Timber flooring is stylish and timeless. But anyone with timber flooring also knows that it has a remarkable ability to show up every bit of dirt, pet hair and debris that makes its way onto the ground. This can be a good thing; unlike carpet you know exactly where to clean, without the worry of hidden allergens and germs lurking beneath the surface!
Despite the fact that timber floors are relatively straightforward to keep clean, there are a few specific things that you need to use (and avoid) in order to keep them in top condition.
Tips for cleaning timber flooring
Caring for and cleaning timber flooring correctly is an important step in maintaining the quality of your investment long term. With these few simple cleaning tips, you can keep your timber floors looking pristine for years to come.
1. General cleaning for your timber flooring
The first thing you need to know about cleaning timber floors is that moisture is enemy number one! Excessive wetness can cause a whole host of problems, from staining the wood to soaking in between the gaps and warping the floorboards.
Finding the right mop will help you to keep your floors clean, without causing excess dampness. Look for a mop specifically designed for timber floors. The mop should feature a non-scratch, microfibre fabric to protect the wood. Bonus points if it’s superior at wringing out water, as you will need to get the mop as dry as possible to avoid wet patches on your floor.
Cleaning your floor is best kept simple. A small spray of water combined with a damp (not wet) mop is the safest option for your floorboards. It is recommended that you dry the timber as quickly as possible. Ceiling fans can assist you for a quick drying process.
A build-up of dirt can cause scratches on timber floors. In between mopping, a soft bristle broom or a microfibre dust mop can be used for daily cleaning. Vacuums should have a floor-brush attachment to prevent scratching to the surface.
2. Stain removal – cleaning your timber flooring
Accidents are sometimes unavoidable (especially when living with kids and pets!) but taking quick action can help minimise the damage.
Cleaning up a spill as soon as possible is ideal for stain minimisation. Water and a damp cloth should be the first step you try.
If you have a more stubborn mark or stain that isn’t coming clean from your general cleaning method, you will need to treat it separately.
To treat a problem area, take a bucket of warm (not hot) water and mix in a tablespoon of methylated spirits. Lightly mop the floor with a well-drained mop, and allow it to dry.
Steam mops should NEVER be used on timber floors. Avoid the use of detergents and other household cleaners that are not specifically designed for timber floors. Exposing your timber floorboards to chemicals could cause permanent damage.
Before using any kind of product on your timber floor, it is highly recommended that you spot test a small patch in an inconspicuous area to check the suitability of your cleaning method.
3. Protecting your timber floor
In addition to regular cleaning, there are a number of steps you can take to help protect your floor from damage.
# Use mats at all doors. This will help limit the amount of dirt, sand, mud and other debris traipsed through the house.
# Add rugs. Placing rugs in common areas will help keep your floors clean and free from dirt induced scratches and marks.
# Consider protective pads. Utilising protective pads under heavy items like furniture and appliances stops chair legs or the base of the sofa rubbing against the timber.
# Groom pets. Keep your pets’ nails short with regular clipping to avoid scratches.
# Rearrange furniture. Move furniture and rugs around regularly to prevent sun damage and fading.
# Cover windows with blinds or shades. Excessive sun exposure can lead to fading and can make some timbers brittle.
# Leave shoes at door. Apart from dragging in dirt and dust, high heels and some sports shoes are renowned for inflicting damage to floorboards.
# Keep house well ventilated. Let air flow through your home to prevent excess humidity and moisture from causing swelling to floorboards.
4. Sanding and polishing your timber floorboards
Even with correct care and maintenance, timber flooring can become scratched or damaged over time. If your flooring becomes unsightly despite your best efforts, you can call in the professionals to save the day!
A qualified flooring professional can refinish your timber floor with a professional restoration. This involves sanding and polishing your timber floors.
It’s amazing the difference that a quality sand and polish will make, giving the entire look of your home a lift. Not only will it boost the visual appeal, it will also add value to your home. You can even go for a refreshing new look by choosing from the wide range of stain colours available.
Pet scratches, furniture manoeuvring, shoe damage, children’s toy marks…sound familiar? These are the tell-tale signs of a lively and lived in house! Timber floors are resilient to many of these elements, but eventually they will succumb to the wear and tear of everyday life. When the time does come for your floors to receive a bit of extra TLC, consider a floor restoration.
Floorboard cleaning check list
Efficient cleaning of your timber flooring is essential for the long term care of your floor. The following simple steps will help prevent damage and maintain the look and feel of your timber floors for years to come.
# Invest in a non-scratch, microfibre mop suitable for hardwood floors.
# Use minimal water on your floor.
# NEVER use steam mops.
# Only use products specifically for cleaning timber flooring.
# Mop up spills straight away.
# Vacuum and mop regularly to prevent dirt scratching.
# Use protective measures listed above to minimise damage.
# Call an expert for sanding and polishing to remove existing damage.
To find out more about cleaning timber flooring or timber floor restoration contact Brisbanes Finest Floors today on 0411 220 488.
Need help or advice about cleaning timber flooring? Contact the experts at Brisbanes Finest Floors today!