Engineered hardwood floorings are among the best floor types that you can use in your house. The floor gives your house a sense of class and sophistication and is the closest you can come to pure solid wood floors.
Unlike other floors, this one adds value to your home should you think of re-selling your house in the future. In order to leave your floors in good condition for years, you need to know how to care for and clean your engineered hardwood floor.
What Is Engineered Hardwood Floor and Benefits of Using It
Like mentioned earlier, if you are looking for a floor that will give you the look and feel of solid hardwood, then go for engineered hardwood floor.
They are made of timber boards layers that are topped with a pure hardwood veneer. This makes them versatile, stunning and very easy to install.
Just like reliable COREtec flooring, maintenance of engineered hardwood is very easy and with proper care, your floors will look great for many years to come and when the time comes to re-sell your house, you are sure to get a great deal out of it.
Here are a few benefits of using them in your home:
These floorings last for years with proper care and maintenance. As such, you are assured of you floors serving you for long before you have to replace the planks or tiles.
Easy to Install
They are very easy to install in that they can be installed on other surfaces like concrete and other below grade levels that solid hardwood couldn’t be installed.
Unlike solid hardwood, engineered version performs well under high humidity and as such can be installed in areas like the bathroom and kitchen.
Types of Engineered Hardwood Floors by Method of Installation
With most engineered floorings, you need to apply adhesive to the surfaces during installation. With glueless one, however, the tongue and lock edges don’t need any adhesive as they interlock easily.
Due to this, you don’t need a professional to help in the installation. The only thing you need to make sure is that the subfloor is even when you are installing.
Glued flooring is just the opposite. You need to apply an adhesive to the plank joints during installation.
Due to this, you end incurring more costs due to the money you will spend on adhesive and not to mention that the installation of this kind of floor takes more time than with the glue-less option.
While glued floors will hold for years, when damage occurs, it is very hard to replace just one section and as such may end up redoing the entire floor.
Pre-glued flooring already has glue applied on the joints and all you need is to lay the planks. The only thing you need is to moisten the boards so as to activate the glue.
Types of Engineered Hardwood Finishes
There are different finishes of engineered hardwood and they include:
Wood Surface Finish
The wood finish is the most common and comes in print and veneer designs. The wood surface finish is designed to mimic both softwood and hardwood boards so as to meet all your needs.
Laminate flooring falls in the category of engineered hardwood. Laminate is synthetic plastic floor tiles or planks made to look like hardwood.
There are options of engineered stone and tile finishing. Engineered stone flooring is made of limestone, marble or quartz that is crushed and then a polymer resin adhesive added and compressed under pressure.
While ceramic stone brings a sense of elegance in a home, it is expensive to install making it difficult to get the finishing you want. Engineered stone finishing makes it possible to get the same finish without necessarily breaking the bank.
Compared to natural ceramic, the engineered stone finish is nonporous and hence you never have to worry about your floor being susceptible to water damage. Stone floors also have higher resistance and are non-abrasive and as such last longer.
Just like engineered stone floors, engineered tiles are made from marble and stone conjoined with an adhesive and compressed under pressure.
Compared to granite, tile wears out quickly and also tends to get ruined when exposed to direct sunlight. Engineered tiles are, therefore, ideal for areas that have little traffic and are great for indoor applications.
Tools Needed for Cleaning Engineered Hardwood Floors
Caring for your engineered hardwood floors is easier than you may think. All you need are the right tools for cleaning and you are good to go.
Soft Bristle Broom
Before you begin cleaning, you need to get rid of dust and other debris on the floor. Dust and grit act as abrasives and may leave your floor looking old and susceptible to further damage.
As such, ensure that you sweep the floor regularly to get rid of dust and debris with a premium hardwood floor sweeper. Also, in that case, you might want to invest in long-lasting floor mats for home to ensure that dust and grit do not make their way to your home.
Your broom may not remove every bit of dust and debris which is why you need to get the best vacuum for hardwood floors or a premium upright vacuum.
When you are vacuuming ensure that you turn the beater off and set the vacuum to the highest setting or that of bare floors, failure to which you may end up scratching your floors.
Hardwood Floor Mop
While vacuuming will remove most of the dirt and will leave your floors looking clean, sometimes you need to clean them and the best way to do that is using a damp mop. It is recommended that you use a microfiber mop as it is non-abrasive.
When cleaning, avoid soaking the mop because even if this type of flooring can withstand humidity, too much water will ruin it as water can end up seeping through the joints leading to warping and underlayment damage. You can also use an exceptional spin mop with a microfiber head.
It is best if you use a cleaner that is recommended for such floors to avoid long term damage.
Avoid vinegar and ammonia-based cleaners as these can lead to damage. Also, avoid using steam cleaners as well even if you have the most excellent steam cleaner.
How to Prevent Damage On Your Engineered Hardwood Floors
Your engineered hardwood floors are susceptible to water damage as well as scratches and as such you need to know how to prevent those to keep your floors looking great and new.
Step 1 – Wipe spills immediately they occur
In a home, accidents are inevitable, especially if there is high traffic. Water and other liquid spills are hard to avoid and when they occur you need to wipe them immediately.
While engineered hardwood can withstand humidity, a spill that is left to sit for long will eventually seep through the joint and can end up causing warping or even staining the floor in the process.
If a spill occurs, blot at the spill gently rather than scrubbing or using pressure to clean it. If you do that, you risk causing warping or pressing the liquid into the wood leading to damage.
Step 2 – Don’t use ammonia and vinegar based solutions
Ammonia and vinegar are excellent cleaners of certain floor types, but not engineered hardwood. Their abrasive nature will end up damaging your floor and not to mention could cause erosion of the veneer surface.
Step 3 – Avoid using steam cleaners
Steam cleaners work well on carpets, but the same can’t be said for engineered hardwood. This is because steam ends up soaking through the wood causing warping and damaging the top layer.
Step 4 – Avoid using an abrasive brush
To keep your floor looking new, avoid using tough abrasive brushes to scrub the floor.
Engineered hardwood is susceptible to scratching and this is what you will be doing by using an abrasive brush to clean your floor. Instead, use a damp microfiber mop when you decide to clean or wipe any spills.
How to Clean Engineered Hardwood Floors
While sweeping and vacuuming will help maintain a clean looking floor, from time to time you will need to clean it, especially if you have young children and pets or have a lot of people in the house.
Step 1 – Begin by sweeping
Before you even begin cleaning, use a soft bristle broom to sweep the floor. This will remove dirt and other debris that may be on the floor. Ensure that you have a dustpan to sweep the dirt into.
Step 2 – Vacuum
Your broom may not get all the dirt and as such ensure that you use a vacuum to get rid of the rest.
Step 3 – Mop to clean up all the dirt
Pass a mop over the floor to remove all the dirt that the broom and vacuum may have missed.
When mopping your tiles or planks, ensure that you use a microfiber mop as the material is less abrasive and will not scratch the top layer. At this point, you also don’t need to use water as a dry mop will work just fine.
Step 4 – Use a damp mop
To get rid of stains and dirt, you can proceed to use a damp mop. All you need it to ensure that mop is a microfiber one since the last thing you want is to scratch the floor.
A regular mop can also work as long as the fibers are soft and you have removed all the dust and debris with a broom and vacuum. Ensure that you wring out all water from the broom and that it is just slightly damp.
While engineered hardwood can withstand humidity, too much water could damage the floor if it seeps through the joints. If the mop you are using leaves any water on the floor, use a dry cloth or towel to wipe it.
Step 5 – Use area rugs and furniture pads
To ensure that you protect your floor from surface scratches, use area rugs at the entrance and furniture pads after you clean. Area rugs will ensure that dust and debris don’t get dragged into the house under feet saving you from too much sweeping and vacuuming.
If you have enough mats, place then both outside and inside the house such that people can wipe off dust and mud on them before entering the house. Ensure that you regularly shake the mats to ensure that a lot of dust and debris don’t buildup.
How to Maintain and Protect Your Engineered Hardwood Floors
Maintaining engineered hardwood floors is very easy as all you need is to ensure that you put up the right measures and practices to ensure that your floor is free of scratches.
Step 1 – Use area rugs
Engineered floors, if properly taken care of, can last you a lifetime. As such, ensure that you invest in area rugs that can be placed outside and inside the house to ensure that dust and debris are not dragged into the house.
Dust and debris are your worst enemy as these two act as abrasives when stepped on leading to scratches on the floor.
By having a mat outside the house, you will encourage visitors to wipe their feet and the second mat inside the house will trap any remaining dust and debris.
Step 2 – Encourage a shoe-free house
If you don’t want to keep sweeping or vacuuming the floors or worrying about scratches on your floor, encourage people to remove their shoes when in the house.
This is because shoes trap dirt that is dropped in various places in the house. High heels alone end up scuffing and scraping away the finish of the floor.
Step 3 – Use furniture pads
Heavy furniture may end up causing surface scratches especially when being dragged across the floor when cleaning. As such, if you want to keep your floors looking new, ensure that you invest in furniture pads.
Do’s and Don’ts While Cleaning Engineered Hardwood Floors
- Don’t use a hard brush as it will end up scratching your floor.
- Don’t use vinegar or ammonia because, while these work well on other floors, with engineered hardwood, their abrasive nature ends up causing the veneer layer of the floor to erode which may mean re-doing your entire floor.
- Don’t use steam cleaners because steam may end up seeping through the wood leading to warping and eventual damage of the floor.
- Do wipe spills immediately the occur since just like in solid wood flooring, water, if left for long, could end up staining the floor and may seep through the joints leading to warping.
- Do sweep and vacuum regularly to remove dust and debris that make their way to the house and act as an abrasive and will often lead to scratches on the floor.
- Do use area rugs to trap dust and debris that may end up in the house. Area rugs should be used both inside and outside the house.
- Do use a slightly damp mop because too much water, as mentioned, will seep through the joints and may damage your floor. If any water remains, use a dry microfiber cloth to avoid damaging and staining.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I clean engineered hardwood floors?
How often you clean your floors will depend on the amount of traffic in the house. Regular sweeping and vacuuming will maintain clean-looking floors, but once in a while mop with a damp mop.
Is it safe to mop engineered hardwood floors?
Yes, it is safe to mop them as long as you use a slightly damp microfiber mop to ensure that you don’t soak or scratch the floor.
Can I use detergents to clean stains from engineered hardwood floors?
If possible, use the manufacturer’s recommended detergents to clean stains.
How do you repair engineered hardwood floors?
For glueless option, you may need to sand the surface to get rid of blemishes or replacing the worn-out board, but the glued ones require you to re-do the entire floor if there is any damage.
How to refinish engineered hardwood floors?
Sand the floor with a 60 grit sandpaper and then use a vacuum to clean the dust and debris and then you can mop the floor. Once the floor has dried, apply the gloss such a polyurethane for floors and then buff gently and leave to dry for a day.
How do you deep clean engineered hardwood floors?
Move the furniture, vacuum and mop the floor with a damp microfiber mop and use a cleaning solution recommended for this type of flooring.
How do you clean engineered hardwood floors without streaks?
Since you can’t use vinegar or ammonia to clean, use a cleaner that is designed for this flooring and a microfiber mop.
Engineered hardwood floors are the closest you can come to solid wood floors. They are not only easy to maintain but clean as well. All you need are the right tools and the know-how of caring for such floors.
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