Caring for Wooden Flooring
Real Wood Floors can make most spaces shine and feel far more sophisticated. However, the decision to use wood flooring in your home can be an important one for most families due to the size of the investment. It is important to be clear about the level of care you will need to give to a real wood floor and whether you are likely to maintain it lovingly, to keep it looking at its best.
In order to help you make the decision, or if you already have real wood floors, we have put together some useful maintenance tips. These will hopefully help you to keep your wooden floors looking great for longer and help you to enjoy them for many years.
Keeping your floors clean is the easiest way to avoid unsightly marks and stains. The minimum amount of cleaning we recommend is to vacuum your floor at least once a week, perhaps more depending on the amount of use it gets. However, vacuuming alone is not enough to keep your floor at its best, the ideal cleaning regime would include a thorough mopping about once a month. This will help to get rid of all the small particles of dust and dirt that can build up and affect the appearance of the floor. Keep in mind, however that you must avoid getting too much water on your floors when mopping, water can cause irreversible damage that may be unsightly and potentially expensive to correct.
If you have, or are considering wooden floors in a high traffic area of your home then rugs can be a lifesaver. They are a great way to help protect your floors from the most common causes of damage, such as people’s shoes and pets. Although any rug can be a great help, if you use a machine washable one with a breathable backing material then you will be doing the most good for your flooring. The breathable back will prevent any moisture build-up damaging your floors, and being able to wash it will make it look great for longer.
The best way to deal with spillages is immediately. A liquid spill on your floor can leave permanent marks and discolouration, or even some swelling if it leaks in between the floorboards. If you do experience a spillage on your flooring then soak it up quickly with a clean towel or sponge then apply some specialist cleaner. Do not use ammonia, or any cleaner that is not specifically designed to be used on wood flooring as this can cause damage or marking that is irreparable.
Wood is susceptible to damage from humidity and dampness as the moisture can cause the wood to expand and contract, creating cracks. In order to maintain a constant level of humidity in your home you can purchase thermo-hygrometers that tell you the exact level of moisture in a room. These are particularly important during the winter months as the air becomes significantly dryer from central heating which can cause the wood to lose a lot of moisture and eventually crack. Purchasing a humidifier can rectify this, you can find these for around £100.
If your wood does become cracked, or splits start to appear then you should try fixing it the way professionals do. They use oak sawdust and mix it with wood glue, this paste is then used to repair the cracks. If you think the damage may be too large for you to fix then consult a professional to prevent yourself from causing more damage by trying to fix it incorrectly.
Heavy furniture, or furniture that you move regularly like a chair, can be a real problem for wood flooring. The dragging can cause scuffs and marks that can be difficult or impossible to fix. The best way to avoid this is to fix pads to the bottom of your large furniture items. The pads reduce the chances of your furniture marking your floor because they allow it to move easily over the surface, without dragging. A good tip for moving large items of furniture is to use an upside down rug to drag it across the room, this will make moving easier and reduce the chances of damaging your floor.
Hopefully these tips will help you maintain your floor to the best you can, so that you will be able to enjoy it at its best for many years to come.