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Are Hardwood Floors Slippery?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
Every time I think of hardwood floors, an image of Tom Cruise in Risky Business sliding across the floor in his underwear singing Old Time Rock and Roll comes to mind. My husband wants to put these floors in our home, but I’m afraid they’ll be way too slick! Are hardwood floors slippery?
– Judith L.

Dear Judith,

Although that was a classic movie scene, it’s not the norm for most hardwood floors.

Hardwood isn’t naturally slick. In Risky Business, Tom Cruise’s character must have just had his floors cleaned, rewaxed or polished to make them slippery enough to slide on. Then, hardwood can become a little harder to walk on.

Another time hardwood becomes slippery is when it’s wet. Because moisture can be very damaging to hardwood floors, we always recommend cleaning up any spills right away. If not, you risk falling and causing serious damage to your flooring. Neither scenario is ideal.

If Your Hardwood Floors Are Slick

We think you’ll love the look and feel of hardwood floors. However, if they ever become slippery, there are a few things you can do to make them a little more comfortable.

  1. Mop the floors with a cleaner that’s approved for hardwood floor that does not have any oil in it.
  1. Run a dry mop over the area to remove any excess moisture right away.

Prevent Falls On Hardwood Floors

There are other measures you can take to minimize the risk of someone losing his or her footing on your floors.

  1. First, you can add traction by putting down rugs with non-slip pads underneath. The non-slip pads are essential. These are especially helpful in hallways or moisture prone rooms, such as kitchens.
  2. You can also add doormats to your home. This will keep water from getting accidentally tracked inside creating a slick surface.
  3. There are a few non-skid treatment options available. Use these as a last resort as it could cause damage to your new floors.
  4. Always follow your manufacturer’s instructions! Some hardwood flooring is made differently than others. Following the guidelines about how to clean and maintain your hardwood floors is the best way to avoid overly slippery surfaces and potentially damaging elements.

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