Hardwood flooring

How to protect your hardwood floors from winter

Your hardwood floors are tough, durable and yes, beautiful. During winter, they are exposed to heavy amount of traffic. Why, people just want to stay indoors! It’s important that you take good care of your floor as they are an asset to your home. Floor maintenance should be done all year round but they are more required during the chilly winter months.

What damage can winter cause to hardwood floors?

There are many factors that cause your floors to be damaged and sadly, the chilly weather doesn’t help. Things to watch out for are gaps, scrapes and scratches.

How to protect your hardwood floor from winter

Here are some things that you can do to help to prevent damage to your floors this winter:

1. Keep a consistent temperature. Sudden temperature changes can cause wood planks to separate. If you’re using a heater, avoid turning it into full blast, gradually increase the heat to protect your floor against separation and gapping.

2. Clean your floors. Sweep, vacuum and mop your floors. Do not let the dirt piled up!

3. Layout floor mats. Laying floor mats reduces the amount of traffic directly on to your flooring and decrease the amount of dirt coming in contact with your floor too.

4. Take off your shoes. Before entering your home, ask everyone to remove their shoes. Shoes are one of the most common tools for tracking in outside dirt, especially in the wet.

How to protect your hardwood floors from winter

Follow these tips and you will be able to enjoy your beautiful floors for many years to come.

Does your floor need replacing, are you extending or just want to know more about hardwood floors? Contact D.I.Y Parquetry, Timber & Cork Flooring for your needs. We offer full flooring installation and our services also includes repair and refinishing. D.I.Y Parquetry, Timber & Cork Flooring today for a free estimate on your hardwood flooring needs!

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How to Minimise Gaps in Hardwood Wood Flooring

The laying of a timber floor and when it is subsequently sanded and polished is often dictated by the building schedule and due to this the effects of seasonally hot and dry weather conditions are at times not duly considered. This situation is further exacerbated if during these times the house is unoccupied and locked up for an extended period. This information sheet explains what happens under these conditions and how problems may be alleviated.

Why shrinkage gaps occur

Relative humidity chartThe diagram shows the relationship between the air relative humidity, board moisture content and board width. As conditions become drier due to lower air relative humidity, moisture is released from the boards, board moisture contents reduce and the boards shrink. This is a natural process. The consequences of this are that gaps will appear at board edges and greater shrinkage may occur at the exposed upper surface resulting in boards cupping. Temperature has two effects. Firstly, high temperatures within a house will lower the relative humidity making the air drier and secondly high floor temperatures make it easier for the moisture in timber flooring to be released to the air.

Very dry conditions

Many states experience very dry conditions and this is often around Christmas and it is at these times that houses under construction can be locked up for a period of three to four weeks while the builder takes an earned break. If a timber floor has been laid prior to this and weather conditions become very dry then a high degree of shrinkage, cupping and at times checking (surface splits) can result. Weather data shows these conditions as indicated in the adjacent 9am relative humidity graphs below for Perth during the Christmas period of 2009 to 2010 (red line).

gap minimisation

In Perth during this December and January period the average 9am external relative humidity was 40%. This equates to timber moisture contents of about 7.5% and in a closed up dwelling with higher internal temperatures the conditions can equate to timber moisture contents as low as 4%. This has a drastic effect on timber flooring in an unoccupied dwelling and even if the floor has been coated the effect is still very severe. The differences between dwellings that have been occupied and those that are not occupied also needs some explanation. Firstly, when a dwelling is lived in there are many sources that add moisture to the air including pots boiling on the stove, pot plants, bathroom showers or evaporative coolers.

Furnishings and many other items in the house also take in some moisture and this tends to moderate the fluctuations in relative humidity during dry periods. Due to this although low humidities do occur that cause floor’s in existing dwellings to shrink, those extremely low relative humidity conditions of an unoccupied locked up dwelling do not generally occur.

What can be done?

Prevention is always better than cure. Certainly, if a timber floor is laid in November and it is not intended to finish the floor until February, and it is known that the dwelling will be locked up for a hot period over Christmas, then delaying the installation of the floor to late January may be an option. However, if this cannot be achieved it is imperative that the measures are taken to prevent high floor temperatures and very high room temperatures. With regard to this, temporary coverings on windows where the floors will receive high sun exposure should be undertaken.

Hardwood floor gappingIt is also necessary to provide ventilation through the dwelling during the period that it is closed. With due care for the floor, buckets of water placed throughout the dwelling will result in the water evaporating and adding moisture to the air and alleviate to some degree the reduction in relative humidities. Alternatively, some have had success by placing clear plastic over the floor which prevents severe moisture loss from the boards. With such an approach care is necessary and particularly that slab or sub-floor is not providing an additional source of moisture from beneath which could cause sweating. This however should only be considered by those skilled and knowledgeable in the laying of floors.

What if I have no choice but to try a cure

If returning to a floor after a dry period when the house has been locked up and there are concerns with the condition of the floor then it is necessary to bring the floor back closer to its expected in-service conditions prior to sanding and finishing. Again, raising the humidity in the dwelling will bring about some recovery to the floor with some species being more responsive than others. In addition to the above, daily or more frequent damp (not wet) mopping may assist as may mist spraying the rooms. In more severe instances, and where the only other option being considered is floor replacement, others have found that by mist spraying and then laying clear plastic over the floor, the floor has recovered well. Such an approach does require careful monitoring and again should only be considered by those experienced with timber floors and willing to replace the floor if these measures are unsuccessful. If the floor has already been sanded and coated then means to raise the relative humidity in the dwelling and damp mopping can be effective.

Note however, that with coated floors practices also need to comply with those of the coating manufacturer. It should however be noted that if the floor is coated and cupping is induced then even with the measures above, some residual cupping may remain. Once it was known that the floor is stable, re-sanding would be required to remove the cupping.

How to Minimise Gaps in Hardwood Wood Flooring

Article with Thanks and Courtesy of Australian Timber Flooring Association Ltd.

3 things to consider when sanding your wood floor!

Is your wood floor looking old and tired?

Don’t worry! That can happen over time and with use. The beauty of solid wood floors is they can be sanded, refinished and brought back to life at a fraction of the cost of replacing your floor.

If you love your hardwood floor and want to preserve it for a long time, relax! You can always have your hardwood refinished.

Sanding your wood floor

Sanding your hardwood will make your wood floor shine like new, as if you have just been polished and installed yesterday.

Things you need to know if you are considering having your floors sanded. Look for a company that offers refinishing services now, has a good reputation and been in business a ling time.  Here are 3 factors to consider when having your hardwood floor resanded.

  • Mess
  • Thickness of the hardwood
  • Humidity

Mess

Refinishing a hardwood is a messy job. The process involves removing a thin layer of wood from the surface of your floor which will create a lot of sawdust. Then followed by applying stains and finishes, some of which can smell terrible. It can be an extensive project so you might consider leaving your home until the dust and the smell are all gone.

Jarrah solid wood flooring from D.I.Y Parquetry and Cork

Jarrah solid wood flooring from D.I.Y Parquetry and Cork

Thickness of the hardwood

You can refinish your hardwood many times over. However, take note that they are going to wear down eventually.

Humidity

Think about the weather. In winter and on humid days, it might take longer for the stains to dry. This means that your home may be is inaccessible for a few more days.

3 things to consider when sanding your wood floor

As you can see there are many things to consider when you are thinking about having your wood floors refinished.Best to get some advice from a professional, that will make it easy for you.

D.I.Y Parquetry, Timber & Cork Flooring are your local professional flooring experts, we lay floors, resand floor and repair floors and have done it for years. Give D.I.Y Parquetry, Timber & Cork Flooring a call to discuss all your flooring needs.

Ways to keep your hardwood floors looking lovely

Hardwoods are fashionable these days and have been for many years, wood is timeless.

Their rich natural beauty makes every home lovelier, when coupled with beautiful furniture and great interior design, your home will surely look its best!

Hardwood floors are:

  • Timeless
  • Classic
  • Hypoallergenic

What’s more, hardwood floors are a healthy option and free of VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) which give off chemicals into your home’s atmosphere. Plus, your floors will last for many years and not have to be replaced in a few years time.

Keep your floors, lovely

Maintaining your wood floor is not difficult, but there are a few things to remember.

Here are ways to keep your hardwood floors looking lovely through the years:

Clean your floors

Remove dirt and dust to keep your floors gorgeous. If you live in an extra dusty area, you might need to do it daily, especially when it is windy. You can use:

  • Dust mop
  • Soft bristled broom
  • Vacuum cleaner

These gentle cleaning tools will help you clean your floors with care. If there are any spills, quickly wipe it to prevent water damage. Quick action will prevent the water from damaging your wood finish.

Wash it up!

Use a small amount of water and make sure the water is warm and not hot. Remember, do not soak up your wood. This will damage your floors. When washing with water, follow up by dry mopping immediately with new clean mop or a clean rag. Make sure to completely dry your floors.

Protect your floors

If you want to keep your floors, beautiful, protect it against dust, dirt and scratches. Yes, scratches. You can do this by changing your habits a little, for example:

  • Instead of wearing high heels when entering your home, remove them at the door and slip into a cosy pair of slippers.
  • When removing furniture, be sure to put slidding mats or protection down under the furniture.
  • Place doormats especially in areas with heavy traffic to prevent scratches.

By following these simple tips you will keep your hardwood floors beautiful for years.

Your flooring needs replacement, or doing some extending? Contact D.I.Y Parquetry, Timber & Cork Flooring. We offer hardwood floor installation services to fit your requirements. Calls us now and get your free quote today.