Wooden floorboards make a great addition to the home environment, but they do have their limitations. Compared to linoleum or ceramic tiles for example, wooden floorboards need to be much more durable. Solid wood floorboards also stock a far greater variety of suitable floorboards for a number of different projects. Whether you’re looking for high quality engineered hardwood flooring or solid hardwood flooring, wooden floorboards come with excellent quality, with optimal PEFC approval.
To properly maintain wooden floorboards, it’s important to keep the following in mind: never use solvents or other cleaning products on the floorboard itself, as this can cause warping, cracking and shrinking. Also, never use abrasive cleaners on the board as this will gradually dull the grain of the timber, meaning the boards will be more easily damaged. Be aware too that any damage caused by cleaning agents can often be exacerbated by movement in the room, and that dust from furniture and even pets can be carried around the room with the slightest movement, which can cause the dust to settle on the wooden floorboards themselves and cause them to become stained. Finally, never place sand paper or other polishes directly on the wooden floorboard itself, as the wax could damage the surface.
To protect against warping and shrinkage, and to prolong the life of the boards themselves, you’ll need to clean the wooden floors on a regular basis. Cleaning isn’t always quick, but once you’ve got into the rhythm of doing it, the job is surprisingly easy. If you want to take a more thorough cleaning however, you can employ the services of a professional floor cleaner. This might be more expensive than you might think, but it will mean your wooden floorboards stay looking great for longer and for far less hassle.
In terms of problems specific to wooden floors specifically, the main one is beetles. Beetles are particularly fond of wood, and they can create quite a mess on wooden floors through their droppings. A common way of dealing with this problem is to put some sort of anti beetles chemical into the water when you clean. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that this approach doesn’t get rid of the beetles entirely, but instead it just masks them so that they can continue breeding.
Another problem that can occur when cleaning wooden floorboards, and that’s the creation of small gaps between the boards. These gaps are perfectly normal, but they can cause a number of issues. First of all, because gaps allow air to circulate between the floorboards, they mean that the finish will dull quicker – by removing the air, you make the finish last longer.
Secondly, gaps can be an entry point for moisture. Moisture will cause the boards to expand, and it also makes it easier for the wood to warp. As a result, the finished surface of the floorboard will start to sag, and warp lines may become apparent as soon as the finish wears off (especially on pine), or even starts to fade from exposure to heat. The solution to both of these issues is to apply some finish to the boards which prevents expansion and warping, and then apply some sealing to prevent moisture from making an easy entry. You can use one of two types of sealants: water-based or oil-based.
If you’re concerned about your old wooden floors, but you still want them to look great, then sealing is the only option left. There are many different sealants to choose from, including those designed to protect the finish and those that prevent the boards from expanding or shrinking. The latter type of product is the most effective if you have large gaps in your floorboards. Another thing to keep in mind is that the sealant you choose should penetrate the entire board, so that it’s not just smeared across the affected area. There are other products that do this, but the one I’d recommend is a water-based product that penetrates the boards effectively and keeps the gaps closed.
Although wooden floorboards take a lot of time and effort to maintain, they are certainly worth it because of the benefits they offer. They can improve the value of your property and prevent damage to it, plus they provide a beautiful aesthetic in any home. When given proper care, wooden floorboards will last for decades, or even centuries! And that without you having to spend even a single cent!