Timber floors are appealing to homeowners because they are resilient and low maintenance in comparison to other flooring options. That said – in order to get the most out of hardwood floors in your home, you should be aware of the importance of floor resurfacing.
Making the decision to resurface your timber flooring can help to maintain the wood’s natural integrity and beauty, and ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money. Therefore, it’s not so much a question of whether or not you should resurface your floors, but rather a question of how often. If you’re not quite sure whether or not your floorboards are in need of a refinishing service, then take a look at this helpful list of tips sourced from a range of industry experts…
Worship the Ground You Walk On
With hardwood floors, the necessary period of time between each resurfacing service will depend on a range of factors; so there really isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for home maintenance. Some experts recommend that you aim to refinish your floors every 10 – 15 years, but that number only acts as a rudimentary guide, and should not be treated as a rule of thumb. After all, while your car may only need servicing on a periodic basis, wouldn’t you consider scheduling that next mechanic’s appointment a little early if your car started to leak, squeak, or overheat?
One thing that will greatly vary the length of time needed between resurfacing your floors is the amount of exposure they have to potential damage. Of course, worshipping the ground you walk on doesn’t mean that you have to tiptoe around your home, as your timber floors are durable enough to withstand a fairly significant amount of wear and tear. That said, there are a lot of preventative steps that you can take in order to preserve your floor’s structural integrity and natural shine…
Floor protection pads: Furniture and heavy appliances can be bad news for wooden floorboards. Regular household items such as fridges, tables, and couches can scratch the surface of the timber and leave significant damage. To prevent this from happening in your home, you should consider using floor protection pads (made from soft felt or rubber) on the base of any heavy appliances or furniture. Be sure to replace these regularly as they can become weakened and worn over time.
Avoid high-heeled shoes: One of the many advantages of wooden floors is that they don’t stain as easily as carpets; so dirt-bearing things like shoes can be worn inside without worry. While sneakers and flat shoes are generally fine to be worn around indoors, stilettos can damage the floor in a way that can’t be fixed with warm, soapy water. Perhaps wait until you’re outside to chuck on your heels. Your floors (and feet) will thank you!
Use rugs: Rugs are a great way to prevent excess dirt and damage in areas of your home that receive a lot of traffic, like the front-foyer, living room, or hallways. If you have a fireplace in your home, consider placing a thick, non-flammable mat in front of the hearth, to prevent any rogue embers from burning or marking the floor.
Clean: Taking the time to properly sweep and mop your floors regularly will remove unwanted grit and dust, both of which can cause gradual damage to timber.
Clip your pet’s claws: Cats and dogs are wonderful additions to a family home, and should be made to feel welcome indoors. Having wooden floors makes it pretty easy to wipe away any evidence of a mess made by your pet, but scratches caused by their claws can be a whole other ordeal. If you keep their claws clipped, it will prevent unwanted scratches, and also make it a lot easier for your furry friend to get a grip on the slippery surface of your wooden floorboards!
While following these simple steps will make the need for a floor resurfacing service in your home much less frequent, it won’t remove the need entirely. Mild scarring and scratches are inevitable in most homes, and it’s best to restore the damage before it worsens.
If your floors have lost some shine and have a few light scratches, an entire floor resurfacing service might do more harm than good. Consult with your local expert to see what they believe is the best course of action, but you might be able to get away with a gentle sanding and finish application.
If, however, your floorboards are showing symptoms of water damage or sagging, then you should seriously consider seeking professional assistance. If the wood becomes warped or split, some panels may need to be replaced. In some instances, the damage can still be repaired with a resurfacing service, but it is best to speak with someone who can give you the best possible overview of the situation.
Look at the Floor, not the Calendar!
If you were hoping for a set answer to the question of how often to resurface your timber flooring, then we’re sorry to disappoint. While vague, the shortest and most honest answer to this much asked question really is: it depends. While some families can get away with more than a decade between each floor restoration service, others will have needed several in that time. Flipping forward in your diary might work for scheduling your next hair appointment or immunity booster, but it won’t necessarily work in the context of maintaining a healthy home. The most reliable way of knowing if your hardwood floors are in need of some TLC is to monitor their wear and tear closely, and to get a professional’s opinion if you have any concerns.
For more advice on floor resurfacing and all your flooring needs, contact the experts at Brisbanes Finest Floors today!