Few people would dispute that natural flooring looks great and feel wonderful underfoot. They work equally well in both modern and traditional homes and go with almost any decor. If however you are concerned about how to look after finishes like natural wood and stone to keep them looking beautiful, here are some tips for restoring, cleaning and maintaining natural flooring.
Natural Wooden Flooring
Taking the time to look after your wooden floor finishes will ensure that they keep their good looks and last a lot longer than they would otherwise.
Basic care that will help your floor remain beautiful includes removing shoes when walking on your wooden flooring to avoid damage by grit or stones and wiping up spills as quickly as possible to reduce penetration and staining by liquids. Protect the floor from furniture damage by using soft gliding casters or rugs and from pet scratches by keeping their claws trimmed.
You should also removed dust regularly to prevent it dulling the surface. You can remove everyday dust with a dry microfibre mop or cloth, and then use a vacuum cleaner with a suitable cleaning head once a week or so to give the floor a more thorough clean, followed with an appropriate floor mop and cleaner. You should avoid any kind of steam cleaning as it will eventually degrade the finish of your wooden floor.
To maintain oiled wooden flooring, you can remove small scuffs and stains by cleaning with a suitable pH balanced wood cleaner, then re-apply a thin coat of oil if necessary, wiping any extra off with a microfibre cloth. Using a maintenance product specifically for oiled wooden floors will also replenish the wood on a regular basis, keeping it looking bright and new. If your wooden floor is varnished, then follow the same instructions for cleaning, but use as little water as possible and avoid multi-purpose cleaners, which can damage the finish of a varnished floor. You can restore varnished finishes every few months using polishers specifically designed for this type of wooden flooring.
If your wooden floor is in need of more serious restoration, you may need to sand damaged areas lightly before replenishing with oil or varnish. It can be awkward to blend repairs in with surrounding areas, particularly with varnished floors, so it may be worth getting a specialist to take care of it if the damage is serious.
Natural Stone Flooring
The cleaning and maintenance of natural stone flooring is very similar to that for wooden floors. Stone floors that are properly sealed will be much easier to maintain, so if it has been over five years since your stone flooring was last sealed it should be redone.
As with wooden flooring, you should mop any spillages up immediately and keep stone floors dust free by sweeping or dry mopping regularly as well as vacuuming with a suitable cleaner head at least once a week. You can follow this by mopping with a pH balanced cleaner and then rinsing with clean water to remove any excess cleaner or dirt which can damage your flooring or leave a streaky finish. The water should also be wiped off with a microfibre cloth or similar to avoid leaving watermarks.
Making the effort to clean and maintain your natural flooring regularly in this way will help ensure that it looks good for years without the need for any more intensive repair or restoration.