Wood Flooring Maintenance Guidelines
CARE & MAINTENANCE
Modern decoration concept gives a key role to parquet and other types of wooden flooring in interior design. Maintenance of wooden flooring is very important, just as it is with other décor components. Only a few simple maintenance procedures will keep your wooden flooring in excellent shape for a long period of time. We start proper maintenance with the interior environment: the place where we live is the same place where our hardwood flooring “lives”. Whatever treatment a wooden floor has received it will inevitably require some degree of maintenance. The form that this will take will be affected by many factors such as type of finish, level of traffic, climatic conditions, and positioning of doorways and entrances. The environment MUST be kept within 40% to 60% Relative Humidity otherwise the product may become either too dry or too wet and cause problems with deformation etc. This will give you a healthy environment and will allow your wooden floor to keep its stability for a long period of time.
➦ Underfloor heating
Generally the temperatures should not vary drastically and in a perfect world the underfloor heating should never be turned off just kept at a very low temperature. Always try to avoid taking the floor from one extreme of heat and humidity to another within a very short timescale. The environment MUST be kept within 40% to 60% Relative Humidity otherwise the product may become either too dry or too wet and cause problems with deformation etc.
If the Underfloor heating needs to be turned off the and the floor gets cold as it can in Summer then you must turn the system back on in a controlled fashion as you would when commissioning the system after installing the wood floor. If you turn it back on to full heat this will “shock” the wood flooring and could cause lifting or the top layer of engineered boards de-laminating.
The maximum temperature of the wooden floor should never exceed 27℃ to avoid excessive drying-out problems, which can cause stresses in the wooden floor.
Protect the entrance areas, inside and outside, with barrier mats to avoid walking grit and water onto the floor. Felt pads should be used to protect the floor from furniture and furniture legs. Castor cups should be used to prevent castor damage from sofas etc. No mats, rugs, protection, etc. should be used to cover floors with under-floor heating due to build-up of heat within the floor which can lead to problems with the structure of the flooring.
If the flooring is freshly finished, the floor finish will continue to cure for 7-10 days after the final coat of floor finish is applied, before it reaches its maximum hardness. Ideally it should be left uncovered, in order the finish to “breathe” and cure evenly. Particular attention should be taken if heavy furniture is required to be moved back in to the room with freshly finished floor, or if an additional work is required in the same area. If the new flooring is required to be covered, in order to be protected from any further damage (due to high traffic, building works, etc.) it is recommendable to lay breathable membrane throughout, covered with the required protection material (correx, hardboard, etc.)
➦ Daily Maintenance - Dry Cleaning method (all finishes)
Dry cleaning: Floors should be cleaned daily using dry cleaning methods, such as vacuum, flat microfiber mop or soft bristled broom. It is important to remove any abrasive particles of grit and dirt which may scratch the floor seal when trafficked under footwear, chair legs, and other items moved across the floor. It is recommended to use soft/brushed head of the vacuum cleaner, or such suitable, or recommended for wooden floors.
➦ Daily Maintenance - Damp Cleaning method (all finishes)
Any soluble dirt should be removed by cleaning using a spray-buff system. If you dry-mop using a Wood Floor Cleaning Pad. Remember to remove any loose dirt or grit afterwards. Rinse with water and wring out the pad thoroughly before cleaning with Wood Floor Cleaner. Lightly mist a 10×15 cm area of your floor or spray the cleaning pad directly with Wood Floor Cleaner.
Use a slightly dampened, well wrung-out Wood Floor Cleaning Pad, and thoroughly clean the floor surface with your mop. Finish one area before moving on to the next. When your cleaning pad becomes soiled, rinse it with water and wring out thoroughly before you continue cleaning. If the pad becomes excessively soiled, launder and replace it with a clean one to avoid streaking.
NEVER use WET cleaning methods. Excessive water will damage the flooring and may discolour the surface. Always keep the amount of water used to clean the floor to a minimum.
Make sure that only manufacturer approved cleaner for the particular floor finish (Lacquer, Oil, etc.) is used. This will give you the best results and will keep the flooring in “good shape” for longer.
➦ Periodical Maintenance - Lacquered Finish
To remove heavy soiling from the surface, use a well wrung out cloth with a wood floor cleaner. The floor may then be treated with a “refresher” to supplement the surface lacquer. Before applying refresher, the floor should be free from polish, wax and other contaminants. Apply the refresher with a clean, soft cloth, sponge or polish applicator. If necessary, you can apply a second coat. Leave the refresher to dry before replacing furniture.
Unlike floors that are maintained with polish or wax, a floor treated with a Lacquer is not recommended to be re-lacquered without sanding. Remove all of the refresher, using an approved Remover, then sand the surface before re-lacquering.
➦ Periodical Maintenance - Oil Finish
Wooden flooring finished with Hard Wax Oil will need specific periodical attention. Coat of maintenance oil will be required to be applied on to the floor surface, in order the flooring to stay protected. Recommended periodical maintenance period for residential properties would be once every couple of years (18-24 months) and least twice per year (4-6 months) for commercial high traffic areas. The maintenance period may vary depending of the particular brand of the oil finish (always check manufacturers recommendation) and will entirely depends of the daily maintenance of the flooring.
Empty the entire flooring area. Carefully clean as described above (daily maintenance). Lightly sand any local marks if necessary (with very fine sand paper). Apply a thin coat of the Maintenance Oil throughout, with a cotton cloth or brush applicator, always in the direction of the grain, taking care not to apply it too thickly, and let it dry. To even the finish on your oiled wood floor, it can be polished during the application with a polishing machine fitted with a beige or white pad (or a white cotton cloth). Allow the oil to dry before reusing the area.
UV Oil is not the same as Hard Wax oil. Wooden flooring finished with UV curable oil is usually finished in a factory and the maintenance of this could be similar to maintenance of Lacquer finishes. The flooring finished with UV oil, might require light sanding before application of maintenance oil.
Always check the manufacturer’s recommendation for the floor finish and maintenance oil product.
➦ Other finishes
Wooden flooring finished with other finishes than the ones mentioned above, such as - water based Oil, Wood Lye, Wax, Acids, etc., would most certainly require cleaning with special floor maintenance products, appropriate for the particular finish. Methods and products for daily cleaning and periodical maintenance of your wooden flooring will also vary. Make sure that you follow strictly the manufacturer’s recommendations of the wood floor/finish.
➦ Spot repairs
If the flooring is finished with Hard Wax Oil it may be possible to do a localized repair of minor scratches. Please note that the floor finish will darken with in time, especially if it is exposed on to direct sunlight, therefore sanding & re-finishing of a small area of flooring, in most cases would mean that there will be a colour difference of the finish in the repaired area and the rest of the flooring. Due to the “patchy” appearance of such repair work, our company would not recommend spot repairs. The quality of the finished result would be below our standards. We would always recommend, in order to achieve an uniform appearance, the entire flooring area to be sanded and re-finished.
At some time in the future, just like any other finish, you might start to see signs of wear and tear. There is no specific time/period that you need to renovate your wooden flooring. It will entirely depend of the maintenance of the flooring.
If your floor is too worn, or if it needs to be renovated for any other reason, it is best to machine-sand back to bare wood, so that you can apply a new surface treatment. Luxury wood flooring would always recommend to use a professional floor sanding company, in order to have the best results.
NOTE: Sanding of the flooring by non-professional (workmen or equipment) might permanently damage the flooring.
➦ Lifespan of Wooden Flooring
One of the main questions that the customers are keen to ask is “How long my wooden flooring will last?”. The lifetime of the particular flooring will depends of few simple things: Environmental conditions; Floor Maintenance; Thickness of the wear layer. The top wooden layer is commonly called “wear layer”. Its thickness correlates with how many times you can renovate/sand down your wooden flooring. Engineered wood flooring is usually manufactured with wear layer between 2.5mm & 6mm. The thicker it is, the more sanding’s it will takes, the longer your flooring will lasts. Usually every time you sand down the wooden flooring the sanding machine takes about 1mm of its surface. Meaning that if your flooring has 6mm wear layer and you renovate it once every 10 years, it will easily last about 60 years. Common mistake is to think that the solid wood will last far longer than engineered wood flooring, due to made of the same wood throughout. You can only sand solid wood floor up to it’s T&G (tongue & groove), which for standard 20mm solid wood flooring is 6-8mm, meaning that this flooring would take 6-8 sanding’s (ones every 10 years = 60-80years).
It is not necessary to sand down your wooden flooring unless it is too worn, or require complete resurfacing. This why, the maintenance of the wooden flooring is so important.
Please note that this maintenance guideline is for general information only. Our team is at your disposal for any further information or clarifications. Feel free to contact us if you have any queries.