A solid wood floor can last many years, especially if you apply the correct care and maintenance practices to keep it shining. To begin, you must understand the properties of the wood floor that you wish to have, as well as the finish to apply for protection. Different floors require different care regimens. Read on to learn how to choose your wood floor…
10 – Type of subfloor
This will dictate the best type of wood flooring underlay. If you are going to use plywood, make sure you protect it against moisture. Also, make sure it is easy to clean. In a house without young children or pets, you can get away with a weekly or twice-weekly vacuuming regimen. Otherwise, try to vacuum every day or every other day. Fine dust and gritty particles on the floor can scratch your finish and flooring, especially if people are always moving around. Be careful about your choice of attachment: you want a felt surface or soft brush which runs along the floor’s grain. Rotating brushes or beater bars can leave tiny scratches on the finish. In the absence of a vacuum, invest in a microfiber sweeper or dust mop.
9 – Solid or Engineered
While it’s not often seen solid hardwood flooring panels are still available. But they are also a lot pricier than their engineered flooring counterparts. While the overall visual effect isn’t that noticeable, the long wear and tear of them will show with solid hardwood flooring lasting much, much longer.
8 – Wood species
This will depend on your style and preference. There are several species of wood that can you’re your taste and budget. You can choose species that will make your room appear more airy and open or those that will give your space some warm and cosy appearance. If you have children and pets, go for species that are durable for it is likely that your floor will get scratches. You can also go for colours that are bright if your room is a bit dull or dull colours if everything else in your house has bright colours.
7 – Size of your floor
The flooring material is cut to fit your space. You need to have the right measurements of your floor before purchasing the board for once its cut, it cannot be used anywhere else since the groove will have been removed. If the groove is removed, it means you cannot join the board to another. To avoid wastage of wood, get a professional to take the right measurements if you are not sure of the size of your room. Your contractor is the best person to approach for help. He is even in a better position to advice on what type of wood fits your room.
6 – Maintenance
In order to keep your floor in good shape for long, try to keep playing children from your floors, especially while they’re eating or drinking. Clean up any spillages immediately with a soft cloth. Be careful about using furniture polish or hairspray, as these can cloud up your finish. Use a damp cloth to wipe accidental spraying. To remove traces, you can apply a non-ammonia-based window cleaner. You should also have no-wax floor cleaners in a handy place to remove residues following spillages. Avoid mopping – water will cause your floors to warp, especially if your finish has worn off. Close windows in the rainy season and ensure potted plants have a tray underneath to hold the drain-off.
5 – Keep Your Expectations in Reality
Don’t go out buying cheap wood flooring and doing very little preparation work and then wonder why it doesn’t look like a million dollars! I’m not saying the more expensive the flooring is the better it will be, what I am saying is that it might not look as good as you imagine if it is a cheaper effect. Sadly the truth is nothing can really compare to a solid wood floor.
4 – Take Your Time
Don’t be in a rush to do any part of wood flooring. From preparing the ground on which it will lay to fitting the flooring panels themselves, just take it nice and slow and make sure those measurements are as perfect as you can. The overall effect will look a lot better as long as you don’t rush it.
3 – Use the Right Tools
This might sound like a self-explanatory tip, but you will be surprised by the number of people who don’t follow it! The rubber mallet is suddenly a hammer and the wood glue is suddenly stray surface glue! Getting the right tools for the job will not only make your life easier, it will also make it look a lot better.
2 – Read the Instructions
Like most men, I am not one for reading the instructions, especially when it comes to laying down some wood flooring. But that advice is there for a reason and taking the time to flick through them might save you even more time later on!
1 – Type of polish
Consider the type of polish to use on your floor. Wax should only be applied to already-waxed floors only. Avoiding waxing floors with polyurethane, shellac or varnish finishes as this will cause the floor to be overly slippery. You can use a general-purpose restorer (test on a small hidden area first before applying on the entire floor). Better still, get a polish that is specifically indicated for your own floor. If you need your floor shiny, make sure you avoid scratches for they are more likely to show on shiny floors. All sheens offer the same protection on your floor but your choice will depend on what you like most.
Floors are beautiful when neatly kept. Invest in doormats and rugs in plenty, particularly in areas that witness high traffic. Have a doormat outside and an extra-long one inside to ensure people rub out as much dirt from their feet before settling in the house. You can have a few pairs of house-shoes near the entrance so people can shed their ‘outside’ shoes before getting into the house. Further indoors, rugs can be used to protect high-traffic areas. Choose rugs without backing, as these can trap moisture and damage the wood or finishing over time. Be careful with rugs and mats if you have young children and pets – installing anti-slip pads under the rugs/mats can keep them in place and prevent slips and falls.