Store your floor in a place where relative humidity is comprised between 40 and 50%. If you store your floor on a concrete surface, leave a minimum space of 4 inches (10 cm) under the boxes to allow for air circulation.
The floor should be delivered to a house, in which walls and ceilings are finished and paint is dry. The boxes should be placed in the room at least 48 hours prior to installation.
Care and Maintenance of your floor
Once you have finished installing your floor, use a vacuum cleaner to eliminate debris and excessive dust.
Varnished floor: mop the surface regularly with a specific hardwood cleaner. « Bona Cleaner »is an efficient, eco-friendly and non-toxic product that leaves no residue.
Oiled floor: use a specific cleaner to clean the surface. « Bona Natural Oil Floor Cleaner » is a professional product designed specifically to clean oiled floors. Non-toxic and water-based, it cleans and provides in-depth nourishment to the wood.
Never wash your floor with large amounts of water, and ban home-made cleaners such as water and vinegar.
Install felt or protective pads under all pieces of furniture to protect your floor against scratches. Never move a heavy object without previously protecting your floor; if need be, flip a rug over to slide the object on it.
Keep a few spare floor boards to use them, should your floor need to be repaired in the future.
Protect your floor against sunlight and intense light sources as they may cause a change in color.
Installing your floor in an appropriate environment is even more important than simply cleaning it. Wood is a living material that reacts to variations in humidity. Wood should always be kept in an area where humidity varies between 40% and 50%. Humidity level variations in the province of Quebec are such that a humidifier is required in winter to ensure that humidity is kept at an appropriate level. Heating in winter greatly dries out ambient air and causes the boards to move apart or even to crack. On the contrary, humidity can rise quickly in the summer and a dehumidifier is then recommended to control the humidity level. A hygrometer is perfect to measure air humidity level.
The following table clearly shows the variations in width of a 2” floor board, depending on the ambient air relative humidity:
Result per board
Source: National Wood Flooring Association
The printable version of the hardwood floor Maintenance Guide is available here