Many people consider wood to be one of the finest materials known to humankind.
We can’t but agree. Almost nothing compares to its elegant, natural beauty. They are, in a word – handsome. Your wooden floor brings a little bit of nature into your home, which can only be a good thing. In fact, the only predictable thing about the beauty of wood is its unpredictability. Every single plank is unique, even those from the same tree that lie next to each other on your kitchen floor. Its natural patterns, shapes and whirls are just lovely, we’re sure you agree.
Actually, if you own a wooden floor from Forest Flooring, we know you’ll agree. Our aim is to help you enjoy your home, so we hope we’ve succeeded. But, aren’t these types of floors difficult to look after? They’re natural, aren’t they, so perhaps they’re a little too high maintenance for everyday family life?
The short answer is no, which you may find surprising.
The beauty of wooden floors
Whether you’ve chosen a solid or engineered wood floor, both options are relatively easy to keep at their gleaming best. Without a doubt, a wooden floor is a considered purchase. It will dominate the room – in a good way, of course – due to its sheer size. Wooden floors are natural, yet durable. If you look after it, it can offer future generations years of hard-wearing pleasure, and it could even add value to your property.
Nevertheless, a few sensible precautions apply, so we’ll take you through everything.
The following section is in italics. Why? Because this is the key thing we need to tell you:
Don’t use water.
In fact, don’t even think about cleaning your floor with a mop and bucket! Wood is porous and can absorb moisture far too easily and quickly. It may even show signs of staining from small spills. More importantly, though, a wet floor could start to buckle and cup if large amounts of water are absorbed into the planks. Avoid, avoid. You’ll be forever looking at your floor with great regret, and we don’t want that to happen.
Think about the following routine:
- Keep it simple. Just sweep and dust your wooden floors regularly. A soft bristle brush is a good tool for the job.
- Clean up spills immediately with paper towels or a dry cloth.
- Understand the rules about waxes and restorers. If your floor has a wax finish, you can add more wax just a couple of times a year and it will be back to its best.
- If it has a shellac, polyurethane or varnish finish, use either a general-purpose floor restorer or one specifically designed for a polyurethane finish. The surface may require a light sanding down and then you may need to re-coat it. Or, you could ask a wooden floor specialist to do this for you.
- Use felt protector pads if something heavy is resting on it, say a large, kitchen dresser. Also, never drag objects across the surface of the floor. Why? Because you are asking for trouble, and the damage may be long-lasting.
- Remember that gravel and dirt will damage a wooden floor, even the fine dirt in house plant pots could scratch its surface. Keep an eye out for this and gently brush it away if you spot it.
- Use abrasive cleaners of any kind, that is any regular household dusting and cleaning products. They will ruin your beautiful wooden floor in a matter of seconds.
- Furniture polish. It’s another no from us. Why? Because it makes the floor greasy and slippery. A PH neutral cleaning spray used in the direction of the grain, rather than across it, is a good alternative.
- Use vacuum cleaner brushes as they could mark your floor. The exception could be an extremely soft brush that’s suitable for surfaces like these, but err on the side of caution.
- Use water. Or a steam mop. Yes, we’re repeating ourselves, but hopefully you’ll understand why, and forgive us. You’re likely to cause permanent damage. The only thing you could deploy is a mop or microfibre cloth that’s been wrung out and is almost dry. And, it goes without saying, but even if you spill red wine on your gorgeous wooden floor, never pour water directly onto it.
- Walk about your floor in heavy shoes or high heels. To be fair, leaving your footwear in the porch or on a shoe rack is a good domestic habit to get into anyway. Outdoor shoes are surprisingly grubby.
Think About Finishes
Does your floor have an oiled finish? If so, you can apply a little more oil to the floor if you notice any small scratches. However, make sure that the surface is clean before you start. Then, after application, leave to dry.
If you have a lacquered finish, you may be able lightly to sand the top, then apply more lacquer.
Deep or large dents? Damage like this is best left to the experts. You’ll need a deep sand, then a refinish with a good oil or lacquer.
We’d recommend that you avoid the Do It Yourself route. You’ll know when to pick up the phone – your floor will be showing signs of wear and tear. Professional flooring cleaning or repair specialists should be your first port of call if you think that your floor needs some TLC.
Would you like your wooden floor to remain at its elegant best for years to come? Simply follow the above tips, and you can look forward to starting your day with that happy feeling; that great sensation of knowing that your home is your sanctuary, and a place of domestic retreat.