Think about it, it’s the time when visitors will be parading through your home, lots of party frocks and spike heels, over-excited little ones, even pets. Then there’s the decorations, including candles and real trees which are spill factors and that’s before you even crack open the mulled-wine.
As the UK’s flooring experts, Atkinson & Kirby are often asked for advice. Here Josh Burbidge, Director of flooring, provides some top festive floor tips that will let you enjoy the Christmas spirit without ruining your hard-earned, hardwood floors.
1. Be on the front foot
It looks like we’re in for a white one and a big risk to floors is the combination of dirt, mud and the grit that’s used on roads and paths to stop them being so slippery.
In fact, grit can be one of the biggest floor destroyers as the rock salt leave white residue and scratches if dragged along the floor.
A ‘no shoes inside’ policy or asking guests to change their shoes at the door and a ban on stilettoes, is the ideal.
If that make you feel like Scrooge, then invest in scrapers at the doorstep and mats inside every door. Even pets can track in grit and a handy tip is to keep baby wipes by the door, so you can clean their paws quickly.
2. Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree
Nothing says Christmas like the scent of a real tree but there are pitfalls from sap, to scratchy needles dropping on the floor and even just watering.
It’s common sense to place your Christmas tree on a waterproof mat or bag that you can cover up with decorations and then if you over-water it won’t stain the floor. Also invest in a funnel so you don’t overspill when watering as it can be hard to get around all the decorations.
When bringing the tree in and removing it, wrap it up as it can cause scratches, and use a tree skirt when it’s up as needles can get into hard to reach nooks and crannies. You also don’t want people treading them in and trailing them around the house.
3. Spills and thrills of Christmas
Even the best-behaved party guests are a hazard with all that Christmas drink and food, so be prepared for the worst but hope for the best!
Having paper towels, cloths and floor spray handy means you can act quickly on any spillages. Mop up spills as quickly as you can, then spray and blot.
Also, clean regularly so you don’t get a build-up of mud or grit in the busy areas like hallways.
4. Baby it’s cold outside
Even if your home isn’t exactly party central, most of us are at home for longer over the holidays and that often means we have the heating cranked up and on far more than usual.
That can dry out floors and in extreme cases, cause shrinking and cracks.
If you can’t bear to turn the heating down, add moisture by using a humidifier or strategically placing bowls of water in key areas, you can even make them part of your festive decorations with waterproof baubles.
Now all you need to do is kick back and enjoy the festivities and from everyone here at Atkinson & Kirby we wish you (and your floors) a very merry Christmas!