Tips to maintain hardwood timber flooring

Keep your floor looking brand new by following these simple tips

Timber floors have become one of the most desired floor types across the world, and we say – rightly so! They are known for their raw and rustic look, durability and long lifespan. This beautiful material adds warmth and a luxurious ambiance to any home.  Timber floors come in a range of species, sizes and grades. All of which are contributing factors to the per m2 cost. A correctly installed timber floor has many more benefits than just the aesthetic appeal, it can be considered as a long-term investment for you and your property. Over time, your beautiful floors can begin to lack lustre and shine. This is completely normal and can arise from general wear and tear. Correct maintenance and care can assist you in keeping your floors in tip-top shape, all year round.

Follow these simple tips to care for your timber floors

Use the correct products

Any strange chemicals that household products contain could have a negative effect on the timber and its coatings. While all wood floors are treated for maximum protection, the more it is exposed to harsh chemicals, the more it will erode and eat through the polish, eventually exposing the raw timber underneath. The majority of everyday, supermarket-bought products contain chemicals that are not suitable for high quality, hardwood timber floors. Instead, purchase your floor cleaning products from specialist floor manufacturers and distributors. These products are specifically designed to use on timber and won’t harm the treatment coat or the wood itself. When cleaning, it is important to know what polish your floor is currently coated with. Different products may apply to your floor whether you have waterbase, solvent base or oil based finish.

It is also vital that you do not use water to mop your timber flooring. Damp cloths or microfiber mops are fine to use but you should not pour water onto the floor as you would on tiles. Excessive moisture in general is not good for your floor, so please be sure to avoid wet mopping.

Take care when moving furniture

Whether you have heavy or light furniture standing on your timber floors, you have to take the utmost care if you decide to move it. Added pressure on the floor can cause it to dent and create an uneven surface. Under no circumstances should you drag furniture across the room. Place felt squares underneath the ‘feet’ of the furniture permanently to avoid damage.

Watch your shoes

The same principle based on furniture should be applied to your shoes. No, you do not have to lay out a carpet wherever you walk or glue pieces of felt to your shoes but it would be helpful if you removed your shoes and wear slippers when walking on hardwood floors. This goes for ladies especially those who love wearing high-heel stilettos. As gorgeous as they are, you need to ensure that your heels are in good condition and not worn down to the metal stumps. It’s not just women, but also men wearing formal shoes should be aware of the amount of damage they can cause to a hardwood floor. Best practise would be to remove your shoes when you enter the room to avoid scuffmarks, scratches and dents in the surface.

You can’t do the same for pets though, so you need to ensure that their nails are always trimmed because running pets are the leading cause of scratches on hardwood timber floors.

Curb dust and dirt

A large tassel static mop can be very helpful in keeping dirt and grit at bay. Going over the floors with a mop of this description daily will cover the dry side of maintenance. When vacuuming, be sure to remove any attachments that can damage the floor. Grime and dust are harmful to hardwood floors as it has the same effect as sandpaper. These substances combined with foot traffic grinds and scrapes your beautiful floor making is rough and dull. Keep a floor mat at entrances to wipe off excess dirt before your enter your home.

Try to avoid prolonged direct sunlight

The sun can cause discolouration to areas of the floor. When the sun hits hard, use blinds, curtains or even block out window tinting to ensure the colour of your hardwood floor remains constant. If you decide to have rugs or matts on top of your timber floor, remember to move these around regularly to avoid colour patching.

Clean regularly

There is no need to clean your floor aggressively, every day. Daily dry maintenance with a static mop teamed with a simple cleaning once a week is sufficient.  A professional clean once a year will also help to make your floor last for decades. When unfortunate spills occur, wipe it up immediately with a damp cloth or paper towel.

For more advice on how to look after your timber floor, contact a professional cleaning company