By Geneve Ricard. Hardwood Flooring. Published at Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 - 10:44:39 AM.
As mentioned earlier, installing hardwood floors is a significant investment which therefore requires proper maintenance to protect your investment and enjoy it for as long as possible. With that in mind, below are some helpful tips on hardwood flooring: Make sure you know your specific type of flooring and finish. You should also be sure to follow the specific manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and general maintenance. Do some research on how to care for your particular kind of finish. For example, paste wax should never be used on polyurethane finish. Sweeping hardwood floors with a soft broom on a regular basis naturally buffs the surface, therefore protecting it from scratches. Another obvious advantage of this is that it will keep the floor clean. Where possible, leave shoes at the door to avoid dragging extra dirt and grime onto the floor. If not, consider using rugs in high traffic areas such as hallways and entrances to keep feet clean. Remove any solid materials from the floor such as sand, grit and dirt among others. These materials are abrasive and can dull and even scratch the floor's finish. Use a dry towel to wipe spills and other messes from wood floors. Oils soaps should NEVER be used on hardwood floors. These oils will eventually build up and will dull the surface of the floor. In addition to this, it will make it difficult to refinish the floor whenever needed. Use a vacuum with a bare floor attachment. Such a vacuum easily removes dirt and dust without scratching or otherwise damaging the floor. Do not drag furniture across the floor when moving it. Instead, lift the furniture when moving it. Where dragging is inevitable, invest in a set of slip-mats. Where these are not available, lids from plastic food containers work just as well. Use only cleaners that have specifically been manufactured for use on hardwood floors. Do not substitute with linoleum, laminate or tile cleaners as these can cause the floor to become extra slippery. Use as little water as possible when cleaning wood floors. Wet spots should also be immediately wiped up after cleaning.
Although the nail down method of installing hardwood floor panels is pretty simple, it should still be done carefully as the hardwood floor has to endure for many years in whatever form you complete it. All of the furniture and obstacles that can be removed from the room should be removed while you install your hardwood floor panels. This is true even if it requires manual dismantling and reassembly. For those fixtures build into the floor of the room, you'll just have to panel around them. It's not the easiest way to go, but you have to do what you have to do to get your hardwood floor installed. If you have door sills, an old hardwood floor, baseboards, or carpet, remove them before you begin as well. If the surface beneath where you will be flooring is cement or any other lumpy material, use a felt floor liner to cover this surface. Then install a plywood sub-floor over it. Once laid, you should be ready to begin installing the hardwood floor.
Because wood wicks water, as soon as you create a dry spot, the dry spot will start to pull in moisture from the wet wood around it. This greatly increases the rate of drying the floor over not moving the fans around. Many hardwood floors are installed on a ”bed” that creates an air gap under the wood slats. If this is the case for your floors, try to create a funnel with a piece of plastic or canvas and force air underneath the floors along any cracks you can find. Use duct tape to tape the funnel to the fan, and an office stapler to staple it over the crack you want to dry out. Take your time, failure to let the floors dry completely out will set up conditions for mold to grow.
Care and Maintenance – Exotic hardwood floors, like domestic hardwood floors, require little maintenance to uphold their luster. Wipe spills immediately and limit any exposure to water. Regularly dust and sweep to reduce the risk of dirt buildup. Only use mild solvents specifically designed for hardwood floors, making sure to avoid harsh abrasives and scouring pads. A natural cleaner of equal parts white vinegar and water usually works best, but you must be sure to dry the floor completely when finished cleaning. Always use caution when moving large pieces of furniture or heavy equipment across the floor. Although exotic hardwoods are durable and tough, they still have limits and will scratch and dent when too much weight is scraped the wrong way across the floor. Furniture coasters and lifting straps can help protect the life of your floor. Many varieties of exotic wood floors are photosensitive, so avoid leaving them unprotected in direct sunlight as they may change color over time. Close curtains and blinds when possible and use rugs in areas that could be affected.
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