Caring for your Engineered Wood Floor
Caring for your engineered wood floors is a very simple process as long as it is made a part of your regular cleaning regimen. Today’s engineered wood products offer superior resistance to staining from most common household products and by following the steps outlined below you can keep your wood floor looking new. First and foremost, keep your floor free of dirt and debris through regular cleaning which will help you to retain the original look of your wood floors for years to come.
For cleaning, make sure you use a soft cloth to blot spills and spots as soon as they happen – never allow any liquid to stand on your floor. Sweep, dust, or vacuum your floor regularly with the hard floor attachment (no beater bar) to prevent accumulation of dirt and grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish. For a more thorough cleaning, use care products recommended by your manufacturer which will generally be available at any home or hardware store.
Things to avoid:
- Never use oil based, wax, polish or strong ammonia or abrasive cleaners.
- Do not use steel wool, abrasive pads, or scouring powder to clean your floor.
- Do not wash or wet mop your engineered wood floor with soap, water, oil-soaps, or any other liquid cleaning material. Use of these products could cause swelling, warping, delamination, and even “gapping” of your floor at the joints which could result in voiding the manufacturer warranty.
- Never use any type of buffing machine on your floor – in the rare instance that this becomes necessary, it is a process that should only be performed by a trained flooring professional.
Additional Protection for your Wood Floors:
- The best protection? Good quality entry and exit mats. Also known as walk off mats, these products help collect the dirt, sand, and other substances such as oil, asphalt, or driveway sealer that can otherwise be tracked onto your flooring. Do not use rubber or foam backed plastic mats as they can discolor your floors. To prevent slippage, use an approved vinyl rug underlayment.
- Use floor protectors and wide-load-bearing leg bases and rollers to minimize scratches and indentations that can occur with heavy objects. As a general rule, the heavier the object, the wider the floor protector should be.
- Remove shoes with missing, damaged, or spiked heels before walking on your floor as they may cause visible indentations in your floor.
- Keep your pet’s nails trimmed to keep them from scratching the floor.
- Periodically rearrange your furniture. Rearranging rugs and furniture will help your engineered wood floor age evenly. Exposure to the sun and its UV rays will soften the tone of different species of hardwood to varying degrees and accelerate the oxidation and aging of the wood – some species will get lighter with times, others may actually darken.
- Maintaining your home’s relative humidity level will help to minimize the natural expansion and contraction of the wood. Most manufacturers recommend a humidity level of between 35 and 55% throughout the year.
Today’s engineered wood floors are real wood and should be treated as such. Engineered products are more dimensionally stable than their solid counterparts but are susceptible to the same types of damage. With a little common sense and by following the recommendations above, you can expect your wood floors to maintain their beauty and performance for years to come.