In a home with children, pets or even just a messy family, you can be forgiven for thinking your solid or engineered wood flooring may suffer in such environments. However, with simple maintenance this isn’t true, and Luxury Flooring & Furnishings are here to give you tips on looking after the flooring in your home.
Dry methods of cleaning should be used daily, including vacuuming or using a microfiber cloth. You may use a well wrung out mop as long as you allow no moisture to seep into the floor and cause damage. This is recommended for sticky spillages or mud. Vacuuming should always occur first to prevent scratches from gravel and other dirt that has managed to get indoors. A regular broom is not advised where microfiber cloths are available, as the static from a cloth traps dirt instead of pushing it around.
If no other methods work including those recommended by the manufacturer, normal household products can be used on most floors to clean difficult stains. Always test these in a hidden area first in case of a bad reaction. For oil, wax crayons, lipstick shoe polish or dried in residues, use white spirit, benzene or a similar product. For candle wax or chewing gum, use plastic bag with ice to harden and scrape off the substance, or instead use a coolant sprat. For blood and other staining fluids, simply use cold water.
Every two weeks or so, or every week for high footfall homes, use a well-wrung mop on your floor. Use the manufacturers recommended products as you do this, and try aftercare products to maintain the look of your floor. This may include a polish or wax, which can be used as per manufacturers instructions every few months or so. Any light scratches can be hidden with filler, whereas deeper ones may require sanding.
If your floor has deep scratches, un-removable stains, or just general wear and tear you can always sand and refinish your floor. This also allows you to add different finishes if your taste or needs change, and makes it appear as good as new for potential buyers.
Engineered is considered practically better than solid as it is cheaper, looks identical and doesn’t warp or shrink in changes in moisture, temperature or humidity. On the other hand, it isn’t as prestigious, and more importantly, it cannot be sanded down as often since the wood layer isn’t as thick, meaning it has a shorter life span and cannot be restored as often after incurring damage. Although both should be sanded every 15 years, engineered can only be sanded as many times as it has mm of wear layer (i.e. 3mm wear layer can be sanded 3 times), whereas solid wood can be sanded down 8 times on average. You should carry out sanding if no other maintenance methods work, you desire a new finish, or the flooring looks worn.
We hope these tips have convinced you to embrace your wood flooring, and understand that vinyl isn’t always the answer!