Installing new timber flooring can dramatically transform a space, adding incredible life and vibrance to your home. Although this timber looks fresh and shiny when it’s first been installed, you’ll need to keep up with regular maintenance to keep them in top condition. You’ll need to consider a variety of things. Including the species of timber used, the colour and hardness of the wood, as this will point you in the right direction in regards to the types of cleaning products and techniques that you’ll need to consider.
Remember that these timber floor care tips aren’t just to be completed as a one-off. You’ll need to stay on top of these techniques to ensure that you’re extending the life of your timber flooring and keeping them looking as professional as possible.
What type of timber do you have?
Understanding the type of timber flooring you have will inform the rest of the process, so it’s essential to get this right from the onset. Using engineered timber flooring means that the top layer will be solid timber, with the lower parts usually consisting of more affordable wood such as ply or pine.
Keep this in mind when comparing cleaning techniques for solid vs engineered wood, as these cheaper types of timber will absorb moisture relatively easy. This, in turn, affects the overall quality and life of your flooring. With the floor being more likely to weaken and become damaged over time.
You also need to check whether your floor has wax, oil or polyurethane coatings as this will determine what types of cleaning products are appropriate for the timber. For example, you should avoid using vinegar on an oil finished floor as this can lead to the flooring being dried out.
Cleaning Your Floors The Right Way
Although a mop and bucket come to mind when thinking about cleaning your floors, you should avoid jumping straight into this step without cleaning the floors. If you’re mopping your timber flooring before removing the dirt and debris, you’ll be creating more problems for yourself. This is because the moisture will combine with the dirt to create a sludgy mud-like substance that you’ll be spreading around even more.
Make sure to give your floors a full sweep and vacuum to remove this outer layer of dirt. Be careful not to scratch your floors as you’re vacuuming, being mindful of the types of debris that you’re cleaning up.
While on the topic of mopping floors, you should never attempt to clean timber floors if they have been waxed. On appropriate floors, always wring out the mop as much as possible, as you never want to be adding a lot of water to the timber. Likewise, using boiling water should be avoided for timber floor care, as this can actually damage certain types of finishes on the timber.
Easy tips to keep your floors clean
Vacuuming and sweeping are both excellent starts to keeping dirt and dust off your timber flooring. Make sure that you’re using a soft floorhead for the vacuum not to scratch the surface of the timber. No matter if you have jarrah flooring or European oak in place, keeping your floor clean can come down to implementing some of the following strategies for timber floor care:
- Think about laying down some rugs in more high traffic areas. This not only helps with people walking over the area but can protect it from potential stains or damage from things being dropped on the floor.
- Keeping your house as a ‘no shoe zone’, by taking your shoes off before you enter or just after you’ve entered your home.
- Adding in some durable mats at your doorways to brush off the debris that you’ve accumulated on your shoes.
- Get onto spot cleaning as soon as you see it. Ignoring that little wine spill or a sticky spot on your flooring can make it harder to clean. Try and get onto these spots quickly, as they’ll be easier to clean effectively.
- Wax build-up can be a significant factor in giving your floors a dull look. Be careful of cleaning products that have wax in them, and always go for solutions that can remove this wax build-up without causing more problems.
- Putting felt pads on the bottom of your furniture can also help to keep your floors clean and scratch-free.
Adding a new finish to your flooring
One way to breathe some new life into your floors, while adding to their overall longevity is by adding a unique finish to the timber. Buffing back your existing floors is excellent when the finish has some visible wear to it. However, the wood underneath is still in good condition. Please note here that this will only be possible if your floor hasn’t been waxed.
One quick way to tell if your flooring needs a new finish is by dropping a few drops of water onto the timber. If it still beads up on the surface, the previous finish is still in ok condition. However, if you notice that it has sunk into the flooring after a few minutes, you’ll need to apply a new finish.
Consider a professional timber floor cleaning service
Finding the time to give your timber floors the care and attention that they deserve can sometimes be tricky. Sometimes the best decision you can make is to leave the timber floor care services in the hands of capable professionals.
These professionals can also help you to repair any damage that you may have accumulated over time. As much as we hope to prevent this type of damage, you’ll undoubtedly pick up some scratches or scuff marks. Sanding back this top layer of timber, putting a new finish and polish on it will bring some new vibrancy back to your flooring. This process can be quite tricky and time-consuming, so it’s advisable to have timber floor sanding and polishing specialists attend to your flooring.
You might also want to switch things up and add a new darkened stain to your flooring. Expert flooring specialists can advise you on the best ways to maintain and care for your timber flooring while giving you the appearance that you’re hoping to achieve.