How to care for your timber floorboards

Timber floors are a great investment in your home. They look great and can last for generations – provided they are properly maintained. Most hardwood floors will change over time, taking on different characters from sunlight and years of foot traffic. If you follow these simple steps, however, your hardwood floors will remain in great condition for the life of your home.

Firstly, you need to determine how your floorboards were treated and finished. The finish used on your floors will determine how often and how gently you need to treat your floorboards.

Caring for floorboards treated with water-based Urethane

Newer floors tend to be sealed with either urethane or polyurethane, which are resistant to stains and water damage. These floors can be easily swept and then mopped – but be sure to use products that won’t damage the floors. That means that products that are highly alkaline or abrasive should be avoided at all costs – and don’t even think about using pure ammonia! Use a floor cleaner recommended for urethane finishes or a bucket of soapy water. High traffic areas should be mopped about once a week, with less visited areas cleaned less frequently – this will prevent the colour of the boards from becoming dull. It is also important to use a ‘damp’ mopping technique, wringing the water from the mop before cleaning the floorboards (moisture is the nemesis of wood!).

Caring for oil-treated, varnished floorboards

Floors that have been treated with a penetrating-oil, varnish or have been left untreated require a little more care when cleaning. The most important thing to remember is that you never mop these types of floors – even with the ‘damp’ mopping technique. These floors will require regular sweeping or vacuuming to remove the build up of dust and then new coats of wax about once a year.

Taking proper care of your floors will ensure that they dazzle visitors for years to come. For more information on proper floor care, be sure to visit SE Timber and speak with the helpful flooring professionals.