Real wood flooring has become more and more popular within houses than ever before. While it can be an expensive purchase, the look, style and longevity of the flooring, as well as the value it adds to a property, all contribute to it becoming a sought after addition to homes.
However, these floors do need maintenance and proper care to ensure that they do remain in an impressive condition and to also ensure that they do not need costly replacing or repair. The main thing in maintenance is care and attention, and here are some points to take on board.
A wooden floor is not the sort of flooring that you should tackle with a mop and bucket! These are specialist floors that require special attention. Different types of wooden floor generally have different types of finish to them and therefore will require a different product for cleaning. Make sure that you consult with the flooring manufacturer to ensure that you are using the correct product for cleaning. Doing this will not only result in great looking floors, but also added longevity to the life of the floor.
You can get most wood cleaners from your local DIY store and it is always worth doing so throughout the course of a year. Using a specific wood cleaner not only leaves a satisfying finish, but also ensures that dust missed by hoovers or brushing is removed.
Things to remember when cleaning (especially quick wipe downs due to spills) is that you should never pour water directly onto the wood, always use a damp cloth, and never use something that is abrasive (like a brush or brillo / scourer) as this will leave fine scratches on the flooring.
The one thing that is sure to damage your floor is moisture and it is something you need to be aware of. Moisture can make the flooring shrink or swell as well as slowly rotting the wood. While the surfaces of the boards will be treated, water can easily sit between the boards or get underneath them, and this is where the problems will begin.
Spillages - make sure that any liquid spills are mopped up straight away. If they are left they can easily start to soak into the floor, so remove the fluid as soon as possible.
Entrances or under sinks - Entrance ways and areas that are under a sink are classic places where moisture can gather. Even the most careful of owners can't avoid this, so make sure that you have some sort of mat down to protect the flooring and are always away that some mopping may be required!
Dirt that has built up over wooden floors is not always the easiest to remove. There are of course products to help with this, but you may find that they can be abrasive and ruin the finish of the floor. To avoid this it is worth cleaning these areas everyday (with either a brush or hoover). You may find it useful to carpet the areas that attract dust for protection.
Dirt also builds up if you use to much cleaning products like waxes. This is something you must be very careful about, not just because of the dirt (and the look of the dirt as it will appear grimy and greasy), but because of the nature of wax. Waxy residue can be slippy so you need to ensure there is no build up to avoid any mishaps.
Obviously the easiest way to damage your hardwood flooring is by scratching. This can be done by wearing shoes while walking on it and dirt on the shoes scratching the surface. Not cleaning at regular intervals can also create dirt that can then be walked into the wood. Classic accidents however are from moving items, either furniture or furnishings. Make sure that furniture has floor protectors under each leg, or rubber feet to stop scratching.
So while there are many things to take into consideration, there is nothing so daunting that it should put you off getting some real wood floors.