When properly cared for, hardwood flooring can last generations in your Columbia home. Learn more about proper techniques for cleaning your solid and engineered hardwoods from the experts at Floor Coverings International Columbia East.

cleaning hardwood flooring, columbia

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Whether your floors haven’t been cleaned in a while, or you recently moved into a new home with worn and dirty flooring, sometimes your hardwoods need a little TLC. Follow this process to make old floors shine again:

  • Move furniture out of the room, if possible. Take care when moving heavy pieces so you don’t scratch or dent the flooring in the process.
  • Thoroughly vacuum, sweep or dry mop the floors to remove any loose dirt and debris. It’s important to do this on a regular basis to pick up particles that can scratch or scuff the surface of your floors.
  • Clean the floors with a damp mop and either a homemade cleaning solution, such as water and vinegar, or a specialty hardwood-cleaning product. Take care and don’t use an excess amount of water or cleaner in this process. Standing liquids can easily damage wood and cause the boards to warp.
  • Select a floor polish based on the manufacturers recommendations. Working in small sections of the floor and starting at the back of the room, apply the polish and smooth it out along the grain of the wood. As you move from section to section, be sure to blend the polish so you don’t have uneven streaks.
  • Allow the polish to dry completely, up to 24 hours, and return your furnishings to the clean room!

It’s important to always test an inconspicuous area of the floor before applying any cleaning or polish product, and use the manufacturers recommendations for your specific hardwood flooring.

If your best cleaning efforts still do not reveal gorgeous hardwoods, it may be time to refinish the floor. Sanding, staining and re-coating the floors with a protective layer will make them look brand new again.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring has many benefits, and the process for cleaning and maintaining engineered wood is very similar to solid hardwoods. The biggest difference with engineered hardwoods comes when it’s time to refinish the floors.

Depending on the thickness of the wear layer (or the top layer of solid wood) the floors may not be eligible for refinishing. A very thin wear layer cannot be sanded down. Therefore, a damaged engineered hardwood floor may need to be replaced all together. If the wear layer is greater than three-quarters of an inch, however, it can likely be refinished for a fresh new look.

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