Timber flooring Care Tips

Because of their beauty, colour, and durability, timber floors are extremely popular with homeowners all over the country and beyond.

There’s no better icing on the cake of a lovely, cozy home than to have good quality wooden floors in it.  However, one can’t simply lay down these floors and forget about them, hoping that they will somehow take care of themselves.  You must be proactive about maintaining them yourself, conducting the necessary research into the issue, so you don’t make mistakes that only increase the damage you are trying to prevent or fix.  This brief article should help you step in the right direction when you begin to take the care of your timber floors.

The Different Types Of Timber Floors – Solid Wood

A variety of species of wood is used in timber floors, including maple, cherry, walnut, and oak.  In solid wood floors, these species tend to be produced in different lengths with a tongue and groove effect around them.  Solid wood floors can be either placed over existing sub floors by the use of a metal clip system or laid down as a structural floor.  To best take care of solid floors, Portanailer machines, usually available for rent, should be used to “secret nail” them down.  Alternatively, adhesive can be applied.  Narrow strips should be used because they tend to be more stable and durable, thus making the job of timber floor care that much easier.  Another good tip is to pre-lacquer or pre-finish the strips (defined as up to 83mm in length) before installation.  You should aim to use high-grade solid wood, as there will be less knotting and variation of colour to it.  Following this advice will help make your floors last a lifetime.

The Different Types Of Hardwood Floors – Engineered Hardwood

Typically, these hardwood strips are 14mm thick and comprise 4mm of hardwood atop plywood underlay.  Several formats are available and can either be stuck directly to the sub floor with the use of polyurethane or over a sub floor.  Engineered hardwood is simpler to install than solid wood, but can be re-sanded repeatedly, which assists with their care.

Knowing The Wood

You can’t care for timber floors without being appraised of its subtle facets and textures beforehand.  Whether it is parquetry, planks, or strips, the colour and pattern will usually be enchanting to look at.  You want to establish the type of grain at work, whether it is maple, cherry, or strong oak.  After this, inspect the state of the underlying wood and its finish.  Has it been eroded by lots of footsteps over it?  Ascertain how much work you’ll need to do by deciding whether there are just minor scratches or signs of major neglect.

Preventive Measures For Care

If you own timber floors, then you already have an advantage over someone who doesn’t, because hardwood floors are incredibly easy to keep clean, which prevents damage and thus the need for regular care.  Dirt and grit can act a lot like sandpaper against your hardwood floor, denting, dulling, and scratching it to a potentially highly damaging degree.  Floor mats are useful weapons against new dirt being brought onto your floor from outside.  Whenever there are water spills, wipe them up immediately as they could warp the timber.  Don’t use oil soaps when you clean the surface, as they can make putting a maintenance coat on very tricky.  Plump for neutral pH cleaning products instead.  With regards to furniture, ensure that you lift it to move it rather than drag it along.  Don’t use vacuum cleaners with bars; opt for the brush attachment instead.  Use a broom with thin, exploded ends to pull in the dust efficiently.

The Age Issue

You may well have installed your wooden floors only recently, but lack of due care and attention has meant they now look old.  Before you embark on a strategy to address this problem, examine the condition of the finish and ascertain whether repairs or special cleaning is required.  To find out if the finish has been worn away, pour two tablespoons of water onto a high-traffic area of your hardwood floor.  If the water creates a black spot, then this is proof that the finish has become worn.  If a light spot is created, the finish is only slightly worn.  If the water forms beads along the surface, the finish is still effective.  If the finish is ineffectual, there might be damage to the wood, so check for cracks, warps, or dents to it.  Such signs might necessitate repair or replacement before cleaning is worthwhile.

The Importance Of The Finish

All finishes that happen to be in good condition should be treated the same way care-wise.  However, on the other hand, restoration or stain removal methods differ from finish to finish.  Ask your contractor or realtor what finish you have.  The first main type is polyurethane, catalyzed, water-based urethane or pre-finished surface finish, which has a glossy appearance resembling a skin of clear plastic.  This works by providing a protective layer preventing harm to the floor.  Penetrating seals, comprising acrylics, waxes, and oils generally have a matte-effect finish.  Run your hand across the surface of your hardwood floor, and if you can definitely feel the grain, you have a penetrating seal.  Such seals aid wooden floor care because the flooring absorbs their waxes and oils and protection is created from within. 

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