Your home's timber flooring should last for many years, if not decades, and can enhance the look of the home while also increasing its resale value. However, how you care for your home's timber flooring will greatly affect its longevity, durability, and appearance, so note a few common mistakes made by homeowners when it comes to maintaining their timber floors. You can then avoid these mistakes yourself, and have a timber floor that looks good and lasts for many years to come!
Patching with the wrong materials
Patching with the wrong species of wood, not matching the grain pattern, or using a different paint or stain over the patched area can make the floor look uneven, and make the repair job very noticeable. To avoid this, when you have timber floors installed, always ensure you have a supply of boards left over that you can use for patching when those floors get damaged. You also want to make note of the wood species used, as well as any type of paint, stain, or other coating. This will ensure you can choose the right type of slat for replacement, if you should run out of those extra boards.
It's never good to sand your timber floors yourself, as you might use the wrong sandpaper or apply too much pressure while sanding, and actually remove too much of the top layer of the timber. Remember that timber floors can only be sanded so often and so deeply before they become too thin and need replacing. Leave this job to a professional so it gets done properly and your floors aren't damaged in the process, and so that they last as long as possible before becoming too thin and needing replacement.
Filling in gaps
Chips and dents in timber flooring should be filled quickly, and in as recommended by the flooring manufacturer; however, don't be too quick to fill in gaps between floorboards or slats. These gaps may appear over the years as the wood absorbs humidity and then expands, and then shrinks as it dries. This typically happens in cycles, so you may see gaps appear when the wood shrinks, but then disappear as the wood expands again. Filling in those gaps may cause the timber slats to push against each other and actually splinter when they start expanding again, so rather than assuming the floor needs repair, call a floor restorer so he or she can inspect the gaps and note if they need filling.