Thursday, 2 August 2012 4:03 PM
Renovating can be incredibly rewarding, as you can see all your hard work every time you step foot in your house. However, it takes a lot of effort to keep your home in a pristine state, especially with wooden floors, as these need regular maintenance so they look like they've just been fitted.
To ensure your new lacquered wood floors are kept in top condition, read these suggestions on how to look after wooden surfaces.
It may sound obvious, but the best way to ensure your wooden floor stays looking as good as new is to try and prevent any damage being caused to it at all. It'd be a rather strange room if you didn't have any furniture in it, but there are several options you could consider so your sofas, cupboards and tables don't scuff or scratch the surface.
Firstly, you could lay down rugs underneath heavy items of furniture. This will help protect the wood, as immediate contact with the furnishings will be with the mats instead of the floor. Alternatively, you might be interested in buying protector socks that you can slip on to the bottom of the chair and table legs and the bottom of cupboards.
Take shoes off
You may feel a bit rude asking visitors to remove their shoes before entering your lounge - or wherever you have fitted your wooden floor - but this is not likely to compare to how upset you'll be if the wood is damaged as a result of high heels. Stilettos can create serious dents in your floor, as the small surface area causes the wearers' body weights to be concentrated on small points. Therefore, they can destroy hardwood floors.
There are ways to rectify this damage, but they involve sanding down the floor and finishing it again. This is time-consuming and is not something you'll want to do very often, so it is far easier to ask friends and family to slip off their heels.
Similarly, if you have children who are keen on running around outside with muddy trainers on, teach them not to come into the room wearing their mucky shoes. Mud can be abrasive, so while it might not look like a little dirt will cause much damage, a lot of it over time will make the wood appear dull and cause scratches - particularly if there is sand or gravel in the muck as well.
The trick to having a clean wooden floor is to make sure that, if any dirt patches or stains do appear, they are removed instantly. Leaving them on the floor can make the situation worse and they can become embedded in the wood, until the only way to remove them is by sanding down the entire floor.
However, by catching sight of water spots and rubbing the area with a touch of mineral spirit, you'll be able to remove them. Food stains can be wiped away with a damp cloth before being rubbed dry. If you do have a scuff, use an extra-fine steel wool pad to get rid of it, but remember to use gentle strokes as you won't want to cause more damage.
When brushing the floor, make sure you only use a soft-haired broom so you don't scratch the surface while sweeping, and if you want to wash the floor, get the right solution for the type of wood your floor is. Using the wrong product can have serious consequences, so it is important to pick the right one!