Tips to maintaining wood floors House Renovation Tips

Tips to maintaining wood floors House Renovation Tips

Tips to maintaining wood floors

Quick Fixes

If a knot comes loose from the flooring youve laid, just glue it back in place with carpenters glue.

If you lose a knot thats come loose, fill the hole with wood putty and stain the area to look like a knot.

If your wide floorboards shrink in width, heres a way to fill the cracks between them. At your local paint store, pickup a can of powdered glue — Durhams Water Putty, for instance — as well as dry earth colors that match the floorboards as closely as possible.

Back at home, soak old newspaper thoroughly in water, pound it into a pulp and squeeze it out. Youll need enough pulp to fill all the cracks. Mix the powdered glue with water until the mixture is the consistency of light cream. Add it to the pulp, mixing it in well, then mix in the dry earth colors. (The mixture must be colored at this point; it wont take a stain once it has dried.)

Experiment with the earth colors on a small batch of pulp first to match the floor color as closely as possible. You dont have to wait until the pulp dries to double-check the color; the color wont change as it dries. Fill the cracks with the mixture and smooth with a putty knife. If you do a good job of smoothing it, you wont have to sand it later.

To fill scratches in a wood floor, apply shoe polish paste in a matching color. Just spread it on the scratch and rub it in with a damp cloth.

A Not-So-Quick Fix

Sometimes wide pine floorboards cup or warp. This is caused by a combination of two things: dampness in the cellar below and the warm sun shining on the floor from above, drawing the moisture up into the boards. The only way to prevent wide floor boards from cupping and warping is to get the moisture out of your cellar.

The Squeaky Board Gets the Talcum Powder

Quick way to stop wood floors from squeaking is to dust talcum powder into the cracks where the squeak is.

Nail That Squeak

A more permanent solution for squeaky floors is to drive finish nails at an angle into the cracks between flooring pieces. The nails will go through the tongue of the floor pieces and into the subfloor, generally stopping the squeak. If you set the nails just under the surface of the wood, they wont be noticed.

The same principles apply to squeaky stairs. If you can get at the back of them, you can repair them by driving nails from underneath through the riser and into the tread at an angle; this will make them hold better. Or sprinkle talcum powder into the noisy joint between tread and riser.

Tips to maintaining wood floors House Renovation Tips

Cleanup Time

Waxed wood floors should be wiped almost every day with a dry mop. Dont put any oil on the mop; oil will soften the wax. Any section of the floor that gets a lot of wear will need a new coat of wax more often than the rest of the floor. Apply wax only after cleaning.

If the felt pads on your floor polisher are gummed up with wax, place them between four thicknesses of paper towels and press the towels lightly with a warm iron. Within a minute or so, the towels will absorb all the wax from the pads.

To remove candle wax from a floor, scrape off what you can and then place a blotter or paper bag over the wax and hold a warm iron on it until the paper draws in the wax. Or use a blow dryer instead of an iron.

To get scuff marks off a floor, mop the floor with a solution of ½ cup of TSP (or other product containing trisodium phosphate) and 2 gallons of hot water. This should work on any hardwood floor.

To remove those blackish spots on the finish of a strip floor, pour on a little nonsudsing ammonia, then rub with fine steel wool.

To get rid of a urine odor in a shellacked hardwood floor, dust the floor with baking soda, let it stand for a few hours and vacuum up the baking soda. Repeat if necessary.

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