Engineered hardwood floors have become very popular recently.
They are easy to install, affordable and require less upkeep than traditional hardwood floors.
However, you need to know a thing or two about maintenance to maintain the shine of your engineered hardwood floors.
There are a number of techniques and products you can use.
We have created a guide to help you understand how to make engineered hardwood floors shine, and how to keep them presentable at all times.
Guidelines for Regular Maintenance of Engineered Hardwood Floors
Although your engineered hardwood floors come prefabricated and the finish is baked in the factory, you should still clean them regularly. There is no need to use any fancy chemicals. The following tips provide quick and easy steps that you can follow to keep your floors pristine.
Removing Dirt and Returning the Shine to Engineered Hardwood Floors
Dirt and dust may be the worst enemies of your engineered hardwood floors. These annoying, tiny grains are notorious for sticking to small crevices at the seams of the boards. If they are wet, things get even worse.
To avoid curling at the edges of engineered hardwood boards, regular vacuuming is advisable. However, you should not use the vacuum sweep extension. Use the soft attachment of your vacuum cleaner to prevent scratching, which can attract even more dirt.
Over time, a strange-looking layer of grit builds up on engineered hardwood floors. It may take out the shine of your floor, but water can bring its old glory back.
You should use warm water and a microfiber or sponge mop. Adding one ounce of dish soap per gallon of water won't hurt your floors. However, the dish soap shouldn't contain any kind of wax or oils.
The solution water will dissolve the grime and make it easier to remove. You should squeeze the mop thoroughly. This prevents any residual water, or a "milky finish" after the cleaning is done.
Rinse the floor with clean water. Dry it as soon as you are done mopping as it will remove any leftover moisture. Now your floors should be as good as new.
Shining Floors to Perfection
The usual wear and tear in combination with foot traffic can dull your floors. If your engineered hardwood floors are not worn out too much you should be able to get the shine back with a spray-and-buff procedure.
The spray-and buff procedure is quite simple. Take a plain wood floor cleaner, spray it onto the engineered hardwood floor and let it set for a while.
It is advisable to avoid floor cleaners or restorers which contain oil or wax. Once it dries, use a lambswool floor buffer to bring back the mirror finish.
How to Screen and Recoat Engineered Hardwood Floors
If the surface of your engineered hardwood floor is all crackled and floor restorers don't help, you should consider screening and recoating them. However, it can be a tricky process so you may need to hire professionals.
The procedure involves buffing your floor with 120-grit sanding screen. A couple coats of new finish are then applied. It is usually polyurethane based, but you should check with the manufacturer or a professional to ensure the best result.
What Should You Should Avoid?
You probably want to know how to make engineered hardwood floors shine without causing any permanent damage. There are some precautions you may want to consider to protect your floors for the future:
Avoid ammonia and other high-pH cleaners. They may cause minute pitting and damage the finish.
Vinegar is acidic, so it could also hurt the finish.
Don't use cleaners which contain wax or oil.
Waxing may make engineered hardwood floors look yellow and could prevent you from recoating the floor in the future.
How to Choose the Best Wood Floor Cleaner
Before you buy a wood floor cleaner, you should consider the abovementioned precautions. There are a lot of water-based engineered hardwood floor cleaners and other non-abrasive products you can choose from.
Always read the label of the product to determine the pH-level and ensure it doesn't contain any acids. Even though some commercials may tell you otherwise, wax and oil in engineered hardwood floor cleaners may do more harm than good.
So again, you should read the product specs carefully to avoid sealing your floor, in case you need to recoat it in the future.
Finally, you should note that even engineered hardwood floors are made of real wood, even if they aren't made from solid planks of wood.
Manufacturers usually glue and press together two inner-core layers of plywood with a hardwood veneer layer on top. So it is still a real wood floor.
You don't have to be a professional cleaner to understand how to make engineered hardwood floors shine. Just remember not to use anything that may scratch or penetrate the surface and cause irreparable damage.