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Bare floorboards

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Floorboards in a good condition can be enhanced cheaply by sanding and varnishing. An uneven floor is best levelled by sanding with a heavy-duty sanding machine.


It can prove a draughty flooring, especially on the ground floor of a property due to the through draught under the property. This can also result in a dusty surface requiring regular cleaning. Use a plain sealer to bring out the colour of the wood and rugs to enhance the finish.

Wooden flooring is usually waxed or sealed, which stops dirt penetrating the surface and improves the surface appearance. It is therefore easy to maintain. Sweep and clean with solvent-based wax.

If the floor is darker than you would like, apply bleach to lighten them, always testing an obscure area first. You could also use a coloured polyurethane varnish. Even better use a wood stain, which colours the timber and complete by sealing with a clear polyurethane varnish.

Some flooring is factory treated with lacquer, and requires only vacuuming and wiping over with a damp-dry cloth. A rug is advisable where there is heavy usage to avoid scuffing.

Cleaning and caring

If the flooring begins to show signs of wear and tear, the surface can be given a new lease of life by light sanding and re-sealing with varnish. A polyurethane varnish is recommended because it is very hardwearing and easy to maintain.

If the floorboards are unattractive and patched, the surface can be covered with plywood or chipboard, and then stained or sealed to create a new wooden floor. Hardboard can also be used, but is not very hardwearing.

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