Hardwood floors are the unsung heroes of interior design. They constantly pull rooms together and are still easier to clean than a carpet. And while super scuffed up floors are a great look all their own, that may not be what you're going for. If that's the case, take some precautions to protect your floors!
The main thing to keep in mind when cleaning up dry messes (dust, crumbs, etc.) is that it doesn't have to be done every day. Set aside time once or twice a week to do a quick sweep of the area, keeping in mind that when accumulated, dry messes can essentially erode the wood if left unattended over time.
However, wet spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible. They're not the end of the world, but they will definitely change the appearance of the wood if they're not taken care of quickly. Basically you don't want any liquids standing on your floor for any extended period of time.
After you've dusted your floors, Freshome suggested mixing small amounts of water and vinegar and applying it to a sponge mop to clean the wood without harming the finish - just be careful not to get any on your custom window treatments!
Unfortunately, there are some scratches that no amount of cleaning can get out. But don't worry, there are some tricks to keep them from happening in the first place.
Home Guides recommended putting felt on the bottoms of all furniture in the space. This will help prevent scratches from occurring when you so much as pull your chair out from the table. To avoid shoe-related damage, set up cute cubbies by your entryway and ask that guests remove their shoes before coming in.
You could also put down accent or area rugs in the more high traffic areas of the room to preserve the floor. Keep in mind that with rearranging and time, the most used space may change, and keeping a carpet in that section will help keep your floors from obtaining random patches of wear.
Moisture is the natural enemy of hardwood floors, and that includes moisture in the air. If you can, get a dehumidifier to moderate the humidity in the area of your home that heavily features wood.