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7 tips to keep your timber floorboards in perfect nick

By Paige McCallum

Timber floorboards are one of those timeless property features that are always talked up in home inspections. “Have you seen the hardwood floors!? They’re delightful…” brags the agent.

Filling gaps in timber boards is easy enough to do yourself. Picture: Chris Jones

Michael Duffy, former finalist on The Block and DIY hotshot says they’re easy enough to fix yourself.

Michael shows us how to resurrect timber floorboards – removing gaps and cracks and preventing against squeaks, dints and dirt – with five super easy, DIY-friendly fixes and protection tactics.

1. Fill gaps

If your hardwood floors are more than 10 or 20 years old, it’s likely they will have at least a crack or two. Tackling them, Michael says, is as simple as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Give the area around the crack a good clean.
  2. Grab yourself some Selleys No More Gaps Timber Flooring Flexible Gap Filler – choosing a timber stain that is the closest match to your floor.
  3. Using a caulking gun, fill the gap ensuring the product goes nice and deep.

2. Sand & polish

Once you’ve filled in those gaps, use a spatula or filling blade to smooth off the surface and remove any residue.  Once dried, it’s time to give your boards a good sand.

Michael’s hot tip: If you scrape away as much residue as possible, it’ll save you time when sanding later on.

When it comes to polishing, you can hire the equipment from a floorboard polishing service to do a quick DIY touch-up after repairing small cracks, but for anything more major it’s often best to get a professional to step in.

3. Ensure windows are covered or tinted

Window treatments, along with their obvious benefits, will also protect your floorboards. Picture:

Protecting your flooring works from the ground up.

“A lot of the time timber floors get damaged by the UV rays of the sun. You’ll notice that sections of floorboards that are exposed to the sun are often discoloured,” says Michael.

“So window coverings or tinted floorboards are a great way to stop those harmful UV rays.”

4. Pad furniture legs

Look into protective pads for the legs of your tables and chairs.

This will go a long way to extending the life of your floorboards, Michael says.

5. Invest in rugs

Rugs are a great way to protect your floorboards while keeping it stylish. Picture: Erinna Giblin

If you’re a home entertainer there’s bound to be a fancy high heel or two trotting into the house.

Rugs will help to prevent dints caused by high heels, and also – they look fab, and are a great way to personalise your space.

“We’ve got rugs everywhere in our place,” says Michael, “and they can also help with a squeaky floorboard.”

6. Ventilate under the home

Ventilation under the home will ensure your timber flooring inside the home remains intact. Picture: Chris Jones

“If you have solid floorboards you should have adequate ventilation under your home,” Michael says.

“Without it – your floorboards will be susceptible to dampness and it could cause excessive expansion and contraction of the wood.”

7. Wash regularly… and quickly

Washing your wooden floors is essential if they’re going to sparkle and shine the way you want them too, but using the wrong tools to clean with, or waiting too long to dry, could have a damaging effect.

Cleaning expert Michael Brooke says be sure to dry mopped floors promptly to avoid moisture soaking into the wood and warping the boards.

Secondly, he suggests sticking to a mop and broom when cleaning wood floors, as anything sharper – such as a vacuum head – could scratch them.


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