“Having a wooden floor can be quite challenging because if not well taken care of, it can easily get damaged,” says Jackie Biira, a private interior designer. Though it is not common to find many houses with a wooden floor because of mainly the cost of installing one, some people actually prefer it. However, having a wooden floor comes with its own challenges, maintenance being one of them.
That said, there are a number of ways one can keep a wooden floor clean while preventing it from damage.

Avoid wet mops
Some of the preventive measures that can be used to maintain a wooden floor according to Biira include avoiding wet-mopping or steam-mopping the floor. This, she says, can easily weaken the floor. “Water and steam can dull the finish which can easily lead to damage of the floor,” she says. The best way of cleaning a wooden floor, she adds, is through using a dry mop.

“One also has to avoid water spilling on the floor. Therefore, in rainy seasons, make sure you leave all windows closed and if children spill water or other drinks, dry them up immediately,” she advises.

Rugs
Biira says ideally, people should always remove their shoes when they come inside. This way, dirt and water will not be trekked onto the wood floors. “Get a four to six foot-long “walk-off ” mat for the front door. The longer the mat leading up to the door, the more people will rub dirt and moisture off their shoes as they walk in, even if they don’t stop to wipe them,” she adivises.

Furniture pads
The other way of avoiding scratches, she adds, can be through placing furniture pads under table and chair legs. “When moving furniture, avoid dragging it on the floor. It is better to carry the furniture so that no scratches are left on the floor,” John Patrick Muhumuza, an interior designer, says.

Direct sunlight
Wooden floor that is not very far from places such as windows or doors is usually affected by the sun. “Exposing a wooden floor to sun rays for a long time can bring about discolouration which comes as a result of chemical reactions,” notes Muhumuza, adding that one should place curtains and have then drawn at times when the sun is directly hitting the house.

Regular polish
A wooden floor is likely to get damaged after sometime. However, this can be avoided if one polishes or even sands their floor on a regularly basis.

“Regular polishing and sanding helps give a fresh new look to the floor,” Muhumuza notes. This, he adds, also keeps the floor from damage by insects such as termites. Polishing a wooden floor regularly also helps shield it from water spills which are in most cases likely to weaken the floor.
Area rugs
According to rd.com, an online portal, walking across an area several times a day eventually wears down a wooden floor’s finish. the site suggests that nice-looking throw rugs are the easiest way to reduce the wear.

“But make sure they do not have a backing. Vinyl or rubber backing traps humidity, which can ruin your floor’s finish and stain or damage the wood,” the site states.

Regular checkup
Sometimes some parts of the wooden floor could be already damaged or nearly damaged. Carrying out a regular checkup can help one know which parts are in good shape or those that are already damaged and need to be replaced. “One can choose to do a check up on a monthly or annual basis depending on their financial status. It is best to fix damage as soon as it is detected,” Muhumuza advises.

ekyama@ug.nationmedia.com