To keep your hardwood floor in good condition, it is important to protect it from its 3 main enemies: Abrasives, Pressure, Water/Humidity.
When we talk about floor wear, we are usually referring to the protective finish and not to the wood itself.
The new generation of finishes currently available is applied at the factory not only to create a natural and beautiful look on the wood floor but also to protect it. Even so, it is still vulnerable to abrasives. Tracked-in sand and hard surfaces that rub against the floor (chair and furniture legs, etc.) will eventually wear down even the most resistant protective finish. The following tips will help you protect your floor against premature wear.
- The place felt pads under chair and furniture legs. Ensure that the pads are kept clean and in good condition at all times.
- Sweep and vacuum the floor regularly to remove all sand and other abrasives. Placing an outside mat and an indoor carpet at each door with exterior access will help keep gritty dirt from getting tracked through the house.
Indentations on the floor surface occur when the wood fibre is crushed. When this happens, most of the times the protective finish remains intact, simply molding itself to the shape of the hollow. Indentations are usually caused by heavy objects being moved or striking the floor, as well as, by repeated rubbing or small impacts. To avoid indentations or gouges on your floor, please try the following:
- Protect the floor when moving heavy furniture. Use specially designed glides or slide the furniture on a piece of upside-down carpet.
- For furniture and chairs with castors, use only castors designed for hard surfaces (wide rubber). Avoid hard ones made of plastic or wood.
- Watch for high heels, a dangerous enemy for any type of floor covering. Broken or worn heels with exposed nail heads can even damage a cement floor!
- If you have pets, keep their claws well trimmed.
Wood interacts naturally with water, expanding with more humidity and contracting as it dries. The engineered structure of our wood floors allows the boards to resist to a certain point to these changes. However, liquid spills or wide variation in humidity can have a visible impact on the floor. To reduce the risks of expansion and contraction of your wood floor, please try the following:
- Keep relative humidity levels in your home consistently between 35% and 55%. In summer, when the air is more humid, keep rooms well ventilated and use a dehumidifier if necessary. In winter, when the heat dries out the air, use a humidifier.
- Immediately clean up any liquids spilled on the floor
- Avoid indoor rugs with undersides made of rubber or any other material that prevents air from circulating properly underneath the rug.
When washing your floors, never leave any excess water sitting on top of the floor. Please use only a damp mop.
Last but not least, please note that exposure to intense light will eventually discolor most materials, wood included. Therefore, it is a good idea to move area rugs and furniture from time to time to allow the entire floor surface to get an even exposure to sunlight and a more consistent color tone.
To maintain the look and performance of the finish and keep your floor looking beautiful longer, please follow these few simple rules:
- Sweep or vacuum regularly, to get rid of dust, sand, or any other abrasive grit.
- Remove immediately any liquid spills from the floor. Please keep in mind that more time they stay on top of the floor higher is the chances to create a stain that will become very difficult or almost impossible to be removed.
- Use ONLY the Wood Floor Manufacturer recommended Cleaning Solutions, respecting always the percentage mix indicated.
- Apply it with a mop rather than pouring it directly onto the floor. Mop the floor always in the direction of the grain of the wood.
- For tough stains, use the cleanser on a sponge or damp cloth and rub gently.
- Never use wax, murphy oil, household cleansers, or any other soaps besides the ones recommended by the wood floor manufacturer. All these alternative products may damage the finish or leave a thin film layer on the floor finish, which sometimes is impossible to be removed.
- Use only maintenance products recommended by the manufacturer.
Here are some tips on how to handle most problem situations:
- Immediately clean up any food, alcohol, sweet liquids or other wet spills before they dry and stick. Wipe them with a well-wrung damp cloth, then mop the area with the wood floor manufacturer cleaning solution.
Chewing gum, candle wax, etc.
- Cool the substance to be removed so that it will harden or crumble (an ice pack or ice cubs in a plastic bag so they won’t melt on the floor are ideal). Pick up what you can by hand or with a broom, then finish the job with the wood floor cleanser.
Severely Damaged Floorboard
In case of deep scratches or other major damages (surfaces burns, gouges, indentations, etc. etc), replacing the wood floor board may be the only solution. This can be done only by a professional wood flooring installer.
Restoring the Floor finish
Depending on the abuse that the wood floor went through, or after a certain number of years, it is normal if the floor surface starts showing some signs of wear & tear. This usually happens first in the areas subject to more walking traffic. Some finishes like, Natural Oil, Oil UV or Hardwax Oil, can be kind of restored by applying what is called a “refreshing coating”.
We recommend this procedure to be performed at least for the first time, by a professional trade, experienced with the kind of finish that your floor has. In most cases, this procedure is quite simple and easy and if requested, our professionals can teach your cleaning crew how to do it by themselves next time it is required.