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How to keep your timber flooring looking great for a lifetime

Timber floors are a great investment for Brisbane property owners. They’re in demand on the property market for home buyers and renters alike, and they’re as sought after in older properties as they are in new ones. They look elegant, they add value to the property, and they’re good for the environment. 

But as with all floor coverings, timber floors have to be properly taken care of if they’re going to look great for the long haul. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to keep your timber floors luxuriously smooth and shiny—by following just a few guidelines, the pride and joy of your home can last a lifetime.

Protect them from shoes

One of the biggest impacts on the appearance of your timber floors comes from footwear.

High-heel shoes are the worst offenders, with the small points of the heel leaving unsightly divots all over your floor. Beware of all shoes with hard soles: work boots, narrow-heeled shoes (like stilettos) and boots, and football boots with cleats will all punch holes in even the hardest of hardwood timbers.

This tends to be an issue in the most high-traffic areas. You could consider laying rugs and mats in areas like entries and hallways, where the family passes through before removing their shoes. And it’s always a good idea to consider passing a ‘shoes off at the door’ rule through your household—it’ll keep your timber floors safe, with the added benefit of reducing the amount of dirt being tracked into your house and reducing your cleaning.

And don’t forget your pet’s feet: cat and dog claws are among the biggest causes of scratches on your timber flooring, so make sure their claws are trimmed all year round.

Protect them from dirt

Dirt and dust on your floors is obviously unpleasant. Dust bunnies gathering in the corners of the room can be quite obvious when you have timber floors, and it’s not nice to end up with black soles on your bare feet. But besides this, there are even more reasons to keep your floors clean with regular sweeping and mopping.

Dirt and grit can scratch the surface of your timber floors, dulling the sheen and creating hairline cracks. These scratches will collect dirt and dust over time and become more noticeable.

But don’t go overboard with cleaning products, either: the chemicals in many floor cleaners can leach the colour and moisture out of the timber.

It’s best to sweep and mop with soft-headed brooms, preferably ones with a removable sock over the head that can be replaced when its worn.

When mopping, use only a pH-neutral cleaner or a few tablespoons of white vinegar added to a bucket of warm (not hot) water, and use a damp (not wet) mop. Do not use steam mops as they can affect the coatings and cause them to peel/blister.

Another good tip: use and anti-static mop between vacuums to make it even easier to keep your floors looking great.

Protect them from sun damage

One of the more overlooked causes of damage to timber floors—particularly in Brisbane homes—is the sun.

Sun exposure bleaches timber floors, as well as dries out their natural moisture, causing them over time to end up cupping and peaking and the grain to open. If you have large windows or glass doors that cause areas of your floor to be exposed to the sun for long periods each day, your floors will need extra care. Consider making changes to the room, with adjustable window coverings to block the sun at certain times of the day.

Tinting your windows will help to reduce the intensity of the sun exposure in the room; but the best solution is investing in good quality blinds, curtains, or awnings to keep your timber from sun damage. It’s also good to keep in mind that water-based coatings are a better choice for timber floors in rooms with lots of light, as the coating won’t yellow off as much as traditional polyurethane polishes will.

Protect them from moisture and extreme temperature

Moisture and extreme temperatures can cause a lot of damage to timber floors.

Moisture underneath the floors, or especially hot temperatures above the floor can cause cupping and peaking (where the floorboards bend so their edges are higher than their centre), or cause sections of flooring to buckle and rise above the rest of the floor.

Uneven patches of moisture or temperature exposure can also cause gaps at the board edges. This can also be a temporary, seasonal change, but it can also show that the climate in the room is too dry, moist, hot, or cold. Although it can be difficult in Brisbane’s unpredictable weather extremes, try to maintain ambient temperatures throughout your home, and deal with problems that cause moisture. It might mean some work on your home, but it’ll pay off when you’ve also prevented moisture damage to other areas (like bathrooms and wardrobes).

Protect them from furniture

One of the best ways to prevent damage to your timber floors is by using protective felt pads on the legs of your furniture. This is particularly important for furniture that you move a lot, like the chairs of your dining suite—and for a longer hold, you can superglue the felt pads to keep them in place. For larger, heavier furniture, you can use castor cups with a felt base.

It’s important to remember that after you’ve polished or varnished your timber floors that you shouldn’t place any light furniture on them within 24 hours of the final coat, whereas heavier objects you should allow for 48+ hours (the longer the better). The furniture should also be lifted into place - not wheeled or dragged/pushed into place as the floor coatings are still curing and take a lot more time harden.

It’s also especially important not to lay rugs or mats over them for at least 2 weeks, because it will prevent the varnish from curing.

Restore them with professional sanding

  • Even if you’ve never followed any of these guidelines, and your timber floors are showing signs of wear and tear, it’s possible to extend their lifespan.

Sometimes it’s possible to add many years of use to your investment with just one maintenance coat; but if they’re markedly damaged, they can still be brought back to life with a full re-sand and a few coats of professionally applied polish.

DR Main Floors are Brisbane’s premier floor sanding specialists. We can restore your beaten timber floors back to their natural beauty with our professional skill and high-quality finishing products, so contact us anytime for obligation-free advice on keeping your floors looking great for years to come.


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What our clients say about us...
  • DR Main Floors are fantastic. They have done our whole family's floors for a number of years now and they always do an excellent and professional job and we couldn't be happier. We recently had our old pine floors polished and they look so gorgeous I wish we'd done them earlier.

    Nat Treasure
  • Thanks to Alison and Glyn for such a beautiful finish to our timber floors. We have used DR Main floors three time in the past 15 years and have always been very happy with the results.

    Callan Bennett
  • DR Main Floors were friendly, efficient and professional. Our decks look amazing!

    Caroline Milford
  • A very professional and friendly team - Alison with her product advice and Glyn with his workmanship.  We are very happy with our beautiful floors and we highly recommend this business. Lesley and Mark.

    Mark Thornton
  • I'm not normally one to leave reviews but we had such a positive experience using D R Main that I'm happily writing one now. From the get go Alison and Glyn were helpful, informed and reliable. We had a slightly unusual situation because I was pregnant at the time of our floor polishing and so safety and speed were of high priority to us. Alison and Glyn delivered on safety and speed without compromising on quality. They really did their very best for us and the final look of the floors exceeded our expectations. We couldn't be happier with the results.

    Annabelle Winkler
  • We've had our floors done twice with DR Main - once a full "sand and coat" one re-coat following further renovations. Honestly could not speak highly enough of Glyn's work - he is an absolute master of his craft.

    Ben Humphries
  • Alison and Glyn provided exceptional customer service and an absolutely fantastic result on our recent kitchen & dining renovation. We would happily recommend them and the floors have come up so beautifully we want to polish the whole house! Fantastic company.

    Kate Griffiths
  • Everything went according to plan. Fantastic result,  professional and quite reasonable cost. Will have them do our deck next.

    Patricia Byrne
  • Glyn and Alison provide wonderful service and high quality work. Used them in my own home and now looking to use them again

    Pete W
  • D R Main Floors did an amazing job sanding, filling and polishing our floors. We removed a mix of carpet, tiles, and cork flooring to reveal hardwood Brushbox timber underneath. Alison and Glyn were supportive throughout the whole process, very patient (we had a lot of delays in our renovation) and did a fantastic job. We will definitely use them in the future if we ever need floor polishing completed again.

    Jonathan Midgley
  • D R Main were great to deal with from the start.  Alison came over and explained everything while quoting and bought samples of finishings with her.  Glyn started the work on the day he was booked and finished when he said he would.  The floors look spectacular - I had no idea they could look that good from their former state.  I would happily recommend D R Main floors to anyone looking for quality workmanship.

    Phil Cadell
  • Alison came round and talked us through the options and the best way of sanding and polishing our 100 year old timber home full of furniture. Very helpful and reasonably priced. She easily persuaded me to get the two decks oiled. Glynn turned up when he said he would and worked for as long as he predicted. His advice on closing doors and windows, and how to treat the new surfaces, was clear and sensible. The finished work was perfect. The wooden floors gleam and the decks look better than ever. I have hesitation in recommending them.

    Nick Brooking
  • We have just had our floor boards restored by Glynn and his team and whilst I was really dreading the whole experience, I have to say, not only do the floors look absolutely amazing (having been neglected for 20 + years) but the mess was minimal.  Glynn completely explained the costings, the process, time line etc and everything was well above our expectations.  I have heard so many horror stories from friends about their experiences with timber floors being restored but we'd have no hesitation giving the DR Main Floors the highest recommendation.  Thank you so much. Great service - and no wonder you've been around so long.

    Sandy Fuller
  • After 30 years of living with carpet, starting from the staircase through to all the upstairs of our home, it was a huge decision to rip it all up and restore the original timber floorboards. Glyn, Alison and the team were very obliging and professional during the whole process, which caused very little distribution to our lives. Nothing was too hard or too inconvenient for them and end result was absolutely amazing, we will never have carpet again. My wife and I would highly recommend these guys to anyone!!

    Ellis Green
  • Part of our decking is undercover and the other part is out in the weather around a pool. It was looking really bad after years of us basically doing nothing to maintain it. We were recommended to DR Main Floors on a local Facebook page and are so greatful to have found them. Alison came out to quote and we accepted straight away. Her knowledge was fantastic (not just there to measure) she actually showed me why it needed sanding back / nails would need punching down etc and what the best product would be to use. Glyn then came out and completed the job. Whilst the weather did not help, Glyn would still turn up every day to check / give it a go if possible. Within a week they had completed the job and it looks amazing. They also offer a reminder service to remind us and come out and maintain it as required, we will definitely leave it to Alison and Glyn now to keep it maintained!

    Kellie Mikelsons
  • DR Main floors polished the entry hall and master bedroom in our 100+ year old Queenslander back in 1997. That job still looks like the day it was done. We recently asked them to do the remaining floors and two verandas. Done to perfection again. Glyn always turns up when he says he will and only the weather will stop him doing outside oiling. Alison is always eager to help with quotes and choices of floor finishes. Thank you!

    Henk van Roy
  • Excellent to deal with, prompt service and a great finish on my back deck.

    Ben O
  • Very Professional and Efficient!

    Kim Johnson
  • We consider ourselves very lucky to have found D.R.Mainfloors. Right from the very first meeting with Alison we knew this was a company that took pride in its work. Alison inspected our deck, discussed options and made a recommendation based on the one that most suited our need - not just the most expensive. She knew her work, was very professional but friendly and instilled confidence. Glyn turned up on time and we were very impressed with the care he took in preparing the boards and then applying the coating. It is very reassuring to find a company who you can trust and delivers such high standards. We will most definitely be getting them back to look after our deck. They receive our highest commendations. Do yourself a favour and make sure you give them a call. You will be very glad you did. Thanks Alison and Glyn. Our deck has never looked so good.

    Chris and Gayle Thomas