Care & Maintenance of Timber Flooring
Timber flooring and decking are long term investments and with a small amount of care and maintenance optimum performance and enjoyment is ensured.
We recommend flooring and decking care is discussed with the installer or builder if possible to obtain maintenance procedures from the manufacturer of the chosen floor finish. However, the following care and maintenance hints will assist in keeping timber flooring and decking looking their best.
General Precautions and maintenance tips
• Wait 48 hours from application of the last coat of varnish before placing furniture – not applicable to pre-finished floors.
• Fit protective pads to furniture legs to reduce risk of marking the floor. To protect the floor surface use protective mats for furniture with castors. Barrel castors are less likely to damage a floor than ball castors. Wait 7 days from application of the last coat – not applicable to pre-finished floors
• Don’t place rugs on the floor for at least 2 weeks after the final coat is applied to ensure the finish is completely cured. Lay rugs over the clean floor so dirt is not trapped underneath.
• Dirt and grit can lead to excess wear and scratching of a hardwood timber floor. Use dirt trapping mats at all exterior doors to minimise dirt, sand and grit that might be brought inside. Small rugs and hall runners are also helpful for collecting the dirt that can scratch a hardwood timber floor. Regularly sweep high traffic areas with a soft bristle broom or electrostatic mop.
• All hardwood timber floors will fade, darken or change shades over time. Exposure to sunlight will increase this process. Rotate rugs periodically and protect the floor from direct sunlight with curtains or blinds.
• In areas where extreme temperature changes or moisture variation are common, gaps or cupping may appear in the floor. Maintain an ambient temperature to avoid dryness that may causes gaps, and moisture increases that may cause cupping.
• High heel shoes can dent a hard floor surface. Special care should be taken to remove shoes that have exposed heels with sharp points to avoid potential damage to a hardwood timber floor.
• Pets with long nails or claws can scratch and dull the floor finish, make sure pets nails or claws are trimmed regularly and kept blunt.
• One of the benefits of a hardwood timber floor is that it can be refinished if it becomes excessively scratched or dented. Boral Timber recommends the use of a flooring professional proficient in sanding and finishing to complete this work.
A hardwood timber floor will look better for longer if it is kept as clean as possible. To remove surface dirt and grit, regularly vacuum, with a soft bristle head or an electrostatic attachment, or sweep with an electrostatic mop. Keep door mats clean.
For stubborn dirt, damp-mop the floor using a well rung mop. The use of a pH neutral floor cleaner can help remove stubborn dirt (use as per manufacturer’s instructions).
Never clean a floor with common household detergents, polishes, steel wool pads, wax or similar products. These products can be too abrasive and scratch the surface, or may make a floor dangerously slippery.
Some products may leave a film of silicon or wax on the timber which may hamper recoating of your floor in the future. Never use Methylated Spirits or Kerosene, as any type of petroleum distillate will degrade the coating and irreversibly dull the floor. Only use a pH neutral floor cleaner as per manufacturer’s instructions.
Use only quality lint free floor mops and thoroughly wash new mops to remove any lint.
Wipe up spills and leaks promptly with a dry cloth or dry paper towel. For sticky substances, moisten the cloth slightly Over wetting a floor when mopping or cleaning can change the moisture balance and cause a floor to expand, with some resulting in cupping. For this reason, it is important to ensure that mops and cloths are well wrung so that as little water solution as possible wets the floor.
Steam mops are not recommended for cleaning timber floors. Steam (moisture) is forced into the joints of the timber and any small incisions, breaks or cracks on the timber floor surface resulting in unusual reactions in the timber such as cupping. The heat from the steam mop could also cause damaged to the coating on the floor.