Unfinished wood flooring is a popular choice with certain people who prefer to retain wood in its completely natural state. But when it comes to maintenance, the absence of the likes of a lacquer or an oil finish does mean that you need to be more respectful of your floor than you might otherwise need to be.
In order to help those of you who have chosen to leave your floor unfinished, we’ve put together this guide. You’ll see very quickly when you read it that in many ways, when it comes to maintaining unfinished wood flooring it’s more about what you shouldn’t do than what you should. So here are our Top Ten Tips:
- Don’t even be tempted just to attack your floor with lots of soap and water. If you do this, you could seriously damage the wood by inadvertently leaving too much moisture on and between the boards.
- Be gentle with your boards – they are naked after all! It’s never a good idea to set about cleaning an unfinished floor with any sharp or abrasive object. Such things could damage the surface of your floor and leave it looking sad and unloved.
- Be wary of products. Wood flooring cleaning products are (almost) as sophisticated as hair shampoos and choosing the right product means that you’ll get a great result. If you use a cleaning product intended for lacquered or oiled wood flooring on your unfinished floor, you could end up with ugly stains that are a nightmare to remove– so avoid this at all costs.
- Invest in a suitable mop. If you use a traditional cotton mop, the chances are you’ll leave a whole lot more water on your floor than you should. Using a moist microfibre mop with a light spritz of water from water spray, you shouldn’t have any issues.
- In a situation where you have stains that are virtually impossible to remove, you should give the stained area a very light sanding. However, while this is an effective way to remove stains, it’s not something you’d want to do too often, so reserve this option as a last resort.
- Get hoovering! Vacuuming is the very best way to keep your unfinished floor in top notch condition. Simply picking up all the dust and grime that’s sitting on the floor’s surface will help reduce the need for mopping and reduce the risk of damage significantly; so make sure you do it regularly.
- Focus…rather than thinking you need to tackle your whole floor to get it clean, think again. Focusing in on spills and dealing only with the area that’s dirty means that you can reduce your overall floor soaking significantly.
- Be vigilant. One of the biggest threats to unfinished wood flooring is spills. Being vigilant means that you can get on top of spills as soon as they happen. Clean them up with a soft cloth as soon as humanly possible and you won’t have to take corrective action too often.
- Invest in great door mats. Like most things in life, prevention is better than cure when it comes to maintaining your untreated wood flooring. The best way to prevent dirt and dust landing on and staying on your floor is by buying a top quality outdoor door mat as well as an absorbent and good-looking indoor one. When you’ve bought them, encourage people to use them and if you possibly can; get them to take their shoes off!
- Enjoy! Your floor is a natural and beautiful product; take time to enjoy it.
And of course, if all else fails, the great thing about unfinished wood flooring is that you can always decide to sand it and add a finish at a later date – what other flooring option gives you that level of control and flexibility? You’re right – none!
If you’re worried about your unfinished wood flooring and could do with an expert helping hand, why not get in touch? At Wood and Beyond we’re always happy to help.