Your Wood Floor Can Last For Long If You Care For It Right
To keep your wood floor looking elegant over the long haul, active care and maintenance measures need to be put in place. This starts right at the onset, by first ensuring that the installation has been done appropriately. Here, measures like getting the wood to acclimate to the end-use environment before the planks are nailed into the position are key, that way they won’t come under strain due to the regular fluctuations in temperature and humidity of the premises. After the installation is done, the wood needs to be treated. Here, two main attributes come into focus:
What is the final look you intend to get with your wood floor? Do you want to retain that natural look, or do you want to add some character to the wood? Products like wood stains come in for those cases where one desires to alter the hue of the wood floor. The type of floor finish that will be used for the subsequent coat will also determine the level of gloss that you will obtain, such as the Bona Traffic HD which has Extra Matt, Matt and Silk Matt sheen options.
Does the finish retain its look over time? For instance, one of the complaints seen with oil-based polyurethanes is their tendency of developing a yellow tint as the years go by, due to exposure to sunlight. This interferes with the resultant look of the floor, and the decor of the premises. It’s also one of the reasons why there is a higher uptake of water-based lacquers, where you don’t have to worry about this effect.
Next, what kind of usage will the floor handle? Aspects like the level of foot traffic are considered here, as well as the brand behind the product that you’re interested in purchasing. You want to use formulations from a brand that has been known to deliver on its mandate, and also get a floor finish that matches the amount of traffic witnessed in the premises, be it light, medium or high traffic. For instance, with Bona’s range of lacquers, you have the Bona Novia that is used in domestic settings, Bona Mega that is ideal for busy homes and also commercial environments with medium levels of traffic, and then the Bona Traffic line which is suited to the environments that handle high footfall, including the Bona Traffic HD which is a top choice for floors that are exposed to extreme levels of wear.
The resistance of the formulation to staining also weighs in, since there are bound to be spills that will wind up on the floor, and you don’t want your installation getting ruined by the chemicals involved, or liquids seeping deep into its structure.
Protecting Your Wood Floor
Why all the fuss about treating the wood floor? After all, isn’t it one of the sturdiest flooring options, used in modern day busy homes and high traffic commercial establishments? Well, the fact is that despite its strength and durability, when not properly cared for the wood floor will rapidly deteriorate. Common causes of wear and damage include:
- Excess water
The hygroscopic wood absorbs excess moisture, whether it is from mopping with lots of water, spills that are allowed to remain on the surface for long, or it is a flooding incident caused by a plumbing leak. Cleaning up spills as soon as they occur is key. Sure, protective finishes buy you time, but this does not mean that you should ignore spills.
- Soiled shoes
Gritty dirt under people’s shoes is abraded against the floor surface as they walk around. It’s liking having lots of tiny sandpapers being used to slowly abrade the floor. This happens faster in areas with high traffic, that need to have a protective treatment that can withstand the level of abuse that the floor receives.
- Heavy furniture pieces
From that heavy sofa being dragged across the floor surface, the dining chairs that are frequently moved, to the minuscule shifts whenever people use the sofas in the living room – these contribute to the scratches that are on the floor. It’s also why it is highly recommended that you get furniture pads, in order to reduce the risks of damage to the underlying floor.
These furry members of the family are all cute and cuddly, but they come with sharp claws. As the cats and dogs run around the premises, they will use their claws to get traction, digging into the wood floor. This leaves behind scratches on the surface. The higher the number of pets and the weaker the existing finish, the faster the rate at which the scratches form, which ruins the appeal of your floor.
When it comes to the little ones, there are plenty of ways they can damage the wood floor. For starters, affinity for making spills is no surprise. Almost every meal time is a high-risk event – and things get worse when the children fail to bring to your attention that there has been a mess for the clean-up to be quickly done. Here, the longer that the liquids remain on the surface, the higher the chances of them getting soaked into the wood tissue and forming stains that will be difficult to remove. The kids may also be using the floor as a highway for their toy cars, or a rail track for their toy trains. While the games may appear cute and innocent, the toys can create scratches on the floor, especially those with hard wheels. The occasional paint that winds up on the floor as the kids practice their artwork, when they come from the pool drenched in water and stand on the floor, leaving a paddle, to cases where they boldly walk into the household with mud under their shoes – households with kids need durable floor treatments like the Bona Traffic HD that increase the wear resistance of the installation for it to withstand the different kinds of abuse that are meted out on it.