Wood Care and Maintenance
Cleaning and maintaining your wood flooring is essential to extending the flooring’s lifespan and look. We always recommend you follow the care and maintenance instructions of the flooring manufacturer as they know best on how to care for their flooring.
Here is a list of recommendations from our manufacturers and from our years of experience that will allow you to properly care for solid, engineered or laminate wood floors.
Hardwood/ Engineered Wood/ Laminate Care and Maintenance
Wooden floors come with a protection layer from the manufacturer sealed, but that doesn’t mean that
dirt and spills should remain on the floor for long. You’ll want to wipe up dirt and clean up spills as quickly as possible.
General cleaning recommendations:
- Clean the floor at least once a week.
- Dust, sweep or vacuum the area with a hard floor attachment. However, be cautious of the vacuum that you use. Ideally, you should never use a vacuum that has hard heads or beater bars on them.
- If the manufacturer recommends a specific wax or cleaner for the floor, be sure to use it as directed.
- Avoid using any type of abrasive on your flooring.
- Avoid buffing the floor as you risk damaging the finish.
- Steam mops should be avoided. In many cases, the high temperature of the mop poses a risk to the flooring.
The following routine is enough for most everyday care to keep your solid wood floors looking their best. However, over the years, it’s not uncommon for spots or stains to occur on your flooring.
When these spots and stains do occur, avoid the temptation to use an abrasive because it will do more harm than good for your flooring.
Instead, be proactive and wipe up any spills as they occur. Rapid cleanup allows you to prevent wood damage. If the wood’s sealant wears over time, leaving a spill for too long can lead to permanent stains.
However, for stains or spots, you can try using a warm, damp cloth to help remove the substance from your floor. On top of this, it may be wise to consult with the manufacturer of your flooring.
Special cleaners may be available to help you remove spots that are difficult to get rid of otherwise.
Finally, if you have a sticky material on the floor, such as hardened gum, you may want to:
- Use an ice cube to loosen the material
- Use a plastic scraper
Do not apply additional force if the sticky material doesn’t come off the floor with your dull scraper. Instead, you can try to use an additional ice cube to loosen the material.
Using additional force may remove the substance, but you also risk damaging the wood’s finish in the process.
Use a Microfiber Mop
Some types of mops and cleaning pads can be very abrasive. A Microfiber mop will attract any little bits of dust, pet hair, or dirt missed by dry mopping. We recommend getting one by Bona.
We recommend avoiding using a traditional mop and bucket of water because it only spreads water around the floor without actually cleaning.
Clean Spills As Soon As They Happen
To keep any type of flooring looking like new, it’s important to clean up spills right away to prevent staining or other damage.
Never Drag Furniture
Moving heavy furniture can be a chore. It’s tempting just to slide or drag the furniture around the room, but doing so can damage your vinyl flooring. Furniture pads are relatively inexpensive and can save you a floor repair in the future.
To protect your floors, lift the furniture up off the floor and move it. Alternatively, you can purchase furniture sliders that are made for vinyl flooring. Sliders make it easier to move heavy pieces of furniture without damaging your floors.
Maintaining a regular cleaning schedule allows you to keep your floor looking its best.
High-trafficked areas are the most important, such as entryways or hallways, where people walk frequently. Dirt and particles don’t seem like a major problem, especially in small amounts. But, over time, these small particles can scratch your flooring and take away from its beautiful look.
Avoid using a rotary brush head or a vacuum with a beater bar, as these can damage your flooring.
A few additional tips include:
- Maintain indoor humidity between 35%-45% at all times. Too much indoor humidity can cause a wooden floor to cup or warp. Similarly, not enough humidity can cause the floor to split and crown. The right humidity level is essential for a long-lasting wooden floor.
- Protect against UV damage. The sun’s strong rays can cause your wood to fade. Installing window coverings can help reduce this fade and improve the longevity of the floor coverings.
- Rearrange furniture often. You should rearrange your furniture often to help reduce the fade in certain areas. Rugs are also a good option in high sun areas to help further protect against sun damage
- Mind your pet’s nails. Dogs and cats have sharp nails, so it’s important to keep them properly trimmed to reduce these scratches. Also, clean your pet’s paws when they come inside to reduce the risk of dirt scratching your flooring.
- Wipe up spills quickly. Use a clean cloth to wipe up spills quickly to avoid damaging the wood.
- Use ice for sticky substances. Ice should be used to loosen stuck-on substances as well as a plastic scraper. A credit card will also work. You want to be gentle and diligent to prevent potentially scratching the flooring.
When you have the urge to wet mop your floor, don’t. Water and liquids shouldn’t be used on the floor, nor should oils, waxes or citrus cleaners. Harsh cleaning products, such as steel wool, can damage the floor. Only use cleaning products specifically designed for your type of engineered flooring.
Use Floor Protectors on All Furniture
If you have heavy furniture or appliances that you don’t use often, make sure to use floor protectors to prevent damage.
Floor protectors should be:
- Non-staining or marring
Use Mats at Entrances and Exits
Quality floor mats can help prevent some dirt and mud getting into the house.
Mats collect and trap dirt, oil, grit, sand and other abrasive materials that can damage your vinyl flooring.
Place mats at every entrance and exit in your home to ensure that your floors are thoroughly protected.