You may have bought an old home and you may be wondering what you can do to make its neglected floor attractive once again. This article discusses some measures that you can use to restore the attractive appearance of that wooden floor.
Grime and Polish
Over time, wooden floors can accumulate layers of grime if the homeowner is not very particular about maintaining that floor. You may also wish to change the type of polish used on the wooden floor. Avoid sanding the timber floorboards, because the sanding machine will destroy the grain structure that the wood takes on as it ages. Instead, use turpentine, a cabinet scraper and wire wool to remove the layers of varnish, grime or polish. Use natural wax to enhance the beauty of that floor after you have cleaned it. For instance, you can use beeswax to polish it.
Gaps in the Boards
Changes in humidity may have caused the floorboards to shrink, leaving gaps between the planks. Do not buy pieces of timber from a timber store and fill the different gaps in the floor. This will disrupt the uniformity of the planks, since the newly installed ones may not look identical to the original floor planks. Instead, remove all the floor panels and re-lay them so that they are close to each other. You can then use the purchased plank to fill the gap left at the end of the floor.
Wooden floorboards can also curve upwards if their two sides (the lower side and the upper side) are exposed to varying levels of humidity. The best way to deal with this problem is to identify the source of the moisture (such as a leaking water pipe), and then fix it so that no extra moisture or humidity gets to the floorboards. Then, dry the wet side so that it contracts to the same extent as the dry side. For example, if the panel has the shape of an archery bow, the inner side of the bow “legs” is the dry side that contracted while the outside curve represents the wet side that absorbed moisture and expanded. Put the board outside so that the wet side is exposed to the sun. Keep observing the change in the cupping until the board regains a uniform level of straightness. You can use a carpentry plane to remove the last signs of cupping.
It may be advisable for you to contact a timber floor expert at the timber store near you for advice on the different restoration steps discussed above. He or she will be in the best position to give you suggestions on the best way to restore that wooden floor. For instance, he or she can tell you the best locally applicable way to restore cupped floorboards to their straight shape without causing any discoloration of your delicate timber.