When spending time in your home, your interior décor can play a huge role in your overall mood and well being. It’s been widely accepted that great quality furnishings can bring about a positive atmosphere, whereas cheap pieces in need of upgrade or repair can leave something to be desired.
If your home has solid wood flooring installed, you’re already on the right track. Solid wood is not only visually stunning, with intricate patterns and deep textures, it’s also highly durable, and can manage heavy traffic with ease.
But if you want to keep your solid wood flooring (and your home) looking its best, it’s important to give it some TLC. Undertaking general maintenance from time-to-time can make drastic improvements to the look of any room in your house. In the build-up towards Christmas, this is especially important.
The added footfall of family members coming to visit will put an additional level of strain on your solid wood flooring.
Although maintenance tasks can be completed with ease, some people aren’t sure where to start.
If this is you, you’re in luck. With these quick and easy tips, you’ll be able to restore your flooring to its former glory in no time, and prevent any unnecessary damages or accidents.
Knowing the Right Way to Clean your Solid Wood Flooring
Hardwood flooring is naturally low maintenance. Unlike carpet, solid wood floors don’t harbour excess dust and debris, and are naturally more resistant to spillages. But just because they’re easier to clean, doesn’t mean they won’t get harmed over time.
Knowing the right way to clean your flooring can be incredibly helpful, and prevent damages from surfacing. Start with a daily dry clean. This doesn’t have to be an arduous task, as even a quick dust or sweep will prove more than adequate.
Alongside this, perform a weekly clean with a well wrung out mop or damp cloth. Make sure that you use as little water as possible, as excess moisture can cause your wood flooring to warp.
If vacuuming, it’s vitally important that you choose the right brush. A hardwired brush can be too abrasive, so it’s best to use softer brushes, or even just the nozzle. This may seem very basic, but you’d be surprised how often solid wood flooring is neglected!
Use the Right Cleaner
If your floors have gone some time since they’ve last been cleaned, it’s likely that you may need something with a little extra “oomph” to remove any grime. This can be achieved in two ways. The first is with a dedicated cleaning solution.
Available from many flooring websites, a simple wash and care cleaning product will moisturise the solid wood, giving your floor a whole new sparkle. Whilst this is the best option, good cleaning solutions can come with a hefty price-tag.
If you’re working on a budget, there’s a more cost-effective method of bringing an impressive shine to your solid wood flooring.
When moping, simply mix a small amount of vinegar into the water.
Once this has been applied, re-wipe any residual vinegar with fresh water, and you’ll be astounded by the results!
Add Felt Pads to your Furniture
It’s true that wood flooring is incredibly durable, but when dealing with heavier duty wear and tear, it’s only natural that the wood can fade that little bit faster.
In areas where furniture is moved more frequently, homeowners can be disappointed to find marks or discoloration.
Fortunately, there is a cheap and easy fix for this situation. Attaching felt padding to the feet of chairs and tables will prove invaluable to the maintenance of your flooring.
Adhesive felt pads are available at countless DIY and furniture shops, and will prevent costly repairs to your flooring.
An Easy Fix for Stains
It’s happened to everyone. You’re enjoying a glass of wine with your evening meal, and the unthinkable has happened.
You’ve accidentally spilled the contents of your glass all over the floor. Before you go reaching for the traditional methods, there’s a more effective way to combat stains on your solid wood flooring.
Whilst any spillages should be removed immediately, tougher stains can be pacified with hydrogen peroxide. Apply this solution liberally to a cloth before leaving above the stain for 6 hours.
This should pull the stain from the grain of your wood flooring, but if there still appears to be some residual discoloration, re-soak the cloth and leave for another 12 hours.
Hydrogen peroxide is widely available online at a cheap price, so having a spare bottle to hand could save you from disaster!
Buy More Rugs
If you’ve had solid wood flooring installed, chances are you love its naturalistic aesthetic. As a result, it can seem counter intuitive to cover the decorative flair of your floors with a rug or doormat.
However, the truth is this: not only can a tactically placed rug enhance the visual depth of your flooring, it can also relieve your flooring from added strain in areas of high foot traffic. You don’t have to go covering your solid wood flooring entirely.
Instead, opt for areas that require less visual attention, but are more frequently used. Great examples of this are doorways, corridors, and hallways. Positioning a mat at the base of a door can tackle the underside of shoes before they are removed.
Naturally, this will prevent the solid wood from suffering any damages. If your flooring is already damaged, a well-placed rug can be used as a cheap cover-up or distraction.
This is a perfect solution for those who are unable to sand and re-finish their solid wood flooring right away.
Sanding and Refinishing
Your solid wood floors will last a lifetime if treated right. One of the huge benefits of installing hardwood flooring is its longevity, meaning you won’t have to reinstall new flooring if yours gets damaged.
Instead, it’s recommended that you sand and refinish your solid wood flooring every 10 years or so. This is a relatively pain free process for those who are enthusiastic about DIY.
Start by clearing the whole room, exposing your flooring entirely. This can sometimes mean removing your doors, and other permanent fixtures that could get in the way.
Next, the room must be sealed. Cover any opening which could allow for dust to escape.
Finally, plot your sanding path, making sure you go with the grain at all times.
When this stage has been completed, you can apply your choice of oil or lacquer. Whilst this is down to personal preference, different finishes can suit different needs.
Lacquer is great at preventing spillages from causing damage, but can prove more difficult to maintain than oil. Oil is absorbed into the solid wood flooring, instead of resting above the surface. In turn, this strengthens the wood from the inside out.
Remember, if you aren’t confident with undertaking the sanding and refinishing process yourself, consulting a professional will keep you on the right track.