The decision to use a timber flooring system, particularly if it is to be a decorative feature, is one that over the years will pay dividends in terms of comfort, health and aesthetics.
Unlike most floor coverings, a feature timber floor is usually an integral part of a building and is not designed to be replaced every few years. When properly installed and maintained,there is no reason why, except under exceptional circumstances, a timberfloor should not last the life of the building.
A high quality timber floor is a valuable investment and,as such, should be well maintained to ensure that it performs and lasts as expected. The greatest enemy of any floor covering, and timber is no exception, is dust and grit. The provision of good quality door mats,preferably of the anti-static variety, cannot be over emphasised. Recommended regular maintenance procedures are:
Domestic:Vacuum, or sweep with an anti-static mop daily and immediately wipe up any spillage.
Multi-purpose or Sports:
As above but sweeping should be carried out between activities. An occasional wipe with a damp (not wet) mop moistened with a recommended detergent solution will help remove any dust residue and in most cases will be sufficient to remove slight soiling.
(Note: do not use oil-impregnated mops as residues could cause the floor to become slippery.)
Maintenance:The alternatives are to vacuum or sweep the area regularly. When a matte appearance indicates an area of considerable wear it is essential to re-coat that area before bare wood is exposed. The area for recoatingshouldbe lightlysandedandthoroughly cleaned of all dirt and grease before the application of the replacement coat; work out from the edges of the patch and this will make the join marks with the untreated areas less noticeable. Alternatively many owners would prefer to re-coat the entire floor area at this stage or,
- from the start, apply wax coatings to take the wear, as described for oil-based sealers; or
- use an acrylic emulsion floor polish as described for oil-based sealers. However, in domestic situations most owners prefer not to have to polish their floors and will rely on the urethane coating as a final finish that only needs regular sweeping and the occasional damp mop.