A living tree, as we all know, grows with roots in the ground and leaves in the air. The roots collect moisture and nutrients from the soil and ship them through the vessels or fibers up the trunk and branches to the leaves, where the moisture, nutrients, carbon dioxide and sunlight is mixed, photosynthesis and oxygen is put back into the air. If we were to cut down a tree and immediately sawed it into a board weighing 100 pounds, that same board 4 to 6 months later would weigh 50 pounds. The 50-pound board would then get kiln dried, and would weigh 42 pounds. The board has withered like a rose. Each vessel and fiber is smaller in width and has shriveled up. The board is now narrower and a little bit thinner but not shorter. Think of the vessels as soda straws.Introduce dampness or moisture to the floor and the moisture will be drawn into the end grain (vessel ends) quickly and the floor will start to swell up.
Everyone involved in hardwood floors must take all precautions possible to avoid storing, delivering, installing, or maintaining floors in the presence of moisture or dampness.
Use dirt trapping walk-off mats at all exterior doors to help prevent dirt, grit and sand from getting inside the building.Throw rugs on the inside of doors are also helpful.
In kitchens use area throw rugs at all high spill areas.
Certain chemicals in wood oxidize in strong light, causing the wood to change color and develop a patina. To avoid uneven appearance, move area rugs occasionally and drape or shade large windows in direct sun.
Put floor protectors under the legs of all your furniture. They allow the furniture to be moved easily without scuffing the floor. Clean the floor protectors regularly since grit can become embedded in them. Some furniture may require barrel type roller coasters as the ball type coasters may cause damage. Grey non-marking rubber coasters are your best choice. Avoid any type of plastic coasters.
Vacuum the flooring regularly, as often as you would vacuum carpets, a brush attachment works very well and so does a vacuum broom. Sweep or dust mop daily or as needed.
Wipe up spills immediately, using a dampened - not wet - cloth if necessary. Then wipe the floor dry.
Keep high heels in good repair, worn down heels, exposing the steel will dent any floor.
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Surface finishes are polyurethane and water based urethanes.These finishes shield floors from harm by forming a protective layer on top of the wood and are durable moisture resistant finishes well suited for kitchens and high traffic areas.
Cleaning Your Floor
The key to lasting beauty of your wood flooring investment is proper maintenance for the life of your floor. Surface finished floors are the easiest to care for. Patina recommends using Bona Kemi brand cleaner, readily available in most hardware stores. Bona Kemi floor cleaner is easy to use with the terry cloth mop, sold separately, just follow Bona Kemi’s easy instructions on the bottle.
Vacuum or sweep your wood floors to remove dirt and grit prior to cleaning them.
Apply Bona Kemi floor cleaner to the terry cloth of Bona Kemi mop or other soft mop. Keep in mind the floors should be damp mopped and never wet mopped. Dry floors with a soft towel or a dry Bona Kemi terry cloth attachment.
Apply a small amount of Bona Kemi floor cleaner to the spot. Let sit for a short time, rub and wipe with a clean soft towel.
* Oil soap should never be used on Patina wood floors.