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Know your enemies when installing wood flooring

Property owners hoping to install wood flooring now the spring has arrived in the UK should remember there are two main enemies to keeping it in excellent condition.

Tom Jennings, chairman of the World Floor Covering Association Services, said the major issues to be aware of are abrasive particles and moisture.

He commented: "It is always recommended that walk-off mats be used at any area where sand, soil and other abrasive particles can be tracked in and ground into the floor's finish.

"Frequent vacuuming will help alleviate this problem. As for the moisture element, always use as little moisture as possible when cleaning the floor's surface."

Mr Jennings added that cleaning can be typically accomplished using only a liquid floor cleaner that mists instead of pools on the flooring. It should then be mopped up with a microfiber cloth, thus eliminating the risk that the cleaner will be absorbed into the wood, causing it to warp.

Furthermore, spills can pose a considerable risk to wooden floors and therefore they should be cleaned up as quickly as possible when they occur.

Meanwhile, flooring sales representative at Schilling Design Center and Lumber Yard Jim Vonch recently offered a number of tips to anyone considering installing this kind of home improvement.

He stated that anyone installing wood flooring should always store the planks in the room where they are to be used for several days to allow the wood to acclimatise.

Mr Vonch claimed that failing to do so can lead to peaking and troughing in the finished floor, as moisture in the atmosphere - or a lack of it - can cause panels to shrink and expand.

Other tips offered by the flooring expert included not using oils or waxes on wood floors, as this can also soak into the material and should individuals wish to resurface the floors at a later date, wax and oil impregnation can make this extremely difficult. 

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