Hardwood floors are a popular choice with homeowners because of how they look and how easy they are to maintain. Whether you opt for a solid wood floor or engineered wood, you can extend its life with regular cleaning and occasional maintenance.
You also don’t have treat engineered or solid wood flooring differently. Because engineered wood floors are made out of real hardwood too, they can be looked after in exactly the same way as a solid wood floor. The only difference is that engineered wood flooring has top layer of solid wood that provides you with the desired wood finish. Repeated sanding of this layer will eventually remove this layer entirely. However, as you should only need to sand your floor every ten years or so, it’s unlikely you’ll ever remove a significant amount of this layer.
Tips For Looking After Your Wood Floor
The following guidelines provide a typical cleaning and maintenance routine for your solid wood floor. As you can see it’s really easy to keep your floor looking great without a huge amount of effort. Jobs like sanding and refinishing can be done by anyone with basic DIY skills, or alternatively call in a professional.
Daily wood floor sweep
A daily sweep using a micro-fibre mop or soft bristled broom will remove particles and prevent any build up between floorboards and in the grain. Depending on the type of wood floor and finish, you may not need to do this everyday, but to keep your floor looking great a quick ‘once over’ every day or two is ideal.
Weekly wood floor vacuum
To remove particles and dirt that has lodged in gaps between the floorboards or in features such as knots and deep grain, vacuum once a week using the bare floor setting. If you have an upright vacuum cleaner make sure the rotating brush is turned off as this can scratch the floor’s surface.
Monthly clean with wood flooring cleaner
Once a month use the recommended wood floor cleaner on your floor – make sure you ask what product to use when you buy your floor. Most wood floor cleaners come as a spray that will dissolve dirt, especially any ingrained dirt and dust that your vacuum hasn’t been able to shift. Simply spray a small area with the cleaner, finish with a micro-fibre mop, and work your way around the room.
Maintenance coat every 3 to 5 years
Once every few years your floor will benefit from a top up of whatever finishing coat it was given when it was installed. This might have been a floor wax or oil, or a polyurethane surface finish. Make sure you know what was used, as the wrong product could affect the appearance of your floor and also its longevity.
Sand and refinish every 10 years or more
It’s hard to predict when your floor will need sanding and refinishing as it depends on the type of wood used and how much traffic it gets. High traffic areas such as hallways will need sanding more frequently than a floor in a quiet study or living room. If you’re confident in your DIY skills you can hire a floor sander and do the job yourself. Alternatively ask the company who supplied your floor to recommend a local tradesperson to do it for you.
Wood Flooring Hacks
- Scuff marks can be buffed out using a fuzzy tennis ball.
- A small amount of baking soda on a damp cloth can remove heavier marks.
- Use stick-on felt protectors on the legs of furniture (particularly chairs) to prevent scuffing.
- Permanent marker can be removed with a lightly abrasive paste such as baking soda or toothpaste and a damp cloth.
- Mop up spills quickly. The sooner you act the less impact they have.
- Strategically place floor rugs in doorways to minimise the amount of dirt and grit being walked onto your floor.
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