Wooden floors are a wonderful addition to a home – enhancing the value and appeal due to the natural warmth that is added to the home. However, keeping these floors looking at their best can be a challenge, especially if you have an energetic young family to contend with.
First of all – are you dealing with laminated flooring, or real wood? If the floor is laminated, there may be no easy fix – if this is the case you should speak to the manufacturer about how best to go about fixing those scuffs and scratches.
If you floor is made of real wood – find out what type of wood you are dealing with. It may be a traditional hardwood – or it may be an engineered wood, or bamboo. Engineered flooring and bamboo can usually be recoated, if you have minor scratches to deal with.
If the flooring is coated, look for a cleaning agent that will work best on the surface coating. Floors coated with a varnish (polyurethane) finish are generally maintenance free for 8-15 years. The floor can then be recoated or sanded down to remove any marks. You can then choose the surface finish you want and the floor will look like new.
Most marks can be wiped off with a damp cloth or with mild detergent. Occasionally, you can give the floor a general clean with a well wrung, damp cloth or mop. Do not use any oil-based or wax cleaners on your floor. They make the surface slippery and hard to clean.
You don’t need to polish your hardwood floors all the time. In fact, polishing them once or twice a year may be all you need to keep them looking shiny and new. Avoid the desire to over polish as this can cause issues with the adhesion if you need to recoat the floors.
Black scuff marks can usually be addressed with a cleaning agent, while deeper scratches may need more specialised attention. Ask at your local hardware shop if this is the case, and they will be able to recommend a suitable repair kit.
Remember that normal wear and tear will leave small marks on a wooden floor, and recoating is the norm for coated floors, every few years.
To keep your wooden floors looking good:
- Dirt scratches away at the coating. Wipe shoes on a door mat outside and you will avoid bringing in water, dust or dirt. A textile mat inside the door provides extra protection.
- Don’t use too much water when you clean. Squeeze the mop as dry as you can before using on the floor. Using too much water when cleaning the floor can cause the boards to rot and expand
- These eliminate unnecessary marks and scratches. Check under each piece of furniture. Self adhesive felt pads can be cut to size and are easy to attach. Use only cleaning products recommended by the flooring manufacturers
- If you do have a spill – clean it up right away
- Don’t wear stilettos when walking on your wooden floor. They can dent and scratch your floor.
- Rearrange your furniture every now and again to prevent uneven wear on the floor
- Use curtains, blinds and rugs to protect your floor from harsh sunlight