Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
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Hardwood floors can really bring a home interior together. However, those with hardwood floors know how hazardous they can be (especially when you’re wearing socks). If you’re constantly worrying about slipping on your hardwood floor, you came to the right place.
Here is how to make your hardwood floors less slippery:
- Clean your floors thoroughly and frequently.
- Clean up messes as soon as they happen.
- Use a vinegar solution to clean hardwood floors.
- Apply an oil finish to your floors.
- Be aware of moisture residue on the floor.
- Wipe your feet before walking on hardwood floors.
- Apply non-slip polishes to your floor.
- Incorporate rugs and other non-slip surfaces in high-traffic areas.
- Refinish an old wood floor to reduce slickness.
This article will discuss why your hardwood floor might be slippery and what you can do to combat dangerous slickness. Read on to learn how to make hardwood floors less slippery.
1. Clean Your Floors Thoroughly and Frequently
Often, a hardwood floor can become more slippery due to a buildup of dust and debris. As dust accumulates on the floor, it can settle into a thin layer. Depending on the thickness of the layer of dust, it can be challenging to find traction as you walk across it.
The longer that dust and dirt sit in the pores and crevices of your floor, the slipperier the wood material gets. So, if you find that your floor is getting more slippery with time, you may not be cleaning it regularly enough.
If possible, you should be sweeping your hardwood floors at least once a day. On top of sweeping daily, mopping your floors approximately once a week can help reduce the debris buildup on the surface.
Be sure to use cleaning solutions appropriate for your floor when you mop to make sure you remove as much dirt as possible. Sweeping and mopping regularly can make a massive difference to slippery hardwood floors. Make an effort to do so, and you will likely see a difference in the slipperiness of your floor.
2. Clean Up Messes As Soon as They Happen
It’s easy to spill something on the floor and tell yourself that you’ll clean it up later. However, doing so can make it extremely easy to forget about the mess entirely. This scenario is common when small children live in your house. Those with kids in their household understand that they often spill multiple times a day and can be challenging to clean up after.
However, if you forget to clean up spills on your hardwood floor, you add to the moisture and grime that can make it incredibly slippery. Although it can be a pain to be on constant alert for messes, watching for spills and promptly cleaning them up can significantly impact the floor’s slickness.
Microfiber Mops Make Cleanup Quick and Convenient
Microfiber mops are an excellent option for spot-treating your floor. They’re perfect for if you spill something on a tiny area of your hardware floor. Once you clean up the solid components of whatever you spilled, you can move the mope over the mess a few times to eliminate any excess moisture and remove the grime from the hardwood material.
In addition, most microfiber mops include spraying mechanisms. Mops with a spraying capability are especially handy for cleaning up unexpected spills because they can hold cleaners that fight sticky substances.
If you don’t already have a microfiber mop, I highly recommend looking at this 5-Piece Microfiber Spray Mop on Amazon.com. The mop’s flexible design makes it easy to clean areas of your floor that would typically be difficult to reach. This set also includes extra pieces to replace components of the mop as they get worn down from frequent use.
3. Use a Vinegar Solution To Clean Hardwood Floors
If you’re cleaning your hardwood floors regularly and they’re still dangerously slippery, consider incorporating vinegar into your cleaning routine. As a cleaning agent, vinegar is good for removing waxy residue and any stubborn debris accumulated on your floors over time. Try mixing 0.5 cups (125 mL) of vinegar with a gallon (3785 mL) of water and applying it to your floor for a thorough cleaning.
However, be very careful in deciding to use vinegar on your hardwood floor. Particular hardwood finishes are sensitive to acidic solutions like vinegar. It is always good to know what type of finish is on your floor to determine whether it is safe to use vinegar in your cleaning.
4. Apply an Oil Finish to Your Floors
Many wax finishes are notoriously slippery, especially when wet. However, applying an oil finish to your hardwood floors instead can prove to be a simple fix for slippery hardwood floors. When applied to hardwood, oil finishes penetrate the wood material deeply. As a result, oil finishes are a go-to for anyone looking for a less slippery hardwood floor. If you’re open to refinishing your floor, consider choosing oil over wax if you want to reduce its slipperiness.
5. Be Aware of Moisture Residue on the Floor
Although it might seem obvious, it’s worth noting that your floor being wet will make it even slipperier than usual. Especially after mopping, it’s a good idea to stay off of your hardwood floors until they are completely dry. However, it’s also essential to keep a vigilant eye out for surprise sources of moisture that may appear throughout the day.
Dry Hardwood Floors by Hand or Let Them Air-Dry
Sometimes it feels like you need a “caution when wet” sign to put up in your kitchen after mopping. A freshly mopped floor can be a severe hazard to anyone that happens to walk across it.
There are a few things you can do to minimize the time that your floor is wet. You have two options:
- Use a towel to dry the floor by hand quickly
- Use a device like a ceiling fan to increase airflow in the room and speed up the evaporation process.
Watch Out for Surprise Puddles
In addition, keep an eye out for any puddles of water that may accumulate on the floor. Areas like the kitchen are especially prone to surprise moisture. Stray ice cubes or excess water from the sink can land on the hardwood floor and become a slippery surprise.
In addition, the flooring around outside doorways tends to accumulate moisture, especially during wet seasons. If you live somewhere that sees snow or rain often, pay extra close attention to any water on the floor in these areas.
6. Wipe Your Feet Before Walking on Hardwood Floors
If slippery floors are a particular concern for you during rainy or snowy seasons, consider adding a rug or doormat next to your doorway. A doormat can absorb any excess moisture tracked in as people enter from outside.
If family members or guests track in rain and snow on their shoes, water will end up accumulating on the floor and creating a slipping hazard. By adding doormats to each entrance and asking others to wipe their feet when they enter, you can protect yourself and your family from dangerously slick floors.
The Best Non-Slip Mats for Doorways
If you’re looking for something more simplistic in style, I recommend this Natural Rubber Door Mat on Amazon.com. Its classic pattern matches any decor theme while grabbing any dirt you might track in from the outdoors. This rug is highly durable, gentle on bare feet, and comes in various colors.
If you’re in the market for a mat with a creative, welcoming design, this Outdoor Welcome Mat on Amazon.com will do just the trick. This mat has a non-slip rubber backing, so it won’t shift around as you wipe your feet on it. It even comes in various sizes so that it will fit perfectly in your doorway regardless of its size.
The Best Non-Slip Mats for Bathrooms
The bathroom is another area in the house that is prone to moisture accumulation. Although many bathrooms have flooring made of stone tiles, bathrooms with hardwood floors can be hazardous. By placing a non-slip mat in front of the shower, bathtub, or sink, you can reduce the chances of slipping and getting injured.
This Memory Foam Bathroom Mat is exceptionally comfortable on bare feet and comes in many colors. This mat is perfect for a wet bathroom environment because it dries quickly and uses non-slip technology on the bottom of the rug to keep it held securely in place.
Non-Slip Rug Pads Keep Mats Secure
Let’s say you already have a mat that you like in your doorway, but it is constantly shifting around and causing you to slip. In that case, I recommend you look into Non-Slip Rug Pad Gripper for placement beneath your mat. This non-slip pad is extra thick, and you can trim it to fit any mat size.
Non-slip mats make a massive difference in slippery floors and doorways. If slipping is a consistent concern for you, these non-slip mats are worth considering.
7. Apply Non-Slip Polishes to Your Floor
Certain polishes made for hardwood floors can be extremely slippery. If you’re struggling with a dangerously slippery hardwood floor, a non-slip finish might be the solution for you. Coating your floor with a non-slip finish is a relatively quick and straightforward process.
However, it is always a good idea to consult a professional before refinishing your floor. Depending on the condition of your floor, it might be safer to pay a professional to apply the finish for you.
Non-Slip Wood Sprays Provide Traction
Non-slip wood sprays are often more convenient and easier to apply than a full-blown non-slip finish. With a non-slip spray, you can easily add traction to areas of your house that are especially prone to getting wet, greasy, or slippery in general.
If you’re interested in using a non-slip spray, I recommend trying this Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray on Amazon.com. This product receives high ratings, and with such a low price, it doesn’t disappoint. Non-slip sprays are a hassle-free quick fix for anyone wanting to spot-treat slippery floors.
8. Incorporate Rugs in High-Traffic Areas
Suppose there’s a particular area of your house that is constantly proving to be a hazard. In that case, you might want to consider adding a rug or another non-slip surface to that area.
It’s common for high-traffic areas to become slippery over time. As people repeatedly walk in certain areas, the hardwood finish can accumulate a slick layer of dust and dirt. Luckily, rugs are a design-friendly way to lower the chances of slipping in some regions of your house. Choose a rug that matches your decor theme and watch as your home embodies fashion and function.
9. Refinish an Old Wood Floor To Reduce Slickness
Hardwood floors typically aren’t too slippery when they’re brand new. This lack of slickness is due to the condition of the finish.
However, your floor’s finish will wear down with time. As you might expect, walking on your hardwood floors over the years will erode their initial finish. As the finish on your hardwood floor ages and accumulates wax and debris, it becomes much more slippery. In general, most hardwood floors need to be refinished approximately every ten years.
Hire a Professional To Refinish Your Floors
It’s a good idea to hire a professional to refinish your hardwood floor. The professional will thoroughly sand the floor before refinishing it. By sanding the floor, the professional removes built-up wax, polishes, and debris, all of which can contribute to a slippery floor.
If you notice your hardwood floor aging, look into having it refinished. Not only will refinishing your floor make it less slippery, but it will also look nice!
If you’ve been struggling with an ultra-slippery hardwood floor, you don’t have to struggle for much longer. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to make your beautiful hardwood floor less hazardous.
Here are a few practical solutions for a slippery hardwood floor:
- Clean your floors often and thoroughly.
- Look into non-slip polishes and mats.
- Carefully monitor floors in moisture-prone areas.
- Incorporate decorative rugs in high-traffic areas of the house.
- Better Homes and Gardens: How to Clean Hardwood Floors for Scuff-Free Shine
- Discount Flooring Depot: How To Make Wood Floors Less Slippery
- City Tile: How & How Often to Clean a Hardwood Floor
- SF Gate: How to Make Wood Floors Less Slippery
- Floor Coverings International: How To Make Hardwood Floors Less Slippery
- Wood Floors Cleaner: How can I make my Hardwood Floors less Slippery?
- Omaha Floors: Slippery Wood Floors? The Solution is a Non-Slip Coating
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