How to Maintain Wood Flooring so it Looks as Good as New
Wood flooring is perfect for every home. It can make any room look more sophisticated and has a timeless appeal which means it’ll be just as fashionable now as it will be in thirty years’ time. In addition to this, wood floorboards have an average lifespan of twenty-five years, so you’re making a real investment by installing them in your home. Like any investment, you should take care of your wood floors to ensure their value is maintained but how exactly might one go about doing this? We’ve written this article to underline the key factors to caring for all wood flooring, so your floorboards can look as good in twenty years as they did the first day you installed them.
One of the main ways your wood flooring can be damaged is through dirt and spillages. Dirt has granules which will scratch the wood and eventually erode it, dulling the appearance over time. As such, you should sweep your floorboards at least every other day if you want to preserve them. Wood is also a relatively porous material and so any spillages will seep into its fibres and stain the wood if not immediately treated. For the same reason, it’s important to avoid using a sopping mop when cleaning your floor. Too much water will also cause the wood to swell, leading to something called ‘buckling’ which is when the planks expand and shift upwards, becoming crooked. Therefore, to clean your wood floor, you should first sweep then use a damp (not wet) mop over the surface, and wipe stains away as soon as possible.
2Protecting from Furniture
Your wood flooring is also susceptible to damage because of furniture, particularly in rooms where things are moved around a lot. For example, if you have wood flooring in the dining room where chairs are constantly being pushed in and out, scratches will begin to form around the table. To rectify this problem, you could try placing down a rug which would stop the furniture from scuffing against the wood. However, a cheaper and easier solution would be to buy adhesive felt furniture pads. These are conveniently available online and in hardware stores. Just place them on the foot of your chairs and tables so they can move smoothly across your floorboards without scratching them.
Wood flooring will fade in sunlight, losing its rich tone and becoming a bleached colour. This significantly impacts the aesthetic appeal of wood floorboards. They will look tired and worn unless this issue is addressed. As a preventive measure, you should place down rugs or install blinds and curtains wherever sunlight touches the floor. If fading has already occurred, then you need to refinish your wood flooring. We’ll discuss what this entails in the next paragraph.
4Refinishing Your Flooring
Refinishing your wood flooring is essential in its maintenance. By refinishing your floorboards every three to five years, you can make them look as good as new. This also helps you address any damages caused by the issues we discussed above. There are several stages to refinishing your floorboards, so the process is time-consuming. However, it’s incredibly worthwhile. Here’s what you need to do:
Unfortunately, some planks have probably reached the point of no return. In this case, you’ll need to replace them. Inspect your floorboards and decide which ones need to go before starting on the refinishing process.
Next is sanding your wood flooring. This will remove any superficial indents and imperfections from the surface, plus scrub away the top layer of wood which has likely faded due to sunlight.
You should seal any scratches that are too deeply gouged into the wood to be sanded away. This can be done with a colored filler which will blend into the natural appearance of wood.
Once you’ve finished sanding, you’ll need to vacuum and wipe down the surface. Otherwise, when it comes to coating your wood flooring, the texture will be all uneven because of dust residue.
Applying the Finish
This is what will (literally) make your wood flooring shine. Coat the floorboards using either Polyurethane or varnish, ensuring you’ve applied evenly without an excess of product. Otherwise, the surface will look stained in patches, meaning you’d have to start the process all over again. Applying a finish to your wood flooring will not only improve its water-resistance and restore its original lustre but also provide another layer of protection from sunlight fading and high foot traffic. Allow the product to dry between coats and apply at least three before finishing.
Refinishing and consistency are the sure-fire ways to maintain your wood floorboards. Ensure your flooring looks beautiful for years to come by just following these simple steps.