How to look after wood floors

Wood flooring has evolved over the years from basic softwood floorboards to beautiful decorative designs that are visually stunning. Being a natural, sustainable source, wood has many benefits for the domestic and commercial floor. They come in varying installations from a hallway to a village hall to a sports arena; no matter what size or shape they are they all require correct maintenance. The most important aspect to remember when cleaning or treating a timber floor is that water is it’s one Achilles heel, the introduction of too much water on a regular basis can cause catastrophic problems in the floors future. Being hydrophilic, if the protective coating on wood floors has worn, this leaves the wood fibres to readily absorb moisture which can result in swelling, cupping, tenting, buckling and even unrecoverable.

FINISHES

It is important that the type of top finish on the wood is deciphered so you can look after it accordingly. Eukula Professional LacquerThe most common type of finish is lacquer, it is sometimes termed as a varnish, these come in solvent and water based types of polyurethane. Lacquers are generally hard wearing and will withstand high abrasion as well as be water repellent; they come in different grades of abrasion resistance which will either suit domestic use or heavy traffic in commercial situations.
Oiling of wood will bring out the timber grain and gives a natural, subtle appearance. Oils are not as abrasion resistant as lacquers and will not repel water to the same degree as lacquer, periodic re-oiling of the floor is advisable to maintain the finish. Top up maintenance or refreshers are a good idea with oiled floors for frequent maintenance. Advancements in product cross-linking have enabled certain oils to be overcoated with lacquer so you can have the oiled appearance but the wear capabilities of lacquer.

Hard Wax Oils are a blend of natural waxes and oils which give a hard wearing finish suitable for domestic and light commercial areas. They will accentuate the grain like an oil plus protect with the additional waxes, they are not as water repellent so should not be used in areas where the risk of water spillages is high.

The following guidelines will help you to preserve your wood floor and enhance its appearance. On a day to day basis your wood floor will require little more than sweeping, vacuuming and spill removal, however, it will also need periodic cleaning using either a damp mopping system or floor machine.

Sweep or Vacuum floors to remove dust & grit. Use mats at entranceways to help prevent the ingress of grit, dirt & other debris which can cause scratching.
Wipe up spills quickly using an absorbent cloth material.
Do not wet mop wooden floors with traditional mops, excessive water will damage the wood & standing water can cause streaks and dull the finish.
Use a Damp Mopping System with micro fibre mops & specialist wood floor cleaning products – general floor cleaners and detergents can cause the floor to become slippery and dull. This is particularly relevant to oiled and hard-wax oiled floors.
Floor Machines — Always sweep floors first, to avoid grit scratching and scouring the surface. Spray Clean as required using a red or white pad and specialist wood cleaner – this will clean, remove scuffs & restore the shine to your floors.

To Avoid Damaging your Floors:

Place protectors on furniture legs to prevent dents forming.
Do not drag heavy furniture, especially on soft woods such as pine.
Avoid wearing high heels or sports shoes which cause marks.
In kitchens – place mats by the cooker & sink.

PERIODIC MAINTENANCE

Dependant on the installation type i.e. domestic, commercial, high or low traffic and the finish that was applied the ideal periodic maintenance is to lightly abrade the floor using a 150 grit sand paper on a vacuum assisted rotary floor machine, followed by the application of subsequent coats of the same finish. This will prevent a full refurbishment process being required prematurely. It is advisable to engage a professional wood restorer in undertaking this work.

Wood refurbishment equipment

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