Install & Maintenance
How do I care for an oiled wood floor?
Oiled wood floors are very easy to care for. For everyday cleaning to remove dust or loose debris a broom, vacuum cleaner or dry mop is all that is required. For more thorough cleaning, damp mop using a diluted oiled wood floor cleaner.
In public places where the footfall is greater, oiled wood floors may be damp mopped on a daily basis and should be treated regularly with a maintenance wax. This may be applied to the most heavily used areas or to the whole floor, spreading it with an electric, single-disc buffing machine with a beige pad. Maintenance wax need only be applied to residential flooring when the wood begins to look a little lifeless.
Special cleaners for hardwood are available. To avoid dents and scratches, apply felt pads to the legs of chairs and tables and the corners of heavy pieces of furniture. When moving furniture, lifting it is preferable to pushing it across the floor. Stiletto heels are an enemy of hardwood floors, because they leave dents in the flooring. Avoid wearing them indoors to preserve the beauty of your floors.
To protect your wood floors from high-heel damage, new products such as Solemates are available. High heel floor protectors prevent divots in hardwood floors simply by slipping a protector over an existing heel. The surface area of the protector is just wide enough to disperse the pressure and prevent the damage. So, anytime you are having a party, make sure to have a bowl of high heel floor protectors next to the door and kindly ask your stiletto-wearing guests to abide. And, be a thoughtful guest yourself and carry a pair or two with you at all times because they will not only help save your friends’ floors, they will also save your heels from unpredictable walking surfaces such as grass, street grates, cracked sidewalks and cobblestone.
Solid Wood Flooring Installation Guide
Most problems reported with solid wood flooring are the result of poor subfloor preparation or incorrect installation. So it is essential that your new hardwood floor is fitted properly. There are several methods which you can choose if you are in any doubt, seek professional advice.
Acclimatise your New Floor!
Moisture is an issue for wooden flooring because the material will expand with heat and damp. The wetter it is, the more the floor will swell. While wood floors are dried before being sold, they can become damp when being transported or stored before sale. For this reason, you should make sure your new floor is exposed to the atmosphere of the room it is to be laid down in for 48 hours before installation in order to acclimatise. If you do not do this, the wood may be too dry when laid and then swell, which can cause distortions known as cupping and crowning, or even buckling.
Old existing floor board – Secret Nail
As long as the old boards are sound and strong, secret nail method of fitting solid oak planks directly onto old floor boards is a good method of installation. It is a good idea to put a sound proofing underlay between the old floor and the new floor. This will silence out sounds and stop any creaking. If the old floor boards are uneven fit a plywood or chipboard sub base, to level things out and give you the perfect surface to fit your new floor.
DMP – DAMP PROOF MEMBRANE
If you plan to fit a new solid wood or engineered wood floor, it’s important, before you lay the floor to find out if you need to lay a damp proof membrane (DPM). Dampness and moisture can play a big problem with wooden flooring and there’s little point in investing the time and money required to install a new floor over what may already, or what could potentially end up a damp sub-floor.
What exactly is a damp proof membrane (DPM) used for? Effectively, a damp proof membrane (DPM) is used to create a barrier between a concrete (or screed) subfloor and a wood floor. This barrier is intended to stop moisture passing from one to the other. Damp proof membranes (DPMs) can be used to help resolve damp issues which already exist or to avoid damp or moisture problems in the future.
How do you decide if you might need to include a damp proof membrane (DPM) in your new wood flooring project? Before you lay a wood floor on a concrete or screed subfloor, it’s really important to measure the moisture content of the sub floor. Although there are a few different DIY tests you can use to ascertain the moisture content of your subfloor (eg. The Calcium Chloride Test and The Plastic Film Test), the most reliable results are likely to be achieved using an approved, hand-held moisture meter. That said, if you do decide to measure the moisture yourself, do make sure that the meter you’re using has been tested and that you’re taking sufficient and accurate readings, otherwise your results may be completely meaningless.
If you are having your floor professionally installed, it is more than likely that your wood flooring fitter will measure the moisture content of your subfloor for you. However, even when it comes to professional installers, don’t just assume that the will test the moisture content of your subfloor, it’s important to make sure they will. In fact, if your fitter doesn’t mention measuring moisture content as part of the installation process, it might be that alarm bells should start ringing in your head!