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Maintaining a Hard-wood floor

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  • May 28th, 2019 2:48 pm
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[OP]
Member
Dec 18, 2017
204 posts
19 upvotes

Maintaining a Hard-wood floor

Need some expert's opinion as getting mixed opinions from Google as usual ;)
Some say not to use Steam Mop on a hard-wood floor but some products are out specifically for hard-wood steam mop.
How do you guys maintain hard-wood floor? Of course vacuuming regularly..
Do you steam mop every week or so?
should we apply some kind of polish every 6 months or so?

Need suggestions please..
12 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
2340 posts
1658 upvotes
Is it pre-finished hardwood or site finished hardwood? Any idea of the type of finish?

We have pre-finished wire brushed oak engineered hardwood. We vacuum and mop with a damp mop.
Newbie
User avatar
Dec 28, 2012
6 posts
Port Elgin, Ontario
I had a 3/4" x 3.5" white birch pre finished hardwood floor, and we used a bissel steam mop/vac on it for several years. I would typically only use it on the low heat setting, but my wife used the high heat setting occasionally as well. We never had any troubles or did any damage to the floor, Just be sure not to leave it in one place for any amount of time, and when you are done, hang it or put it away right away so the hot moist mop pad is not sitting on the floor for any period of time.
[OP]
Member
Dec 18, 2017
204 posts
19 upvotes
skeet50 wrote:
May 27th, 2019 9:03 am
Is it pre-finished hardwood or site finished hardwood? Any idea of the type of finish?

We have pre-finished wire brushed oak engineered hardwood. We vacuum and mop with a damp mop.
The problem is, i do not know what type of hard wood i have ;)
It's been 2 years since we moved here & not sure what our previous owner had put it.
Have attached some pics. If you can identify what type of finish is this, great and helpful ;)
this is our main/living level.
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Member
Mar 22, 2017
483 posts
383 upvotes
To maintain a hardwood floor, do this:

- Vacuum regularly (ideally 2x/week). This is the big one - dust and dirt is made from a number of items, one of which is tiny bits of quartz (a hard, sharp stone). This acts like sandpaper on your floor. The more often you vacuum up dust, the longer nad better your floor will look.
- Regularly use hardwood floor cleaner (Bona is the best), and a microfiber mop. you can buy kits for it. This cleaner uses a small amount of liquid, but is effective at removing stuck-on stains. Can spot treat with a paper towel if you need to.
- Promptly clean up spills. Hardwood's biggest enemy is water, so don't leave it time to find gaps and soak into the boards.
- Regulate moisture in the home. Engineered hardwood (a hardwood veneer over plywood) is a bit more dimensionally stable than real solid hardwood, but both can warp if left to expand and shrink due to drastic moisture changes. If your house is bone dry in the winter, use a humidifier. If it's a swamp in the summer, use a dehumidifier.
- Consider a 'buff and recoat', especially if you have site-finished floors and are seeing early signs of wear. This preventative measure basically runs a fine sandpaper over your floors then adds another coat of high-grade poly on it. This means that floors never get worn to the point of needing a sand and refinish. This isn't free and it's inconvenient, but it's cheaper and better than waiting until the floors are badly worn. Solid hardwoods typically can handle several refinishes, but some engineered can't even be refinished once if the veneer is thin.

Do not:

- Wear shoes in the house. Shoes are covered in dirt, which will grind up your floors. Also, don't wear shoes in the house because you're a classy person who deserves a good life.
- Use a lot of water while cleaning. Water can penetrate hardwood and warp it.
- Use a steam mop - it feels effective in the moment, but the steam is like injecting water into the boards and can damage them.
- Leave pet nails untrimmed and/or jagged. Pets, especially pets that are neglected and hence have a lot of excess energy to run around, can scratch up floors over time.
- Use a high gloss finish if you can avoid it, or a really dark stain. It's really high maintenance.
- Buy ultra-wide planks in solid hardwood. Ideally stick to sub-4 inches in solid, because warping is exaggerated in wide planks. If you want 4+ inches, then go with engineered ideally, which is more dimensionally stable.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
28097 posts
13907 upvotes
Ottawa
Steam mop is fine on natural non-stained hardwood.
Otherwise, a wet towel and elbow grease is the best.
Sr. Member
Apr 10, 2017
690 posts
222 upvotes
Vacuum
Microfibre mop (dry) to get all the dust the vac didn't get
Bona

It shouldn't be that complicated.
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
2340 posts
1658 upvotes
smartnew wrote:
May 27th, 2019 10:27 am
The problem is, i do not know what type of hard wood i have ;)
It's been 2 years since we moved here & not sure what our previous owner had put it.
Have attached some pics. If you can identify what type of finish is this, great and helpful ;)
this is our main/living level.
Looks like oak. Hard to tell what type of finish. It looks like it may have been site finished also, as it is difficult to see the seams. Someone else will hopefully chime in with their opinions.

The best advice with hardwood is to do as little as possible to clean them. When we damp mop, I wring out the mop as much as possible. Very little water is left in the mop. The floor dries very quickly. You will know if you are using too much water as the floor will be left streaky. I don't use a steam mop as it is a bit of overkill on the floors and want to avoid moisture being forced in between the boards.
Member
Oct 3, 2011
366 posts
214 upvotes
OTTAWA
Depending on the level of dirty, I have different options... swiffer dry for dust and loose things. For things that are too heavy for the swiffer I often take the shopvac to.. because it's what I have. I have an upright carpet vac too but the spinning brush will scrape up the floor. If it's stuck to the floor in some way I use a swiffer wetjet or at least the pads and spray the bona hardwood cleaner instead of the wetjet fluid. If the pad can't get the stuff off the floor I will go to an actual wet mop which you really need to be careful with. Too much fluid/water sitting for too long or if you mop often, the wood will soak up water and swell/warp.

I don't use steam as heat and water can penetrate into the wood and cause swelling. There's a method to remove dents in hardwood flooring using a water and an iron (heat) to force the wood to expand back into shape, so I don't use too much liquid at any given time.
Member
Jan 7, 2013
405 posts
171 upvotes
Whitby Ontario
I've used the Bona spray mop for years. It works well
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
1779 posts
937 upvotes
Toronto
Keep it simple - people have been cleaning for hundreds of years. All this crap sold on TV and at Walmart is junk and snake oil.

Sweep, vacuum and a simple damp mop once in a while. Don't over think it. What exactly are you steaming away with a steam cleaner? Bacteria? There's more bacteria on the handle of your steam mop than there is on the floor.
[OP]
Member
Dec 18, 2017
204 posts
19 upvotes
Thanks everyone for very valuable suggestions.
I think now I am convinced to do continue with vacuum & just simple plain Mob and dont want to waste my money on a Steam mop ;)
Member
Jun 10, 2008
343 posts
220 upvotes
Halton Hills
I've never vacuumed hardwood floors. We sweep regularly and mop once a week. To mop I use very little detergent and the hottest water my kettle will make. I wring the mop out before each pass on the floor. After 8 years our floors look like new even with 2 small kids.

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