Wood Floor Maintenance

How To Keep Your Wood Floors Safe

Rob Patwary

Rob Patwary

September 14, 2020

Advice supplied by the experienced Hardwood floor fitting team at Inner Space Flooring. Experts in the supply of Hardwood flooring products & Parquet Flooring alongside quality wooden floor installations. Helping homeowners and businesses with Hardwood flooring within Birmingham, Solihull UK.

You can contact the friendly team here for a free consultation

Hardwood flooring is a great addition to any home or commercial space, and we’ve explored many of its benefits in previous blogs, but there is one thing that you need to be aware of before getting it installed, and that’s the actions you need to take to keep it safe.

As with any type of flooring that you fit in your home or property, there are some safety risks that need to be considered and assessed to ensure that you put necessary precautions in place to keep the space safe and minimise risk.

The main, potentially only, safety risk that comes with hardwood flooring is the slip hazard that it can present.
Wood flooring is not naturally slippery, so this only becomes an issue as a result of two main factors.

  1. Wood flooring, when over polished, can become a slip hazard as polish and wax makes the surface slick, so to avoid this, wood floors should only be polished once every three to four months.
    Alternatively, there are lacquers available which have been ‘slip tested’ so, if you do your research, you can apply this finish to your flooring without adding any risk.
  2. Wood flooring can also become slippery when wet which is yet another reason why spills and leaks need to be cleaned up quickly on hardwood floors (along with the fact that water can damage wood floors).

Therefore, by keeping hardwood floors clean, dry and not over polished, you will avoid any slip hazard associated with hardwood flooring and keep everyone safe.

In the case of an area where ‘anti-slip’ is required, wood flooring may not be the most appropriate choice; however, there are some products which adhere to these guidelines.
For example, brushed and oiled wood floors tend to be less slippery than smooth and lacquered floors.

If you require any further advice, then feel free to speak to us on 0121 684 4772.

Of course, the other safety risk comes when wood flooring hasn’t been fitted correctly leaving gaps or bumps which could make the floor less steady and uneven and introduce trip hazards.
This is completely avoidable as long as you ensure that you hire a skilled wood flooring fitter to install your wood floors.

The other consideration is for those in your home or commercial property that are more prone to slips, trips and falls, not as a result of the floor surface being slippery or incorrectly fitted, but simply due to age, mobility skills, activity etc.

Let’s take a closer look at those who are considered to be most at risk when it comes to falling and the danger that wood flooring can present...

Hardwood Flooring and Children

If you have young children in your home, especially toddlers who are learning to walk, then they will be prone to tripping and falling over quite often on any type of surface.

Wood is a natural shock absorber and, when combined with a thick underlay, hardwood flooring is great for pacifying any falls or bumps.

You can also lay rugs with non-slip pads in the areas of your home that your child/children frequent the most and are more likely to fall, such as their bedroom, playroom or the living room.
This will give you further peace of mind that your little one won’t severely injure themselves when left to roam certain spaces in the home.

Inner Space Flooring

Hardwood Flooring and the Elderly

Similar to young children, the elderly are more vulnerable to tripping and falling around the home, regardless of the floor surface that they are walking on, due to their decreased mobility skills.

Again, you can further increase the shock absorption of your flooring by installing a thick underlay beneath the wood floors and laying non-slip rugs around certain areas of the home.

Hardwood Flooring in Workplaces

There are regulations in the UK around health and safety that directly refer to the flooring used in the workplace.
For example, the floor in a workplace must be suitable for the type of work activity taking place on it; therefore, if you know that hardwood flooring will make certain tasks difficult or dangerous then it may not be the most appropriate option.

Furthermore, The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (Regulation 12) require floors to be suitable, in good condition and free from obstructions. Where a floor is likely to be subject to frequent contamination, people should still be able to walk on it without the risk of slipping.

This refers back to earlier in this blog post where we mentioned the increased risk of slips on hardwood floors when they are over-polished or wet. In order to meet UK safety regulations and keep people in the workplace or commercial spaces safe from slips, you must try to keep the floor clean, dry and polished to an appropriate level.

If, for any reason, a certain area of the floor is slippery then you can put precautions in place to prevent an accident such as putting up appropriate signage to clearly notify everyone that the area should be avoided.

All in all, wood flooring is not the safety risk that many first assume it will be, even in a home with children or other vulnerable people. There are many actions you can take to prevent your wood floors from becoming a slip hazard, and there is no truth to wood floors being more physically harmful to you if you were to fall onto it. Hence, if there was any doubt in your mind as to whether wood flooring is the most sensible and safe choice for you, then we hope this has provided you with some clarity.

For further information on hardwood flooring, you can speak directly to our experts on 0121 684 4772 or email us at