The Restoration of Unprotected Hardwood Flooring in London
Also known as ‘unfinished’, unprotected wood flooring is a floor which has no topcoat veneer applied. Popular in homes across London that are of an older style or want to adopt that more ‘lived in’ look, unprotected flooring requires gentle and specialist care when it comes to the restoration process.
Because this type of flooring is neither varnished, stained or sealed it is more liable to suffer from natural wear and tear and will require attention more often that does finished hardwood floor sanding.
The unprotected boards are particularly susceptible to damage from water, dampness and rot and do, in most cases, require restoration every couple of years. That being said, unfinished flooring is undoubtedly a beautiful addition to any home and is always worth retaining as a feature of unique home design, as it really lets the pure and natural beauty of the timber shine out.
Restoring unsurfaced wood flooring can be achieved by the enthusiastic DIY-er who has a good level of carpentry or joinery experience. However, the watchword here is ‘caution’. Untreated wood will sustain damage much more easily than wood with any type of veneer on it. Therefore, if you are replacing or repairing planks then make sure you do so with care so that you do not cause further damage to the surrounding wood.
Recycle – but with care!
It is possible to treat unprotected hardwood planks by sawing off the damaged or rotted portion of a plank whilst leaving the undamaged part intact. In addition to being less expensive, this clever recycling causes less headaches too, as most unprotected wood planking is made to a much broader size than contemporary flooring, making them more difficult to source.
New planking can easily be joined with existing floor surface, although be sure that the wood you use is the same type of wood! Differences in colour will be minimal and after a short time, completely unnoticeable. Avoid using an electric saw as you have more control with a hand saw, even if it is harder work it is worth it in the end.
Stains on the wood can be removed by applying a bleach-based product to a soft to medium brush and scrubbing into the stain. You can safely leave the bleach to work on the stain for around 5 – 10 minutes before rinsing off with a fresh damp cloth. You can repeat this process as often as necessary. Initially it is a good idea to try it out with stains that will be hidden under furniture or in corners until you are sure you have the application just right.
It is possible to use a floor sander on an unprotected hardwood flooring and a coarse grain of paper. Avoid over-sanding any one area and ensure the floor is uniformly smooth throughout. As with protected floors, get into the edges by using a hand or orbital sander. It is normal to expect an untreated floor to accept three sandings, using a finer grade of paper each time.
When the floor is smooth and even then you can sweep or lightly vacuum it to remove all dust particles before cleaning with a specialist wood floor cleaner or oil soap product. This will act as a protective skin and can be applied by way of a dry mop being worked well into the grain of the boards. The finished effect of your unfinished floor should be smooth, even and with a natural lustre and tone of which you can be justly proud.
If however you feel this is too large an undertaking you can take advantage of a specialist wood floor restoration London Company which offers a no obligation quotation. In this way you can have professional insight into your floor’s current condition and how best to successfully restore it.