How to Make Hardwood Floors Less Slippery

Slippery Wood FloorWhen we first moved into our house, I took pride in our hardwood floors. From my previous experience, I knew if maintained well, our house would look like the ones in fancy home magazines. It took hard work on my part (okay, a little from my husband) for the floors to shine. The problem however, was when our 2 boys became toddlers, they treated it like their personal playground.

I didn’t mind too much at first, but after a few trips to the emergency room, I knew it was time to take action. Here’s how I made our hardwood floors less slippery and safe for everyone:

Choose the Right Kind of Finish For Your Floor

This takes a little forward planning on the part of the homeowner. Shiny, hardwood floors is not for everyone. It certainly is not for one with rambunctious kids (like mine). Take stock of your situation in the years you plan on staying in the house

If you’re alone and love to show off your hardwood floors, then by all means, get the best kind you can afford. But if you plan to have kids in that same house, coat your floor with matte polyurethane. It’s not as shiny than regular or shiny polyurethane, but it will keep your kids safe. Or you can move to another home.

Use Non-Slip Chemicals

Ask your local home depot for non-slip treatments. Slather on the floor weekly for a matte finish that will not only protect people from slipping, it will even prolong the floor’s natural look. You can also use it on your linoleum floors, if you have one.

Use a Vinegar Solution

If you don’t like putting chemicals in your house, you can go green and use vinegar. Sweep the dirt and grit from the floor first. Mop the floor with a vinegar solution (1 cup white vinegar for every gallon of warm water), making sure that you do not spill water. Then wipe it down with dry towel. Make sure that there are no waxy residues left that will make the floors slippery. Although this is low-tech, I prefer this over chemicals. I have had success with this, although I find that if you increase the dosage, you will leave a thin film on the floor.

Use Nonslip Pads

Sometimes, its not the floors’ fault when someone slips down. The bottom of the shoes can play host to slippery residues. To remove them, put nonslip pads or doormats in entryways and encourage people to use them. If there are many “crime scene” areas inside your home, strategically litter these areas with nonslip pads. Be sure to cover also the high-traffic areas. Choose prints that will go with your overall design so that your home will still look cozy.

Safety first. While its cool to have hardwood floors, they can cause some bad accidents. But you don’t have to eschew aesthetics totally. Balance it with safety by following the tips above so that you can have a beautiful, shiny floors without sacrificing life and limb. After all, this is your home, so you should always be comfortable and safe living there.

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