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How to repair and care for your hardwood flooring

Parquet Flooring

If you're renovating your home, you would know that replacing your flooring tends to take up a bulk of your renovation cost. Hence, there is no question that the maintenance of your flooring should come up high on your list of priorities. Hardwood flooring is one of the most versatile types of flooring for the home. Whether you're going for a modern contemporary theme, or quirky and ecclectic one, hardwood flooring can be sanded down or refinished to suit your decor. While they are hardy, they do require regular maintenance to retain its original look.

Before getting to the dos and don'ts of floor maintenance, it's good to note that there are two types of hardwood finishes — surface and penetrating. When you've identified the finish of your flooring, you'll realise that different care is required:

1) Surface finishes are used on most pre-finished floors. Made of urethane or polyurethane, they are often glossy and look like a layer of clear plastic on top of the wood. Water-based urethane is a good option for a DIY job because it dries fast and emits less odour than the oil-based type.

2) Penetrating finishes soak into the wood. A wax is then applied to give it a low-gloss sheen. If you can feel the wood grain when you run your hand across the surface, the floor probably has a penetrating finish treatment. Wax needs to be reapplied periodically on floors with this finish.

So with the above in mind, what is the best way to care and maintain your hardwood flooring? We share the following dos and don'ts:

DOs

+ Wipe up spills and pet urine immediately to prevent staining. Use a piece of fine sandpaper or steel wool to gently remove stains, then refinish with stain and wax.

+ Move heavy furniture by lifting and not dragging, to prevent scuff marks on the floor.

+ Place a doormat outside your main door to trap grit and sand that may scratch your floor.

+ Use the floor manufacturer’s recommended cleaning and finishing products to properly maintain the floor.

Don'ts

+ Wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish and leave discolouration marks.

+ Over-wax your floor. If the wood loses its shine, try buffing it first.

+ Leave a rug in one area for too long. Sun exposure may cause discolouration on the floor, leaving the covered area darker than the surrounding boards. Instead, add sheer drapes, especially on large windows.


DIY TIP

Got a scratch? Rub in a crayon similar to the colour of the wood. Then, buff the crayon in for a nice sheen. Here's how:

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