The Value Of Floor Sanding And Polishing
You may have lavish furniture, wall art that exudes grandeur, and state-of-the-art electronics, but if the floors are cracked and dull, it takes away the glamour of the rest of the space. Being one of the largest structures in the building, the state of the floor has a huge impact on the rest of the décor. This is why lots of time goes into the selection process, from the wood species that will be used for the floor, the wood stains that it will be treated with, to aspects like sealants, lacquers or varnishes that will be applied. The focus is on getting that final look and feel that accentuates your personality at home, or gives your business premises a professional image. With the amount of time and money that went into it, you want to protect your investment. This goes beyond the routine cleaning. When the floor looks dull and dilapidated, it will need to be freshened up- and that’s where the floor sanding comes in.
With every passing day, the floor comes under lots of abuse. People walking up and about grind dirt against the floor surface under the soles of their shoes. This is dirt is gritty, acting like tiny pieces of sandpaper, wearing down the finish. What of the type of footwear? There are those that are known for causing more harm to the wood. Take high heels for instance. Due to the person’s entire bodyweight getting concentrated through a tiny section on the floor, it magnifies the pressure at that specific point. For perspective, an elephant walking can apply less pressure per square footage of surface compared to the person in high heels. Spiked footwear also ruins the finish. Pets, with their sharp claws, are some of the most common causes of scratches on wood floors. As they run around the room, they dig their claws into the surface of the floor, and over time the area will be covered in so many scratches that a refinishing will be required. Kids’ toys also contribute to this, from those tiny cars being sped across the floor, to the toy train tracks that are mounted on the surface. Furniture with casters- especially the metal wheels, contributes to the deterioration of the structure. Stains are common- with all the food and drink spills that are bound to occur. With the spills especially, the longer that the liquid is allowed to remain on the spot, the more difficult the stain will be to remove. Add this to the intense scrubbing that is usually required when dealing with the particularly stubborn stains, issues like solar radiation that can cause fading or darkening of the wood depending on the species that you have installed in your establishment, plus water damage like cupping and crowning from the cyclic changes in relation to the prevailing relative humidity conditions of the room- the wood floor goes through it all. Gradually, that elegant appeal is replaced by an old and dull look, one that drags down the rest of the décor. Calling in the professionals to have your floor sanding and refinished will restore the lost charm to your installation. You can even have things switched up, with a different woods stain being applied, or the finish being carried out to a different gloss level than had been there initially.
DOs And DON’Ts Of Your Hardwood Floor
After the elegance has been restored to your floor, how do you keep it looking good for longer? There are a couple of measures that need to be taken when caring for your sanded and refinished floor:
- DO work with cleaning products that have been approved for use on wood. The conventional detergents and all-purpose cleaners that are used on other surfaces in the household may end up ruining the wood.
- DO sweep/vacuum the floor regularly. The dirt particles are abrasive when ground underfoot, contributing to the wearing down of the floor finish that has been applied. Regular sweeping and vacuuming will go a long way in mitigating the damage that they would have caused.
- DO use walk-off mats, placing them by the doors so that people walking in can wipe off the gunk that is at the bottom of their shoes. This reduces the amount of gritty soiling that is being tracked onto the building, thus protecting the floor.
- DO add felt floor protectors to your furniture. This is especially for the stools and chairs that get moved a lot- like the dining room set. Without these protectors, the floor will end up getting scratched and scraped.
- DON’T wet mop the floor. Remember that wood is highly susceptible to changes in moisture levels, so soaking it with water will contribute to its deterioration. Wring the mop that you’re using, and only work with it when it is damp.
- DON’T use hot water for the cleaning. Allowing water to stand on the wood floor alone is wrong, and using hot water kicks things up a notch. The action of the water, plus its temperature, will lead to the applied finish weakening, reducing the lustre of the treatment. What’s more, hot water will be able to penetrate through the layers of the wood much faster, accelerating the damage.
- DON’T use abrasive cleaning tools like steel wool. Sure, they are effective in getting rid of the stubborn caked-on residue on other surfaces, but when it comes to the wood floor, they will lead to scratches being formed all over the surface.
- DON’T clean the wood floor using ammonia or vinegar. These popular DIY formulations have built a reputation for being ideal for tackling many cleaning jobs around the household. However, when it comes to the wood floor, they will tarnish the applied finish, and the pH of the formulations will damage the wood.
- DON’T place damp rugs on the floor. If the rug has just recently been cleaned, or there has been a spill on it, don’t leave it on the floor. The moisture in the fabric will eventually cause damage to the underlying wood. Allow the rug to air dry before placing it back in position.