Real wood floors add a unique aesthetic to any room, and they offer a clean and relatively low-maintenance alternative to carpets. However, there are certain steps you need to take in order to keep your flooring looking its best.
With just a few measures in place, you can ensure that your real wood floors give you a lifetime of value.
CHECK THE MANUFACTURER’S CARE AND CLEANING GUIDELINES
This is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to protect your wood floors. The manufacturer will have very specific care and cleaning guidelines that are designed to protect and preserve your flooring. It is therefore essential that you familiarise yourself with them before you clean or maintain your floors for the first time.
The best way to protect your floors from premature wear and tear is to take preventative measures from the outset.
SWEEP AND VACUUM REGULARLY
Grit and dirt can act in the same way as sandpaper on your wood flooring. Footfall and furniture can grind these particles into the wood, causing scratches, dents and premature dulling. It is therefore essential that you sweep or vacuum your wooden floors daily — whether or not they look like they need attention.
CLEAN UP SPILLS IMMEDIATELY
Quality real wood floors are equipped to deal with spills, but they aren’t usually good at coping with standing water. Warping can occur when real wood is exposed to liquid for a prolonged period. There is also a chance that water will eventually find its way into a crack – undermining the integrity of the wood. Always have a mop or cloth ready in order to deal with spillages as and when they occur.
USE THE CORRECT CLEANING AGENTS
Oil-based soaps can gradually destroy the protective coatings used on real wood floors, so avoid them at all costs. Opt for cleaners with neutral pH levels instead — many of which are designed specifically for use on wood flooring. If you use water to clean spills and accumulations, use it sparingly, and dry your floor immediately afterwards.
Using the Shark Lite Steam Mop means you use the minimum amount of water for maximum cleaning effect. Your flooring won’t be drenched afterwards; in fact, it will be dry to the touch within seconds. In most cases, cleaning with steam power will deliver a shine similar to that created with the use of wax. Many manufacturers warn against using waxes, as they can limit resealing options when flooring needs a new layer of protection.
TAKE CARE WITH FURNITURE
Spend some time thinking about where best to place furniture in a room with real wood floors. The more you move couches, tables and chairs, the greater the risk of damage. When you have to move furniture; lift, don’t drag. It’s also a good idea to place protective coverings on the feet of your furniture in order to prevent scratches.
PROTECT FROM THE SUN
Direct sunlight can cause discolourations of real wood flooring over time. It is therefore a good idea to close blinds and curtains when the sun is strong and shining directly onto your wooden floors. The strategic positioning of furniture can also protect your floors from premature fading caused by direct sunlight.
CHECK YOUR FLOOR’S SEALANT REGULARLY
Pour a small amount of water onto a different area of your floor every day. Watch to see whether the water remains on the surface of the wood or is absorbed. If the water disappears quickly, your wood floor should be resealed without delay. The longer your flooring absorbs water, the greater and the long-term damage will be.
Cared for in the correct way, a real wood floor will deliver a lifetime of service. Create a comprehensive schedule of preventative maintenance, and your wood floors will never look tired and worn.