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How to Clean and Preserve Your Varnished Floor

Our extensive experience in the field of wood flooring has showed us that many people ignore the methods for caring for a varnished floor. At L’Artisan du Plancher Montréal, we believe that each of our clients should have access to a maintenance guide that helps them preserve their renovated floor for as long as possible. That’s why we’ve developed a maintenance guide for your floors. It contains several essential recommendations for keeping a varnished floor healthy. Take a few minutes to consult our maintenance instructions below and follow them rigorously. You can also consult our oiled floor maintenance guide.


Varnished Floor Maintenance Guide:

  • Use a vacuum cleaner with soft bristles often to clean all the residues that could cause an abrasive effect on your varnished wood floor.
  • To stabilize the movement of your wooden slats as much as possible, please keep the relative humidity at 50% and the temperature at 20 degrees Celsius.
  • An appropriate indoor temperature will make it easier to care for your varnished floors. Good temperature control will allow you to keep your hardwood floor in good condition for as long as possible. This means that the heating, fans, and air conditioning systems must be functional to preserve an indoor environment that’s conducive to the stability of the hardwood.
  • Clean your floors with the right cleaning products for your varnished or oiled floor. You can purchase these at big box stores or in specialty shops. Check out our Supplier section and identify the cleaning product that matches your floor type.
  • Always spray small quantities at a time and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations rigorously. Make sure you always have a dirt-free surface before starting to clean your varnished floor, since you could damage it. Use a clean mop: foreign particles could cause scratches on the varnish.
  • Never use wax, household detergent, or oil-based soap on a varnished floor. These products are detrimental to the maintenance, since they alter the protective varnished layer of your floor and make cleaning difficult. They can also tarnish, attack, or oxidize your floor. Mixtures of water and vinegar are not recommended for washing varnished or oiled floors. The acid content present in the vinegar plays the role of aggressor when it comes into contact with your wood floor. It’s therefore important to use a cleaning product specially designed for the type of finish that your wood floor is covered with. A cleaning product for varnished floors won’t be appropriate for cleaning an oiled floor, and vice versa.
  • Water may cause irreversible damage to your wood slats and make them irrecoverable thereafter. This is one of the problems most frequently encountered by our workers when they carry out floor sanding work. Never place a plant directly on your wood: it will probably form a permanent ring. This is one of the main causes of water damage. When such a situation arises, we must carry out a floor repair where the damage occurred. We suggest placing rugs or carpets in places where there’s a risk of water damage.
  • Protect the external access points with floor mats. During the winter time, your boots transport snow containing calcium from the salt that the cities spread in the streets to melt the ice. This calcium directly attacks the varnish by drying it out and stripping away its protective properties.
  • Glue felts to the legs of your furniture and chairs to prevent scratches on your hardwood floor.
  • Periodically check the condition of the felts and replace the damaged ones. Avoid sliding rolling chairs on your wood surface. Slide these chairs only on a mat or carpet specially designed for this purpose.
  • Never walk with high-heeled shoes on a hardwood floor. High heels are so small that the pressure can easily reach 3,500 pounds per square inch (around 250 kg/cm). Remove your shoes to walk on your surface and put on slippers. The part in contact with the floor must be smooth, non-abrasive, and preferably cushioned.
  • Don’t drag/slide furniture or heavy objects across the floor. Always lift furniture that must be moved or transported.
  • Cover or install curtains in areas that are overexposed to the sun. Prolonged or repeated exposure to strong light may alter the colour of the wood. The change in colour of the hardwood is a natural phenomenon. Wood species that have a pale shade may undergo even more obvious colour changes.

*To the best of our knowledge, the information contained in this document is accurate. As conditions and maintenance methods may vary, no guarantee is given on the recommendations or on the final result. It is the responsibility of the owner/user to verify the suitability of the methods and to ensure the proper preservation of the maintained areas.