Bring your floor boards back to life

December, 2022

With proper care and maintenance, it’s possible to bring your floorboards back to life after years of neglect! Here’s what you need to know about caring for old floorboards in your home.

Why restore your floorboards?

Restoring your floorboards will not only bring them back to life, but also bring them back to their original beauty. There are so many different reasons that you might want to restore your floorboards and we will cover the two most common reasons: appearance and health.

  1. Appearance - restoring your floorboards will help them look like new once again. If you have an older home, it is possible that the boards have begun showing signs of wear and tear over time. The following tips can be used to make them look as good as new.
  2. Health - restoring your floorboards will give them a much-needed cleaning. Wooden floors are always in need of some TLC because they need regular dusting and sweeping just like any other surface in the house. But when dirt builds up on the surface of your wood floorboards, they start looking dingy and worn down.

The different types of wood

There are many types of wood used in flooring that offer a variety of benefits. Some woods are more durable than others, while some woods have natural properties that provide an anti-slip grip. Here's a quick rundown on the different types of wood and their pros and cons

  • Oak - heavyweight, but also very durable; is naturally resistant to insects and fungus; will become slippery when wet
  • Walnut - the most expensive type of hardwood; high moisture resistance, not susceptible to mould or fungus Birch - lighter weight than other hardwoods
  • Maple - expensive but beautiful
  • Hickory - has one of the longest life spans of any type of wood for floors; is considered by many as the gold standard for flooring because it resists scratches, dents, wear & tear. It is lightweight enough to install-it-yourself if you choose to take the route.

Sanding floorboards

Sanding your floorboards is a simple and cost-effective way to give them new life. Sanding removes the old finish from the wood and reveals the beautiful grain, which can be stained or painted. It also opens up the pores of the wood so that it can better absorb paint or stain. Sanding gives the boards an even surface that will last much longer than before without any signs of wear and tear.

How to sand your floorboards

There are two basic ways of doing this. You can use a sander, which you can buy at any hardware store or home improvement store or do it by hand and using sandpaper and elbow grease. Just make sure that when you start sanding, you go in the same direction as the wood grain so that the finish won't be scratched.

Oiling floorboards

Oiling your floorboards is an easy and cost-effective way of bringing them back to life. You can use different kinds of oils, but linseed oil is a good choice because it dries quickly, has a long shelf life, and penetrates deeply into the wood fibres. It also resists water damage and never becomes rancid. Mix equal parts of linseed oil and turpentine in a jar or bucket, then stir well before using the mixture on your floorboards.

How to oil your floorboards

If you have hardwood floorboards, chances are that your boards need some loving. You can easily bring them back to life by oiling them every few months. It's a simple process that will help keep your floors looking their best and feeling smooth underfoot. This is a job that you should do in the evening or on a weekend when the house is empty, so you don't get any unwanted spills or messes on your freshly oiled floorboards.

Start by wiping off all of the dust from the floorboard using a dry cloth.

Next, use a mop with hot water to clean any residual dirt and grime off of the surface. Once it has dried completely, apply linseed oil using a rag (or an old t-shirt if you're not worried about staining it) to cover at least one side of each board before finishing off with another clean rag/t-shirt.

Staining floorboards

A fresh coat of paint will only do so much for a dated floor. Staining the boards is an easy way to rejuvenate the look of your floors and make them look new again. If you're not sure where to start, try these tips:

  • Remove any furniture from the room before you stain (unless you want it stained too)
  • Clean your floor thoroughly before staining. Dust should be removed with a vacuum or brush. Any greasy spots or stains should be treated before they are sealed in by the varnish.
  • Vacuum again after cleaning to remove all dust residue
  • Choose your colour wisely. You'll have plenty of time to see how well the colour blends in once it's dry, but if you don't like how it looks when wet then take some time to choose another colour!

How to stain your floorboards

Wooden floorboards are such a beautiful addition to any room, but they can be tricky when it comes to upkeep. Luckily, there are a few quick and easy ways you can make your floorboards look like new again without damaging them.

First, you'll need to prepare the area by sweeping or vacuuming the floorboards then wiping them down with a damp towel. Next, paint on one coat of stain using a paintbrush or roller depending on what type of stain you're using. The first coat will fill in some of the knots and cracks in the wood, so wait at least five minutes before applying another coat. Finally, apply a final layer of polyurethane sealant (which is available at most hardware stores) to lock in that fresh-from-the-factory finish.

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