Keep Wood Floors Looking Good the Simple Way
Wooden floors can be kept looking their best with this proven, two-pronged maintenance technique:
1) Be aware that all natural woods can and do change through time no matter how well they are maintained. Bear this in mind when choosing a refinishing method.
2) Be vigilant in eliminating nuisance squeaks, water damaged or rotted boards as they happen. To ignore what starts out as a small problem can often end up costing a lot of money and upheaval to put right.
However, don’t think for a moment that wooden floors are ‘high maintenance’. They’re actually incredibly easy to look after, and the day-to-day maintenance of wood flooring is a simple process of regular (dry) cleaning and a monthly once-over with a barely wet mop. Keeping solid wood flooring dry is half the battle to keeping a beautiful floor for many years to come. Remove spots, scuffs, spillages and stains as soon as you notice them and always have a supply of appropriate cleaning products to hand just in case.
A house of course must be a home, and having wood floor sanding service does not mean you have to live in a show-house if you prefer a cosy, lived-in ambience. But even high traffic areas of flooring can serve you well for decades if properly treated.
Budget for essential refurbishment
Lengthen the life of your floor by refurbishing every decade. Now that doesn’t sound much, but it is amazing how many homeowners put off this important maintenance until the floor requires a major overhaul. The prudent homeowner should factor in wood floor repair and maintenance as part of the household budget plan.
One of the many reasons why wood flooring is such a good asset to any home is that is one of the very few things in the home which actually looks better as it ages. However, because all natural products do change over time, this is not to say that your wood floor will remain exactly the same. It is likely that it will slowly change colour as footfalls, daylight and furniture take their toll. This process, called patina, brings additional beauty, and ageing wood (especially hardwoods such as oak) is a terrific character asset to a home and often becomes the centrepiece of the room.
Halting colour change
However, if you’re happy with the current tone of your floor then there are steps you can take to slow down the ageing process of the floor. But this largely depends upon the type of wood. In addition to daily wear and tear, the finish on the floor will also contribute to how it reacts to ageing.
If your floor has been finished with any oil-based solution then this tends to go yellow over time, which gives the floor a bronzy-golden appearance. Finishes that are water-based tend to colour less quickly and will remain natural for a longer time.
Creaks, squeaks and other small annoyances
Most homeowners have experienced irritating squeaks and creaks on hallways and stairs. Here is a simple method of eliminating these annoyances so you no longer have to tiptoe around the squeak when creeping downstairs for a midnight fridge raid!
Generally these noises are caused by wood planks that have swollen through time, usually due to interior climate and humidity. Whilst new hardwood floors are usually coated with an organic solution which has the ability to expand and contract as the temperature in the room changes, an older floor won’t.
Floor boards that creak at the sides do so because there is not enough room between planks for the expansion which occurs during warmer weather. Apply some graphite powder along the sides of the boards, which will help as a lubricant. Wearing gloves, sprinkle the graphite along the squeaky border and with a cloth covering the area, knead the squeak over and over again until the graphite is absorbed right into the wood and the squeak disappears. This process may have to be repeated several times, but is an effective solution for the banishment of squeaks.