If you are a regular reader of the blog, you will know how much I love a good wooden floor. You know, the ones that are like a fine wine, improving with age as they take on more and more character. I love how these floors look and how cosy they can make a home. Your home doesn’t have to be thick carpet everywhere to be cosy – but how can you best take care of your wood flooring? Here are a few tips:
Keep it clean
One of the simplest ways to care for a wooden floor is to clean it on a regular basis. You can use a soft broom and a vacuum – the combination of these is often the best.
If you are going to use a mop, make sure that the mop is not dripping with water, you shouldn’t get your wooden floors soaking wet, a damp mop is enough to give it a good clean.
Keep it dry
Your wooden floors need to stay away from water in any volume. If you had a burst pipe in your home and the water came into contact with one of your wooden floors, you would need to focus on quickly soaking up the water and potentially using a de-humidifier, to avoid damaging your floors for good. Wet wood will rot and loose strength and can become very misshapen.
For this reason avoid allowing standing water to stay in place on the wood. Always mop it up quickly.
Avoid stains by acting quickly
Hardwood can be easily stained by materials such as ink and wine. If you’ve ever had a wooden table that has ended up with a ring stain on it, you will know the kind of frustrating stains I am talking about.
While dried stains may need sanding, a fresh spillage can be dealt with by quick cleaning – don’t leave it thinking you will sort it out later, as it will be too late. However, it is important that you do not clean a stain using too much water, as this can lead to the wood soaking up a lot of water and swelling.
Don’t drag furniture
Scratches and marks from furniture legs are some of the most prevalent threats to solid wood flooring. It was drilled into me at an early age by my dad NEVER to drag furniture across a wooden floor – always lift it. Fortunately these days, it is easy to guard against scuffs and scratches with felt furniture tips that are available at most home improvement stores and lots of online stores. The idea is that these pads cushion the parts of the furniture that touch the wood floor directly.
You can also get little plastic castors to protect wooden floors from any wheeled furniture. When I was a child we had an old chaise longue and we used to have these little plastic castors that it sat in to stop it moving around all the time, mainly because as a child I thought it was hilarious to run and jump on it whilst it slid across the floor.
Re-finish every 3-5 years
Whatever you decide to finish your wooden floors with, you should look to re-apply this coating every 3-5 years. A varnished floor will need to be sanded down, which will be messy and time consuming, but if you are finishing with a stain, or wax, or similar, you just need to ensure the floor is totally clean and free from dust before you apply this.
Re-finishing a wooden floor can add years to its lifespan and give your entire home a face lift, it is always worth the effort.