Maintenance – How to keep your hardwood floors in looking good for longer
Wood floors take a lot of punishment; regular care reduces the scars
Hardwood floors need looking after and even the hardest woods can sustain wear and tear: repeated footfall, spillages and burns especially in the kitchen and even the way they are cleaned. Washing with too much water may clean the surface grime but the wood absorbs the water and it is not long before the grain opens and contracts leaving unsightly splits and cracks, and even absorbing the spills that you are trying to clean.
Of all the decorative elements in a room, floors take the hardest hit. However, there are some floors that get rougher treatment than others. For example, kitchen floors suffer much more than bedroom floors; a showroom in the city centre gets much more footfall than a private house; door and entrance areas have more intense usage that then perimeter of the space. So you can assume that, after a while, a beautiful hardwood floor could show its distress. A well-fitted floor can soon start to lose it lustre without due care.
There are two highly recommended ways of looking after a hardwood floor:
- Regular care. You can make a huge difference by taking good care of the floor: avoid dragging heavy furniture over the surface and keep your floors clean by using the right cleaning fluid. We recommend the Bona system. This is a combined mop and spray that cleans the surface and helps to keep its good looks.
- A professional maintenance programme. Keep beautiful floors looking stunning for much, much longer by getting a professional to inspect it regularly. How often depends on the wood, the way it is treated, the wear it sustains at home or in a showroom. Sometimes, all that is required is some cosmetic work. Sometimes damaged areas need a small repair. Eventually, where floors take a lot of footfall, the surface may need renovation. This can be significantly delayed by more frequent cleaning and protecting with the right materials.
The best time to consider a maintenance programme is now or as soon as the floor has been fitted. That is when a proper assessment can be made of your floor and how often it is advisable to inspect it to ensure its long life.
The dos and don’ts of floor care:
- put felt pads under the casters of furniture
- mop up spillages as soon as possible with a clean soft cloth
- shade the floor from direct summer sun if possible
- encourage the wearing of slippers of soft-sole shoes indoors
- remove loose dirt and grit from the floor on a routine basis using a soft broom or vacuum.
- remove abrasives (outside dirt) from the flooring
- lay a mat beneath an office chair at a computer workstation
- keep replacement boards/parquet blocks in case of permanent damage
- drag heavy furniture across the floor
- wash or mop your floor with excessive water unless using a recommended maintenance kit
- let your pets foul the floor
- keep pets’ claws cut to prevent scratches
- Stand anything very hot on the floor
- bring outdoor grit and grime into the house on boots and shoes
- do not walk across the floor in spiked or sports shoes