Maintaining Hardwood Flooring 

Cleaning hardwood floors is a simple process when the right products are used.

Always try to use recommended wooden flooring cleaning products and don't just rely on a mop that will be forever splashing moisture onto a natural product that loves to soak up water.

Natural Stone & Timber Ltd supply a Wood Floor Cleaning Kit manufactured by Treatex.

This consists of a microfibre mop which can be used damp or dry. This mop will actively lift up dirt and grime more efficiently than a traditional mop. The mop pad can be removed and put in a washing machine to clean it. This can be done hundreds of times.

The Wood floor Cleaning Kit also contains a 1 litre spray bottle of Treatex Spray on Floor & Surface Cleaner.

This is ready to use and designed to quickly clean wooden, floors especially those treated with Treatex Hard Wax Oil, without making them slippery. The spray contains vegetable oils and carnauba wax, so as the floor is cleaned a thin replenishing and protective layer of wax is also applied.

This product is PH neutral and contains no solvents.

You should always test this product in an inconspicuous area before cleaning the whole floor to ensure compatibility with the finish of your wood.

Using a Vacuum Cleaner

You can use the vacuum for cleaning wooden floors but you must make sure it has a padded attachment (or pad the head yourself so as not to scratch your floor) and then use it as normal. If you're used to having carpets throughout your home, when you first have your new wood floor installed, you'll be amazed at how much dust appears on your floor, this would have been hidden in your carpet, thus emphasizing the extra health benefits of a wooden floor. It may require cleaning more often because the dust is more obvious but it’s certainly a lot easier to keep clean than any carpet.

Simple Cleaning of Hardwood Floors

First, give the floor a good sweeping with a microfiber mop to collect the dust, dirt, crumbs and other particles into one area of the floor. Brush in the direction of the flooring, especially with micro bevelled flooring and 'brushed' or textured flooring, and try to remove any grit beforehand to avoid scratching the surface.

Then use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the 'dust patches' that you have created, and keep the vacuum available - you'll notice that the dust, and especially pet hairs, gather mostly around the perimeter of the room and under furniture, so pay special attention to these areas.

 Then if necessary, spot clean your floor with a soft cloth and Treatex Floor & Surface Cleaner

From time to time depending on your own personal situation and foot traffic, you should clean the entire floor using the Treatex Cleaning & Maintenance Kit.

Removing Stubborn Stains

Some marks will be more stubborn to clean than others but usually the abrasive pad in the Treatex Cleaning & Maintenance Kit will remove them. Be careful not to rub to vigorously or you may wear away the stain meaning that a more extensive restoration may be required.

Wood Floors and Water

Wood is a hydroscopic, natural product and is always desperate to soak up any moisture it can find. Likewise, it will 'give off' moisture if the conditions surrounding the flooring are dryer than the flooring itself. If the floor 'takes on' moisture it will expand and if it 'loses' moisture after installation it will contract and sometimes 'cup' towards the drier side like bacon under a grill does.

Please always remember you are not cleaning the oak boards themselves, you are cleaning the finish that's upon them. Regardless of the protective coating it may have, and no matter how thick and durable it is supposed to be, there's no such thing as a waterproof or scratch-proof wood floor. Water and other liquids can seep into the boards, especially as they shrink or expand.

General Maintenance

There are a variety of easy, inexpensive ways for protecting your oak floor, and because every floor is an investment that can last a lifetime, it is always worth making the effort to do so.

Here are some basic protection tips;

Wipe up spillages immediately and never allow water, moisture spills, or cleaning products to remain for any length of time on the floor surface.

Rugs can be used in places like kitchens and door entries where spills or heavy traffic are most likely to occur. Ensure that damp rugs are not left on your floor and be careful if you have under floor heating because the floor area beneath the rug can overheat.

Use Felt Pads on the legs of chairs and all other furniture to prevent scratches. Keep the pads free of grit and replace as often as needed. Not only will furniture pads protect your floor but it also makes moving your furniture a lot easier for cleaning.

When moving appliances or other heavy items, always place a blanket under the item to protect your floors from scratches and dents. Ensure that service personnel and delivery people do the same.

UV sunlight and direct lighting will change the colour of oak over time, so occasionally rearrange rugs and furniture that block sunlight to the floor beneath so you don't create a 'patchy' floor.

Try to avoid walking on the floor while wearing high heel shoes, or other footwear that may cause indentations or scratches. Although very hard and durable, oak is still a natural product.

Wood flooring can change dimensionally as its surrounding conditions change, so it is worth using a humidifier throughout the winter months to keep wood movement and shrinkage to a minimum, especially when you have installed solid oak.

Take care of your floor and re-coat it as needed, depending on wear and tear. If the finish on any part of your floor gets worn down to exposed wood, and it gets even slightly damp, it will stain and require deep sanding for restoration to its former glory.

When and how often you re-coat your floor depends on the wear and tear it receives, along with your personal preferences as a home owner.

For removing spot marks such as polish, always use a cleaner that is specifically designed for wood flooring because it will clean without affecting the surface finish. Having said that, be careful not to rub the surface too hard and never use anything abrasive or a detergent, without testing a small discrete area first.

Because the surface of your oak floor is so hard, you won't have the same challenges as you would with a carpet. You should only need to lightly brush the surface or use a vacuum cleaner, with a soft fitment to make sure you don't scratch the floor surface, to clean up the dust.

Any spillages or droplets of liquid, no matter how small, should be cleaned up and dried immediately to avoid water marks from appearing. It is important to NEVER use soaking wet cleaning tools or leave standing water on the floor. If you do have some marks that appear from spillages, depending on what the spillages are (water, wine, spirits, coffee etc.), they can usually be removed from an oiled floor by lightly sanding the area without having to re-surface the whole floor. If it is just clear water that has been spilled, sometimes it will dry out after a few days and disappear. However, if a waterline remains after the spillage has completely dried out, the only way to remove this is to sand the floor and re-apply more finish to the area, which can be expensive and disruptive.

Drying the affected area can sometimes be sped up by using an iron set to medium and running this over the area with a clean, dry towel in between. Other liquids can prove much more troublesome to remove though, so the answer is to prevent spillages or clean them up immediately. Prevention is always better than cure.