just have a little mold on the surface, such as from a short-term leak or spill, you can go ahead and correct it yourself by following this guide. Protect yourself with the necessary gloves and a breathing mask.

After you remove the mold on your hardwood floors, you should always make sure to fix whatever allowed the mold to grow. Clean the area more often and fix any areas where water regularly leaks or pools.

Is Mold on Hardwood Floors Dangerous?

Not all types of mold are dangerous, but some definitely can be. Black mold can weaken neurological function and cause serious damage to the heart and lungs. Eventually, this can lead to death. 

Mold can get into your lungs over time if you do not clean it up or quickly if you disturb the mold without a protective mask.

If conditions are wet enough, the mold can also eat into the walls and subfloor, weakening the structure of your house.

For these reasons, you need to protect yourself by cleaning bathrooms, kitchens, and other “wet” areas of your home regularly and checking plumbing occasionally for leaks or other mold-growing problems.

If you have discovered mold on your hardwood floors, make sure not to walk on or touch the mold in any way. This will disturb the mold and release it into the air.

Leave the moldy area alone until you are prepared with a certified mask (such as an N-95) or a filtered respirator. You should also wear disposable gloves when you remove the mold and throw the gloves away when you are done.

Signs of Mold Under a Hardwood Floor

If your wood floor has just a little mold growing on top, you can clean it and keep using it. But if the mold has penetrated deep into the flooring and subflooring, you have a much bigger problem on your hands.

First, inspect the wood for serious warping. If there are larger-than-usual gaps between planks or if the boards are curling up at the edges (cupping), you have significant water damage.

You can find out how deep the mold goes by checking to see if the wood is still solid. Take a flat screwdriver and try to press it into a board in the moldy area. 

If you can’t press the screwdriver into the wood, it is probably still dry and clean below the surface. But if the wood is soft like a sponge and you can push the screwdriver deep into it, the wood is bad. Water and mold have penetrated deep into the floor.

If your floor fails the screwdriver test, you should call a flooring or cleanup professional to evaluate the leak and see how deep the moisture has spread.

Deep seeping moisture with mold will probably require that you completely replace the flooring in the area, and it may even be necessary to replace the subfloor materials.

How to Remove Mold on Hardwood Floors

Tools and Materials You Will Need

  • Disposable rags, sponges, or paper towels
  • Rubber gloves
  • An N-95 mask or another filtering mask (not just a simple cloth or surgical mask)
  • Water and a spray bottle
  • Dish soap
  • Bleach (optional)
  • Vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter (optional)

Step 1: Personal Mold Safety

At all times when cleaning mold, wear a filtering mask and gloves. Do not touch the mold or moldy materials with your skin. The spores may be too small for you to see and can make you sick or spread to other areas.

Throw away any gloves, paper towels, or rags that you use to touch the mold. Do not wash and reuse them. You should only need one or two rags to remove a small spot of mold.

Bring a garbage can near the spot you are cleaning so you do not have to carry your used rags through the house.

Ventilate the area without making it too windy. Open windows in the room and place a fan nearby — just don’t point the fan directly at the moldy area because it will blow mold spores around the room. When you are cleaning the mold, you can use the fan to blow the room out.

Always wash your hands with soap and hot water after working near mold.

Step 2: Use Soap and Water to Remove the Mold

Mix up a solution of dish soap and hot water. Rather than using a huge bucket that could spill on the hardwood floor, mix it in a spray bottle. This will work better for cleaning the mold anyway.

Dish soap will not kill the mold, but it is a good first step because it can remove most of the mold and cannot damage the finish on your hardwood floor.

Spray the dish soap solution on the moldy area until it is covered. Let it sit for 1 minute and wipe it off with a rag. Press down firmly and try to wipe up all of the mold in one swipe.

Dispose of the rag with mold on it immediately. Repeat if necessary.

Step 3: Kill Mold With Bleach (optional)

Bleach has a powerful sanitizing ability and can kill mold in just a few minutes. However, it has some dangers:

  1. Bleach puts off harsh fumes, so you need good ventilation in the room
  2. Bleach can only kill the mold on the surface of the wood, not what is growing below
  3. Bleach can damage the finish on your hardwood floor

Because of these risks, you might want to avoid using bleach on your floor. It depends on the finish you have on your floor and how deep the mold appears to be growing. You can test an inconspicuous spot to see if it hurts your floor’s finish.

If you decide to use bleach, water it down in a spray bottle. Use only 1 part bleach to 10 parts water (you can also use a bleach-based cleaner such as Clorox spray – just read the bottle to see if it is safe for hardwood floors).

Spray the bleach to completely cover the mold. It will start killing the mold on contact, so you do not need to let it sit for long.

Leave the bleach on the mold for no more than 5 minutes (you can wipe it off instantly if you are worried about your hardwood floor’s finish). Swipe it up with a rag and throw it away.

Note: You may have read that white vinegar can also kill mold. Some people prefer vinegar because it is natural — but vinegar is bad for hardwood floors. Vinegar takes 60 minutes to kill mold, which is way too long to leave liquid sitting on hardwood floors. It can damage the finish and seep into the wood, causing bigger problems. Skip the vinegar for your hardwood floor and use a bleach solution that kills mold faster.

Step 4: Clean Up

Dry any spills you may have made while cleaning. Throw away any rags or paper towels that touched the mold. Take out the trash.

If you have a vacuum cleaner that is equipped with a HEPA filter, you can vacuum the room to remove any mold spores.

A regular vacuum filter will not catch the spores but rather spread them around the room. So, if you don’t have a HEPA vacuum, just mop the floor with a mild cleaning solution.

Throw away the gloves and mask you wore while cleaning and wash your hands thoroughly with soap.

Preventing Mold on Hardwood Floors

The two best ways to prevent mold are to clean regularly and to keep moisture from getting to the wood in your house.

Wood floors should be mopped with a light cleaning solution designed for hardwood. This can help to remove the first mold cells before they grow and eat into the hardwood floor.

Make sure to wring the mop out so you do not put too much water on the wood. It’s a good idea to dry the floor with a microfiber mop afterward.

Mopping every few weeks will go a long way to prevent mold growth.

There are several things you can do to keep moisture low on your hardwood floors:

  • Always dry up spills or excess mop water right away
  • Inspect plumbing occasionally and fix any leaks
  • Also inspect windows and doors and repair leaky seals
  • Control splashing in common areas with rugs, a shower curtain, etc.
  • Seal crawl spaces and sump pump basins that can humidify your house

Any large amount of water can cause mold. Even small amounts of moisture can let mold grow if the area is frequently wet. You can buy a wood moisture sensor if you are concerned about humidity affecting the wood in your house. This machine will give you a percentage of moisture content for the wood to show whether you are in danger of growing mold.

In terms of interior decor, hardwood floors have long been considered ideal for bestowing an ambiance of sophistication, or rustic appeal on homes, schools, or workspaces.

However, they also have very specific maintenance requirements such as waxing. This procedure is ideal for finished and unfinished hardwood floors and can restore their natural sheen. Waxing hardwood surfaces can also enhance their longevity and also protect them from getting stained frequently.

However, over time, the wax used tends to build up. When this happens, your floor will no longer display a smooth polished appearance making it necessary for the excess wax to be removed.

This article takes a close look at this issue and how to resolve it. We discuss how to remove wax buildup from hardwood floors, the best products for doing so, and what products you must avoid.

Why Should You Remove Wax Buildup on Wood Floors?

1. The Accumulation of Trapped Dirt and Blurriness

As wax accumulates, the use of indoor heaters can melt it and cause debris such as hair, pet fur, or dirt to sink into it. It can also result in scuff marks being made in it as well.

Wax buildup will make your floors look blurred and cloudy in addition to trapping particles.

2. The Presence of Scratches

Over time, your hardwood floor will get scratched, either by your pets or simply by grit that clings to the soles of feet, stockings, and footwear. To refinish it, you will need to get rid of the overlying layer of accumulated wax covering it.

3. Slight Water Damage

Occasionally, water damage may cause a whitish discoloration on certain parts of your floor. This is caused by the moisture penetrating the wax and part of the process of remedying the damage will involve removing any wax on the floor.

Checking for Wax Buildup

If you have noticed any stains, scratches, or even general dullness on your floor or simply wish to refinish it, you will need to find out if there is a layer of wax you need to get rid of first.

You can do so by using the following:

  • Sandpaper: Lightly pass sandpaper across the floor. If there is any wax present, it will ball up.
  • Mineral Spirits: Apply a small amount (no more than a few drops) of mineral spirits to a cloth. Next, wipe the floor with it. The presence of a brownish, yellowish, or even whitish smear means that there is wax on your floor.
  • Water: Simply place a drop of water on your floor and wait for a minute. The appearance of a white spot beneath the drop within that timeframe will indicate the presence of wax.

The Best Wood Floor Wax Removers 

Mineral Spirits

Also referred to as turpentine substitute, and white spirit, this petroleum-derived solvent is cheap, mild smelling, and low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds). It is also capable of dissolving the wax on your floor enabling you to remove it from the surface completely.

Although mineral spirits may affect certain surfaces adversely, it does not do so to wood and is therefore suitable for hardwood floors as a result. However, the solvent is unsuitable for no-wax surfaces since it will strip them of their gleaming finish, leaving them with a matte, dull appearance.

It is also flammable and should be handled with caution.

Sunnyside Corporation’s Mineral Spirits is an excellent example of mineral spirits which can be used for this purpose. This particular product has been produced by the Sunnyside brand which has been manufacturing potent solvents for over a century.

In addition to being low odor and suitable for use on wooden floors, it is also ideal for cleaning paint brushes, rollers and sprayers, and degreasing mechanical components.

Products Which Are Unsuitable for Removing Wax Buildup

  • Acetone: A colorless, flammable, and volatile fluid, acetone is also known to be a highly effective solvent. It is capable of dissolving grease and is also capable of stripping wax from hardwood floors. However, acetone is unsuitable for this purpose because it may not only damage the finish of your floors but will also discolor the wood as well.
  • Commercial Wax Removers: Special care must be taken when selecting products in this category since the wrong choice can turn out to be particularly harsh on your hardwood surfaces. As a result, you will need to ensure that the product you select has specifically been manufactured for hardwood floors and is approved by your manufacturer. 
  • Homemade Ammonia/Vinegar Solutions: Hot water solutions of ammonia and vinegar are highly popular homemade remedies for stripping floor wax. And while they may be efficient, it is worth noting that the extensive exposure of your floor to hot water will place it at risk of water damage. 

How to Remove Wax Buildup on Hardwood Floors

Things You’ll Need

  • A soft-bristled brush
  • Absorbent cloths
  • Mineral spirits
  • Steel wool
  • Rubber gloves
  • A face mask
  • Knee pads

1. Prepare the Room

Empty the room of all furniture and open every window and door. Using a soft-bristled brush or broom, sweep the floor clean of dust and debris.

2. Remove the Surplus Wax

This process is especially time-consuming and effort-intensive. You will need to apply the mineral spirits to the floor using a spray bottle and scrub it with the steel wool.

If your floor comes with bevels, you will also need to scrape them manually to get rid of the wax in the crevices.

As the wax is loosened you will need to wipe it off the surface and taking another cloth, wipe the floor clean.

3. Clean Any Left Over Residue 

Once you have finished cleaning each section, you will need to clean the floor with an additional application of mineral spirits to new clean cloths. This last step will ensure that no wax residue has been left behind.

Certain experts recommend carrying out this step twice. To ensure you have been thorough in removing all the wax, simply apply mineral spirits to another clean cloth and go over the section you have cleaned. 

The absence of any residue on the cloth will mean that every trace of wax has been removed. However, the presence of any coloration as noted above will mean that you will need to go over that part of the surface with a cloth and mineral spirits, once more.

What You Can Do Following Wax Buildup Removal 

Now, you know how to remove wax from hardwood floors. But what else will you be able to do following the procedure?

1. Apply a Fresh Coat of Wax

To protect your hardwood flooring from stains and conceal slight blemishes, you will have the option of applying a fresh coat of paste or liquid wax. You can take a look at our article on how to wax hardwood floors – it covers the procedure in detail and looks at the best products for your hardwood floors.

waxing hardwood floors

2. Repair Slight Water Damage

If you intend to get rid of white spots on your floor caused by water as referenced above, you will need to sand the affected area once you have removed the wax, and then wipe it repeatedly with an oxalic acid crystal solution until the stain is eliminated. Once you have done so you will be able to stain or seal it before refinishing it.

3. Eliminate Scratches and Scarring.

If your hardwood floor happens to be excessively damaged by scratches or scarring, you will be able to sand it. And once you are through you will be able to apply a brand new finish of your choice, restoring your floor’s original classic appeal.

Unless you’ve just returned from spending the past year and a half on another planet, you don’t need this or any other article to explain or emphasize the importance of taking precautions against the transmission of disease. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a lot.

The past forty years have given rise to infectious diseases that had previously been unheard of. But COVID-19 is the virus that changed the way the whole world thinks about disinfection. It changed our entire approach. For some of us, COVID-19 even became a partisan issue.

In this article, we’ll discuss combating the COVID-19 virus and other pathogens on a wood floor. The article will also answer some frequently asked questions about how to do this, and what to expect.

The following assumes that your hardwood floors are finished with a urethane type of sealant. As always, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and directions.

Is There A Way To Disinfect Hardwood Floors Without Using a Bucket and Without Rinsing?

We’re not terribly high on the mop and bucket idea. This is mostly because we understand how damaging it can be to drench hardwood or expose it to more moisture than absolutely necessary. Mopping calls for this as part of the process and rinsing calls for the process to be repeated.

There is indeed an easier way to disinfect hardwood floors.

In fact, there are a few easier ways. Let’s discuss what you should know.

Sanitizing vs Disinfecting A Wood Floor: What’s the Difference?

According to The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Cleaning is a process where soap and water is used to remove germs, dirt and impurities. By reducing the number of germs, cleaning reduces the risk of infection.
  • Disinfecting uses chemicals to kill germs. Disinfecting doesn’t necessarily target dirt and impurities. By killing germs, disinfection reduces the risk of infection.
  • Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning OR disinfecting to lower the risk of spreading infection.

With these facts in mind, cleaning should precede disinfecting.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

EPA expects all products on List N (EPA’s list of approved disinfectants) to kill the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-​19) when used according to the label directions.

This means that no matter what organisms it kills, in order for a product to call itself a disinfectant, organisms that are COVID-19 pathogens must be included in the scope.

Using an Antibacterial Wood Floor Cleaner to Disinfect Hardwood Floors

cleaning products for hardwood floors

Antibacterials focus on reducing the number of bacteria whereas the focus of disinfectants is broader. Disinfectants (antimicrobials) reduce the number of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and certain types of insect vermin. All products labeled “disinfectant” kill COVID-19 microbes.

While many products reduce the number of many types of microbes, and meet the standards for categorization as a disinfectant by the EPA, some manufacturers choose to label their products as antibacterials instead. We can only assume that such decisions are driven by marketing strategies. But depending on the active ingredients, products labeled “antibacterial” can be used to disinfect. Product labels are key.

Although they seem to be few and far in between, there are a few disinfecting floor cleaners available on the market. Rejuvenate® makes an antibacterial wood floor cleaning product that’s also approved as a disinfectant by the EPA.

Rejuvenate® antibacterial wood floor cleaner still needs to be rinsed. But for bargain hunters and for those who prefer not to work any harder or longer than necessary, the term, “two-fer” (two for one/two in one) applies. For those who consider themselves to be devotees of both, you’ve hit paydirt.

Should You Use Bleach To Disinfect Hardwood Floors?

To be clear, bleach is a disinfectant. Clorox is the most popular brand of bleach.

Yet, Clorox manufactures disinfecting wet mopping cloths that do not contain bleach. Clorox also recommends its non-bleach wood floor cleaning product over bleach for cleaning wood floors. These two facts should tell you everything you need to know about using bleach to disinfect hardwood floors.

Undiluted bleach should never be applied to a wood floor unless removing the finish and/or the color is the goal. Applying a dilute form offers no relief from rinsing. So, let’s cross bleach off the list..

Should You Use A Steam Mop To Disinfect Hardwood Floors?

Try thinking of it this way; If it isn’t safe to transfer a product’s use as directed to the palm of your hand for a full five seconds, it probably isn’t a good idea to use on hardwood floors. Does that seem extreme? Then, check out your wood floor manufacturers’ recommendations. If the manufacturer recommends the use of a steam mop to disinfect your hardwood floors, raise your hand.

See what I mean?

Of course, the reason for not applying steam to hardwood floors might not be quite the same as the reason for not applying it to your skin. But by sticking with this rule of thumb, you’ll be giving your wood floor the gentle treatment it requires.

As a cleaning solution, antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, boiled water, and steam are equally effective options. But applying a high-temperature solution to a wood floor will do more harm than good.

For floors installed with glue (floor adhesive), applying extremely hot water or steam is likely to cause the glue to lose its adhesive properties,

For wood floors installed with nails, a boiling hot solution would cause both the nails as well as the floorboards to expand considerably. The nails are more apt to rust and stain your hardwood floors before ultimately causing the floorboards to become less securely fastened.

This isn’t to say that steam can be applied to a floating wood floor without consequence either.

As it is, a hardwood floor’s exposure to moisture should be limited. Where wood floors are warped or have dark stains on them, moisture is the culprit. To expose a wood floor to moist heat or to do so on a routine basis doesn’t align with the effort that should be undertaken to limit the floor’s contact with moisture.

How to Disinfect Hardwood Floors without Damaging Them

Despite the best intentions, and sometimes, because of them, wood floors can be damaged. But this doesn’t need to happen. As long as exposure to water, harsh chemicals, and extreme measures is limited, the risk of damage is minimal. Hence, the rule of thumb as discussed earlier.

How to Disinfect Hardwood Floors Naturally

The terms “natural”, “naturally”, and “nature” conjure ethereal images of flowered meadows where the sun shines and breezes blow gently.

They might not be as pleasant as the scenario above, but chemicals, chemical bi-products, and chemical reactions are also natural.

The active ingredients usually contained in an EPA registered disinfectant are natural in that they are environmentally safe.

Of course, it would be nice to find a disinfectant that’s safe to use around children and pets as well. An inexpensive supermarket or drugstore product that doesn’t need to be rinsed would also be helpful.

There’s only one product that ticks all the boxes – hydrogen peroxide. Where the previously discussed “two fer” is analogous to paydirt, hydrogen peroxide is the motherlode.

Hydrogen peroxide is usually sold in concentrations of 3% or 6%. You can use the 3% concentration to disinfect your hardwood floor without first diluting it.

Hydrogen peroxide is sold in dark brown colored or opaque containers to protect it from light. Prolonged exposure to light and temperatures above 80F can cause the solution to become inert. It’s best used within a couple of months of purchase as it will expire in six months and will lose its effectiveness.

Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Disinfect Hardwood Floors

Transfer hydrogen peroxide from its original container to a clean spray bottle. Be sure to set the original aside so that you can transfer any remaining peroxide back into it when you’re done disinfecting your floors.

If you have a wet mop with a built-in cleaning solution container, you can bypass the spray bottle and pour hydrogen peroxide directly into the container instead.

You’ll also need several clean microfiber sleeves for your flat mop or untreated cleaning cloths for your Swiffer-style mop.

Working in sections:

  • Spray the hydrogen peroxide directly onto your hardwood floor.
  • Allow the floor to remain wet for 30-40 seconds.
  • Use a dry, microfiber mop head to wipe the peroxide from the floor.
  • Continue wiping the floor until it’s completely dry. Doing this will remove any haze that might remain. If the mop head becomes saturated, replace it with a clean, dry one.

Many people report that using hydrogen peroxide to clean and disinfect their hardwood floors also left them looking almost new. A pleasant side-effect.

How To Disinfect Hardwood Floors Without Lifting a Finger

Although you’ll still need to vacuum your wood floor to remove dust and other particles, the number of pathogens and insect vermin are very effectively reduced with the application of ultraviolet light. Many ultraviolet light fixtures designed with disinfection and elimination of insect vermin in mind are available for household use at reasonable prices.

Of course, because ultraviolet light isn’t the type of disinfecting medium evaluated by the EPA, it is neither approved nor rejected for categorization as a disinfectant. But ultraviolet lamps are frequently used in patient facilities where pathogens can be especially problematic if not immediately eliminated.

How To Prevent Pathogens From Contaminating Your Hardwood Floors

For the vast majority of the world population, it is customary to remove shoes before or immediately upon entering a home. Why this isn’t customary in the U.S. is not certain. Given the enormity of our science and technology community and all that we know about the spread of disease, there’s no excuse for not adopting this custom.

Shoes are dirty and should not be worn inside the home any more than they should be worn to bed. When shoes are worn outside, they pick up organisms that are present on sidewalks, streets, and gutters.

Naturally, these organisms will be transported from the street to locations inside the home if the shoes that transport them aren’t first removed. Removal of shoes also keeps dirt, mud, and sand from being tracked in and scratching your hardwood floors.

Ultraviolet light units are available in the form of hand-held wands. If shoes must be worn inside, passing a wand over the uppers and soles couldn’t hurt.

Waxing hardwood floors refers to a procedure that involves applying solid or liquid wax to restore the sheen of your hardwood floor.

While it is no longer as commonly relied on as it once was decades ago, several homeowners are now opting for the practice due to its ability to provide their flooring with that elegant sheen that sets it apart from others with a polyurethane finish.

In this article, we examine the specific advantages of waxing your hardwood floors, when to do so and how to wax hardwood floors. We also discuss how to care for your floors once you have waxed them so their trademark gleam will be maintained for longer.

Should You Wax Your Hardwood Floors?

Yes you should, as long your floors do not have a polyurethane finish, are in excellent condition and you are using the right type of wax. 

Below we have listed the benefits and drawbacks of waxing your hardwood floors.

Benefits of Waxing Hardwood Floors

  • Ease of procedure: Unlike certain methods of caring for your hardwood floor, waxing is rather straightforward and can be carried out without professional help.
  • Improved longevity: Waxing your floor can enhance its longevity since the product is capable of seeping into the wood and providing it with additional protection.
  • Enhanced resistance to dirt: The wax applied will harden into a shiny veneer which will cover the floor in a protective layer. This coating can prevent spills from seeping into the wood and also protect it from minor scratches and scuff marks.
  • Safety: Compared to polyurethane floors, most waxes have a low VOC content meaning they are a safer option.

Disadvantages of Waxing Hardwood Floors

  • Substantial effort required: Although waxing is a straightforward process, it also requires a great deal of effort. Liquid waxes, for example, require repeated applications during a single floor waxing session and even solid paste waxes may require more than one coating depending on the type of your hardwood floor.
  • May cause staining: It is worth noting that hardwood floor wax may bring about a change in the color of your flooring, altering its original tones as it seeps into the wood.
  • Lower durability levels: Compared to polyurethane, hardwood floor wax is less durable and it is for this reason that the former is more widely preferred.
  • Difficulty of removal: In spite of the relative ease of applying it, the varnish left behind is rather difficult to remove. You can read our article on how to remove wax buildup from hardwood floors which discusses the procedure in detail.

How Often Should You Wax Your Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood floors should be waxed every 12 to 18 months. 

However, the ultimate determining factor of the frequency with which you will have to carry out the procedure is the amount of traffic received by a particular room or area.

Experts recommend that you do not wax your hardwood floors more than twice a year and that you ensure you wax your wood floors at least every three years.

What Is The Best Wax to Use on Hardwood Floors?

Solid Paste Wax

Products in this category are known to have a heavier consistency compared to their liquid counterparts. This is due to the fact that they come with a higher proportion of wax compared to the latter.

SC Johnson Paste Wax is an excellent example of a product in this category. The manufacturer recommends cleaning your floor with a solvent-based product before applying it with a soft cloth for optimal results.

Liquid Wax or Oil

These products are generally lighter compared to solid paste wax products — liquid wax has a higher solvent concentration (and a lower wax content) compared to paste wax. 

Unlike solid paste wax products they may require several applications although a mop may be used when waxing hardwood floors with them making their application somewhat more convenient compared to that of their solid counterparts. 

An example of a product in this category is the Dura Finish Liquid Wax which only requires occasional buffing and is capable of restoring the luster of your floor. It is also capable of covering 2,000 square feet per gallon and can be applied with lambswool, cloth, or fine steel wool.

Water-based Silicone

Environmentally friendly and toxin-free, water-based silicone products are ideal for hardwood floors that have a polyurethane finish. 

An example is the Quick Shine Multi-Surface Finish Polish which is free from parabens and fragrance and is safe for children and pets. This water-based polish is also capable of filling out minor scratches and of giving your floor a uniform appearance. 

It is also suitable for plank, laminate, and tile surfaces.

How to Wax Hardwood Floors

Things You’ll Need

  • A soft-bristled brush
  • A microfiber cloth or mop
  • A sponge mop (if using liquid wax)
  • A terry cloth (also for liquid wax)
  • Mineral spirits
  • A towel (if using hard wax)
  • A solvent-based cleaner
  • A solvent-based wax product
  • A soft cloth or a mop
  • A pair of gloves
  • A dust mask

Preparing The Surface

  1. Empty room of furniture and ensure it is well ventilated.
  2. Check the floor for any signs of warping since waxing is unsuitable for floors in this state.
  3. Carefully sweep the floor to remove every trace of dust and debris.
  4. Wipe the floor with a cloth dampened by mineral spirits to get rid of any lingering wax residues on it.
  5. Mop with a solvent-based cleaner to ensure the surface is completely clean.
  6. Leave the room in order for the floor to dry and do not permit any entry to it as doing so may result in sand, grit, or dust being reintroduced to it.

Applying Wax to the Hardwood Floor

  1. Before you start to apply the wax to your wooden floors, you will need to wear your mask which will prevent you from inhaling the wax’s fumes. You will also have to wear a pair of robust rubber gloves to protect your skin.
  2. Next, measure out a single spoonful of liquid or solid wax and pouring it on the floor, use your mop (if you are using liquid wax) or cloth (if you are using solid paste wax) to coat the floor with it following the grain.
  3. Repeat the procedure, working your way from the innermost part of the room to its entrance.
  4. If you are using a mop, you may need to use a cloth when waxing the part of the floor close to the wall or in corners.
  5. Once you have finished, you may need to wait for the floor to dry before repeating the procedure, if necessary. The waiting period may range from anywhere between 10 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the type of your hardwood floor and the wax you are using.

How Many Coats of Wax Should You Put on a Hardwood Floor?  

If you happen to be waxing unfinished hardwood floors with solid paste wax,  you will need to coat it twice.

However if you happen to be using the same product for finished surfaces, only one coating will be required.

If you are using liquid wax, two or three coatings at the very least would be required regardless of whether you happen to be working on finished or unfinished floors.


This final step involves passing a cloth or a mop over the floor once you have covered it with the required number of coatings.

Buffing a waxed surface is important since it will ensure the wax goes further into the hardwood and is able to protect it more effectively as a result.

How will you know when to proceed to this step? By the wax coating taking on a blurry appearance.

If you have used solid paste wax, a towel would be suitable for buffing the surface.

In the case of liquid wax, you will need to use a terry cloth.

It is also possible for you to rent a buffing machine as well. You will need to ensure you follow the directions provided carefully during the procedure.

Caring For and Maintaining Waxed Hardwood Floors 

  • Check wax coating at intervals: Carry out periodic checks of the coating to determine if a fresh coat of wax is required. You will be able to do so by slightly wetting a soft cloth and wiping it on the surface. The presence of a whitish residue means that no waxing is required.  However if the cloth comes away with none, it will mean that the wax coating has worn off and more must be applied.
  • Buff any imperfections:  If you notice any uneven spots on the hardwood surface, you will need to buff it with a thick towel. Doing so will enable you to restore a uniform luster to your floor.
  • Protect surface with rugs and mats: The waxed hardwood floor should be protected from dirt, possible scratching from grit, and from wear by placing rugs, mats, and runners at high traffic areas and room entrances.

If there’s anything more aggravating than having to pull your pillow out from between your bed and the wall, it’s having to do it again and again.

If this sounds familiar, then you have a bed that tends to slide on the hardwood floor every time you climb into or out of it.

Besides ruining a good night’s sleep, your runaway bed is damaging your hardwood floor.

Similarly, when a couch or sofa shimmies away from the coffee table, the floor underneath it becomes damaged even if only somewhat. But if this piece of furniture is enjoyed by a large family, the damage can be five or sixfold.

When a piece of furniture slides on a wood floor, it might not necessarily leave a scuff or a scratch on your hardwood floor, but it could leave four of them.

When furniture slides on hardwood floors repeatedly, the result is a floor that’s been continually scraped and scuffed. Not pretty.

Furniture That Should Slide On Hardwood Floors

On the other hand, furniture that doesn’t slide can also damage a hardwood floor. The feet of chairs, stools, and ottomans can really do a number on a wood floor if they don’t slide easily.

chairs on wooden floors

Many people who encounter a chair or a stool that doesn’t slide easily, simply resort to dragging instead of lifting if off the floor to move it. Once seated, they skip and drag the chair or stool closer to the table or bar. Again, your hardwood floor takes a beating.

The solutions for these types of furniture (and these types of people) are discussed in another post.

How To Keep Furniture From Sliding On Hardwood Floors


• Beds

• Sofas/couches

• Reclining chairs

How to Keep Your Bed From Sliding On Hardwood Floors

1. Rugs

When wood floors were first installed in homes hundreds and hundreds of years ago, rugs were used to keep cold air from coming in through the floorboards. A rug placed under and around the bed helped to ensure that the bed’s occupants stayed warm at night.

The rug also ensured that the bed’s occupant would set his/her feet on it instead of a cold floor upon rising daily.

Very little has changed since that time except that beds now sit atop wheeled bed frames. The wheels are the part of the bed that rests on the rug. When the wheels at the foot of a bed have a rug under them, the bed is far less likely to slide.

For the non-traditionalists and the less conventional, there are other ways to keep a bed from sliding on hardwood floors.

2. Caster Cups

Caster cups are made of rubber or silicone. Most are available in black and brown. They’re usually sold in sets of four that range in price from $8.00 to $20.00.

Simply lift the corner of the bed so that the caster is up high enough from the floor to slide the caster cup underneath it.

3. Caster Stops

The manufacturers of No-Lift caster stops claim to have the patent on them. What’s unique about these is that unlike a caster cup that is placed underneath the caster, this U-shaped device is placed on the floor, around the caster, and then squeezed or pinched snug.

Because no lifting is involved, these caster stops also seem to present a good way to assemble the bed frame itself.

Available in black or brown, a set of four caster stops sells for $12.95 

Here is a caster stop that we recommend: https://www.amazon.com/iPrimio-Black-Bed-Furniture-Stopper/dp/B07215FC8N/

4. Bed Risers

Bed risers are a lot like caster cups, but taller. They’re made of various different materials such as wood, abs plastic, or steel. These are available in various heights, colors, and finishes.

Bed risers equipped with electric outlets and USB ports are available as well.

It’s important to keep in mind that taller bed risers create the need for a customized bed skirt as they cause standard-length bed skirts to fall short of the floor.

However, for anyone who wants their bed to accommodate a specific headboard, bed risers are a very handy solution.

Here is a bed riser that we recommend: https://www.amazon.com/Bed-Risers-Power-Outlet-Ports/dp/B0883F3DSD/

How To Keep A Couch From Sliding On a Hardwood Floor

1. Coaster Cups

Each couch foot slips into one of these rubber “boxes”. The edges of each coaster cup keeps the foot secured to the rubber pad. When measuring for size, it’s better to buy coaster cups that are a bit too large. If they’re too small, the couch foot won’t fit inside the cup at all. This solution is for sofas and couches that aren’t perched on irregularly shaped feet.

Here is a coaster cup that we recommend: https://www.amazon.com/Furniture-Caster-Cups-Pcs-Anti-Sliding/dp/B08JM6KMCJ/

2. Rubber Bumpers

These pads are screwed to the underside of each couch foot. Thus, the solution is relatively obscure. The pad’s pre-drilled hoses are set up to countersink the screws that are included with the purchase. Only the rubber is exposed to the floor.

Rubber bumpers are available in various sizes. For those who don’t mind putting in the effort, these are an excellent choice to keep your couch from sliding on hardwood floors.

Here is a rubber bumper that we recommend: https://www.amazon.com/Medium-Rectangular-Rubber-Feet-Bumpers/dp/B00S4E7OOO/

3. Caster Cups

If there are casters on your couch or sofa, you can remove them and set them aside, but this won’t necessarily keep your couch or sofa from sliding.

In this case, depending on whether the casters were screwed into feet or the couch’s frame, you might still want to consider coaster cups or rubber bumpers. 

If you decide to keep the casters in place, your options are the same as the options for beds. But there aren’t a lot of decorator options among caster cups and if your couch or sofa isn’t skirted, the look might be unacceptable.

4. Risers

Most bed risers are appropriate for use on couches. Some are surprisingly good looking and let’s not forget that some are available with outlets and USB ports.

How To Keep A Recliner From Sliding On Hardwood Floors

Most reclining chairs rest on a pair of long rails that are braced together. This creates a platform of sorts so that the chair can recline while the rails (in theory) remain in place.

However, depending on what the rails themselves rest on, reclining chairs don’t always stay in place.

This is especially the case when the recliner is located in a room with a hardwood floor. When someone first sits in the chair and when they get up from it, the chair tends to slide backward on the hardwood floor each time.

Finally, when the chair has shimmied so far that the wall behind it prevents it from reclining; someone will drag the chair forward again. This process continues as the hardwood floor also continues to get the living daylights knocked out of it.

Ultimately, when someone decides the chair has seen better days, they discover that the hardwood floor’s better days ended a few thousand slips and slides ago.

This doesn’t have to happen!

1. Non-Adhesive Rubber Strips

Okay, so they’re a little pricey, and lining them up is tough, but these grips will work. The rubber is soft enough to give to the rails as the rails settle into it.

These strips are only available in three lengths. If your recliner’s rails are between lengths, opt for the longer and cut down to size.

Here is a non-adhesive rubber strip that we recommend: https://www.amazon.com/Stay-Furniture-Recliners-Grippers-Anti-Slip/dp/B07W68CK34/

2. Fitness Equipment Mats

Made of pure non-pvc rubber, these equipment mats are intended for all flooring types. You’ll need to cut one to size. Instead of cutting two strips for the rails, you might want to consider cutting a single, large piece so the edges fit just inside the shell of your reclining chair. It might be a little unsightly when the chair is in a reclined position, but it won’t be seen at all when the chair is closed.

The Most Important Thing To Remember

Of course, it’s important to implement solutions to keep furniture from sliding on hardwood floors. But overlooking the little things that should be routine can also take their toll.

  • Lift that cardboard box of Christmas ornaments instead of dragging it.
  • Wipe your shoes before entering the house
  • Clip your dog’s nails
  • Use a floor vacuum (or your vacuum’s flooring attachment) instead of moving dust and dirt across your wood floor with a broom or dustmop.

Compared to other flooring types, hardwood floors can be far more forgiving. With a little care and planning, yours can last for generations.

Know any cool tricks to keep furniture from sliding on wood floors? Please share. If you have pics to go with it, share these too!

Firstly, just so we’re all clear on this, glue and adhesives work best when applied by accident. It’s a law of some sort.

In fact, it never fails and while it’s true that accidents can be prevented, adhesives have a way of upending even the most carefully laid plans. What’s up with that?

Given the accidental aspects of glue and adhesives have naturally become second nature, I’ve nevertheless, resigned myself to the fact that I’ll probably never figure out a quick, painless, and odor-free way to remove an acrylic nail from the third knuckle of either index finger. 

…and naturally, because I am admittedly, something of an expert in all things accidental, I can state with authority, that spills are a subset of accidents.

Also as an expert, I can offer my assurance that if it says, “spill proof” on the label, it’s a liar. Plain and simple. That’s just all there is to it because for some of us, it is indeed possible to spill toothpaste. 

Hopefully, when you’re done reading, you’ll have a better understanding of:

  • How to remove adhesive/glue from hardwood floors naturally
  • How to remove adhesive/glue from unfinished hardwood floors
  • How to remove linoleum glue from wood floors

Here’s What You Should Know About Adhesives On Wood Floors

Most glues and adhesives contain plasticizers. Very few do not. Super Glue is among these few. It becomes plastic as it cures. But either way, it’s either as strong or stronger than what it’s attached to. 

The reason this matters is because plasticizers will bond to the lacquered finish of your hardwood floor. Once Super Glue, Gorilla Glue, adhesive tape, or even something as innocent as a sticker is affixed to it, the finish is forever compromised even if only slightly. Removal of the adhesive and/or plasticized glue is all well and good, but the lacquered finish will never be quite the same. 

Of course you can sand the area where the finish is compromised, and apply a new finish, or you can hire an expert to do this as well as feather the edges into the existing finish that surrounds it. But even the best expert can’t get this section to look like it’s part of the rest and most will tell you as much.

Even though it was applied in sections or strips, the fact remains that all of your hardwood floor’s sealed finish was applied at the same time. Each of those sections or strips was united with the one next to it to form a complete, and entire whole. A patched area will never truly appear to be part of the rest. 

In summary, the floor should be refinished.

The moral of the story ﹘ if it needs to be taped to the floor, then it doesn’t need to be on the floor to begin with

The news isn’t all bad. Most people find that even when a dull spot or a resurfaced patch is located in a place that a rug doesn’t cover, they can still live with it. Considering the cost to strip and refinish an entire floor almost invariably makes living with this type of thing infinitely easier to manage. 

You’ll Still Need To Remove Glue From Hardwood Wherever You Find It. 

Even if it means you’ll end up with several dull spots on your floor, the stickers, tape, and/or droplets of glue are far more unsightly. Leaving them as they are won’t improve the situation.

Contrary to popular belief, removing glue and adhesive does not require for the use of harsh chemicals, solvents, vinegar, denatured alcohol, mineral spirits, mineral oil, mineral water, vitamins and minerals, …etc. 

So, What’s Up With Acetone?

Acetone is not recommended for use on anything that you don’t want removed.

Many People suggest the application of acetone diirectly onto the glue only. This would be a swell idea as long as you’re sure none of it will seep, leak, creep, or crawl onto the surrounding area. 


I’m pretty sure I couldn’t pull it off either, especially given my track record for this sort of thing. 

This isn’t to say these things don’t have their place, but for now, we can avoid them. 

How To Remove Glue From Hardwood Floors Naturally

Things You’ll Need

Note: In case you don’t have these things handy, you can click on each of the items to purchase the one we recommend.

If there are several places on your hardwood floors where glue or adhesive needs to be removed, or if you suspect the work could require a few hours of effort,  consider adding the following:

Removing Krazy Glue/Super Glue, Adhesive Tape, Stickers From Hardwood Floors

  • Spray a bit of bee’s wax on either side of your brass putty knife. Allow any excess wax to drop onto the area of the floor located next to the edge of the glue/adhesive that’s closest to you. You’ll be starting at that edge and working forward. 
  • Use your non-dominant hand to hold the blow dryer directly over the glue (Oops! yes, turn it on first)
  • With your dominant hand, hold the edge of the putty knife at an angle of about 45o to gently push or chip at the glue. Always be sure: 
    • to push outward and away 
    • the surface under your putty knife has bee’s wax on it or you’ll gouge the floor
  • The adhesive should move along fairly easily. Use your clean rag to wipe it from your putty knife. 
  • As for the glue, stay after it. Try chilling the putty knife by running it under cold water. Alternate between using the dryer and the chilled putty knife. This will cause expansion and contraction of the glue and the surface of the floor if only slightly. 

Ultimately, the glue will release in little chips at a time until the last chip is gone.   

  • Use your clean rag to gather up the loosened chips as you go. Be sure to gather all of them. Stepping on a stray later on can scratch your floor. 
  • Roll up the clean rag so that the chips of glue stay contained in it. Use the clean exterior of the rolled up rag to wipe away any excess bee’s wax and give the area a light buffing. 

How To Remove Floor Glue From Wood

If you’ve installed your glued hardwood floor, you might find that you’ve spilled some of the glue. You might discover that some of it has squeezed up from between the boards. 

If this happens, be sure to remove the glue immediately by wiping it thoroughly with a clean cloth dampened with water. Once the glue dries, removal is next to impossible. 

As I’m always sure to let anyone know, flooring installation professionals are a very conscientious and fastidious lot. (I know I don’t have to say that, but I got a mortgage, a ton of bills, and this gig pays!

Yet, if upon the completion of your professionally installed, glued hardwood floors, you happen to discover that one of the eminently talented installation experts overlooked a spot of floor glue that spilled onto the unfinished wood, all you need to do is call to advise of the situation. Your flooring installation will be sure to correct the trouble as soon as your message is passed along. 

In the meantime, you are in a far better position to remove the glue and since the glue will become far more difficult to remove with every minute that passes, there’s no benefit in deciding it’s not your job. 

Instead, do whatever’s necessary to remove the glue immediately and save the responsible party argument for another time. A clean rag and water should take care of this.

How To Remove Linoleum Glue From a Wood Subfloor

If you find yourself faced with traditional black mastic on a subfloor, it can only mean that the linoleum that was once held by it has been removed. Why anyone would do this – I’m sure I have no idea. As long as the tiles are all in one piece and all pieces are stable, linoleum is the ideal substrate for most other types of flooring. There is no need to remove it. 

Even if a few of the linoleum tiles are broken, as long as they can be glued into place, the floor remains a viable substrate. 

However, once the linoleum has been removed, on its own, the adhesive, or mastic as it was originally called, is likely to interfere with the installation of new flooring of any kind. The mastic will need to be removed. 

Black asbestos mastic was produced until the mid ’70s. Some manufacturers continued to produce asbestos mastic well into the ’80s. 

Because of this, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with. Where black floor glue with the tell-tale black comblike markings is discovered in a home built before 1975, the glue most likely contains asbestos. Asbestos removal should never involve sanding or scraping of any kind. Dust and other particles of asbestos are especially deadly. 

As long as it remains undisturbed, the risk associated with being around asbestos is minimum. 

For that matter, I can’t imagine that inhaling dust and particles of any kind of sanded adhesive would be beneficial to anyone’s health, but where black mastic asbestos is concerned especially, this is what makes removal so tricky.  

The safest way to remove black mastic asbestos is by laying hot wet towels over one section at a time until the glue becomes soft enough to be peeled away with a putty knife. 

On the whole, removing glue and adhesive from hardwood floors can be tedious and trying, and removal of black mastic asbestos can create health concerns. But by taking proper precautions and using appropriate tools, you’ll find that the process of removing any of these from hardwood floors can be completed efficiently, effectively, and safely. 

Of course, for the accident-prone, there’s still no pain-free way to do it, but once you get your glued fingers separated from the bathroom counter, you too can have terrific-looking hardwood floors.