How To Maintain A Wood Floor
One of the biggest benefits of wood flooring is its longevity, which is why it’s such a popular choice for homeowners and property developers.
Wood floors can last decades when they are well looked after, so it’s vital that you are aware of the dos and don'ts when it comes to cleaning and protecting your wood flooring.
Wood floors are exposed to all kinds of dangers on a daily basis that could cause stains, scratches and even cracking.
But, with the right maintenance and care, you can rest assured that your wood flooring will look as good as new for as long as you need it - and there really isn’t much to it!
You should also note that, though there are some key differences between the structure and some aspects of performance when it comes to engineered wood flooring and solid wood flooring (as discussed in our last blog post: What Are The Main Differences Between Engineered Wood and Solid Wood Flooring?) when it comes to the maintenance, both types of wood flooring require similar care.
The only vital distinction between the two is that solid wood flooring can be sanded down far more than engineered wood flooring which comes in handy when you want to refinish damaged or tired flooring.
This is something we discuss in more depth later on.
How To Clean Your Wood Floor
Keeping wood floors clean is not the chore that you may expect. In fact, the ease of cleaning wood floors is why many homeowners and architects opt for it over carpet, tiles or vinyl.
For example, any spills that occur just need to be wiped away with a dry cloth or paper towel immediately to avoid staining and water damage. Hardwood floors do not handle moisture well, especially solid wood floors, so you need to act fast when there is a spillage and make sure that every drop is removed.
It is also advised that you clean your wood floors daily using a soft bristle brush to sweep up any dirt or dust.
Alternatively, you can use a vacuum cleaner provided that it comes with head attachments that are designed specifically to be more gentle on wood floors. Most modern-day vacuum cleaners are equipped for this, just read the instructions first.
When a deeper clean is required (preferably on a weekly basis), then you should use a microfibre mop and PH neutral cleaning spray to lift any stubborn dirt or stains. This will be gentle on the surface of the wood flooring but effective in getting it clean.
For added care, try to clean in the direction of the grain.
Furthermore, it’s important to avoid the use of a steam mop on any type of wood flooring as this will penetrate the flooring planks, causing degradation and damage over time.
How To Protect Your Wood Floor
The more difficult part of maintaining wood floors is the protection rather than the cleaning. Wood floors are exposed to a lot of hazards that can scratch or scuff the surface, so there are a few precautionary measures that need to be put into place if you want to reduce the chances of an accident.
One big risk comes in the form of footwear. Not only does it expose wood floors to dirt and moisture from outside, but it also has the ability to scratch up the wear layer/surface of the flooring.
Even shoes with soles made from gentler materials, such as rubber, can run a risk of marking up your wood floors so it’s best to be extra cautious and remove your footwear before walking into any room that has wood flooring - and ask your guests to do the same.
Though this would not be practical in many commercial properties, like hotels or restaurants, in an office space it may be possible to request that anyone on the premises avoid wearing heels or other footwear that poses a bigger risk to wood floors, and that they ‘wipe their feet’ before entering.
Furniture poses another high risk when it comes to damaging wood floors which is why you should avoid dragging items across the room and lift them instead.
To reduce the risk of scratches from furniture even further - because no matter how much you try to avoid it, furniture will drag at some stage - you should invest in some felt protector pads that can be stuck to the surface of chair and table legs, for example.
What To Do When Wood Flooring Has Been Damaged
Accidents can, and will, happen, especially in a family home or in a commercial property where there is a high volume of traffic.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot protect your wood flooring from every minor scuff or scratch so there will come a point where you need to refinish your flooring to help restore it back to its original state.
Many experts say that the natural ageing of wood coupled with unavoidable damage from pressure, sunlight etc. will require wood flooring to be re-finished every 3-5 years, but you may need to act sooner or more frequently if there is an incident that causes severe damage to your wood floors.
When it comes to re-finishing, the best option is to hire a professional to sand down and finish your flooring because the process will vary depending on the type of floor you have and your reason for re-finishing it.
Bear in mind that, if you have engineered wood flooring, the thin surface layer of wood will wear away after being sanded down anywhere between four to eight times. This means that you may need to consider purchasing new wood flooring altogether once you refinish it a number of times.
Top Tips For Maintaining A Wood Floor
In summary, if you stick to these simple tips then you can ensure that your wood flooring will remain clean and damage free for a lot longer:
Avoid using a steam mop
Wipe away spills immediately
Sweep daily with a soft bristle brush
Use a microfibre mop for a more intense weekly clean
Remove footwear before walking on it
Don’t drag furniture
Use felt protectors where necessary
And, if you do find that your wood floor gets damaged or is need of a little TLC, then we provide a professional renovation service where we send out one of our wood flooring specialists to assess your situation, consult you on the best approach and complete a sand down and refinish that best suits you!
Call us now on 0121 684 4772 for more information or complete this contact form to reach someone on our sales team.