Why Hardwood Floors are Slippery & How to Fix It

Hardwood floors are the perfect look for entryways, living rooms, bedrooms, and more, but what happens when you notice they're slippery and starting to become a hazard?

Use these tips to find out how to make hardwood floors less slippery to keep everyone safe and sound.

one reason why hardwood floors are slippery is because they are wet. Zerorez® technician is seen cleaning a hardwood floor in a home with the door open behind him and the Zerorez van parked outside

Why are my hardwood floors slippery?

The answer to this question isn't that straightforward, but luckily, there are a few common reasons that are actually easy to correct.

  1. Dirt and grime or natural wear and tear: If you haven't swept or vacuumed the floors in a while, the dirt and dust can make the surface feel incredibly slick as it reduces your grip with the floor.
  2. Too much cleaner: Did you know that not all cleaners work well on cleaning hardwood floors? It's true - and using the wrong cleaner will cause buildup and residue on the floor that becomes slick over time.
  3. Excessive wax or polish: Apply too much wood polish, the wrong wood polish, or too much hardwood wax on your hardwood can cause them to be slippery.
  4. Wetness: This is obvious, but if your floor is wet, whether from mopping your hardwood floor or a spill, it can make it slippery real fast.
  5. You have on socks: Wearing socks or other soft soled shoes or footwear on hardwood floors can be a slippery disaster!

Understanding these causes is crucial in preventing accidents and maintaining a safe and attractive environment.

how to get rid of slippery hardwood floors is by installing area rugs and door mats like this white rug runner by a table

How To Make Hardwood Floors Less Slippery

If you are worried that your hardwood floors will be slippery forever, the good news is that they won't be.

Here are some top tips on how to reduce the slick floors without compromising or getting rid of their shine. These tips will help you learn how to make hardwood floors shine without being slippery.

1. Add non-slip door mats

Place door mats at the entrances of your outside doors so that the dirt and grime collect on the mats and not on the floors.

2. Add non-slip area rugs

If you're worried about the floor being slippery, add rugs to the space. This is a great way to add a new and fun look to the space while also keeping the floor safe from falls. Add an anti-slip floor finish or coating Special coating for hardwood floors are available that can provide a textured surface for better traction.

3. Clean regularly and hire a professional cleaning company

Routine sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming of hardwood floors can help limit the dirt and debris that accumulates on your floors, making them slick.

You can also let the professionals at Zerorez® clean your hardwood floors so that the slip and slide are a thing of the past. Not only do they deep clean and seal the hardwood floors safely and effectively, but they leave them looking new and stronger than before. Sounds like a win-win partnership!

male black Zerorez® technician professional cleaning hardwood floors in a home with the Zr® Wand

What to do about slippery hardwood stairs?

Slippery hardwood stairs pose a unique challenge as they involve increased risk due to the need to climb or descend.

To enhance the safety of hardwood stairs, consider using non-slip stair treads or adhesive strips specifically designed for this purpose. These accessories provide added grip and are easy to install.

Regular cleaning and cautious use can also mitigate slipperiness on stairs.

What cleaners should I not use to clean hardwood floors?

Choosing the right cleaning solution for hardwood floors is essential in maintaining both their beauty and safety. Opt for a pH-neutral hardwood floor cleaner, which effectively removes dirt and grime without leaving behind a slippery residue. Always follow manufacturer recommendations for dilution and application.

Refrain from cleaning your hardwood floors with oil soaps, as this can cause a build-up and make your floor really slippery over time.

Microfiber mops or soft cloths are excellent tools for cleaning hardwood floors, as they minimize the amount of moisture left on the surface as well as effectively collect surface debris and dirt, reducing the risk of slipping.

Also, pay attention to any type of sealant or wax that you want to use on your flooring, as many of them will result in a buildup as well which will trap dirt and grime and make the floor extremely slick.

Shiny hardwood floor that isn't slippery in a kitchen after being professionally cleaned by Zerorez®

How to make hardwood shine without being slippery

Achieving that sought-after hardwood shine without compromising safety is possible.

Rather than using heavy wax or polish, opt for a specially formulated hardwood floor shine product. These products enhance the floor's appearance without creating a slick surface.

Regular dusting and cleaning also play a crucial role in preserving the natural shine of hardwood floors as can using products to protect hardwood from furniture.

young boy and a pug dog running down a hallway on hardwood flooring

Are hardwood stairs and floors slippery for dogs?

Yes, actually. They are just as they can be for humans. Dogs may struggle to maintain their footing on smooth hardwood surfaces, especially when running or making quick turns.

To address this issue, consider using large area rugs or pet-friendly mats in areas where your dog spends a lot of time. These provide added grip and make it easier for your furry friend to move around comfortably.

Adding stair treads will benefit dogs and other animals in the house so that they don't slip when they're going up or down the stairs too.

There are many different ways that you can clean your hardwood floors or alter the stairs so that they're not a slipping hazard. Choose what works best for you and be sure to hire Zerorez to get your hardwood floors exceptionally clean and shiny again!

Book a Cleaning with Zerorez Today!