When you are thinking about choosing the flooring materials to be installed in your house, you should not only look at their costs. There are multiple factors that you must consider before making your final decision. One of these important factors is the maintenance of your chosen flooring materials. You have to remember that anything you choose will not be able to last as you would have hoped for without following the proper maintenance steps for them. This follows even with French oak flooring, which is also considered to be one of the best types of flooring options in the industry. This article will show you some of the tips and tricks you may need to consider in maintaining your French oak flooring.
Things To Consider About French Oak Floors
Cleaning and maintenance needs for French oak floors depend on their various kinds. It is a known fact that the materials used to manufacture authentic French oak flooring planks come from hardwood trees that are grown in the forests of France. Hardwood trees are known for being deciduous and have developed characteristics of high durability and excellent strength. This is why it is important to know which kind of French oak flooring you are using so that you will be ready with the maintenance methods and techniques needed. Below are the kinds of French oak hardwood flooring planks:
- French oak solid hardwood planks
o If you have tried checking out the composition of hardwood flooring planks, you may have noticed that there are some that would seem as if the whole plank was made only from one material, a piece of solid wood. This is the way manufactures create solid hardwood flooring planks. They cut the solid pieces of wood from the hardwood trees and shape them into the required dimensions for the flooring planks. There are cases where the manufacturers sell the products without sanding and coating them with finishes and stains. There are also cases in which the manufacturers make sure that the flooring planks are sanded and applied with protective coatings before they are sent out to be sold in the market. The main similarity between these cases is that they only use a piece of solid wood for each flooring plank created.
- French oak engineered hardwood planks
o For this kind of flooring option, manufacturers bond together multiple plies of wood veneer using a very strong adhesive. A flooring plank may contain 5-6 plies of wood veneer, which also helps determine the strength of each plank. The wood veneer may be made out of hardwood, plywood, or softwood. These types of wood veneer may be mixed depending on the manufacturer’s preference. However, the most important ply of wood veneer is the topmost one since it uses only solid hardwood material. This is also called the wear layer of the flooring plank since it is the one exposed to different kinds of external forces that may cause wear and tear to the plank. Manufacturers also add finishes and protective coatings to their French oak engineered flooring planks. This kind of French oak flooring is known to be used in various kinds of scenarios and locations. Engineered hardwood flooring has certain characteristics that make it resistant to many kinds of factors that may cause damages to other types of flooring options.
People should always remember that there are differences in handling French oak solid hardwood floors from French oak engineered hardwood floors. This also goes the same with the maintenance and cleaning of these types of flooring options. You should always be careful because French oak flooring may be more costly than other types of flooring options, but the benefits it can give you also make it one of the most cost-effective flooring options in the market. You may refer below to some tips to clean and maintain your French oak solid hardwood floor:
- Avoid exposing your French oak solid hardwood floor to water or moisture.
o Naturally, wood is very reactive when it is exposed to water or moisture. Wood is a very porous material. Because of these pores, wood easily absorbs water and causes it to expand. This does not go well with your French oak solid hardwood floor because this will cause the flooring planks to expand and rise up. This will eventually damage your floor and, most often than not, the flooring planks need to be replaced. For French oak solid prefinished flooring planks, they may have been applied with protective coatings, but you need to consider that there may still be a slight chance for the moisture to leak into the solid hardwood material.
- It is highly advised to regularly sweep and vacuum your French oak solid hardwood floors regularly.
o Two of the gentler ways to clean your French oak solid hardwood floor are to sweep and vacuum it. The materials used in most brooms are soft enough so that they would not be able to scratch your hardwood floors. For vacuums, you should try to find one that does not have sharp rollers to prevent it from giving your French oak solid hardwood floor some scratch marks. The safest kind of vacuum that would be recommended for French oak solid hardwood floors is a canister vacuum with an attached floor brush. This kind of vacuum will less likely damage your floor. Regularly cleaning your floor will ensure that dust and dirt particles will be removed at the soonest possible time. In addition, this will also help avoid having these particles cause stain marks all over your French oak solid hardwood floor.
- You may use cleaning products that were created specifically for hardwood floors.
o There may be times when stains and dirt may show marks on your French oak solid hardwood floors. To remove these, you may need to apply certain cleaning products to help remove these marks. Follow the instructions given by the manufacturer of the cleaning product so that you will not waste resources when cleaning your French oak solid hardwood floor.
- Use products created for wood flooring when you need to fix scratches and chips on your French oak solid hardwood floor.
o When you find some light scratches on your French oak solid hardwood floors, you may use wax-based repair kits to remove them. Just make sure that you use the shade that would fit your current French oak solid hardwood floor. If there are some chips on your floor, you may try to fix them by gluing back the pieces of solid wood that broke off from your French oak solid hardwood floor. If there are gaps after you have reattached the pieces that broke off, you may add wood filler so that your floor will have a smooth finish.
- Refinish your French oak solid hardwood flooring planks before you think about replacing them.
o By installing French oak solid hardwood flooring planks, this would mean that you have opted to receive all the benefits of this type of flooring option. One of these benefits of this type of flooring is its longevity. It can last for as long as it has been maintained properly. Also, it is possible to refinish your French oak solid hardwood flooring planks. As long as the cosmetic issues have not caused the planks to break or have not reached deep enough, then you can still revive your flooring planks. A refinished floor can extend its life for about 5 to 10 years. Refinishing is done by sanding the surface of your damaged French oak solid hardwood flooring planks. Then you can just apply stains, finishes, and protective coatings on the flooring planks. You can refinish your French oak solid hardwood flooring planks for about 10 times depending on the thickness of the flooring planks.
Cleaning And Maintaining French Oak Engineered Hardwood Floors
In most cases, cleaning and maintaining French oak engineered hardwood flooring is the same as how you maintain its solid hardwood flooring counterpart. However, there may be slight differences since French oak engineered hardwood flooring planks have been added with adhesives and coatings that make them stronger and less susceptible to damages. You may refer below to some of the tips to clean and maintain French oak engineered hardwood floors:
- You can use a damp mop to clean stain marks on your French oak engineered hardwood flooring planks.
o Even though wood is reactive to moisture, with French oak engineered hardwood flooring planks, it has been developed to be less likely to be affected by water and moisture. The adhesive used to bond together the multiple plies of wood veneer ensure that all the plies are covered with a protective film, which makes it very hard for moisture to penetrate. So it is easier to clean as compared to its French oak solid hardwood flooring counterpart.
- You should regularly vacuum and sweep your French oak engineered hardwood floor.
o Just like all kinds of hardwood flooring, you should ensure that you are gentle when cleaning them. Sweeping and vacuuming are among the safest ways to ensure that they are kept away from damages and staining.
- Use products developed to clean and maintain hardwood flooring.
o Since French oak engineered hardwood flooring planks use hardwood wear layers for their topmost plies, this would still mean that it would be best to use products meant for hardwood flooring. The materials used in these products ensure that they do not act negatively to your French oak engineered hardwood floor.
Regular Cleaning And Maintenance Can Prolong The Life Of Your French Oak Floor
Knowing about the different ways to clean and maintain your French oak floors is just one of the steps to prolong its lifespan. You must regularly apply the required method for the specific kind of French oak floor that you are using. Cleaning must be done regularly so that you avoid spreading substances that may cause scratches and stain marks on your French oak floor. If you have other concerns with regards to French oak flooring, you may contact Three Trees Flooring at (416) 665-2624.