After hours of tirelessly scrolling through Google, discussing your project at length with a flooring expert, scrambling through a mountain of samples that rivals Kilimanjaro and watching on like a hawk as your perfectly chosen oak floor is installed, you will now start to contemplate “How do I ensure my beautiful oak floor stays beautiful?!”
Firstly, you shouldn’t be daunted by the prospect of looking after an oak floor, they can be incredibly easy to look after. All you need is the correct information and guidelines to follow.
* Please note that our advice is based on oak floors finished with Osmo products. If your floor has been finished with an alternative oil/hard-wax oil or a lacquer, please seek maintenance advice from your installer and the finishing oil/lacquer manufacturers.
1. Be informed about the oak flooring you are purchasing
Don’t be shy to ask as many questions as you like about the oak floor you are purchasing – believe us when we say we would much rather a client ask us a million questions and they feel empowered about how to look after their floor (remember, no question is a stupid question!). The sales staff of your chosen company should advise you on the most suitable product for you, taking into consideration your lifestyle and the areas where the oak flooring is going in your home. For example, careful consideration should be taken when looking at light coloured (white or similar) oak floors for high traffic areas such as kitchens and hallways as they can sometimes show wear and tear more apparently. Instead consider a more natural toned oak, such as our Dijon Gris.
2. Don’t clean your newly fitted oak floor
This may seem a little strange point to mention in a blog about ‘How to clean and maintain an Oak Floor’, however it is the first thing you should know about when your oak floor has just been installed. It is very common for your joiner to finish the oak floor with a final coat of clear oil (such as Osmo Polyx Oil). It is important for this final coat of oil to cure (essentially allowing it to harden) for at least 2 weeks before you clean your oak floor. If you clean your oak floor while the oil is still curing, you may find that the surface protection is jeopardized, and marks may appear a lot quicker.
Time to stock up the cupboard with the correct cleaning equipment! We have listed out our recommended equipment check list below:
- Osmo Mop Set. Set includes; Osmo Dust Mop Head, Osmo Micro-Fibre Mop Head and Osmo Active-Fibre Mop Head
- Osmo Telescopic Handle
- Osmo Wash and Care
- Osmo Liquid Wax Clear Cleaner or Osmo Liquid Wax White Cleaner (for floors with a white oil finish)
How to clean your Oak Floor
STEP ONE – PREPARE FLOORS
Remove dust / loose grit and dirt. Sweep, dry mop with the Osmo Dust Mop head or vacuum (using the hard floor setting) entire area thoroughly, paying attention to the plank edges where grit and dust can gather.
STEP TWO – PREPARE SOLUTION
Make up a dilute solution of Osmo Wash and Care with warm water in a mop bucket or similar.
STEP THREE – WASH FLOORS
Soak your Osmo Micro-Fibre Mop head in the bucket for 5-10 seconds and wring out. Avoid wet mopping, as excess water can damage the surface. When mopping the floor try to go with the direction of the wood grain.
* Top Tip – change the water regularly. Try and wash the floor with clean water as much as possible, so you are not spreading around dirty water across the floor area.
STEP FOUR – AND…REST
Avoid walking on the mopped area until completely dry. Put your feet up and admire your beautifully clean floor!
Dijon Gris Engineered Oak 180x16mm
Top Tip – Rotate between just warm water and the Wash and Care diluted cleaning solution. For example, one week you wash the floor with warm water and the next time you clean the floor with Wash and Care. The reason for this is to avoid any form of build-up with the Wash and Care.
4. Know the ‘tricks of the trade’ when it comes to repairing an oak floor
Over the years, the inevitable scratch or stain may happen. Fear not… We don’t want you kneeling on the floor mourning the once perfect plank that is no longer, we want you to have a few tips and tricks up your sleeve to repair these yourself.
Help! I noticed light scratches on my floor, how do I repair these?
Try rubbing a raw brazil nut or walnut over the scratch. The natural oils in the nut can repair this scratch – just like magic! Alternatively, rub in the appropriate Osmo Polyx Oil using an Osmo white pad, or micro-fibre cloth and leave to dry
How do I remove stains and marks from my oak floor?
If you floor has been finished with Osmo oil, it is important to use an oil or wax product to undertake a stain repair. To remove light staining apply Osmo Wash and Care undiluted, and rub with a Osmo white pad, or micro-fibre cloth. Once the stain has been rubbed away wipe off any residue. For tougher stains, use Osmo Liquid Wax Clear or White Cleaner which should be applied using a micro-fibre cloth or an Osmo white pad.
Some stains, e.g black water marks, pet stains and oil, will need specialist advice and/or professional treatment. It may be possible to remove these types of stains by sanding and the reapplication of finishing oil, or by the application of a chemical treatment, such as wood bleach, hydrogen peroxide or oxalic acid. Please contact us for advice and further information.
5. The Essential Do’s & Don’ts when to comes to living with an Oak Floor
|Be cautious when moving heavy objects. Use a sheet of hard board and always use a dolly – never slide or roll heavy objects over hard wood floors.
|Don’t allow any water or liquids to sit on the floor for prolonged lengths of time. Even when cleaning only use a slightly damp mop, sponge or cloth.
|Use floor protectors. Place felt pads under furniture for damage-free moving.
|Don’t use all-purpose cleaning products that may contain bleach, chlorine, ammonia or any abrasive cleaners.
|Be quick to wipe up water, wine, coffee and other spillages when accidents happen.
|Don’t steam clean the floor as the moisture may seep in between the planks and cause them to warp.
* For more ‘Do’s and Don’ts, please refer to our ‘Oak Maintenance Guide’, which can be found on our website.
We hope you have come away from reading this blog feeling a little more empowered about how to look after an oak floor. We highly recommend having a look at our ‘Oak Maintenance Guide’. This guide can also be found on our website, and all our customers will receive a digital copy and/or a printed copy. Also, please do not hesitate to contact our expert team with any questions you may have, we would be more than happy to help.