Have you recently purchased some beautiful new wood flooring for your home? If so, your next thoughts are probably about installing and maintaining it properly. After all, wooden floorboards are expensive – you don’t want them to lose their value because of a botched installation or unnecessary damage. But don’t worry – we’re here to help.
Read this practical guide for installing and maintaining your new flooring if you need some good tips for ensuring your prized planks don’t lose their shine.
Measuring the Room
Before purchasing your new wood flooring, you will have already made some thorough measurements of the room to ensure you have enough of the product to cover the area. If not, then you should do that now. Calculate the perimeter of the room, including the awkward corners. Remember that these areas will also affect how the material is cut. Once you’ve accurately mapped out the floor plan, you can begin the actual installation process.
Test the Area
If you want to prevent your flooring from buckling, creaking or splitting, then you need to carry out some tests to make sure the area is suitable. For starters, you should check the air humidity because too much moisture can result in the wood swelling.
Next, you need to measure the moisture content of the subfloor, for the same reasons. A concrete subfloor should be subject to a prong test, and must also be level. Over the space of 1m, you should not have more than 3mm in height difference. You can fix this issue with a self-leveling compound or plywood. A professional fitter can help you complete these checks, too.
Acclimatize the Wood
Many people don’t know that wood needs to acclimatize to the temperature in the room before being installed. Otherwise, this will affect how well the flooring performs later down the line.
To ensure the wood effectively adjusts to the climate, place the planks in stacks of three throughout the room, keeping a decent amount of space between each stack. It will take roughly 5-7 days for the flooring to acclimatize from here.
Sort Out the Subfloor
We are onto the final preparation steps before you install your flooring. You now need to sort out the subfloor, making sure that your wooden planks have a decent surface to support them.
What you do with your subfloor will depend on the type of flooring you have. Some providers will give you planks that have been designed with a click system – other wooden planks need to be nailed to the subfloor. Meanwhile, certain flooring can actually be stuck to the subfloor using concrete glue.
Ensuring you have the appropriate underlay for your planks is also important. For instance, there is a specialist underlay for laminate floors. You can purchase these from UK wood flooring provider https://www.woodfloorwarehouse.co.uk/
Begin the Installation
With the preparation out of the way, you can finally begin laying down the flooring. This step will require some focus and precision, but it’s also relatively straightforward. Just follow the instructions your manufacturer has supplied.
Once again, the installation process will vary depending on the type of flooring you have, plus what the manufacturer has stipulated. If you’re lacking confidence in your abilities, it might be worth using a professional fitter instead of doing it yourself. This way, you can ensure a proper job is done, so your flooring will have more longevity.
Onto the Maintenance
Now we have discussed everything there is to know about installation, let’s move onto the general, day to day maintenance. This is incredibly important and will help to guarantee that you get the full lifetime out of your flooring. Let’s dive straight into our tips and tricks for upkeep.
Scratches will significantly impact the appearance of your flooring if you’re not careful. To prevent them from occurring, you might want to lay down rugs in an area where furniture is moved around a lot.
For example, scratches will likely occur where your dining room table and chairs are, so it’s worth placing a rug down here. You could always apply felt caps to your furniture to prevent scratches, too. These can be stuck to the bottom of chair legs and table legs, helping them to glide across the wooden floors. As such, scratches are far less likely to occur.
You should also watch out for deeper damage that might occur such as holes and cracks. If this happens, fill it in with a wood filler as soon as you notice any blemishes. And to keep the consistent look, opt for high-quality stainable wood filler options in the market.
Cleaning your flooring regularly will ensure it looks good for longer, so make sure to keep on top of this. Sweeping is particularly important. The abrasive particles (like dirt and grit) we bring in will eventually wear away the wood, so its lustre fades over time.
When cleaning the planks, it’s also important that you do not oversaturated the mop. As we’ve mentioned before, too much moisture can result in wooden planks buckling.
If your flooring is installed in your kitchen, then you should be careful not to spill anything. Wood is a rather porous material, so certain spillages could stain the surface. If a spillage does occur, you should immediately wipe this up.
Regarding cleaning products, you might want to avoid soap or vinegar-based products. Buy products which are designed specifically for wood flooring instead.
Varnishing the Wood
Every so often, you should varnish your flooring. This will help the wooden floorboards look beautiful and remove any discoloration where the flooring sees more footfall.
For starters, you should thoroughly clean the surface. Next, you will need to sand everything down, focusing particularly on the areas which are damaged. After smoothing the surface once more, you should then wipe away the dust and debris. Finally, you can begin applying your coat of varnish.
Varnishing wood not only improves the appearance but also helps with water resistance and scratch-resistant. Once you have applied one layer, wait a few hours before applying some more.
That’s all the main bases covered when it comes to installing and maintaining your flooring. We hope you have found our practical guide helpful.