Wood flooring can really enhance a room, but if you want it to stay looking good for years to come, what is the best way to clean it?
Well, that depends on the type of wood flooring you have. There are three main kinds: laminate wood flooring, engineered wood flooring, and hardwood flooring.
Here you can find the best advice for cleaning your wood floors, whichever type you have.
3 tips to reduce cleaning time
Firstly though let’s see if we can save you some time with some preventative maintenance:
- Doormats – place inside and outside exterior doors to catch dust, dirt and debris before it reaches your floor
- Rugs – a great way to reduce scratches, wear and stains on your wood flooring
- Shoes off – you don’t have to insist on this all the time but in bad weather it will save you some work
(Image John Loo)
What is it? Made of compressed fibreboard, laminate flooring is not actually technically wood flooring, but is finished to look like wood.
£££? Because it is not made of hardwood laminate is the cheapest option for wood flooring.
Easy is it to maintain? Very durable, resistant to scratches and scuffs, and suitable for moist areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, unlike hardwood flooring.
Cleaning tips from essortment:
A step-by-step guide to cleaning laminate wood flooring
- Clear your floor of any easy-to-shift furniture
- Sweep or vacuum your floor – the latter is best to remove pet hair
- Using a spray bottle spray a mixture of vinegar and water onto your floor as you clean – roughly 240ml white wine vinegar in 1.2l water
- Clean your floor using a regular mop
What is it? Planks consist of real timber that’s been pressed together into two or more layers. These layers run in different directions to make a stronger base than simple hardwood.
£££? Unsurprisingly more pricey than laminate but less than hardwood flooring. This is the most common type of wood flooring today so many people feel it offers good value.
Easy to maintain? Cleaning is pretty straightforward; engineered wood can be sanded and refinished, or alternatively damaged or stained planks can be replaced at relatively little cost.
More on engineered wood flooring from Floors To Your Home:
A step-by-step guide to cleaning engineered wood flooring
- Clear your space
- Sweep or vacuum
- Avoid water altogether and use a microfibre mop to clean your floor – no cleaning product is required
- Wipe up spills as soon as they occur to prevent stains and water damage
- Use a slightly damp microfibre cloth for any more stubborn marks
What is it? Hardwood flooring consists of solid planks of real timber.
£££? It is the most expensive type of wood flooring of these three types, but many argue the finish is of a higher quality.
Easy to maintain? The cleaning process is a little more involved than the previous wood types, but still shouldn’t be very time-consuming.
Cleaning tips for hardwood flooring from Real Simple:
A step-by-step guide to cleaning hardwood flooring
- Clear the space
- Vacuum, sweep or dry-mop your floor
- If your floor has a polyurethane coating use a damp mop with water and dishwashing liquid.
- Mop with the grain of the wood.
- If your hardwood has a wax coating you can use a traditional wood polish – this shouldn’t be used on a polyurethane surface as it will create a waxy buildup over time
- Buff your floor with a microfibre cloth to get a good shine
If you are not sure whether your wood floor has a wax or polyurethane coating, pour a few drops of water onto a plank. It if beads then you have polyurethane (or similar); if it is absorbed you have wax.
This should be all the guidance you need to keep your wood floor clean and in great shape, but if you think we have missed anything please let us know in the comments section below.