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Wood Flooring Cleaning & Maintenance Guidelines

Looking after your lacquered floor

For you to get as much pleasure as possible from your lacquered floor, it’s important that you look after and maintain it correctly.

Longer life with lacquer

Lacquered floors are durable and easy to keep clean. A hardwearing lacquer is renowned for letting the true character of the wood shine through, by emphasising its living structure. Whilst it is incredibly hard  lacquer pre-finish is exceptionally thin and doesn’t conceal the structure of the wood, like many other competing lacquers do.

Cleaning lacquered flooring 

Your wood floor will benefit from daily ‘dry’ cleaning, i.e. vacuuming or sweeping. If necessary, you can wipe it clean with a well wrung-out mop or cloth. Ensure that the floor is only dampened slightly, and that the film of water formed dries within one minute. Do not leave any spillages on your floor, particularly if your wood floor is made from beech or hard maple, as these wood species are particularly sensitive to moisture. How often you have to clean your floor, in this way, will depend on how dirty it is and how often you use the room. 

A manufacturer approved cleaner will give you the best results. If you use a different cleaning solution, ensure that it is pH-neutral (maximum pH 8).

Stain removal — on the spot cleaning

If you end up with a stain on your floor, you can try removing it using a mild detergent (not containing ammonia) or you could try some washing-up liquid dissolved in warm water. If this doesn’t help, here are a few tips on how to remove difficult marks. But take care when using strong stain-removers, as using too much or rubbing too hard may affect the lacquer.  It is also good practice to check with the specific manufacturers recommendations prior to attempting any works.

 

Mark

   Remove with

Asphalt, rubber oil, shoe polish, soot and dried residues of chocolate or grease.

   Dilute alcohol, petroleum ether or similar.

Wax crayon, lipstick, felt-tip pens.

   Dilute alcohol.

Candle wax, chewing gum. 

   Freeze spray, or put a plastic bag of ice-cubes on the mark. Then scrape off carefully.

Give your matt surface a new lease of life

A Lacquer Refresher can give a new lease of life to a scratched matt floor surface, whilst also providing good protection. Before applying refresher, the floor should be free from polish, wax and other contaminants. Apply the refresher with a clean, soft cloth, sponge or polish applicator. If necessary, you can apply a second coat. Leave the refresher to dry for 30 minutes before replacing furniture. For floors in a domestic environment, one or two treatments a year is generally sufficient; one litre of refresher covers an area of approximately 60-70 m2.

Unlike floors that are maintained with polish or wax, a floor treated with a Lacquer Refresher can be re-lacquered. Remove all of the refresher, using an approved Remover, then sand the surface before re-lacquering.

Minor repairs 

Small surface scratches and scrapes can also be treated with a Lacquer Refresher. Slightly deeper scratches have to be treated first with a Touch-Up Lacquer or matt lacquer. Any small dents can be filled with a Touch-Up Lacquer. If the dents have cracked, apply new matt lacquer.

Deeper notches, cracks and scratches are best filled with a matching wood filler, then treated with a Touch-Up Lacquer or matt lacquer. If the damage to the floor is even more severe, damaged strips or boards may need to be replaced.

Renovation of lacquered wood flooring

If a small area of the floor lacquer has been scratched, under a chair for example, you can treat the floor with a Lacquer Refresher. The refresher conceals microscopic scratches. Before applying, vacuum the floor thoroughly and clean with an approved Cleaner to remove every trace of grease. If the floor is particularly dirty, you may have to clean it twice. Then you can apply the lacquer refresher.

Partial repair of multi-layer floors

If a small area has been damaged or worn through, or has to be repaired for any other reason, you may have to replace an individual board/boards.  This can be completed by an approved installer.

Total renovation of lacquered wood flooring

If your floor is very worn, or if it needs to be renovated for any other reason, it is best to machine-sand back to bare wood, so that you can apply a new surface treatment. Follow the lacquer manufacturer’s instructions.

Please note: Some floors with very thin surface veneers cannot be sanded. 

Things to bear in mind with lacquered flooring

  • Ideally, use doormats both inside and outside external doors to prevent dirt and grit being walked in, which can cause considerable wear.
  • Place protective pads under your furniture (but not metal feet which may leave marks and blemishes on a wood floor) to prevent unnecessary marks and scratches.
  • Wood flooring expands and contracts depending on the ambient climate. To prevent movement and damage to the floor, avoid exposing your floor to temperatures above normal room temperature. The relative humidity should be kept between 30 and 60%. Some wood species — such as beech and hard maple — are more sensitive to climate variation than others.
  • In rooms where water is often spilt, and where it may also be left on the floor, we recommend that an additional coat of lacquer is applied after installation. This seals the joints between the boards and gives better protection against water.
  • A floor can be walked on, carefully, approx. 8 hours after lacquering. Rugs and carpets can be laid on the floor a week after lacquering. Be careful not to spill water on the newly lacquered surface during the first week, as this can cause permanent stains.
  • Always refer to any specific manufacturers recommendations 

Looking after a nature oiled floor

For you to get as much pleasure as possible from your nature oiled floor, it’s important that you look after and maintain it correctly.

More beautiful with every new coat of oil 

Floors treated with nature oil are easy to maintain and keep clean, but they do need a little more care and should be oiled at regular intervals. In return, your floor will become more and more beautiful, and will take on a deeper tone, every time you treat it.

Looking after an oiled  floor in the home is easy and treatment with polish isn’t necessary. But it is important to look after your floor, otherwise it will start to show footmarks and take on a slightly greyish tone. Our pre-finished nature oiled floors are ready-treated for use in domestic environments.

Cleaning nature oiled flooring

Note: Before carrying out any maintenance or repair work, please check that your floor is a nature oiled floor and not a UV-oiled floor, which is also common in domestic environments.

Your nature oiled wood floor will benefit from daily ‘dry’ cleaning, i.e. vacuuming or sweeping. If necessary, you can wipe it clean with a well wrung-out mop or cloth. Ensure that the floor is only dampened slightly, and that the film of water formed dries within one minute. Do not leave any spillages on your floor, particularly if your wood floor is made from beech or hard maple, as these wood species are particularly sensitive to moisture. How often you have to clean your floor, in this way, will depend on how dirty it is and how often you use the room. A Manufacturer approved cleaner will give you the best results. If you use a different cleaning solution, ensure that it is pH-neutral (maximum pH 8).

Regularly cleaning your floor will prevent dirt from sticking to the oiled surface. However, unnecessary cleaning using wet methods will do more harm than good. This is particularly true over the first few weeks following maintenance with an approved Oil Refresher.

Stain removal — on the spot cleaning

Make sure that you clean up stains as quickly as possible, using water a manufacturer approved cleaner, or a neutral detergent. If this doesn’t work, the stain can be removed using a green nylon cloth, such as Scotch-Brite. After removing the stain, the cleaned surface may need to be touched up with a little extra Touch-Up oil before you apply an oil Refresher.

 

Mark

   Remove with  

Asphalt, rubber oil, shoe polish, soot and dried residues of chocolate or grease.

   Dilute alcohol, petroleum ether or similar.

Wax crayon, lipstick, felt-tip pens.

   Dilute alcohol.

Candle wax, chewing gum.

   Freeze spray, or put a plastic bag of ice-cubes on the mark. Then scrape off carefully.

Maintenance /repair of floors treated with nature oil 

The need for maintenance will vary, depending on a number of factors. Maintenance should be carried out more frequently if the floor is cleaned regularly with a damp cloth, because this will have an abrasive effect on the protective coating. Floors subject to greater wear, such as surfaces regularly walked on with outdoor shoes, will also require more frequent maintenance. Pale, porous wood species, such as beech and ash, will require more frequent maintenance than other wood species.

Once your floor becomes harder to clean, it is time to carry out maintenance.

In most cases, the floor will require maintenance twice in the first year and then once a year. Ideally, your first floor maintenance should take place straight after it has been laid. During the first maintenance treatment, the entire surface should be treated; if you do this immediately after the floor has been installed, you won’t need to move any furniture. This will also give additional protection against moisture penetration between joints.

If you aren’t able to perform initial maintenance straight away, but wait six to twelve months, the easiest way to carry out the procedure is to move all of your furniture to one half of the room. Carry out maintenance on the cleared half, wait one to two hours, then transfer furniture to the treated area and repeat the procedure on the rest of the floor. Subsequent maintenance can be carried out on the parts of the floor surface that really need it, such as the areas that are walked on.

The floor’s moisture resistance, durability and dirt-repellent properties will increase each time you maintain it.

Microscopic scratches on nature oiled  flooring 

If a small part of the floor has been scratched, under a chair for example, you can treat the area with a manufacturer approved Oil Refresher. This oil refresher will conceal microscopic scratches.

Partial repair of multi-layer floors

Worn or damaged surfaces can be sanded or planed back to bare wood. Finish off with sandpaper, grain size 220, and then apply a thick layer of manufacturer approved Touch-Up oil. After approx. 30 minutes, wipe off any oil that the wood hasn’t absorbed. Leave the renovated surface to dry overnight. Then apply a layer of Oil Refresher to the surface.

If a small area has been damaged or worn through, or has to be repaired for any other reason, you may have to replace an individual board/boards. This can be complete by an approved installer.

Total renovation of an oiled wood floor

Once your floor has been in use over a long period, you may need to renovate it and apply a new oil treatment: Apply a thick layer of Manufacturer approved oil to the surface. Then polish the floor with a polisher set to 150 rpm, so that the oil dissolves any dirt. Use a nylon cloth, such as a green Scotch-Brite, or coarser grade, scrape up the dirty oil with a rubber scraper and then wipe up the remaining oil. Attach a cloth to the disc on the polisher and polish the floor until it is as dry as possible. Work on small areas at a time, so that the dissolved dirt doesn’t have chance to dry. Once the oil has set, the floor can be walked on.

If renovating the surface treatment isn’t sufficient, your floor may need to be machine-sanded back to bare wood and then re-oiled. Contact your floor oil supplier for advice.

Please note: Some floors with very thin surface veneers cannot be sanded.

 

Things to bear in mind with Oiled floors 

  • Ideally, use doormats both inside and outside external doors to prevent dirt and grit being walked in, which can cause considerable wear.
  • Place protective pads under your furniture (but not metal feet which may leave marks and blemishes on a wood floor) to prevent unnecessary marks and scratches.
  • Wood flooring expands and contracts depending on the ambient climate. To prevent movement and damage to the floor, avoid exposing your floor to temperatures above normal room temperature. The relative humidity should be kept between 30 and 60%. Some wood species — such as beech and hard maple — are more sensitive to climate variation than others.
  • In rooms where water is often spilt, and where it may also be left on the floor, we recommend you treat the surface of your floor with an oil Refresher after installation. This seals the joints between the boards and gives better protection against water.
  • Allow the floor to dry for 1–2 hours before walking on it. Do not walk on the floor in outdoor shoes during the first 24 hours following treatment. Remember that it takes 1–2 weeks for an Oil Refresher to become fully dirt-resistant. Be careful not to spill water on the newly treated surface during the first week, as this can cause permanent stains.
  • Always refer to any specific manufacturers recommendations
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