Having invested in a beautiful and character-rich wooden floor in your home, you’re possibly wondering how best to look after it; especially after-care for antique wood flooring.
There’s good news; it is tough and relatively low maintenance! That’s true whether you choose light or dark wood floors for your interior design. If you buy wood floor patterns from a reliable supplier of quality wood and laminate, you’re already guaranteed durability and a great finish. Of course, proper installation is also crucial. That's true for all types of wooden flooring and more inexpensive options such as herringbone laminate flooring.
If your floor is laid correctly, without gaps or loose boards that can shift, it creates a resilient surface. This can withstand most perils of modern-day living. It’s still a good idea to give your antique wood flooring some “tender loving care” though.
Here are some tips on keeping hardwood floors looking great, particularly those made from old or recycled timber.
Insights on antique wood floor characteristics
A good basis to start is to appreciate the engineering and manufacturing techniques used to create your wooden flooring.
Antique wood floor is generally made from aged wood that has been reclaimed from other purposes. It can be various types of hardwood, from many sources. For example, quality oak beams sawn into shape for chevron flooring.
One of the benefits of antique solid wood flooring is that you know the timber is well seasoned and has stood the test of time. It has already provided strong support as beams in barns, railway sleepers or old factory joists, for instance. In the right hands, reclaimed timber can be engineered to make the most of its timeless characteristics and charm. However, it’s inherent quality and durability also make it perfect for family homes.
Oils – particularly UV oils – are used to give the timber its aesthetic appeal and build layers of additional pliability and strength. The wood flooring is then waxed, for shine and to bring out the characteristics of the antique wood. The oil and wax seal the flooring surface.
All of this creates a finish that tends to expel many foreign materials (the sort of things that get soaked up or trapped by carpet fibres). Which means that for many situations, all you will need to do is gently wipe your antique flooring with a dry clean cloth or soft brush.
Brush away risks
When you choose any wood floor, flooring companies London and elsewhere in the UK will tell you that a soft brush is your greatest ally. You must keep a close eye on the debris and dust that gets trampled into your house. Grit, sand and even everyday dirt can easily get trodden down or dragged across the surface of your antique wood flooring.
This means regular brushing or vacuum cleaning – with soft-bristled equipment – is important.
It’s also recommended that you use mats near doorways in your home, to trap debris.
Mopping wood floor patterns
If you have spills on your antique wood floor, dab or gently mop away the liquid immediately.
Letting moisture linger on any wood or laminate flooring can create warped or swollen planks.
For bathroom or kitchen floors, you could take extra steps to waterproof the surface. This article is by one of the flooring companies London homeowners trust to provide good after sales support. It explores this topic in detail.
When mopping, don’t use excessive amounts of water. Instead, pass a clean damp cloth or mop head over the surface. Always use cleaning products specially formulated for wooden floor or laminates. Using harsh or abrasive chemicals is very unwise. There are various eco-friendly floor cleaning solutions available that are excellent for hardwood and laminate flooring.
Never use a steam cleaner! Hot moisture under pressure can damage joints and affect the integrity of your antique wood floor.
After mopping or wiping your hardwood flooring, dry it off with a clean white cloth.
More tips on antique flooring care
What else would London flooring companies suggest that you do to take care of your hardwood flooring or alternatives such as herringbone laminate flooring? There are small steps you can take, especially in family homes.
This includes putting cushion pads on furniture legs to avoid indentations. If furniture is moved, lift it rather than dragging it across your reclaimed wood floor.
When you decorate the room, be sure to cover your floor extremely well. Paint is one of the toughest substances to tackle on any type of floor covering! The same applies to protecting your floor from any other messy refurbishment or home improvement projects.
It’s also great advice for hardwood floor maintenance to limit access to high heeled shoes, scratchy kids’ toys and over-long pet claws!
There is a great blog here on removing glues stains from wood flooring and this one covers more tips on wood floor protection (https://www.esbflooring.com/blog/how-properly-protect-floor-wear-and-tear).
A lot of these flooring tips apply equally well whether it's a reclaimed wood floor, new hardwood floor or laminate.
Refinishing wood flooring
Wood floor patterns – and quality flooring laminates – do sometimes start to show signs of “hard labour”. Heavy footfall or normal family accidents can take some of the shine off or leave small abrasions that you can’t cover.
Chevron flooring and other more elaborate patterns tend to hide such normal wear and tear longer than single-colour light or dark hardwood floors.
Also, using any type of antique solid wood flooring brings with it a degree of “character”, with all its knots and timber patterns on proud display. Some degree of normal damage can be easily overlooked.
If the time comes when you prefer to restore a flawless finish to your wood floor – including antique wood flooring – it’s straightforward. Though you may want to bring in specialist help.
Whoever carries out this home improvement project is likely to use UV oil. This substance – dried under UV light – can quickly restore antique wood flooring to its natural character and glow.
More advice for wood floors
Just like reclaimed wood, ESB Flooring has stood the test of time in terms of flooring companies London homeowners can trust.
Contact us to discus antique wood flooring for your house renovation or refurbishment, or to chat about aftercare tips.