Installing hardwood floors in a home can offer a beautiful and durable solution to flooring needs. This natural product ages well and can develop a distinguished look over time. Equally, the resale value of homes with hardwood floors can be a bonus to the seller.
Cleaning and protecting hardwood floors help to extend their life and value—especially when using chemical-free products with deionized water and purified water with a shallow ion content. Following a few recommendations, most hardwood floors will look great for years to come. Book a maid online for professional cleaners to maintain the hardwood floors in your house. Let's examine how to clean a hardwood floor.
How Often Should You Clean Your Hardwood Flooring?
Hardwood floors offer beautiful durability for a variety of homes and lifestyles. They are great for high-traffic living spaces with pets and children and the quiet house at the end of the block.
The frequency of cleaning a home's hardwood floors depends on the traffic. The more they are used, the more often they need to be cleaned.
Since hardwood floors are usually coated with a sealant to protect them and make them shine, regular cleanings help to prolong the life of the coating, the integrity of the wood, and the glossy appearance of the flooring.
To maintain hardwood floors, it’s best to vacuum once a week to remove dirt and sand, which can be abrasive and wear down floor sealants. It’s also beneficial to dry mop. This helps eliminate small dirt particles the vacuum might have missed.
Once a month, use a hardwood floor cleaner. There are many different cleaners on the market, so read labels to ensure they’ll work with the type of wood or sealant on the flooring.
If a regular maintenance and cleaning regiment takes place, the floors will often maintain their shine, except in the most high-traffic areas. Eventually, the foot traffic will cause wear spots. Once these develop, it will be necessary to have the floors sanded and refinished.
What to Know Before You Begin?
Cleaning and caring for hardwood floors isn’t too difficult of a job, but it must happen regularly for the best long-term and short-term results. Make sure you’re using cleaning products recommended for your specific flooring, and follow all instructions for application.
Some older hardwood flooring may have a wax coating on them. Wax coatings are great protection and have been used for many years. They represent an older approach to protecting hardwoods but are still used by many people and businesses.
Many waxes require the same product to be applied or all the wax to be stripped, using a different type of cleaner and protector. Make sure your floor cleaner won't react poorly to wax coatings, as some cleaners will cloud the hardwood finish, requiring complete floor stripping. Read the label carefully and chat with the manufacturer if you are not 100% sure.
You’ll also want to ensure your flooring is real wood or a laminate product before applying a cleaner or a protective coating. We’ll discuss laminate floorings in greater detail a little further down.
Types of Wood Flooring
All wood flooring is not the same, and some require very different levels of maintenance and care. Let’s examine some of the more popular types of hardwood flooring.
Solid Hardwood Flooring
This hardwood flooring is what most people picture when discussing this topic. It’s often found in older buildings and is strips of real wood, usually with tongue and groove edges for installation.
Solid hardwood flooring is usually installed with nails, glue, or a combination. Solid hardwood flooring is fairly durable, depending on the wood. Oak, pine, walnut, cherry, and hickory are the typical hardwoods used in flooring, with oak one of the most popular. Heart pine is also commonly used in flooring, although not a traditional hardwood.
More recently, additional types of woods have entered the conversation and offer different choices for hardwood flooring. Bamboo, for example, is a dense wood choice, which is also less expensive since it is more plentiful. Bamboo performs well over time as a flooring choice.
One of the biggest advantages of solid hardwood flooring is its longevity. It can be sanded and refinished when a solid wood floor shows too much wear and tear or has significant surface damage. This process can be repeated over the life of a hardwood floor, allowing some hardwood floors to last hundreds of years if properly cared for.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered hardwood floors are wood flooring options that use manufactured wood planks. The wood is real and, once applied, will look just like solid hardwood floors.
The difference here is the engineered planks allow for greater amounts of moisture and humidity to occur without experiencing warping, which can occur with solid hardwoods. Engineered floors are designed to flex and move because they are created by stacking layers of wood, some with grain and others laid cross-grain.
Engineered hardwood flooring will handle most, if not all, of the cleaning products solid wood can. Check the labels just to make sure. Engineered wood flooring manufacturers usually recommend the types of cleaners to be used, not to void their warranties.
Engineered floors may be able to take one or two sandings and refinishing. Still, they won’t allow for multiple revitalizations of the surface because of the layering used to create the planks. Most engineered floors will need to be replaced if significant surface damage(scarring or wood gouging) occurs.
Laminate flooring is photographic imaging of wood planks applied to fiberboard, which is coated on the surface with a protective melamine finish. Laminate flooring planks lock together but aren’t usually attached to a subfloor. Some manufacturers have created very convincing laminates. These floors are easier to care for and typically resist most damage.
Since laminate isn't hardwood, you won’t use a wood cleaner on it. Instead, there are numerous floor and surface cleaners available that can be used for laminates. Check labels and read up on what the laminate manufacturer recommends. Many laminate manufacturers will offer a proprietary cleaning product designed specifically for their product.
Laminate flooring is fairly durable and will resist many hard impacts, which might scar hardwood flooring. The laminate usually resists stains well, too, only needing a regular cleaning to maintain its like-new appearance. Laminates cannot be refinished and have to be replaced if seriously damaged.
What Tools Do You Need to Clean Your Wooden Flooring?
For regular cleanings, choose a broom with soft bristles. The nylon bristles will be easy on the flooring and hold static charges, which help attract smaller bits of dust and dirt.
When mopping, look for microfiber mop heads. The microfibers attract dirt and grime and are often easier to clean than sponge or cotton string mops.
Vacuuming helps to get dirt from high-traffic areas, as well as those hard-to-reach corners. Vacuums also help remove dirt and debris which is in between the planks.
Solution for Wood Floor Cleaning
Since most hardwood floors have been coated and sealed to resist dirt and damage, avoiding abrasive or heavy chemical cleaners, such as bleach or ammonia, is best. Most grime will clean up with a good mopping of soap and water. Or check with the manufacturer or floor installation company to see which products they recommend. There are many available.
Tips to Clean Your Wood Flooring
Following some simple recommendations, your wood flooring should look new for years.
- Regular maintenance cleanings- Just by sweeping and vacuuming once a week, you’ll be able to protect the flooring. Remember that most hardwood flooring degradation stems from sand and dirt particles acting like sandpaper as foot traffic grinds the particles against the flooring.
- Clean accidents quickly- If something spills, clean it up right away. Sticky, sugary drinks left on flooring can discolor the wood and attract more sand and dirt. If handled right away, most spills only require a wipe-up and a wet paper towel to wash away any residuals.
- Use vinegar to clean- Household white vinegar mixed with water makes a great all-purpose cleaner that works on wood and laminate flooring. Mix ½ cup of vinegar with a gallon of water, mop on, and wipe dry. Use a towel to dry up excess moisture.
- Deep clean annually- Once a year, it’s advisable to use a stronger wood flooring cleaner and give the floor the business. If foot traffic is heavier, try a semi-annual deep clean.
- Try liquid Scratch Concealers- If the wood flooring shows considerable damage, there are scratch concealers that can hide nicks and marks only in a few locations.
Fresh Tech Maids has chosen alternative cleaning methods from what their competitors do. The practice of using chemical-free products ensures a cleaning solution that will not be harmful to your health or your home. This cleaning method leaves your home sparkling without the harsh scent left behind by chemical products.
Keeping hardwood floors clean and looking like new may be a job you want to leave to the pros. Fresh Tech Maids offers professional services for various cleaning jobs and locations. Contact us or book maid online on our website Or, if you prefer to talk over the phone, give us a call at (847) 392-0888.
We look forward to handling all your cleaning needs with fast and professional service.