How Do You White Wash Floorboards?
White washed timber floors create amazing results. Using simple acrylic white paint, white washed wood floors is relatively easy and inexpensive and will turn your floors into a beautiful feature.
If you have new floorboards laid, you probably won’t need to do a lot to make them look amazing. If that’s the case you only need to oil or seal them once they’ve been whitewashed and let the natural grain come through.
Feature Your Hardwood Floors With A White Wash
White washed floorboards looks stunning on old boards and bring light and space into a room; but they can be difficult to get perfect, so don’t stress if gaps or imperfections show up. That is part of the rustic charm of old wooden floorboards.
A whitewashed floor will pick up dirt and scuff marks rapidly, so remember to protect your floorboards with a topcoat or sealant that will be easier to clean than the whitewash itself.
An additional protective barrier with furniture will also help to minimise floor scuffing and scratching.
Can I Whitewash Darker Toned Hardwood Flooring?
Whilst it’s always possible to white wash dark hardwood timber, the finished product will be relative to what you have to work with from the start.
Should you be working with one of our typical Australian hardwood timber species such as Brushbox, Jarrah, Spotted Gum or perhaps even Turpentine, then you will need to reduce the natural colour of it first.
To do that, you’ll need to complete a process of bleaching the hardwood floorboards.
Hardwood floors can be bleached to remove the tannins, natural oils and waxes.
Before we take a look at the steps to whitewash your floors, lets first go over some tips to bleach the floorboards bringing them back to a neutral tone.
The safest and most efficient product for bleaching is a two part product named LiteniT which is a high strength, safe, VOC free, 2- component wood bleaching system. The 2 parts, both naturally occurring, bio-degradable oxidisers.
Use LiteniT to remove the natural colour from any bare wood. LiteniT will take out the red and lighten even the darkest timber.
Part (A) is the activator. Its job is to pull the tannin and natural colour from the wood to the surface. So expect the wood to go darker in colour when Part(A) is applied.
The following application process as described by Oak Timber Flooring is to:
Use a brush for small areas like furniture, bench tops or stairs as if you putting on a coat of varnish.
For larger areas cut in with a brush and use a string mop and bucket to apply as if you were washing the floor.
Don’t miss any spots and wipe off any areas that have pooled with product.
You just need to achieve a wet look. You will notice rather quickly as the tannin is drawn out he colour change can be quite dramatic depending on the species of wood.
Allow the’ surface to dry before applying Part (B).
Apply Part (B) Cut in around the edges with a cheap 90mm synthetic brush and be sure to apply plenty of product.
A medium house broom is ideal for applying the Part B as it works just like a big brush. Again, apply plenty of product and work it in with
the edges so not to miss anywhere. Try to keep to a spread rate of 10-12m2 per litre
Be careful with Part (B), as it is a strong grade H2O2 which is a oxidising agent and will burn your skin. So protect yourself with
chemical gloves and eye protection.
Application of Part (B) starts to bleach the extracted tannin and wood fibres, almost immediately.
You may notice some fizzing & foaming from the reaction and the colour changing rather quickly. This is normal.
Now you wait until the wood is dry.
Atmospheric conditions need to be factored in to the equation. Though usually overnight is required.
Once the wood is dry, that’s the level of bleaching achieved from that application. Some species of wood may require a repeat
of the process, if they are really dense like Grey Gum or notably high in tannin colour like Merbau.
Your next and very important step in the process, is cleaning the wood surface to remove all residues from the bleaching process. No coatings or finishes at all will stick or cure on the surface without cleaning.
Use fresh water and a small amount of detergent.
For floors, use the string mop and bucket and do the edges by hand with a cloth to get in close to skirting and corners. Once the wood is dry from
cleaning, this is the level of bleaching achieved.
Once the job is clean and you notice some missed spots, just apply some more Part(B) with a brush.
Leave for 60-90 mins, then clean off and allow to dry.
The bleached wood may be finished with any wood washes, stains, waxes, oils and water based clear coatings you prefer.
It is not advised to use solvent based coatings as they will turn yellow immediately.
Blackbutt Flooring – A look at the ever popular light toned hardwood?
The heartwood in Blackbutt can be any colour from golden yellow to fade brown. Sometimes, some pink may permeate in.
Blackbutt has a straight grain and even texture and a result, it is quite popular for interior applications.
Although Blackbutt can be painted or stained, we believe it’s best finished sanded & polished to show of it’s natural characteristics.
Blackbutt is a versatile timber that is used for many domestic applications, both interior and outside. These include framing, poles, wood decking and the ever popular interior timber flooring.
Blackbutt flooring is a premium flooring options and is one of the highest value timbers predominantly grown in the north coast of NSW, called the Northern Region.
It is also common in and around coastal forests, from southern Queensland to southern NSW. Plantations are established in Australia and many overseas countries.
Australia’s vast forests are carefully, conservatively handled to ensure an accountable amount of wood is gathered. Timber utilises a fairly small quantity of energy throughout processing compared to other building materials like metals and concrete, the timber itself is a carbon storer and has a long working life.
Because it is extremely durable it can be sawn and dressed in a much larger range of sizes upwards of 125mm to 130mm wide and around 14mm in thickness.
It’s this durability and ability to be dressed to such a thickness make sit one of the most popular choices for timber floor coverings.
Blackbutt timbers are chosen for their lightness of colour. There are many different species of hardwood with richness of grain that makes them a popular hardwood.
In NSW, we are very lucky to have access to such an excellent supply of rich coloured hardwood. Though many homeowners will make the choice for the darker tones, many individuals have actually desired to go to something with lighter tones while retaining the warmth and charm of hardwood.
This is where Blackbutt has become a favourite. There is a richness in the tone which is actually shown to be extremely popular. The New South Wales range tends towards pale colours and pinks, whilst the Western Australian range tends towards pale colours and light browns and gold.
Blackbutt timber has lots of natural features including:
– Insect trails
– Gum Veins & gum pockets
– Surface monitoring
– Burrs (aka burls).
The Janka Dry Solidity = 9.1
Blackbutt floorboard dimensions range is:
– 180×20.5 mm
Blackbutt flooring is available in the following grades:
Classic grade – Is primarily clean boards with very little natural features. This grade offers a more consistent, tidy, sophisticated appearance.
Standard & better grade – has a larger variety of features having mixed cleaner boards and moderately featured boards. It can be thought of as the leading 50% cleanest boards.
Australiana grade – has a moderate quantity of natural features. Australiana grade gives off the more natural side of the hardwood species.
Natural grade – has the highest amount of natural features. A rough, rustic appearance that flaunts the hardwood in its rawest natural appeal. As a rule of thumb, you can anticipate at least one significant natural feature in every board. This grade is more often known as ‘rustic grade’.
Overall, Blackbutt flooring is an excellent option in Newcastle for those who need a durable and long-lasting floor particularly for growing families. Blackbutt flooring also has a high resistance to excessive wear and tear, which makes it a good choice for property investors providing a high-end feel in their properties.
The floor boards come in a variety of neutral, easy-to-match colours; this makes it particularly easy for homeowners to retrofit the flooring into their home’s existing décor.
If you think Blackbutt flooring would be a good fit for your home, contact Freedom Flooring by clicking on the contact us image below and complete our enquiry form.
Can You Run Hardwood Flooring Parallel To Your Joists?
The direction in which your hardwood flooring is laid is generally up to you.
There are some cases where technical specs need to be followed, however in most cases a choice of direction can be made.
In cases where hardwood timber is laid directly onto joists (subfloor structure), then you will have to lay them at right angles for obvious reasons, leaving you with no choice.
So the first thing you’ll need to think about is the direction of your floor joists.
Where plywood is screwed directly to floor joists as a barrier between the hardwood floor boards, in most cases it’s still the conservative option to go perpendicular across the flooring joists.
Should you decide to go parallel to the joists, then you might end up with areas of floor covering that aren’t totally supported.
Over time, this can result in the plywood sagging in between the joists, and if the plywood drops, it could possibly cause your hardwood floor to twist and buckle causing major issues and unpleasant aesthetics.
If your laying floorboards over particle board, or concrete slab with battens or any other type of core solid structure, then you have the option of which direction.
Newer residential homes or those typically built later than 1990, are subjected to more rigorous building regulations. Newer houses have more level sub-floors that are required by code to meet minimum deflection scores.
The directions you lay hardwood floors in a new house is based more on visual and style factors as opposed to the directions of the joists. In these instances the wood floor planks are normally laid in parallel to the longest run or wall in the installation.
It’s always best practice to inspect the sub-floor first to identify the levelness and evenness.
Any sagging or bounce across the sub-floor will be noticeable. Where there are instances of this you’re going to have to either repair the subfloor structure or lay the floorboards perpendicular to achieve greater structural strength.
Try to avoid altering directions in your flooring in various spaces, and do your finest to prepare the layout prior to starting your floor installation.
Our Top Tips For Determining The Laying Direction Of Your Floorboards
Front door way or long hallway
If you’re laying a hardwood floor near your front door or through a long hallway, you may want to consider laying it so the boards run perpendicular to the entrance, if you can. Why? Laying the boards in this way allows them to flow naturally with traffic and just looks better.
This space is a short hallway leading into a family room to merge the two spaces together and to lead the way into the family room they have run the flooring along the length of the hallway.
If you’re laying your new floor in one particular room, like a bedroom, for instance, it’s wisest to lay the floorboards parallel to the longest wall in the room to give the illusion of a larger space.
Where possible, always begin in the corner furthest away from the door. Doing so will leave the last board at the door which can be cut in and around for a perfect fit.
In an open concept space a focal point is necessary and here they chose to run the flooring leading through to the grand fireplace
Natural Light Source
You might want to consider running the boards in the direction of the light if you’re installing your new hardwood flooring in a room with lots of natural light.
That’s due to the fact that if you run them perpendicular to the light, the light will run throughout each individual joint, and any minor variation with the boards will appear and cast a small shadow.
Running your flooring in the same direction as the light removes this problem and makes for a clean-finished flooring.
In this room the decision was made to run the flooring the length of the room there by accentuating the natural light and broadening the overall space.
You can opt to lay your floor on the diagonal or choose a fascinating pattern like a herringbone.
When done properly, patterns can add depth and dimension to a room and are undoubtedly beautiful when finished.
Patterns in hardwood flooring, especially complicated ones like herringbone, truly require a specialised floor installation company lay, so it’s most likely not a smart choice if this is your first go-round at laying a wood floor.
Striving for that cool, calm and collected Scandinavian look? Well it seems you’re not alone.
When you think Scandinavian style, you typically think picturesque mountain lodges featuring simplicity, minimalism and functionality.
The light, bright interior styling we associate with the Scandinavian style is a great way to give your home a fresh, clean feel.
Australians have fallen in love with the trendy contemporary look of a stylish and uncluttered design.
Whilst functionality and simplicity are at the forefront of design, Scandinavian styles aim to maximise natural materials and light.
Timber floors that are naturally light in colour or perhaps have been bleached, lime-washed, oiled, waxed or low sheen white brush stroke painted reflects light well, and its those timber grains and tones bring warmth, texture and feel to the natural outdoor world.
Where to start?
…Pale white is the ideal colour tone for a Scandinavian design.
A floor in a light hue creates an optical illusion of space in rooms with ceilings lacking in height.
The natural characteristics like knots and cracks in Pine timber floor boards when lime washed produce a lively and elegant ambiance in a contemporary manner.
Choosing a blank canvas allows you to create an atmosphere of simplicity and serenity. By choosing light colours as your canvas, you can easily decorate the space with personal mementos and lamps and furniture emphasised by durability, beauty, functionality, and natural forms.
Add character with splashes of colour using pillows, lamps graphic art or designer accessories in vivid tones.
Not sure which Nordic style floor to go for? Why not view our collection of some stylish Scandinavian style wood flooring.
If you’re looking for a new timber floor and considering a Scandinavian style, reach out and speak to us at Freedom Flooring.
We know the questions to ask to help you reach a conclusion about what specific style of Nordic floor would best work for your home, your lifestyle and your budget. Our priority is that you get the best timber floor for your home.
White And Hardwood Is One Of The Trendiest Combinations For Kitchen Designs in 2018
Hardwood, as a natural floor option, can add warmth to any home space.
There are however many possible ways to incorporate it within a kitchen. Since there are many types of hardwood to choose from, you can create a very versatile and unique design for your own kitchen.
The combination of white cabinetry and hardwood is limitless. You can do it in so many different ways to create a unique style that reflects your personality. The best part about this colour combination is that it is suited to any style. From minimalist, to modern, Scandinavian or perhaps even rustic.
In this article, let’s check out some of the best kitchens with wood floors and white cabinets that may inspire you to choose such a design for your kitchen too.
White and rustic wood combine to create a space that looks modern yet has a certain classic appeal.
A sweet and simple kitchen with plenty of light elements, tucked away beneath a high ceilings.
Here’s another kitchen that utilises traditional wood panelling for the cabinetry rather than modern varieties. The charisma is evident even from a distance.
Add styling, a large rustic timber table and furniture to inject some personal style.
A beautiful deep dark hardwood floor contrasts these cabinets. This panelling is a little more traditional, yet the space is still a very contemporary feeling.
Love the dark red colour tones in these high gloss floors. All the lines of the floor and cabinetry are symmetrical plus– oven and range-hood is a great focal point! Beautiful Caeserstone countertops.
Add lighting, some small pieces of artwork and furniture to inject some personal style.
Stunning classic kitchen. I like how the white contrasts these polished floor boards. Beautiful pendant lighting that is perfectly to scale.
Though there isn’t too much going on in this kitchen, we love the clean look and simplicity of it. It looks effortlessly cool with the white cabinets and bench tops while the hardwood flooring continues the flow and style of the home.
The kitchen features stunning white stone countertops and a centre island with long breakfast bar along with a dining nook on the side. The character of the rich hardwood floors create as very contemporary kitchen.
This modern white kitchen with wood floors offers contemporary white cabinetry and island bench bar featuring a stylish and contrasting hardwood timber surround.
Your Dream White Kitchen With Hardwood Floors
Do you always dream of a white-themed kitchen, but not sure where to start?
Well, now you have some ideas to work with. White kitchen cabinets can create the theme you want for the kitchen. Of course, it all depends on how well you match them up to other elements in the room. We have provided tips for mix and matching above.
With so many styles and shades of hardwood flooring to complement your white kitchen cabinets, it can be confusing knowing what to go for.
If you need any help buying or installing hardwood timber flooring, feel free to reach out for helpful tips from us at Freedom Flooring.
Welcome to our gallery featuring bold dark hardwood floor spaces with rich colour tones.
Dark hardwood colours tend to absorb light thus making a room look smaller so should your home have large living rooms or kitchen spaces, then you are in the enviable position to lay down dark hardwood flooring to give a sleek stylish look.
Whilst you may be torn between the idea of going bold with a stylish dark hardwood floor or just going with the flow of staying neutral, we think our feature gallery of dark hardwood spaces will give you the inspiration needed.
After all, dark hardwood floors do indeed look sleek.
Take a look through our gallery to see how you can incorporate rich dark hardwood floors into your home.
Our selection is full of different styles and colours, so no matter your personal preference, we’ve got something here for you!
This quaint little kitchen has a beautiful natural hardwood flooring that matches the deep colour in the bench-tops. The cream coloured cabinets give this beautiful space a pleasant contrast.
Deep rich hues in this dark wooden flooring creates a beautiful contrast with the light door drapes. Leading out onto another divine outdoor space, these wide plank dark floorboards add a rustic and traditional look.
This elegant home has exquisite decor with splashes of light grey and white. The dark hardwood flooring brings a sharp contrast with the tones of grey in the furniture.
This kitchen has a very polished unique hardwood floor with touches of grey in it’s hues. The dark colouring contrasts with the light walls and cabinets though we really do love the turquoise island bench with light contrasting lighter bench top.
These ultra-dark hardwood floors seem almost black and contrast beautifully with the white walls, cabinetry, and fireplace. To add touches of elegance and style between the two are shades of grey and rich velvet green in the heavily textured furniture.
These smooth, polished dark red / brown toned hardwood floors are a more traditional width and go perfectly with the sharp white cabinetry and light blue island bench panelling.
This much more luxurious living room has wide-plank wood floors stained nearly black. Small natural accents, like the floor coverings under the dining table and sitting room, add a bit of life to the room and define each space.
This utterly contemporary though modestly sized kitchen is a great example of how dark hardwood floors and contrasting dark kitchen cabinets can still make a room feel spacious.
Dark wood floors can be incredibly elegant and sophisticated, bringing richness and polish to a space. When paired with the right furnishings and colours, these spaces can be complete with the addition of crisp white walls and perhaps some greenery for that added touch.
Interested in going bold with your next hardwood floor restoration?
Click the image below to and contact Freedom Flooring today!
Bamboo and traditional hardwood flooring have there own unique appeals.
Hardwood flooring is one of the most preferred flooring material for new home construction and renovations. Held in high regard for its exceptional unique aesthetics and warmth, hardwood timber is highly versatile and sustainable.
In recent times though, there has been a shift in trends as the popularity of Bamboo continues to rise.
Bamboo typically used for screens and partitions and perhaps even more common in the manufacture of furniture, it has become a useful product for timber flooring.
In general, whilst it’s commonly thought to be a timber product, Bamboo is in fact a tree like grass. Don’t be fooled with it being a type of grass though, as it’s often harder than the more common hardwood timber species such as oak.
When comparing hardwood & Bamboo flooring, the main point to understand is the fact Bamboo on its own is a weak material.
Bamboo flooring materials need to go through a manufacturing process to create a product that can withstand to high volumes of human traffic, furniture and other points of impact, wear and tear.
Is Bamboo Hardwood Flooring Durable?
Bamboo comes in two types: strand and horizontal. For residential and commercial properties experiencing high foot traffic, it is preferred that strand woven Bamboo be used for its high durability.
Andrew Miller suggests Bamboo flooring is widely sold all over the world because it is a eco friendly floor product compared to any other hardwood. Another great advantage is its high durability and stability. Many people have their doubts over how bamboo floors are strong and durable.
After all Bamboo is a grass, it is very soft and thin…
Bamboo floor strength and durability does not come from its original bamboo stalk. To achieve the Bamboo flooring product we all know, Bamboo is cut into strips and laminated into floor planks.
These laminated bamboo planks have a very high density than most of its hardwood species counterparts. Since there is no real test or data points for durability, we can use hardness and density testing and data to arrive at a conclusion of durability.
One such hardness test is the Janka rating.
Strand woven Bamboo has a very high Janka score which is higher than most hardwood species, like oak and ash. Solid bamboo is 6.5 which is still higher than all regular hardwoods.
What Is The Hardest Type Of Bamboo Flooring?
Strand woven bamboo flooring is by far the hardest and most durable type of bamboo flooring.
SS House Tips suggested that Natural Bamboo is harder than Red Oak, where as carbonised Bamboo is closer to Black Walnut which is a soft hardwood. Strand woven Bamboo is the hardest type of Bamboo ranking 250% harder than Red Oak on the Janka Hardness Scale.
Strand woven Bamboo is similar in hardness to Brazilian Cherry.
With it’s extremely strong and durable characteristics, Strand woven bamboo flooring is ideal for both domestic and commercial properties.
Is bamboo flooring scratch resistant?
In all reality, any hardwood or Bamboo flooring is susceptible to scratches and minor scuff marks from everyday wear and tear. Hardwood species with a lower Janka hardness rating than Bamboo can actually perform better.
One feature of Bamboo is that it does not possess even hardness qualities across its surface and is more likely to scratch and dent just as much or perhaps slightly more than any other hardwood floor type.
Purchasing quality products from reputable suppliers and floor installation companies such as Freedom Flooring is the only sure way you are going to end up with a strong and durable floor that meets the demands of everyday foot traffic, pets and furniture.
Mark D. Elwell, owner and operator of Bamboo Flooring Hawaii “There are some stores selling very cheap, immature bamboo flooring that is coated with only a few coats of finish that are unfortunately giving bamboo flooring a bad name,” he says.
“We tell people you get what you pay for, and make sure you are comparing apples to apples when you are buying your flooring. Be educated, and ask about the bamboo maturity, finishes, and warranties.”
What Is Strand Bamboo Flooring?
As already mentioned, Bamboo is a type of grass, not actual wood. Because of this, bamboo is highly fibrous meaning it needs to go through a manufacturing process for it to be considered a flooring product.
Ordinary manufacturing methods laminate these fibres one on top of the other in a horizontal direction.
Strand woven bamboo flooring is far more durable than vertical or horizontal bamboo flooring because the cross-hatched strands act in concert to hold the material together.
Strand Bamboo flooring is typically made by slicing mature bamboo poles or culms into strips. These culms are crosscut to length and then sliced into strips depending on the width desired before being woven together. To remove starch and sugars the strips of bamboo are boiled in a solution of boric acid or lime.
The resulting block of strand woven bamboo is then milled into strand woven bamboo flooring planks with tongues and grooves.
When bamboo is made into strand woven bamboo flooring the anti-microbial properties of bamboo remain thus making bamboo flooring safer and healthier than hardwood flooring because not only is it allergen free but it also fights off pathogens.
What Is The Thickness Of Bamboo Flooring?
Strand woven bamboo flooring has various thickness because of its unique manufacturing process.
Strand woven bamboo is sliced from bamboo block which is pressed with bamboo strips. 14mm is the standard thickness, but we also can slice bamboo block into 12mm, 10mm flooring to fit the customers needs.
Strand woven bamboo is very flexible on the thickness.
Hardwood vs Bamboo Conclusion
Bamboo comes in two types: strand and vertical. Most people in the industry say the strand stuff is much stronger than traditional bamboo flooring. “On a hardness scale a good quality bamboo in the horizontal cut is around 1,450 p.s.i. on a Janka Hardness Scale.
The stranded bamboo is compressed and bonded with resins so is over 3,000 p.s.i. Strand woven bamboo is sold frequently for high traffic situations such as retail stores, restaurants, galleries, etc.
But bamboo also has drawn attention for its looks, though for a time only natural and caramelised tones were available. Today, manufacturers provide a large range of Bamboo flooring choices with a multitude of stained options and textures including hand-scraped products that look like hardwood.
Hardwood, of course, has nothing to prove. Hardwood has built a reputation for being a high quality and aesthetic pleasing floor product.
Both Hardwood and Bamboo have assumed a high profile in residential home building and commercial properties. Whilst Bamboo is still relatively new to Australian builders and householders, hardwood is very familiar to everyone. It’s just as unique and durable as bamboo, and just as versatile and green.
Simple ways to protect your hardwood floors from scratches
Hardwood timber flooring has long been a classic home feature because of the sense of warmth and character it brings. Each type of hardwood brings its own elegance and uniqueness.
Hardwood is a timeless choice and when cared for properly can last a lifetime.
Although its inevitable hardwood floors will take extra effort in cleaning and protecting, they’re certainly worth the trouble. With any home though hardwood timber flooring is prone to accumulated wear and tear. Complete floor restorations can be expensive and you want to conserve your investment for as long as possible.
The potential for damage is high without the proper steps and precautions.
Initial steps when designing your home to prevent the inclusion of dust, dirt and other particles can help to reduce floor damage.
For instance a tiled mudroom or entrance area with built in benches for storing shoes will minimise the amount of unwanted particles spreading throughout your floor spaces.
Other factors are pets…
Dog claws will mark and scratch the floorboards easily. If your beloved family pet is indoors, make sure to regularly trim back its paws, and provide rugs or beds for them to lie on.
If you are one to care and protect your hardwood floors but not quite sure what to do, then these simple tasks broken down into 3 main categories can help you protect them for many years to come.
Protecting Your Timber Floors From Moisture
Common home cleaning practices involve running the mop over to pick up small amounts of grime.
For vinyl, tiles and other types of hard flooring this is a quick and easy method.
Unfortunately for hardwood flooring whilst it would be quick and easy also, the process will actually damage your hardwood floors.
Obviously during mopping, your using water which can seep into the hardwood fibres.
This in turn will eventually warp, twist and swell over time potentially damaging the floorboards permanently.
Other considerations for moisture control include design choices and placement of hardwood flooring.
High moisture areas including bathrooms, laundry’s and ensuite’s are not suitable for hardwood floors however it’s very popular to see kitchens and entry ways with this flooring.
Excess water from your sink, dishwasher and other appliances can seep into the floorboards.
Water can also track into the grains of the timber at entry ways from people entering with wet shoes.
Where hardwood flooring is used in kitchen or entryways, try to place down rubber mats or other moisture absorbing types.
Considering placing shoe racks at the entryways to reduce the spread of moisture when walking through your home.
Cleaning Hardwood Floors Without Damaging Them
As previously mentioned, never use wet mop to clean or scrub down the surface.
Where heavy grime exists, use dry cleaning methods followed by light mopping quickly followed by a drying off process with towels or other moisture absorbing materials.
Other methods of cleaning include:
- Rolling up rugs and area coverings before taking to outdoor areas to shake off and vacuum.
- Sweep high traffic areas regularly with a soft bristled broom followed by a electrostatic mop to pick up light dust particles.
Small dust particles, dirt and other types of debris can scratch, dent and mark wood floors when they’re stepped on.
- Vacuum the floor on a regular basis with a hardwood flooring specific vacuum cleaner.
There are typically two types of vacuum cleaner heads…types for carpet and types for hardwood floors.
Make sure to use the hardwood flooring attachment as its designed to be more gentler on wood floor boards.
- Try to avoid using cleaning agents or products.
Whilst there are many products claiming to be safe for hardwood floors, many of them can actually cause harm to the surface if used repeatedly.
The reason being they tend to eat at or strip away the top coating and turn the finish shine dull.
Seek professional help from our team at Freedom Flooring is your unsure what types of cleaning products are suitable for your hardwood floors.
Protect From Furniture
The source of your hardwood floor damage will mostly be contributed by furniture and daily use.
For instance furniture tends to be heavy and can move around on the floor boards. This leads to deep scratches and dents.
When moving furniture around, be sure to lift them completely up trying not to slide them. A tip here is to use towels or any other soft material under the furniture feet.
For large spaces such as dining and living room, consider using rugs or floor runners. They add character and style, segment the space from other rooms, whilst protecting your floors in high use areas.
When choosing rugs and floor coverings, consider natural rubber or felt underlined.
It’s highly recommended to place felt pads on the bottom of chairs, sofas, and tables to help eliminate scratches and scuff marks that can occur when furniture is being used.
Felt or natural rubber pads can be purchased in stick-on versions or tap-in style, and they’re an easy and inexpensive method to help protect your floors. For office spaces, also consider using rubber mats for computer chairs to sit on. Castor wheels can damage hardwood floors from the constant movements the wheels make.
So What Types Of Furniture Protection Is Available
A popular form of chair leg protection is the furniture pad. Put simply, these are pads made of different types of material that are put on the bottoms of your chair legs.
There are different types of furniture pads, each offering different levels of cost and protection.
These types of pads offer high levels of floor protections, as they’re very secure since they are attached to the furniture leg with either a small nail or staple.
Care should be used with the installation of tap-on/staple pads though, because if they’re not properly installed, the nail or staple may be exposed to harm your floor.
Perhaps the most common, these are peel and stick pads that can be found at any hardware store.
They are typically made of felt or rubber and are the least expensive.
The downside is they tend to peel of after some time as the adhesive bond is reduced.
DIY solutions can be used for this style. With the use of a hot glue gun, felt, carpet cut-offs, leather and other soft material can be attached.
Felt Pads – While felt furniture pads can be bought in store, any thick felt material will do the job. Cut the felt into the correct size and glue on.
Towels – Old towels can be cut into pads, making sure they are of appropriate thickness.
Leather – Leather is another soft, durable material that can be cut to size and made into a good furniture pad.
These rubber, or material pads are typically custom made to fit over a chair leg.
The most expensive option of the three, but the long term benefits are they wont have a problem of falling off like a self-adhesive pad or have the potential to scratch your floor like a poorly installed tap-on/staple pad.
Here are some DIY solutions for that can help if you have these materials lying around.
Regardless of which type of pad you buy or make, make sure that your furniture is level on the floor. If it’s not, it can scratch the finish or make gouges on your floors.
So that’s our guide to protecting your hardwood floors from damage.
These simple steps should go a long way in making sure your hardwood floors look pristine for many years to come.
Satin or matte floor finish – What type of gloss level is most stylish?
To many, the choice of floor finish would not be a major factor.
The fact is, depending on your lighting and hardwood type, the floor finish can have a great effect on the overall look.
So with that in mind, whilst there are 4 different levels of hardwood floor finish sheens:
Matte, Satin, Semi-gloss and Glossy…
In this article where going to look at the two trending finishes of late – matte vs satin!
So what exactly do we mean by matte or satin finish.
Well the finish is commonly called “sheen level or gloss level” and you can consider this to be how shinny your finished flooring surface is.
Various people make different choices for many reasons.
Typically a sheen or gloss level is measured by how much light is mirrored off the flooring from a particular angle. Standards apply a 60 degree angle as this would be how a person would view the floor whilst standing.
Many considerations need to be taken when choosing your sheen level, however the glossier you go, means extra light will be mirrored off the floors.
It’s crucial to understand that different wood species will certainly produce various sheen levels.
Refined variances in shine level can be the result of differing timber species and the colour tones.
The toughness of the timber surface is not affected with the choice in sheen level, though its more attributed to an aesthetics choice.
Taking a look now at Matte and Satin Finish!
Satin Timber Floor Finishes
With ease of care and a middle ground in having luster, the Satin finish seems to be one of the most popular of late with around 35-40% sheen level.
It will provide the room both a contemporary and also traditional feel.
The surface is easy to tidy. Importantly, satin reveals the scrapes, blemishes as well as the dirt much less. So, it’s less complicated to keep and cleanse, as well as, it has the tendency to look newer much longer.
Spreading the light evenly across the floors, a Satin finish has the unique ability to give off an appearance the floors are new and fresh.
The majority of decorators advise this sheen degree, as well as my greater end clients have the tendency to strongly prefer satin surface. A satin coating is usually used with traditional colours, as well as a smooth structure.
The trend over the last few years has actually been towards reduced gloss finishes as they are extra functional, specifically for households with kids as well as pets. They aid hide the regular damage from strolling, chair movements, toys and high heels.
Here are some examples of satin finished timber floors:
Matte Timber Floor Finishes
A matte coating has little sheen surface around 10-25% luster.
The consensus amongst interior stylists feel that the matte floors look plain with this sort of surface so it would be beneficial to compliment the interior with contrasting tones.
There are exceptions to those that highly prefer this flat coating as it provides a clean and sleek appearance.
Perfect for kids rooms or within high traffic spaces, a matte finish floor will be certainly far better able to conceal scruffs, scratches, dirt and particles. This feature makes maintenance for matte floors extremely low.
A classic style with a little bit of retro, large barn styled planks with a matte finish is a best example of an application that functions perfectly with this sort of wood floor finish.
A matte coating is additionally a great means of accomplishing a classic, high build flawless floors bringing out the natural beauty such as the casual refinement of Scandinavian styled floor covering.
When a flooring is purposely wire-brushed or painted for a lets say a retro finish, this coating is nearly always used as it would reflect minimal amounts of light.
Ultimately if you desire a hardwood floor that will stay looking new and fresh much longer and is very easy to keep clean or perhaps not show up scratches, then consider a matte surface finish for your floors.
Here are some examples of matte finished timber floors.
So what to do if your floors are putting off too much light or showing up scratches?
The excellent news is that you could generally do a sand and re-coat to change the luster level of your floor.
Satin is by far the preferred option for the Newcastle area. The majority of our customers particularly ask for this surface finish.
Freedom Flooring finds this easiest to do if you have strong hardwood flooring boards in great shape.
We can take a small layer off your boards during the sanding process to bring the boards back to a natural surface, then apply our preferred Satin or Matte coating.
For more information, please contact us via clicking on the image below.
Tips to drying out your hardwood floors after water damage
Polished hardwood timber flooring provides a classic and sophisticated look to any home. A beautiful and elegant hardwood floor can easily become ruined in the event of water inundation.
It would be normal for many to consider their hardwood timber flooring damaged beyond repair and in need of replacement after such water damage, but the fact is by taking the necessary steps early on you can eliminate the need to replace them.
Taking to the task of cleaning up the water and drying out the floors can drastically help decrease the chance of cupping.
Cupping is formed when there is a moisture imbalance across the profile of the timber boards. Moisture in the air from humidity is absorbed into the timber and the floor boards will swell and contract as the moisture level changes.
When there is an excessive amount of water laying on top of the boards, there is a real chance the boards will swell to a point that they crush each other causing them to deform and cup at the edges.
So whether you have a major flood or just experience a localised water spill from say a failed washing machine or dishwater, the need for a quick response using our below tips is paramount.
If you think your floors can be dried out and refreshed rather than having to replace them, then there is special drying equipment that forces airflow around and through the surface of the floor to release moisture.
There are several steps that need to be followed in order to dry out re-use the original hardwood boards.
Types of hardwood timber flooring that can be dried and repaired
Most common hardwood floor boards can be dried, sanded and recoated.
These types of boards are solid natural timber that have a natural moisture content. These can vary between types of timber, however the fact remains they can accept some level of water before being permanently damaged.
The types of timber flooring that typically cannot be dried out and repaired are engineered and laminate boards.
Engineered floor boards have layers of plywood with a top layer of hardwood. The plywood will eventually swell and rot when exposed to large amounts of water.
Laminate flooring is simply a covering that will bubble and distort.
Ok so our recommended steps for drying out your hardwood floors:
1. Remove all items from the water effected rooms
Furniture and rugs will soak up water and retain the moisture until dry.
The moisture will seep into the boards, so you’ll need to remove all furniture items and rugs as soon as possible.
Getting access to all surface areas will allow a complete and thorough drying process.
2. Mop up excess water laying in low areas
Remove all excess water laying in low spots. Depending on the amount of stagnate water you can use a mop or a proper wet vacuum.
The next stage is to scrub down the entire floor surface to remove any contaminates. So be sure to remove as much as the flood water as possible.
3. Scrub down the entire floor surface
Cleaning the floor surface will remove any contaminates from the flood water that may cause damage at a later stage.
Contaminants can sit in the pours of the timber and be trapped causing mould to develop.
Wash down and scrub the floor surface with a mould removal based disinfectant solution to remove all contaminants.
After cleaning the entire hardwood floor surface, mop and/or wet vacuum the area making sure to remove all traces of moisture.
4. Completely dry out the timber flooring
As we’ve already covered, hardwood timber is specifically susceptible to mould growth when the moisture content is abnormal. It’s therefore important to ensure the hardwood floor boards and floor structure are completely dry.
The most efficient system at drying out the floors is one by using a commercial dehumidifier and blowers and large fans.
The dehumidifier sits in the centre of the room/s whilst the fans pointed at the floor boards directs airflow around which boosts the efficiency of the dehumidifier.
Leave this system setup for 24 – 48 hours.
To allow the dehumidifier to extract the moisture, make sure to open windows only in dry weather conditions.
5. Inspect for damage and mould
Only once the floors are completely dry can you check for damage and mould growth.
If the water was left lying on the floor boards for too long, they would have swell and cupped after a couple of days drying out.
Check all boards for cracks, swelling and cupping.
If there are signs of damage, then you’ll need to make a decision on whether you replace the individual boards or replace an entire section.
Check for and spots or signs of mould growth.
A close inspection hopefully will reveal no signs of mould, however if there is suspected mould growth now is the time to have it removed.
Clean the affected areas with a mould release agent and roll back over the steps for drying out the surface with the dehumidifier.
6. Check for signs of moisture
When all areas have been checked for damage and mould growth, and you’re happy with the results, now you can take a moisture level test in various different spots.
Make sure to check many areas to give an accurate reading of the moisture levels.
You should aim to have the moisture levels below the natural moisture content level of the timber.
7. Sand & re-coat the entire hardwood flooring surface
After completing the exhaustive steps for drying out the hardwood floors, you now can have them sanded, re coated and polished to bring them back to a beautiful and elegant finish.
Freedom Flooring are specialists in hardwood floor restoration. Our sanding and re-coating process can have your water damaged floors brought back to their original elegant look.
No job is too big or too small, so give us a call or contact us via the enquiry form.
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