16 Feb Tips For Caring for Engineered Hardwood Floors
Engineered hardwood floors are a great option because they can be much more cost-effective than traditional hardwood. They are often more robust and more durable too, but to keep them looking great for years to come, you will want to keep these tips in mind as they relate to cleaning, repairing, protecting, and even installing.
Pick A Winning Board
When it comes to engineered hardwood, there are a lot of options on the market! You’ll want to make sure you pick a winning board, and you should pay particular attention to the construction, species, coating, and finish. Look for wood with a UV-resistant, fire-retardant coating, which will help your floor last longer. Some great options include American white ash and oak because they won’t mark-up or dent easily.
Prepare Your Subfloor For Installation
A common area where people go wrong when installing engineered hardwood is not preparing the subfloor properly before installation. A high-quality plywood makes a great subfloor, and you should aim to use formaldehyde-free glue. But before you get that far, inspect your subfloor and make sure it’s clean and free of any debris like paint, grease, dirt, or glue residue; they can all impact adhesion. It needs to be completely dry, and you should use a moisture meter to test it. If possible, hire a professional installer to tackle this project for you.
Protect Your New Floor
Despite its durability, even engineered hardwood floors can take a beating if they are not adequately protected. Be sure to add felt pads under your furniture legs, and lift items when you can instead of dragging them across the floor. Be mindful of your pet’s claws and trim them regularly, and be careful with high heel shoes on your floors. Temperature is also critical, so try to keep your home temperature consistent, ideally between 64-68 degrees. And if you have floor heating, never turn it off. Just put in on low.
Keep Your Floors Clean
Light cleaning is the best way to extend the life of your engineered hardwood floors. Vacuum, sweep, or dust them frequently to remove dirt. And be mindful when you’re mopping. You should only be using a damp cloth with a small amount of floor cleaner, never a mop soaked in water. Wood is like a sponge, and when it drinks up water, it expands and then shrinks when it dries out. This can lead to splitting and cracks.
If you’re dealing with a stained floor, time is of the essence! You’ll need to act fast to clean up any accidents, even with engineered wood. Watch out for wine spills and pet urine (especially dogs), which can damage floors quickly because of the ammonia it contains. There are enzyme-based solutions on the market that can help minimize any damage.
Check For Cracks & Fill Them
Wood-colored wax sticks are readily available at home improvement and hardware stores, and they’re an excellent option for small cracks and scratches. You can just run the sticks over the areas to fill them in. Depending on your DIY skill level, you may want to get an expert to assist you with this project. And in extreme scenarios, it is possible to remove individual planks and replace them if need be.
Are you considering building a custom home in the Marion, Cedar Rapids, or Iowa City area? If so, please contact us at Dahl Custom Homes! We are experts at custom home construction and would love to help you build the home of your dreams.