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Wood Floor Maintenance

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Care, cleaning and maintenance of waxed wooden floors

We recommend

All ‘moveable’ pieces of furniture need soft clean pads on the bottom of legs or supports. To keep your floor in tiptop condition, we recommend applying floor protector pads to heavy items of furniture. Always remember to pick up furniture rather than slide it across the floor. Floor guards enable you to move your appliances forward for servicing without gouging your floor.

Doormats are very useful for trapping dirt and grit from outdoors before it gets the chance to reach your floor. Have mats at all exterior doors and get into a habit of checking the soles of your shoes for gravel and grit caught in the treads. Some areas of the house always experience more wear than others; rugs can be used in high-traffic areas to minimise damage. Make sure any rugs are always kept clean and dry. Shake them out and vacuum regularly.

High heels concentrate a person’s weight on a small point (estimate: 125lb person = approximately 2,000lbs per inch when taking a normal step). This kind of force can damage many types of flooring, fracturing ceramic tiles and perforating vinyl, as well as denting wood floors. While high heels in good repair may not damage wood floors, we recommend a ‘no high heel’ policy.

Dog and cat toenails can scratch a wood floor. It is a good idea to trim them regularly and try to contain vigorous play to a carpeted area. Spills from the food/water bowl are usually no problem if wiped up in good time.

All surface dust or dirt can be removed daily or as required with use of a broom, vacuum cleaner or dry mop.

Dirty floors can be washed with a damp (not wet) cloth impregnated in water containing a small amount of OS color wash and care. Wipe dry to avoid excessive moisture penetration into the joints of the floor boards.

Marks, small scratches or persistent stains can be removed with OS color liquid wax cleaner. This should be applied thinly to a dry clean floor and then lightly polished. Polish by hand on a small area or a floor polisher on a larger one. One can of this fine wax cleaner should last for at least 100 sq meters (i.e. 2 teaspoonfuls will be sufficient for approximately 1 sq. meter.)

Scotch Brit is ideal for use on oak floors instead of steel wool.

Occasionally freshen up the floor surface – and/or hard worn areas independently – by applying a thin coat of OS color liquid wax cleaner which can be polished when dry.

Other tips

Wood floors are very sensitive to their surrounding climate. Seasonal cracking is a common occurrence. They expand in humid conditions and contract when the air becomes dry, usually due to heating. Using a humidifier or dehumidifier in conjunction with heating/cooling system is recommended, to maintain a constant 30-50% humidity level. This will minimise shrinkage and cracking.

Never place plants directly on a wood floor even if they are in a waterproof saucer. Always use trivets or short stands under the pot and saucer so that air can circulate underneath. This will prevent condensation on the saucer from damaging a wood floor. It will also be easier to see if the plant is over watered or if water has spilled onto the floor.

Many people are shocked when an area rug is moved and there is an outline of the rug on the floor. Luckily there is no need to panic. If you remove the rug completely, the colour will blend eventually but it will take a while. So be patient! This happens because the sunlight hits one part of the uncovered floor and does not reach the area of floor underneath the rug. This discolouration can be avoided by moving the rug often or by using a finish with a UV block when it is time to refinish.

A deep scratch or gouge is not always as easy to repair. We recommend consulting a professional when the damage exposes the bare wood.