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How to Clean Engineered Hardwood Floors: Our Top 5 Tips
Whether you’ve just installed a brand-new engineered hardwood floor or you’re hoping to spiff up a floor that’s starting to show its age, our tips on how to clean engineered hardwood floors will help you get maximum shine with minimal effort.
Tip #1: Sweep or vacuum daily
Our top tip for how to make engineered hardwood floors shine is to work at it a little bit every day. Sweeping or vacuuming away dust, dirt and debris frequently is not only the easiest tip for how to clean engineered hardwood flooring, but it will prevent these contaminants from being ground beneath your feet into the surface of the floor, creating scratches and causing premature wear.
Tip #2: Use a little vinegar and water
For light day-to-day cleaning, the best way to clean engineered hardwood floors is with white vinegar in lukewarm water (1 cup per 2 gallons of water). The natural acidity of vinegar helps to strip away dirt and contaminants while being safe for your engineered floor and for the environment. Just be sure to use a damp mop or cloth – rather than something soaking wet – and to wipe up any standing water immediately. For best results, mop in the same direction as the grain in the floorboards.
Tip #3: Use a recommended cleaner for heavy-duty cleaning
You likely received a recommendation from the manufacturer for how to clean engineered hardwood floors when your floors were installed. The important thing with any kind of engineered wood flooring cleaner is to test it first in a discrete spot to make sure the cleaner won’t damage the finish. We do not recommend the use of steam mops/vacuums for heavy-duty cleaning.
Tip #4: Protect high-traffic areas
One of the easiest ways of caring for engineered hardwood floors is to use rugs, runners and welcome mats in high-traffic areas like entry points, hallways and kitchens. These coverings can help prevent the grit on the bottom of shoes from grinding into the floor and damaging the finish.
Tip #5: Refinish to fix major damage
Sometimes cleaning methods and protective coverings just aren’t enough to prevent a floor from being damaged. When your engineered floor has been scratched by someone dragging a piece of furniture across the boards, for example, you may need to sand and refinish it to restore its beauty. This option depends on the quality of your floor and its finish. While some engineered floors use only a very thin top layer that allows it to be refinished only once, Carlisle engineered floors have a thick top layer and can be refinished as often as our solid wood floors. Depending on the floor and the finish, however, you may need to replace boards to avoid an uneven appearance. This is why we recommend saving some “attic stock” from your initial installation that you can use to replace damaged boards.