Cleaning Engineered Hardwood Floors
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Engineered wood floors, also called laminate wood floors or snap in floors are steadily becoming the most popular floor option around and for good reason. These look and feel a lot like that of hardwood, but at half the cost. These also tend to be easier to take care of, easier to clean, and easy to install – the floating planks for example, are the easiest of all.
If you have engineered wood floors or you plan on getting them and you want to know how to take care of them so that they look amazing for years to come, continue to read below for more information.
Spills From Drinks and Food
Okay so engineered wood is really popular, but you still need to make sure that as soon as you spill food or drink on it, that you clean it up immediately, just as you would need to with any other floor type. Just like with their cousin the hardwood floor, engineered wood and liquids don’t work well with each other.
Also, if you drop something like wine or grape juice on it and let it sit, over time it will actually seep into the plank, between the particleboard and the veneer and cause a stain you simply will not get out no matter how hard you try!
If this does happen, you will need to remove the plank that has been ruined.
The only positive differences about removing planks is that its easier and cheaper to replace than hardwood would be.
When a spill occurs, have it be drink, use a dry towel to soak up the excess and allow your cloth to absorb the spill. Try not to add pressure because this can push the stain further down into the wood.
You shouldn’t need a damp mop or damp cloth if you immediately caught the stain! If a spill occurs and its food, grab the food up with a dry towel and do the same directions as with the liquid spills.
Use Your Dust Pan and Broom Regularly
It should also be mentioned that using a broom and dustpan is also advantageous for another reason – it can sweep up granules of dirt and small stones which can act like sandpaper to your engineered floors.
This will scratch them over time, especially if you have high traffic in these areas.
Mopping The Floors
You can also use a mop for stains, just make sure its not sopping wet. A damp mop won’t do damage to the floor, but a sopping wet one will.
In fact, a wet mop is just as bad as standing water and will cause all sorts of issues in the future for your engineered floors such as warping, boards shifting or buckling.
Make sure that you use a mop with a squeeze option on the mop itself OR use a mop bucket with a mop squeeze option.
Vacuuming The Floors
Alternatively, if you don’t have a broom you can also use a vacuum with an attachment that has a soft bristled brush on it. These are really good for “sweeping” up dust and other particles, but if you give them a little more of a back and forth motion they can also remove any dust and particles from between the floor joints and nooks that you might otherwise miss with a broom.
What NOT To Use
While we mentioned some ways you can clean the floors in the article mentioned above, there are also items you shouldn’t be using on your floors.
The first one is ammonia or even vinegar as a cleaner. Most people use vinegar in their kitchens because it can really help clean up and get rid of bacteria on the counters, but its not okay to use on your hardwood floors. In fact, it will most likely fade them and fade them fast! I got this little tip when I purchased my flooring from someone working at Home Depot.
The second item to keep away from your engineered floors are steam cleaners. These might work well with other materials, but not engineered wood. The steam which is essentially high heat and moisture can be forced down inside the wood and cause damage to the flooring or the seal itself.
The third item to keep away from your beautiful floors is salt or DE-icers. These two items can really damage your floor and do so quite quickly. Instead of walking all over your floor after you’ve been outside, consider buying a few mats for your house.
You can place one right by the door that has bristles on it that will allow your guests or family to wipe their shoes on the bristles and then take their shoes off at the door.
Mats should be placed at any entrance door throughout the house, including the garage, the mudroom, and the basement.
Can I Wax My Floors?
Really, this is a hard question to answer, so we won’t! Instead, its a good idea to ask your manufacture about this specific question, as well as any other questions you might have about your flooring.
If you do the things mentioned above and take care of your engineered wood floors properly, you will definitely see an increase in their longevity.
Engineered wood floors, when taken care of properly, can last anywhere between 5 and 15 years. Obviously, this time reduces when you don’t take care of them properly or use products on them that are not mean to be used on them!