Sunday, 15 December 2019

How to Clean an Engineered Wood Floor

We recently wrote about how engineered wood floors are a practical and affordable way to enhance the look of any room. A couple of months on and we thought you might benefit from some tips on how to make sure your new wood floor is always looking at its best.

Do a deep clean

If you live in a busy household your floor may require a deep clean as often as two or three times a year.

You’ll need to vacuum or sweep the floor with a soft brush to collect crumbs and dust - otherwise when it comes to mopping you’ll just be moving dirt around your floor!

There are plenty of specialist floor cleaning products available on the market and many are very effective, but there’s no reason you couldn’t mop the floor using just a little washing-up liquid diluted in warm water. Make sure that you wring the mop out so that it’s damp rather than wet. Clean in the direction of the grain as you’ll find it easier to get into all the crevices in the wood. Once finished, rinse the mop and wring it out thoroughly, then go over the floor once again. If you have two mops you could even use a clean, dry mop at this stage to remove any excess water from your floor surface. Make sure the floor is completely dry before replacing any rugs or mats.

Never use furniture polish on an engineered wood floor - it will leave a slippery residue which won’t be fun to walk on!

Don’t use too much water
Engineered wood is water resistant, but as with any wooden flooring it’s still important that you don’t leave puddles of water on the surface. Excess water could soak into the wood and cause the floor to warp or swell. In a worst-case scenario, the finished surface could lift away from the softwood or plywood core and this would be expensive to fix. Use of a steam mop isn’t recommended for much the same reason, as over time the steam will penetrate the wood and cause similar damage.

Remove dirty marks and scuffs
If you have a busy household with children and/or pets you’re likely to have a marked or scuffed floor.

Fortunately, light scuffs are easily removed with a little rubbing alcohol or baking soda on a damp cloth, rubbed gently on the mark. Another great way to remove light marks and scuffs is to rub the affected area with a rubber eraser or a clean fuzzy tennis ball.

Because engineered wood is usually finished with a water resistant polyurethane or wax coating, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about water stains.

However, if your flooring does get stained, lightly rubbing the affected area with steel wool or a fine grit sandpaper will often be enough to remove the unsightly mark. You can then refinish the area with the appropriate coating. The wear layer of engineered wood flooring is typically 4-8mm thick so care does need to be taken when sanding, otherwise you might find yourself sanding through to the plywood core. This also limits the number of times you can refinish the same area of floor.

Small scratches can often be sorted without having to sand the whole floor. First, thoroughly clean the floor and then allow it to dry. Gently rub the scratch with wire wool in the direction of the grain, then use lacquer or wax to refinish the scratched area to match the rest of the floor.

Prevention is always better than a cure!
If you routinely look after your floor you won’t need to do a deep clean as often, and this will reduce the chance you’ll need to refinish the floor.

  • Clean up spills as soon as they happen with an absorbent cloth, then buff dry.
  • Avoid wearing shoes indoors - grit on the soles of shoes can scratch floors and rubber from trainer soles can transfer to floor surfaces.
  • Use non-slip protector pads under furniture to prevent scratches.
  • Sweep or vacuum your floors daily to prevent dirt and dust from building up in cracks and crevices.
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaning products on your engineered wood flooring as they may damage the surface.
Use a soft brush when sweeping your floor to prevent scratches. If you’d rather vacuum than sweep, ensure you have the appropriate attachments for the job and have your vacuum on the hard floor setting.

Following these tips will help you prevent issues that would later require expensive or time-consuming fixes, which means you’ll have more time to enjoy your beautiful floor and get on with the more important things in life!

Please remember - we can’t be held responsible for your DIY misadventures! When using cleaning or finish products make sure you read the instructions on the bottle, and it’s always best to consult with the manufacturer of your engineered wood flooring before you do any refinishing.

*Collaborative post

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