OUR TIPS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR HARDWOOD FLOOR
OUR TIPS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR HARDWOOD FLOOR
Expert advice for an A1 interview!
FOR 70 YEARS IN THE INSTALLATION, SANDING AND FINISHING OF FLOORS!
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF HARDWOOD FLOORS
After applying varnish on your floor, it is recommended to wait 10 hours (latex or synteko finish) before walking on your floors and to wait 48 hours after the end of the work (for all finishes) before replacing your furniture.
The varnish applied on site will reach full hardening within 30 days. During this period, make sure to always put your furniture down and do not drag or slide it on your floors.
If you plan to do any painting or other work, be sure to remove the protective covers or carpets from the floor as soon as possible.
A varnished floor that is not well ventilated or that has been covered for too long could alter its appearance or harden.
After these 30 days, you can layout your decorative carpets and mats.
- One of the first things to do when your furniture is placed is to put felt pads underneath the furniture and under the legs of chairs. Check the pads periodically for wear and tear.
- Remove your high-heeled shoes at the entrance; the pressure exerted can easily reach 3500 pounds per square inch. Animals’ claws can scratch surfaces to varying depths.
- Throughout the year, it is essential to maintain the humidity level in the house between 45 and 60%. Wood is a natural material. During winter, with the heater drying out the air in the house, the wood is prone to shrink, causing gaps between the wooden slats. A humidifier will help retain an acceptable level of humidity. The spaces between the wood slats will close during the summer.
IN-SITU VARNISHED OR PRE-VARNISHED FLOORING
Hardwood is a healthy material that does not absorb or retain dust and mould. It is therefore an excellent long-term investment if it is well maintained, and the vibrant natural shades of hardwood will personalize your decor with elegance.
For on-site maintenance of your hardwood floors , it is recommended to :
- Wait 30 days before washing your floors with a mop of very well wrung warm or hot water. The best way to clean your floors is to use a cleaner called “le Savonneur” sold in big-box stores.
- • Do not use vinegar diluted in water to clean the floor, as vinegar acts as an abrasive and can dull the finish. Never use any cleaner, wax or oil-based detergent. These products can dull and damage the finish and leave a greasy film that will make the floor difficult to clean.
- Wet and wring out the mop before use. This will prevent the cleaner from being absorbed too deeply into the fibers.
- Excess liquid can seep into the floor and damage the wood. It is therefore important not to spray an excessive amount of cleaner or any other liquid on the surface of the floor. In addition, using a stained cover can leave marks on the floor. Simply replace it with a clean cover and machine wash the stained cover as directed. Do not use fabric softener during the washing or drying process.
THE EFFECT OF MOISTURE ON YOUR FLOOR
Wood is a living hygroscopic material that reacts to changes in ambient humidity.
Wood flooring manufacturers, manufacture floors from wood with moisture content (M.H.) varying from 6% to 9% and maintain a relative humidity (R.H.) of over 40% in factories and warehouses.
Moisture content below the saturation level is a joint function of relative humidity and ambient temperature. The equilibrium point of moisture content in wood is the point at which the wood neither absorbs nor loses moisture, and equilibrium is reached;
During the cold season, home heating dries out the ambient air and the hardwood floor reacts to this drop in moisture content by shrinking, causing gaps, cracks or flaking between the boards (see table below).
An air exchange can, in some cases reduce the humidity level if it is well controlled.
In order to maintain sufficient relative humidity (40% to 45%) in summer and winter, the right control measures must be taken. The higher the variation in humidity levels, the more your floor will react and its appearance may be significantly affected.
In order to avoid problems of this nature, it is recommended that you maintain a humidity level of 40% to 45% in your home.
To do so, the house must be equipped with a hygrometer (an instrument that measures the humidity level of the ambient air worth less than $30.00), as well as a humidifier and/or dehumidifier that will allow you to control the relative humidity (R.H.) level in the house.
The following table shows the variation in the width of a single 2 1/4″ wide wood floor board as a function of the relative humidity (R.H.) of the ambient air. For a width, an example of 108 inches, you have 48 strips of 2 1/4 multiplied by the variation factor.
|Relative humidity in the house||Width variation||Result of the 2 1/4″ lamella variation|
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Which floor finish is the most resistant?
Crystal was known for its great durability, but since September 2010, in order to meet environmental standards, the components of the crystal have been modified resulting in the new crystal being less resistant than before. PolyWhey 3500 latex is superior to today’s crystal, but has a lower gloss.
What product should I use to maintain my floors?
There are cleaning kits specially designed for hardwood floors. They are sold in large stores. For more information, please refer to the dedicated section above.
Do I have to completely empty my refrigerator, freezer and pantry before sanding and varnishing my floors?
With a PolyWhey or Synteko latex finish, you don’t have to do all that.
I removed the floorboard that covered my kitchen floor and there is a lot of glue, can I sand and varnish this floor?
When there is glue on the tile, it is always possible to have the floor sanded and varnished. However, it is recommended to use a latex finish for a good result. With the crystal finish, there is a risk, following the application of the crystal, that the glue will rise to the surface and spill a little on each side of the boards.
Unfortunately, we cannot know in advance whether or not there will be a reaction caused by the crystal finish. Besides, additional costs are to be expected for removing the glue.
My floor is currently stained, is it possible to have it re-stained in another colour afterwards?
It is always possible to re-stain an already stained floor. However, if the actual color is dark and your new color is light, you will probably still notice some of the old colors between the boards. The risks are much lower if the existing colour is pale.
If I want my floors to be more resistant, do I need an extra layer?
Contrary to the popular belief that the thicker it is, the stronger it is, there is no need to add an extra layer because it is the top layer that will be exposed to wear and tear. An extra coat will give a more uniform and slightly glossier finish.
Can I wax my floors to restore their shine?
NEVER! To give your floor a new shine, you can have a refreshing coat (screen) with the same finishing product that was applied during the initial sanding. Please note that during a refinishing coat, the result and the work are not guaranteed.
After sanding and varnishing my floors, how long do I have to wait before replacing the furniture?
PolyWhey latex or Synteko: you must wait 8 hours before walking on the floor and wait an additional 40 hours (48 hours in total) before replacing the furniture.
Note: Always place the furniture on the floor and do not drag or pull it by sliding it on the floor.
During the first 4 weeks, pay special attention to the floor, as the finish varnish has not yet fully hardened. Wait 1 month before replacing carpets, rugs and before washing your floors.
When I replaced my furniture, I unfortunately made a rather deep scratch. Is there a way to repair my floor?
Unfortunately, the only way to solve this problem is to re-sand and varnish the room where the scratch occurred. However, if it is a surface scratch (not felt when touching the nail), a polish and a top coat can correct the problem.
What causes the openings (cracks) between the boards and what should I do to avoid this?
During the cold season, home heating dries out the ambient air and the hardwood floor reacts to this drop in humidity by shrinking, causing gaps, cracks or flaking between the boards. In some cases, an air exchanger can reduce the humidity level if it is well controlled.
In order to avoid problems of this nature, it is recommended to maintain a relative humidity level of 40% to 45% in the house. To do this, the house must be equipped with a hygrometer (an instrument that measures the humidity level of the ambient air worth less than $30.00) and a humidifier that will allow the relative humidity level in the house to be controlled.