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Service life of wood flooring is based on two aspects. The first is your decision in choosing one type of wood construction over another and very importantly the method in which you care and maintain the wood. In this guide we will explain the right method to maintain wood flooring as well as the two varied construction types available for both domestic and commercial properties.

Floor Types– There are two types of ‘real’ wood flooring. Some are better suited in certain situations than others. One is called solid wood flooring, while the second is called engineered wood flooring.

Solid Wood Flooring– Each floorboard is made of complete solid wood such as Oak. This construction gives the floorboard extended lifespan of around 100 years when cared for in the correct manner. Solid wood will react to changes in climate. In hot conditions the wood will expand and in cold conditions the wood will contract. These can lead to gaps in the floor as well as expedited wear and tear. Solid wood flooring is not recommended, therefore, in areas that experience climate change such as the bathroom, kitchen and even a conservatory.

Engineered Wood Flooring– Each floorboard is made of three to four layers. The top layer is made of solid wood, while the other three are made of syntactic materials. Unlike solid wood flooring, these boards can be fitted all around the home or commercial property; however, service life does not equal that of solid wood flooring.

Your decision is often based on the location of where the floor will be fitted and budget constraints, as engineered boards tend to be more affordable due to the lesser use of solid wood.

Wood Flooring Maintenance– Property maintenance professionals are your safest bet when it comes to maintaining your commercial flooring. However, we understand that most domestic household would opt for caring on their own. Here are some of the recommended methods to use when it comes to cleaning wood flooring:

Clear the room – It is easier, at least once in a while, to clean the surface when it’s completely free of any obstacles. When moving items around such as heavy furniture, be sure to pick up the item rather than drag it on the wood’s surface. Dragging is a sure way to damage the coating of the floorboard.

Hoover or sweep the floor – When using either a hoover or a brush you must take care not to damage the wood. When it comes to using a hoover, use a soft extension, not a plastic one. If the hoover moves around by method of wheels, clean them quickly before starting as they might attract particles of dirt that would then damage the wood. When using a brush, clean the brush quickly to ensure that its soft hairs do not include dirt.

Mop the floor – The biggest mistake and one which has the potential to expedite the longevity of the wood, is using too much water. There is no need to soak the floor in water. A damp mop is really all that is required.

Add wood cleaner – Every few weeks, repeat the above stage, but this time, add dedicated wood cleaner to the mix. These are wood-friendly formulated liquids that do not include bleach or other abrasive detergents.

Inspect the coating – Floorboards are covered in a layer of coating designed to offer a basic level of protection. Common material includes oil and various lacquers. With time, this finish will fade due to foot traffic and incorrect cleaning, so might require topping up around once a year.

Top tip – It is recommended to fit doormats at the entrance and exit of the room. These cheap mats do wonders at attracting dirt that would otherwise make its way to the floor.

Article written in conversation with wood flooring London merchants Wood and Beyond, sellers of engineered oak flooring as well as solid oak.

Julie Twist Properties has rented and sold property in Manchester City Centre for the past 20 years, and is a leader in the market. Julie won Estate Agency of the year in 2005 and has been on the judging panel in London ever since. Apartments in Manchester City Centre are her passion.

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