Your gorgeous engineered wood floor has suffered a terrible assault. A spillage has caused a stain that you need to remedy, and fast. But how can you do so without damaging the floor, and will you be able to get it so clean that it will shine? We hear your stress, but you can relax.
Cleaning engineered wood has never been easier, and we are here to take you through every step of the process. Afraid of ruining your floor or using the wrong techniques? Banish those fears with this expert guide on the best tips and tricks to getting the job done like a professional.
- How to Clean Your Engineered Wood Floors
- Step by Step Instructions
- Tips for Maintaining Your Engineered Flooring
- Final Thoughts
How to Clean Your Engineered Wood Floors
It’s time to clean your floors in style, using safe methods that will leave you feeling way more relaxed while you clean. Gather your supplies (and check the ones you should avoid).
Things You Will Need:
- Soft-bristled broom
- Lightweight vacuum cleaner (optional)
- Wood floor cleaner (manufacturer recommended)
Things to Avoid Using:
- Ammonia based cleaners
- Vinegar based cleaners
- Steam cleaner
Step by Step Instructions
#1 Clear debris. You should make sure to keep your floors clean and free from dirt and debris on a regular basis, and before you clean your engineered wood floors properly you must ensure that they have been vacuumed or swept first.
This is because any particles left can act as an abrasive, attacking the floor and potentially leaving scratches and dents behind. If using a vacuum instead of a broom, ensure it does not have a rotating brush bar as these can damage this type of hardwood floor.
#2 Wet your mop. This should be done weekly in areas with high traffic, and monthly in spaces that have less. Make sure it is a damp mop and not soaking wet as hard floors can be quite porous and susceptible to mould damage as a result.
Once you have finished mopping, make sure to clear up any excess moisture with a clean towel to protect your floors. You can also try a hardwood steam mop, but make sure it is compatible with your flooring first.
#3 Apply your chosen floor cleaner. This is a deep cleaner and should only be used on occasion as opposed to regularly. It removes all the dirt and grime that builds up over time, and you should always use the product recommended by the manufacturer where possible.
When you are ready, mix the cleaner in with the mop water or apply directly to the floor – depending on what the instructions say. Use a mop to apply it, wringing it out regularly and reapplying the cleaning solution as needed until all your floors are covered.
Once this is done, clean the excess moisture with a clean towel to prevent it from soaking into the floor and causing potential damage.
#4 Mop up in sections. When you are mopping, a top technique is to do each room in sections from the furthest side back to the door. That way, you don’t step in the areas you just cleaned and you can also ensure each area is cleaned well before you move on.
Just remember that you want a damp mop and not a soaked one, but also that it can be used quite effectively for removing dirt and debris that was missed by the vacuum cleaner. Read our guide here on how to stop sticky floors from mopping.
#5 Air dry. Make sure you don’t apply any heat to the floors when allowing them to dry as this can cause the wood to warp. Instead, clean up with a towel and allow them to air dry – ventilating the room as much as possible. This is more natural and less likely to cause damage.
Read Here: How to clean dog hairs off of hard floors
Tips for Maintaining Your Engineered Flooring
Engineered wood flooring can be really tricky because almost everything shows on it. It can be hard to keep them looking spotless, especially if you have pets or children living in your home. However, the good news is that it isn’t impossible and maintenance can be easy.
Place mats or rugs at any of the doors leading outside, allowing for shoes to be wiped clean before anyone enters the home. It also helps to reduce the amount of moisture.
However, you must avoid mats that are made of rubber or have a rubber backing as they can damage hardwood floors and scratch them severely.
Long runner rugs in the hallways and protectors under the legs of furniture can also go a long way when keeping the floor maintained. Better yet, ask friends and family to remove their shoes when they enter to keep the floor in top shape.
If you end up with scratches on the floor, there is no need to panic too much as there is a way to lessen their appearance. All you need is a crayon that is the same colour as the floor and to rub that in. Then, heat the area with a hairdryer to melt the crayon and then buff with a cloth.
If there are white water spots, you can use a mineral spirit that has been added to a fine steel wool pad. By rubbing it in a gentle circle, you can eliminate the spots effortlessly.
You can also use the same technique for heel marks – replacing the mineral spirit with an uncoloured wax. It removes the marks and leaves you with floors that look fantastic. You just need to make sure that the steel wool is incredibly fine.
You can also clean your floors using cold tea, simply by dipping a cloth in it (so it’s damp and not wet) and then using it to wipe down your engineered hardwood floors. The tannin in the tea helps to give it a gorgeous polish.
The best maintenance? Cleaning up a spillage as soon as it happens to prevent a stain or any damage from occurring.
There will come a time when you need to refinish your engineered hardwood floors. It’s completely possible, and it can be finished at least once. Generally, you can refinish multiple times but it will depend on how thick the veneer is.
The coating is key here. Always choose a tough aluminium oxide finish and be sure to apply 7-10 coats in order to help prevent future scratching and even water damage.
Read Here: How to clean Unfinished Wood flooring
What are the disadvantages of engineered wood flooring?
There are several disadvantages to having engineered hardwood flooring:
- It fades over time
- Very susceptible to scratches
- Not waterproof
- Can be expensive
- High maintenance
However, there are also some advantages to having them:
- Looks like the real thing
- Has a real layer of wood on top (laminate does not)
- More resistant to temperature fluctuations
- Usually costs less than solid wood
Can you use vinegar to clean engineered hardwood floors?
No, you cannot use vinegar to clean engineered hardwood floors. This is because it can cause the veneer to erode or become damaged. You have to be exceptionally careful and use cleaners that are not as acidic as vinegar.
How long do engineered hardwood floors last?
Your engineered hardwood floors should last a good 30 years. This is because the composition contains several layers of different wood – keeping the core strong and healthy. You just have to make sure you take good care of it and maintain it regularly.
How often should I be cleaning engineered hardwood floors?
You should sweep or vacuum your engineered hardwood floors on a daily basis to keep them clean. Deeper cleaning should only take place on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on the traffic levels and how much dirt gets tracked in each day.
Can engineered hardwood floors be refinished?
Yes, engineered floors can be refinished and you can do it multiple times. You just have to check how thick the veneer is first so that you ensure you have at least 2mm free to sand and place a protective coating on
Should engineered floors be waxed?
You should not wax your engineered floors as this can cause damage over time – just like ammonia and vinegar-based cleaners. Instead, use the suggested cleaning methods listed in this guide for the perfect finish.
There are plenty of ways to get our engineered hardwood floors looking shiny and new again, many of which are completely natural. Just remember to follow manufacturer instructions and use the cleaners that they recommend for the best results and to prevent damaging your floor.
How did you get on with cleaning your floors? We’d love to know if our methods worked for you, or if you have a few tips and tricks of your own you’d like to share. Leave us a comment!
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.