Looking After Your Timber Floors
Ensuring you look after your timber flooring will ensure longevity and preserve the floor’s appearance. Below, we look at six ways to protect your timber flooring so that it serves you for decades to come. We also link to several in-depth guides with more information on looking after your timber floors.
Preventing scratches on timber flooring
Floors get scratched or scuffed, and although complete prevention might be unattainable, there are some things you can do to avoid them. We recommend the following tips to keep your flooring looking fantastic:
- Ensure your furniture legs have appropriately sized furniture pads on before reinstating your furniture on a new floor. These can wear down or fall off over time so check them every few years to see if they need replacing. If you have furniture on caster wheels, like an office chair, put a mat underneath to protect your floor. If your bed is on wheels, consider wheel pads or cups to keep the wheels from moving.
- Avoid footwear that is likely to scratch, such as high heels, golf shoes, and dirty work boots. You may wish to avoid shoes on your timber floor altogether, but if it doesn’t suit your climate or personal preferences, just avoiding hard footwear will prevent scratches. Have a doormat at your door so people can wipe mud, pebbles, and other debris off their shoes before coming in.
- Keep your dog’s or cat’s nails trimmed to avoid them scratching the floor – more on pets later in the article.
- Sweep your floor regularly to remove small particles that can cause scratches. When cleaning your floors, use a soft-bristled broom or static mop to avoid scratches.
- Finishing your floors with a low sheen finish, especially in high-traffic areas, will show fewer scratches compared to high gloss options.
Liquids on your flooring
Like most floor covering options, except for some waterproof vinyl and floating floors, timber is susceptible to damage from prolonged or repeated liquid exposure. We recommend cleaning spills as soon as they are noticed to ensure minimal absorption into the timber, as this can lead to staining, swelling, and cupping floorboards. Due to the acidity levels, pet urine can also lead to lightening or darkening of the timber, depending on the species of the timber, if it is not cleaned promptly. If a floor spill requires cleaning products after being dried off (for example, for hygiene reasons,) ensure the products are suitable for timber floors and use a soft cloth.
If your home is in a humid area or there is a high level of moisture in the air, consider a dehumidifier for keeping your floors dry.
Newly Finished Timber Floors
With advances in timber floor finish coatings in recent years, we can now walk on our floors sooner with less odour than traditional coatings. Caution should still be taken with freshly finished floors, as although the initial hardening has occurred, a full cure may take several days or weeks. The complete cure time depends on several factors, including finish type, humidity, temperature, and airflow. This information can be requested from one of our friendly showroom staff or our onsite installation team members. We recommend waiting to reinstate heavy furniture or sliding fridges back into place for a few days to ensure the surface has had time to cure fully. Depending on the surface finish, socks may also be recommended to be worn for a few days to ensure the oils from your feet do not affect the long-term surface finish quality.
Pets and your floors
You love your pets, but you might not love what they can do to your floors. Protecting your timber floors from pets can be a concern when installing new floors.
Our number one tip for scratch protection from pets is ensuring their claws are trimmed regularly and ensuring that there are no sharp edges that may lead to scratching after their nails have been trimmed. A benefit to solid timber flooring is that if your floor gets scratched over time, it can often be sanded out and refinished to look like new.
As mentioned above, pet urine can cause staining on floors. The best way to prevent damage is to clean up little accidents straight away.
For more information on pets and floors, look at our in-depth guide linked below:
Sunlight and fading floors
Like many floor coverings, timber can be susceptible to UV light in the form of discoloration in the exposed area. An often overlooked but easy way to avoid noticeable discoloration to your timber flooring is changing the position of stationary furniture like rugs and couches. Rearranging the furniture at the change of the season is a great way to avoid large patches of the flooring having visible colour differences due to prolonged UV exposure.
For more tips on UV protection, a full guide can be found at the Back To Timber link below:
Cleaning your timber floors
Regular cleaning of your floors is the most effective way to look after them and ensure the surface finish’s longevity. We recommend a light sweep or vacuum before a light mop with an appropriate floor cleaner to suit your timber floor finish, followed up by a damp water-only mop to ensure no chemicals are left to sit on the floor.
An in-depth guide on the correct way to clean your timber floors can be found in the Back To Timber guide linked below: