- Avoid scratches – if you have a lacquered (varnished) wood floor, a scratch makes a permanent mark in the floor finish and leaves the wood open to damage. Use felt pads on furniture. Be very careful when moving heavy items of furniture such as fridges – try using a blanket or rug to slide the item into position.
- Shoes with treads collect stones which can damage floors. High heels are very damaging because of the pressure in a small area which will dent floors. Taking shoes off or having a doormat will solve these problems. A doormat can be inset into the wood floor using a mat well so it is at the same level as the wood. As well as removing debris, this prevents the mat from slipping and the door from hitting the mat.
- Any spills should be wiped up straight away. Liquids or foods such as tea, coffee, red wine, or tomato ketchup can stain the wood.
- Always keep water to a minimum of your wood floor. Moisture will soak into the floor and you can get some lifting at the edges of the boards. With laminates or engineered boards, the moisture can get underneath the veneer and cause it to separate and lift.
- To clean them, use a very well wrung out mop with a small amount of a mild detergent.
- Do not use bleach as this can discolour the wood.
- A specialised wood floor cleaner is this best as they’re designed not to damage the wood. Specialised wood floor products are available which use a removable, machine washable cleaning pad on a mop handle and a wood specific detergent.
Re-varnishing and re-oiling
- How often it will need re-varnishing will depend on how well it is looked after and the wear and tear it receives. It will also depend on the house owner’s opinion – wooden floors get scratched and marked and it adds character as they age, which some people like.
- High traffic areas (hallways for example) will wear quicker.
- Generally, a lacquered wood floor should last at least 5 years before it needs redoing.
- Oiled floors don’t last as long and an oiled floor needs to be maintained with a clean and re-oil every 6 months to 1 year.