Taking Care Of Your Antique Wood Floor

Published: 25th March 2009
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If you're living in a house with antique wood floors, consider yourself blessed. Antique wood floors have a timeless elegance that, when given very good care, can maintain their beauty for many years to come. In fact, they have a character that will repay your kindness and care with appreciating value. Rich, warm, naturally beautiful, antique wood floors can last for generations. Keep them that way with the proper care and maintenance. Here's how:

Prevent dirt The first step in taking good care of antique wood floors is to clean them and keep them that way. Antique floors don't do well with dirt and sand. Imagine putting sandpaper on your precious hardwood and rubbing away. Dents, scratches and lines produce dull surfaces and damage the floor.

Maintain clean floors by sweeping with fine-edged brooms. Vacuum using a brush attachment at least once a week. Pay particular attention to the dents between boards to make sure you get rid of all the dust and dirt that accumulates in the cracks. Keep your antique wood floors safe by placing floor mats or rugs near doors and entrances to keep dirt from touching the floor surface.

To damp-mop or not Whether or not to use a damp mop on your antique wood floors is still highly debatable. However, damp-mopping is certainly one of the quickest ways to clean wood floors. Damp-mop your antique wood floors only if the finish is in good condition and make sure to wring the mop when you do.

Buffing to a shine There's no reason why antique wood floors shouldn't shine. Use products such as wax, oils and acrylics to protect the finish. Penetrating seals can even protect the wood floors from within. Apply wax and oils only after you've thoroughly cleaned the surface.

Testing for condition You can test your antique wood floor's condition by simply inspecting areas that usually receive the highest foot traffic. See if the finish is chipped, gouged or worn off. If the finish is bad, the wood underneath will be exposed and become damaged.

Test this area by pouring a small amount of water onto it. If the wood soaks up the water immediately, the finish is totally worn. If it takes a while, the damage is only partial. But if the water remains in drops or beads on the floors surface, your antique floor is safe. Do this test only in areas that receive a lot of traffic.

Avoid sun, heat and cold Antique wood floors are sensitive to sunlight and heat. Close curtains and draperies and protect floors from extreme changes in temperature.

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