Oak flooring is hugely popular and here at Alresford Interiors we regularly fit engineered oak wood floors. Oak flooring is beautiful and durable which are two of the main reasons it’s so popular, but does need a little bit more care than some other floors. To ensure your oak flooring is looking its best, here are our top tips on how to keep your oak floor looking in perfect condition for longer.

The easiest way to maintain your floors finish and appearance is dry sweeping or vacuuming with a soft brush attachment. Both methods help remove dirt and grit quickly, which does act as an abrasive on your oak flooring; this can lead to scratching the finish. Also a good quality microfiber dust mop with a 12-18inch cotton head used dry or with special cleaning sprays won’t damage your floor but will help clean it. Wooden floor cleaners are formulated so they’ll clean your floor without removing the finish, but will remove surface scuffs. Other methods are daily sweeping with a soft bristle broom; harsh bristles will disturb the floor finish and cause scratching.

Things to definitely avoid when it comes to looking after your floors is water, wet mops and other cleaning methods, including a lot of water are a massive no.  Excessive water and liquid can damage both the flooring itself and the finish, water resistant flooring doesn’t mean waterproof. Also harsh cheap floor cleaners are another product to avoid; they can build up and create problems whilst dulling the overall appearance of your flooring. Stick to neutral branded PH cleaners made specifically to wooden flooring. We supply the correct floor cleaners depending on the finish you have.

Some other things that can make your floor look duller faster and can make marks are furniture and certain shoes. Furniture such as chairs that move a lot can disturb the floors finish and create dents/scratches. We recommend using felt pads on the area of contact. This will help prevent your furniture causing any unnecessary damage. Shoes with heels or spikes can cause severe damage to the upper wear layer of the floor; avoiding wearing these types of shoes will eliminate this risk.

Darkening of wood flooring is inevitable and is a process that happens slowly over time due to sunlight. To reduce the speed of discolouring, closing curtains/blinds or having sheer drapes will help protect your oak flooring from UV rays.

Rugs are a method to help stop the build-up of dirt in high traffic areas and near doors. Walking over an area frequently can eventually wear down the finish. When people walk into your home from the outdoors they can bring in dirt/grit, rugs will help reduce the amount that comes into contact with your oak flooring. Overall, under normal circumstances, your oak flooring shouldn’t normally get scratched.

A lot of people are unsure whether they can use steam cleaners on their wooden floors, the answer is no. Steam cleaners work by forcing steam onto the floor surface; this is meant to eliminate dust, mites, germs, dirt, mould and fungus. Steam mops are the most popular type of steam cleaner, its quicker and easier than regular mopping. It sounds great, but it isn’t for your wooden floors. Even though a steam mop is truly intended to be used on ‘sealed’ wooden floors, a solid hardwood floor may have patches where it isn’t fully or is unsealed. This means the floor has no protection and is completely exposed, this can lead to the floor quickly absorbing any water and it can result in your floor warping. Excessive moisture can also change the external finish of the hardwood floor straight away. Using steam mops forces moisture into your wooden floor and goes in between its layers. It can look dry shortly afterwards, but constantly dampening your floor and pushing in warm moisture at such power can make your wooden floors swell and curl eventually disjoining the pieces of flooring and peeling the layers apart. This is not a good look!

For any advice or more information about flooring and our services please visit our workshop, call 01962 733016 or visit www.alresfordinteriors.co.uk today.