How to Clean Engineered Hardwood Floors

We’ve had engineered hardwood floors in three different homes. So it’s safe to say that we have some experience keeping them clean. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips we’ve learned over the years on how to clean your engineered hardwood floors without causing any damage. And we’ll also talk about mistakes to avoid.

Vacuum Regularly

The first thing you need to do to keep your engineered hardwood floors clean and looking great is to get on a regular vacuuming schedule. You can do this with your favorite upright vacuum, or a robot vac is also a great option. Doing this will prevent dirt and debris from building up on your floors. And it will help keep your floors from being scratched.

Best Products for Cleaning Engineered Hardwood

Next, you want to make sure you are using the right product to clean your engineered hardwood.

You can do this by using the one your manufacturer recommends. You can normally find this on the company’s website and a lot of times there is a paper included inside the box the hardwood is packaged in.

There are a lot of websites out there that recommend using vinegar, but it’s been proven that this is a mistake. Vinegar contains acid which will break down the flooring finish over time.

There are a lot of pH-neutral cleaners available on the market. Here are a few of our favorites:

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is our number one choice. It’s actually designed for hardwood floors and is probably the most popular cleaner on the market. 

Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner & Polish is another great floor cleaner option. It’s a 2-in-1 that cleans your engineered hardwood and adds a protective finish that helps prevent future scratching and scuffs.

WOCA Natural Soap is the best option for oil-finished hardwood. We have oil-finished engineered hardwood in our home, and this product works very well.

Engineered Hardwood vs Solid Hardwood Floors

It’s important to understand the difference between engineered hardwood flooring and solid. The main difference between the two is the way the individual planks are made. Solid hardwood is made from (you guessed it) a solid piece of wood. But engineered hardwood is made from multiple layers of plywood with a thin solid beauty layer on top of a specific species. This could be oak, maple, etc.

The main advantage of engineered hardwood is that it can be made into wider planks and that it withstands moisture much better than solid, so you don’t have to worry about cupping.

Engineered Hardwood Cleaning Mistakes

It’s easy to make mistakes. Everybody does it, even when it comes to cleaning engineered hardwood. Here are the most common ones:

  1. Using too much water. Engineered hardwood can withstand water better than solid hardwood, but you still don’t want to use too much water to where it stands on the flooring for a long period of time. This can cause serious damage to the hardwood.
  2. Using a vacuum with the wrong attachments. Doing this can scratch and cause the flooring to become dull over time. Make sure you are using the right attachment, like a soft brush or one specifically designed for hardwood flooring.
  3. Using the wrong cleaners. Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean your engineered hardwood flooring. They can damage the finish, leaving the hardwood vulnerable to even more damage over time. Instead use the right cleaners, such as pH-neutral ones or cleaners recommended by your engineered hardwood manufacturer.

Cleaning Engineered vs Cleaning Solid Hardwood Floors

Cleaning engineered hardwood floors is a lot like cleaning solid. However, there are a few key differences. As I mentioned above, engineered hardwood can handle moisture and changes in temperature better. This means that you don’t have to be as careful as you would with solid. 

Also, engineered hardwood can handle harsher cleaners, but I personally would still take caution and use the recommended ones.

Basically, this all means that engineered hardwood is more durable than solid. And you don’t have to stress as much when it comes to cleaning your floors.

Cleaning Oil Finished Engineered Hardwood

Oil-finished engineered hardwood is a popular engineered hardwood choice. We actually have this hardwood finish in our current home and love it! When the oil finish is applied to the wood, it penetrates the surface. This allows more texture and natural color to come through.

Cleaning oil-finished hardwood is a little different than cleaning normal engineered hardwood and solid hardwood. There is a little more maintenance to these floors, but they are worth it. The only product I would recommend for cleaning oil-finished engineered hardwood is WOCA Natural Soap. It is also recommended to apply another coat of oil about every year.

Keeping your engineered hardwood clean doesn’t have to be difficult. Just follow these simple tips and you’ll keep them looking beautiful for years to come!

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