Engineered wood floors are one of the most popular floor coverings combining the luxury of solid wood flooring with improved performance. Consumers are often concerned about cleaning or maintaining engineered wood flooring, so we thought that we would help out with our wealth of experience.
It is easy to take care of an engineered floor and well-maintained wood flooring will look fantastic for many years. Poor maintenance and cleaning often lead to problems that affect the performance and appearance of the floor. It is important to understand that natural products are limited to the characteristics of the material used. They are not indestructible, even when classed as hard wearing. They can still become damaged or scratched. Following our maintenance guides will help to ensure that this does not happen.
What is Important to keep Your Wood Flooring Looking Fantastic
There are 4 important things to consider to keep a wood floor looking fantastic. We will cover each of them in detail.
- Site conditions
It is also very important to note a few characteristics of real wood flooring which are inevitable :
- Engineered wood will expand and contract with changes in heat and moisture.
- Spillages must be cleaned up immediately to avoid damage.
- Scratches are normal and very hard to avoid with real wood.
- Colouring will change over time.
- Oiled Flooring requires more maintenance than Lacquered.
Heat and Humidity
When maintaining engineered wood flooring, it is important to ensure the site conditions are suitable. Wood is a natural product that reacts to the environment. After installing engineered wood flooring, it is important to maintain a stable environment or good site conditions. The humidity should be constantly maintained between 40-65%RH. This is considered a very normal humidity inside a UK or Ireland home. Maintaining this should be easy in a warm dry space. If humidity is something you have concerns about, it can be measured with a hygrometer. Read more about this at Humidity and Wood Flooring.
The room of installation should also be heated and mostly kept between 16-28° C. This is quite a large range and is something that most homes or commercial environments will normally be within. However, if you are away from your home for long periods of time, we recommend setting your heating to maintain the lowest temperature of 16°C. This can help avoid over-expansion.
Scratches on Engineered Floors
To help avoid scratches on engineered wood flooring, we recommend the following ways to protect your floor :
- Use an abrasive matt at external doors
- Ensure felt pads are installed on all furnishings
- Check shoes for metal spikes or worn heels
- Lift items, do not drag them
- Use maintenance oils or lacquer protection
Oiled wood flooring has the added advantage of being easier to repair. You can apply new oils to hide scratches, often with no need for sanding. On a lacquered finish, a light sanding of the affected area is normally needed before applying new lacquer. Oil types do vary so we always recommend testing a small area before application.
Don't worry too much about scratching. Many of the very best-looking wood floors in older buildings are well worn with many scratches that have built up over time. They have a highly sought-after character, that only year of use can create. Many brand new wood floors try to replicate this look and they are called distressed wood floors.
At Wood Floor Warehouse our range of Diamond Engineered Flooring is coated with a tough lamination to make them considerably harder to scratch than regular oiled or lacquered wood flooring.
Cleaning Engineered Wood Flooring
An engineered wood floor is a hard surface so it is always going to be easier to clean and absorb less dust than a carpet. It is very important to use the correct materials to clean them otherwise it can affect your floor.
For regular cleaning, a hoover with brushes down is usually enough. But for a better finish use, an everyday approved wood flooring cleaner compatible with the finish of your floor. EG if you have an oiled floor, you must use a cleaner compatible with oiled wood flooring. This will help to maintain the surface.
Engineered wood floor cleaners are normally applied with water and a mop. The mop should be well-drained to avoid too much moisture, which can damage an engineered floor. There are different types so ensure that you always read the label.
Lacquered flooring can be cleaned with most regular wood flooring cleaners, but we highly recommend the Woca vinyl and lacquer maintenance box as it will help ensure that the surface lasts longer, and increases protection to a lacquered surface.
Oiled Flooring will need a little extra care. Ensure that you use a cleaner suitable formulated for oiled wood flooring. Many wood flooring cleaners and household cleaners can actually remove the oil. Every so often a replenishing oil should be applied, that will feed new oil into the surface, helping to ensure that it remains protected. This can be every 6-24 months, depending on use. It's easy to do and helps ensure you oiled wood flooring stays protected and looking fantastic. Our Woca oiled flooring maintenance box contains everything you need, available in natural (for natural or dark flooring) and in white for lighter colours.
Recommended approved engineered wood floor cleaning products are in the accessories section of our website.