If you’re lucky enough to have a property with good quality floorboards, you’ve already won half the battle. There are so many properties that, over time, have been modernised losing the authenticity of a period property. By going back to basics you can restore the natural beauty of your home.
Design isn’t the only reason you should consider renewing your floorboards over using carpets throughout your home. For a busy family home, well-cared for wooden flooring can be a godsend in terms of keeping them clean. Quality wooden floors finished off with quality wood dyes and varnishes will be much more durable than a carpet, especially if there are children and/or pets in the house!
If you’ve just ripped up a carpet that’s hidden away the floorboards, you’ll first of all want to check if there is any damage that will need repairing. All floorboards will show general signs of wear and tear, but it’s worth looking out for any other signs of damage. This could be damp or rot, infestation, cracked boards, and gaps between each board – to name a few! For most of these problems, the likelihood is you will need to repair or replace some of the boards before renovating the whole area. If you’re not confident in doing this, it’s always best to get an experienced carpenter in.
If there are gaps between each board you need to make a decision whether you want to fill in these gaps or to leave them for authenticity. One thing to consider is all the dirt and grime that can easily slip down and collect in between the boards if you do leave them with gaps.
You’ll most likely have to sand down each board before adding any wood dye or varnish to it. You may need to hire a floor sander from your local hire shop.
Colour and varnish
Now is the time to choose a colour of wood dye to use on your newly sanded floorboards. You firstly need to decide if you want to keep with a traditional colour or go for something a little bit different, like the picture above (Littlefair's Seawashed White Floor Dye)
Generally, when restoring old properties, you would choose colours, decorations and furniture that are sympathetic to the property’s character and the period in which it was built. Choose from one of our Water Based Floor Dyes to really complement your property. Our dyes are easy to use, quick drying and you can apply them directly to the floor with a brush or cloth. Some of our dyes work best with a single, liberal coat but for our darker colours, further coats may be required to deepen the shade.
Once dry, finish your boards off with Littlefair’s Water Based Floor Fast Varnish. This non-yellowing varnish is perfect for use throughout your home as its high in quality and durable. In the picture above, our Gilded Oak has been finished in our Matt Floor Fast Varnish.
Here is our Light Stripped Pine as the first coat goes on the floor, before any varnish finish has been applied:
If you’re wondering how long your newly treated floorboards will retain their beautiful new look, it all depends on the usage of the floor. If you’ve renovated a bedroom you may find you get double the years without having to re-dye and treat. However, somewhere traffic-heavy like your hallway will obviously not last as long. The best way to extend the life of the dye and varnish is to regularly maintain and clean the floor with a damp cloth, followed by buffing with a dry cloth. The key is to keep your floor clean from dirt and grit that can be damage your floor.
Need further advice?
Feel free to get in touch via our website or phone our technical helpline on 01254 366130 (option 3).