How To Keep Your Hardwood Floors Looking Like New

Firstly, before deciding on how to clean & maintain your wood floors you need to establish what type of finish is on your floors. Surface finishes can be Lacquered, Varnished, UV finished, Oiled, or Hardwaxed. Most surface finishes will have a shiny finish of some kind depending on whether the finish is Satin Matt or Matt.

It is worth remembering that when cleaning your wood floors you are cleaning the finish and not the actual wood so knowing about your finish is important.

Because the finish is so important, some manufacturers will not guarantee their product if you use anything other than their cleaners. If your floor is still under warranty, be sure you read the maintenance criteria before putting any cleaners on the floor. Generally, in our experience, such maintenance criteria rarely exist and one is left to fend for themselves. If in doubt get in touch with one of our experts and we will be happy to advise.

One trick employed by the experienced wood fitter to determine the condition of your wood floor is to put about 2 tablespoons of warm water on the most worn part of your floor. If that water soaks in and turns a dark colour, your floors require refinishing. If your floors soak up the water but leave a lighter spot, you probably need to begin considering refinishing. The third option, the water doesn’t soak in and just beads on the top, this means you are in good shape and should just do regular cleaning.

In principle, it is recommended you use SAICOS WASH CARE regularly. This allows the product to build up a dirt repellent finish which is also anti-slip and dries non-streaky. If finished with Hardwax oils every three to six months use SAICOS WAX CARE (available in colourless, and white) which will feed the wood and build up the anti-slip properties as well as help remove stubborn marks and refresh your wood floor.

Cleaning Your Floor

Steam Mops

We have had several enquires about using steam mops to clean wooden floors.

The answer is simple:

NO! Don’t do it

For a start water is wood’s worst enemy and under no conditions should a wood floor be steam mopped. In fact, many wood and laminate floor manufacturers will void your warranty if you use a steam mop and damage your floor.

We came across a great analogy :

“Would you use a handheld steam cleaner to clean your beautiful wooden dining table or your £25,000 Grand Piano? Of course not. So why use steam or water on your fabulous hardwood flooring?”

We will be happy to discuss this further if necessary – just get in touch.

Doing It Right

Cleaning wood floors is easy.

Regular maintenance includes sweeping with a soft bristle broom or dusting with a dry microfiber mop. If the floor has beveled edges use a vacuum.

Clean the floors periodically with a professional wood floor cleaning product (Wash Care).

Recommended Maintenance Schedule

Sweep or dust mop

Vacuum using the bare floor setting
Clean with recommended wood flooring cleaner
Intensive cleaning and Recoat with the appropriate finish

Do's and Don'ts

Other Considerations

Ultra Violet (UV) Light

UV light (which is part of sunlight) affects wood and also many wood finishes.

If it is exposed to significant amounts of bright light a wood floor will fade.

Part of the natural beauty of a hardwood floor is the fact that its appearance will change over time, but to stop any uneven patches on your floor be sure to move rugs around, and consider blinds on windows that receive plentiful sunlight.

Furniture & Shoes

Furniture legs (wood, metal, or plastic) may scratch your floor; furniture with metal or hard plastic casters on may dent it.

We recommend using non-marking rubber casters, barrel-type roller casters, and felt pads to protect the floor.

Beware of shoes, especially high heels. Grit can be caught in the tread of shoes, and heels with a worn protective cap will dent even the hardest of floors.

Food and Drink

It should go without saying, but don’t leave wet food or drinks on the floor for any period of time.

Wipe up any food or drink that gets spilled quickly.

If you need to use a moist cloth or mop for a sticky spill, use a paper towel or dry cloth to wipe dry afterward.

Maintenance Considerations

Do not use a vacuum with a revolving brush.

Never use excessive amounts of water only a slightly damp mop.

Micro Mops and wood floor cleaner are ideal, spray cleaner onto the mop.

Special polishes are available to protect the floor’s finish.

Oiled finishes may require more attention but are easier to spot repair

Long Term Floor Care

Hardwood floors can be sanded and new coats of oil/ lacquer applied, this is not usually required for many years with proper maintenance. New coats of oil can also be applied without sanding off the original finish.

Pour a few drops of water onto your floor if it forms beads the finish is fine.

If the water takes a little time to soak in and slightly darkens the wood, further coats of oil can be applied

If the water soaks into the wood quickly and leaves a dark spot, sanding and finishing may be required.

At least every couple of years completely clean the floor and if required apply another coat of oil or lacquer to the manufacturer’s instructions. ​