Cleaning Hardwood Floors – Maintenance make them last longer

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors have never been more popular than they are today. Designed to match any decor they are suitable for most areas in the house. Hardwood is an excellent choice for those who are looking for an easy-to-maintain flooring. Wood flooring adds value and charm to your home. Before we learn about cleaning hardwood floors, it would be useful to know about the wood flooring.

What is wood flooring?

When wood or product manufactured from timber is used as flooring, it is wood flooring. Wood, being a very durable product, is a common choice as a flooring material.

Types of wood flooring

Wood flooring can be classified under two types, based on the raw material that goes into it.

Solid

Solid hardwood floors are made of planks milled from timber. The planks are individual pieces milled from single timber.

Engineered

Engineered wood floors are also made of wood planks but the planks are not single pieces. They consist of two layers of wood, that are joined or compressed to form a single piece.

Solid Hardwood vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood is milled from solid timber and fits well in any room. This type of flooring is durable. It can be sanded and refinished many times to maintain its natural beauty.
This type of flooring is not recommended for below-grade areas like bathrooms or basements where it can get damaged from moisture.

Engineered hardwood flooring consists of multiple layers of thin but tough hardwood surfaces. They come with laminated layers. Lamination makes them resistant to moisture. Hence, they can be used in all areas. Engineered wood is the most common type of wood flooring used globally.

Need for cleaning hardwood floors

Cleaning hardwood floors regularly will help you avoid permanent damage to the flooring. It would be very expensive to fix the damage in the future. Also, keeping the flooring clean helps to keep harmful pollutants like dust and allergens out of the house. Make it a habit to routinely clean the floor. Routine cleaning and maintenance will keep the dirt and dust away and prevent scratches. Scratches dull the wood finish.

Method of cleaning wood floors

How often you should clean the flooring really depends on your environment. Remember kids, pets and the nature of your environment are the major contributing factors to dirt, dust and the wear and tear of the flooring.
Dusting daily will keep your floors free from dust and dirt and prevent scratching. This will also reduce the allergens in the house. Dusting using microfiber material is more effective as the smaller fibers can reach into the small pores in the floors. By keeping it dust free, you can extend the life of your floor. You can also use a vacuum cleaner for dusting. The vacuum cleaner sucks the dust and does not allow it to spread.
Clean the flooring at least once a week. Use a microfiber pad for cleaning. It removes the dust from cracks and openings and does help to remove bacteria. Remember moisture is the biggest enemy of wooden flooring. Using too much liquid in cleaning, can damage the floors. Ph-neutral, non-toxic and biodegradable formulas are recommended for cleaning. They, not only clean effectively but also keep your home and environment safe.

Should I polish the floor

It is necessary to polish the floor periodically. How often you should polish the wooden floor depends on the traffic your floor experiences. As a general rule, it would be necessary to polish the flooring once every four months.
Polish gives the flooring a protective layer. Polish fills up all the micro scratches and gives the wood a beautiful shiny look. Moisture does not penetrate the polish layer and the wood is guarded against stains and scratches. Polishing the floor is simple and it does not require any complicated procedure or special equipment.

  • remove the furniture, rugs and other obstacles on the floor
  • dust and clean the floor
  • would be ideal to clean the floor using a vacuum cleaner that sucks out all the dust from cracks and openings
  • give the floor a wet cleaning using wood floor cleaners
  • when the floor is completely dry, empty the required quantity of polish on to the floor
  • spread the polish using an applicator
  • allow the floor to dry. Do not walk on it at least for an hour
  • the newly polished floor will be ready to take on the traffic after 24 hours

Hardwood floors are renowned for their warmth and elegance. They provide an ideal backdrop for any decor. Cleaning hardwood floors regularly will avoid damage and costly expenditure in the future. When maintained properly, wood floors can last more than 25 years and their beauty increases with age.