The dining table is one of the essential pieces of furniture in most homes. Most homeowners are willing to spend upwards of $1,500 to buy a good dining table, a significant investment.
A solid wood dining table in Ottawa is a good choice because wood is durable and easy to maintain, making it a good value. But, because it is a natural material, you need to observe several best practices in caring for your dining table to make sure it remains in excellent condition for as long as possible.
Use Protective Mats
Avoid placing anything hot or wet directly on your wood table. The heat and liquid will damage the finish and cause the wood to contract and expand. Use heat-resistant table mats for hot dishes and always include coasters when serving cold drinks that will probably create condensation.
Use tablecloths as much as you can to add another layer of protection, especially against sharp objects. If you prefer not to use tablecloths, use regular placemats instead.
Wipe It Down Regularly
You use a dining table every day and often spill liquids. These are not good for the wood. Wipe it down every time with a barely damp soft cloth and follow immediately with a dry cloth. If there are stubborn stains, dip your damp cloth in diluted dishwashing liquid and rub on the spot. Follow with a clean damp cloth and dry cloth.
Keep It Away From Direct Sunlight
Regular exposure to early morning sunlight might be good for you and plants, but not for solid wood dining tables. Direct sunlight can discolour the wood and cause it to fade unevenly, which is not attractive. You can avoid this by keeping it out of areas with direct sunlight or placing curtains on windows.
Regulate the Temperature and Humidity
Humidity is known as the amount of moisture in the air, and moisture causes wood to contract or expand. The same applies to heat, and exposure to either will eventually warp when they change suddenly. Most woodworkers recommend keeping the humidity around solid wood furniture between 40 percent and 45 percent and temperature between 70 and 72 degrees.
The average humidity in Ottawa is 59 percent, which is a little high but not too bad as long as you keep it relatively constant. Use a dehumidifier during the more humid months and keep your furniture away from heating elements, such as fireplaces and radiators. The important thing is to avoid sudden changes in temperature and humidity.
If you must store your dining table for a long time, dismantle it to remove stress on the joints and make it possible to pack in protective layers of furniture pads and cloth. Do not use plastic wrap under all circumstances as it traps moisture.
Avoid putting them in basements and attics where they are likely to swell from moisture or crack from the dryness over a period, respectively. Garages and warehouses are also not a good idea, as they will expose the wood to unregulated temperatures and humidity levels. Store your dining table and other solid wood furniture in climate-controlled storage units if possible.
You can look forward to enjoying the use of your solid wood dining table in Ottawa for many years if you follow these maintenance tips. It might seem a lot at first glance, but it won’t be once you get into the habit.