Proper care and maintenance are important for the timber floor installed in your home. This practice will help preserve the natural aesthetics of the surface, ensuring continued visual appeal. Also, the upkeep tasks will protect the flooring and prolong the lifespan of the wood material. Here are some simple tips to help you perform proper cleaning, polishing and sanding for ideal results on your timber floor.
Timber floors are prone to damage if they are not cleaned regularly and properly. In general, when these surfaces are dirty a layer of dust particles and other forms of debris accumulate on the wood. If people walk on the particles, they will apply pressure, resulting in floor scratches and scrapes. In other words, this will be like uneven sanding of the finishing coat.
Therefore, you should sweep the floor daily or mop it to remove the dust and general dirt. You should never use a damp or wet mob because water damages the wood. In addition, vacuum the surface weekly for deeper cleaning. You can use a brush attachment, but avoid rotating brushes and beater bars because they will damage the finish. You can also use a felt surface for a polishing effect.
If your floors are old, you should consider refinishing the timber by sanding. This process will allow you to eliminate the worn and unattractive layer which forms on wood due to years of use and exposure to harsh environmental conditions. Ideally, you should hire a timber floor contractor, but you can also perform this as a DIY project.
You will need a sander and protective goggles and mask for this work. Use a hammer to knock in protruding nails. If your floor is severely worn, you should start with rough grit sandpaper before fine sanding the surface. Ensure that the edges and corners are sanded sufficiently using an edging and detail sander respectively. Your floor should look clean and bear.
You should polish your sanded timber floors to enhance the aesthetic value. In addition, the applied coatings will protect the wood from unexpected damage. There are different types of finishing products which are commonly used for polishing. Your choice will determine the durability, cost of the project and general appearance.
Solvent-based polyurethanes form tough protective coatings which are highly durable. However, the products release some harmful volatile compounds before curing. Water-based alternatives are relatively strong and can handle medium traffic sufficiently. You can also choose traditional polishes which are oil-based for a natural appearance.
There are other general tips which you should observe to promote the longevity of your timber floor. You should fit protective pads beneath your furniture to prevent scratching. If you have just finished sanding and polishing the surface, wait at least 48 hours before replacing the furniture. Limit the surface scratching from shoes by placing mats in high traffic areas. Finally, you should perform immediate repairs if the wood sustains damage.