TLC FOR TIMBER
Keep your wooden furniture and floors in tip-top condition with this advice from James Treble.
Keep wooden floors and furniture at their best with James’ practical advice.
THERE’S NOTHING QUITE LIKE the look and feel of natural timber, whether it’s the warmth of rich flooring, a stunning dining table or a kitchen bench. The grain, texture and appeal of timber has long been popular for Australian homes, and it’s been proven to have a positive effect on our wellbeing. But timber is a finish which needs a little protection, so here’s what to do to keep your timber looking its best for years to come.
1 ON THE FLOOR
Protecting timber floors starts with a door mat, which helps to prevent dirt, gravel and stones entering the home. If stuck in shoe soles, these can leave scratch marks, often in the middle of a hallway or room. It’s also important to sweep or vacuum often, as even small amounts of dust can hide abrasive materials that will scratch the floor when you move around the room. Most wooden floors have a protective
coating, such as a solvent-based product like polyurethane which should be maintenance-free for about 10 years, or an oil-based finish which usually requires polishing once or twice a year. Due to issues like toxicity and drying times, water-based products are more commonly used these days. Some companies provide timber specific products to ensure the best result and longevity of timber flooring. New to the market is Intergrain’s UltraFloorPro, a two-pack water-based product which provides an extremely durable finish designed for high traffic areas and can be applied and completed within a day.
Before taking on large sanding, sealing or staining tasks, discuss your
flooring type with a professional. In many cases the existing finish must be completely removed and stripped back before a new finish is applied.
2 FABULOUS FURNITURE
Timber is the most popular finish for dining tables, sideboards, coffee tables and antiques. These are “big ticket” items, so it makes simple sense to look after them and avoid damage from general day-to-day use.
Timber surfaces can be protected with placemats, coasters and even tablecloths. Clean the top of the surfaces regularly as even a layer of dust can scratch the surface if left too
Spit and polish Protect and enhance timber’s natural glow with regular polishing. Damage control If dining furniture isn’t on a rug, use rubber cups or felt pads to protect floorboards.
Position, position Furniture may fade, darken or crack if placed in direct sunlight.