Make Your Wood Floor in Your London Home Look Like New
Wood flooring is an undeniable asset to any type of London home. With hardwoods being commonly used as original flooring for many types of terraced houses and flats built in the early part of the 20th century, there is a real desire in homeowners to maintain these hardwood gems as the assets they truly are.
Through time your wood floor will become dull and drab simply due to the ongoing traffic and normal wear and tear of family life. However, with a little bit of effort and some planning a simple makeover could give your floor years of additional life and beauty.
Regular cleaning is an importance part of maintenance
Just as wood furniture responds well to cleaning, so too do wood floors. So treat your wood to a twice-weekly dry sweep and a monthly mopping with a barely wet mop to remove all residue and dust. Wood floor sanding also responds well to an occasional polish, best carried out by a walk-through buffing machine. Industrial buffers can be hired relatively cheaply from high street stores and DIY outlets.
Avoid using abrasive or bleach-based cleaning products on your floor. Gentle soap and lukewarm water works best, or even just plain water if the floor is not too badly stained.
Of course there does come a time when wood floors require additional TLC in the form of sanding and refinishing, and this can be carried out either by a professional floor sanding company or, if you feel confident, you can do it yourself. If you go the DIY route though, it is a good idea to find out what type of finishing and sealing was originally used on the floor before you start.
If your floor was laid relatively recently then the chances are it was finished with a polyurethane based finish. However, for older London homes (built in the Edwardian or Victorian era) it’s more likely that the original finishing will be of lacquer or varnish.
Sanding and refinishing
When the floor requires a sanding and refinishing this can also be carried out by a homeowner who is au fait with handling and operating tools and has some knowledge of joinery. Belt and drum sanding machines are available for hire, but make sure instructions for use are provided and that you follow them to the letter!
After sanding a floor comes the application of a fresh topcoat which can be lacquer, oil, varnish or wood stain – all of which are toxin free. However, applying finishing to a floor can be tricky if you are inexperienced, so always follow directions exactly and give yourself plenty of time to complete your project.
Depending upon the function of the room, a popular finishing choice is floor paint. This adds colour and fun to children’s bedrooms, and the illusion of space to box rooms, utility rooms and small landing spaces. As with other types of finishing, floor paint should be applied in accordance with instructions, leaving plenty of time to dry between coats.
Floor paint is excellent for covering scuffs and scratches made by children’s toys and pets, whilst giving a cheerful lift to the décor of the room. Floor paint is versatile as well as fun and you can stencil in patterns or animal designs to give your child’s room a unique and special flavour. Floor stencils are readily available in dinosaurs, cartoon heroes, princesses and animals.
Another colourful addition which can cover up a multitude of sins is a scatter rug. However if using a rug in a child’s room it is probably safer to have it fixed to the floor and if this is the case then avoid using adhesives which will damage the wood – use carpet pads instead.