Restoring buried hardwood treasure (2)

Craig Pawson reveals the best tips on how best to restore uncovered wooden flooring

ACCORDING to the latest Lloyds Bank Homemover Review, the number of people moving home has fallen 4% – the first decline in five years.
Instead of moving, homeowners are now choosing to renovate their properties. A recent trend sees homeowners tearing up their dated and unwanted carpets to reveal the property’s original hardwood flooring. Here are the best tips on how best to restore uncovered wooden flooring.

Uncovered treasure  
With house prices increasing, more and more homeowners are choosing to renovate their current abodes. However, while the idea of unearthing the property’s original hardwood flooring appeals to many, the condition of exposed floorboards can come as quite a shock.

For the average homeowner, restoring original floorboards can be a daunting, long and physically challenging task, but for a flooring contractor, this is a lucrative opportunity.

Damage limitation
Once the wooden floor is uncovered, it’s important to check for signs of damage, such as woodworm or rot. If rot or woodworm is detected, including small fungi growths and burrowing insect holes, it’s important to treat the affected area as soon as possible.

Remove damaged areas, where possible to a metre beyond the last visible signs of the fungus or infestation, and replace and treat the woodwork with suitable rot treatment.

If you need to lift and remove any floorboard for closer inspection and treatment, be sure to number the boards’ underside in chalk so they can be correctly re-laid.

Once treated, good ventilation will prevent dampness in the room and ensure the longevity of the flooring.

If there are dents or small scrapes, use a wood filler product to remove these marks by evening out the damaged surface. Excess filler can be easily removed during the sanding and finishing stage.

Finish to perfection
Before applying a new finish, it’s often necessary to remove remaining varnish, wax, oil or polish, which may still be present on the timber, and to give the timber a deep clean.

Paint and varnish finishes can be stripped off using a suitable chemical paint or varnish stripper. Oils, waxes and polishes are best removed by wiping the affected areas with a cloth soaked in white spirit before removing the finish completely using steel wool.

Osmo Intensive Cleaner is an environmentally friendly, alkaline-based concentrated cleaner, ideal for intensive cleaning and restoration.

When restoring the timber flooring, it’s important to remember wood becomes darker with exposure to sunlight and that sanding the wood may radically change its appearance. Once sanded, it’s best to protect the floorboards when possible with hardboard or plywood sheets before applying a finish.

My best advice is to use a finish full of natural ingredients as this will ensure the wood continues to breathe and will respond well to environmental conditions, removing any possibility of cracking or and blistering.

The best products to use are oil-/wax-based finishes, such as Osmo Polyx-Oil, as the finish will penetrate the wood, protecting it from the inside and out.

Not only will this provide a durable finish, but will complement the wood’s natural aesthetics.
01296 481220
Craig Pawson is a flooring specialist at Osmo UK