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Light hearted, but very serious question here. :)

We recently installed hardwood floors. Stranded Bamboo to be exact. It's beautiful!

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Now, besides the sheer beauty of it, one of the main benefits to having hardwood floors in my opinion is that you can slide on them. I slide every chance I get. Need to run to the fridge? Sliiiiide. Doing dishes, and need to put one away in the cabinet over there? Sliiiide. I can't help it. It's just the natural way for me to get around on these slick floors. It's wonderful. Try it!

My wife is afraid that since I do this almost all the time, it will add up, and eventually start causing signs of wear prematurely on the wood. She has a point there. I don't want that to happen, either. But since the wood is sealed with something, and my socks are a nice soft cotton material, I feel like it's probably a negligible thing even with how often I do it.

One thing I can't argue with is that if I ever accidentally had something hard stuck to my socks, and I slide with it, I could cause a scratch. And this dark wood really shows scratches easily. But I am careful about that.

So I'd love to hear from someone knowledgeable about the care of hardwood. What kinds of wear and tear could we expect to see over time, and what activities cause it the most? Do even the smallest things like walking on it cause wear over time? And of course, what about sliding on it with soft socks? :)

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I've been told that the correct answer is "your wife is right" regardless of the question being asked. :) –  BMitch Nov 9 '11 at 20:58
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I've been doing this for three years between the kitchen and my room and all damage occurs with my socks. I think that as long as the floor remains clean (especially in the winter, with salt and those pebbles), I am sure no wear and tear will occur. You can think of it as a direct relationship :: The harder it is to slide the more likely your floor needs cleaning and wear and tear maybe be possible. As you noticed a clean cotton sock and clean floor provide minimal friction, this friction will increase with the amount of "stuff" attached, when you walked in other rooms. –  phwd Nov 9 '11 at 21:26
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Let's just assume it does...however, of all the things that will add wear and tear on your floor, socks are at the bottom of the list. Maybe just above 'using a broom'. –  DA01 Nov 9 '11 at 23:54
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Tom Cruise and his imitators provide guidance in this area: google.co.uk/… –  Rory Alsop Nov 10 '11 at 10:28
    
Plus vote @ BMitch: Absolutely correct answer for many questions. Try telling her you are "polishing" the floor for her with your socks. –  shirlock homes Nov 10 '11 at 10:54

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Nothing short of laminating it in acrylic 3" thick and never putting anything on your floor, ever, is going to keep it from getting some damage eventually.

If you find the proper stain color, practice a bit matching the color, and learn how to refinish the floor, you needn't let it worry you too much. Hardwood is extremely resilient and eminently restore-able - even bamboo can be reclaimed and restored to beauty.

I refer you and your no doubt lovely and certainly conscientious wife to this example of how good a really ugly floor can look (written by yours truly...)

Romancing The Floor

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Back in the old days, when my mom was a kid, circa 1930s, hardwood floors needed to be waxed. After my grandmother waxed the floors, she would tie soft rags on all five kids' feet, and invite them to go skating around the house. That was how she acquired beautifully polished floors. True story.

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And as long as you keep them waxed, you probably won't have any problem with socks wearing the finish down. –  Fiasco Labs Feb 16 '13 at 4:37

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