How To Clean Prefinished Hardwood Flooring
Taking the time to choose the best hardwood flooring for your home is essential. There are so many hardwood species to choose from: cherry, walnut, maple, bamboo, and so much more. Hardwood flooring not only increases the value of your home but also allows for easy cleaning maintenance. So, what kinds of hardwood flooring are you looking for?
One of the best hardwood flooring options you can go for is prefinished hardwood. It doesn’t require finishing after installation and adds luster to every room. So, here are some tips for how to clean prefinished hardwood flooring and understand what makes it so desirable.
What Is Prefinished Hardwood?
Prefinished hardwood flooring has grown in popularity for commercial and residential customers in recent years. Previously, unfinished hardwood was the popular choice before prefinished hardwood came to be. You can buy prefinished hardwood flooring and other hardwood types online or in person, making it easily accessible.
Simply put, prefinished hardwood flooring is factory-finished boards coated with polyurethane before it rolls onto the retail shelves. Once they’ve been sprayed, each panel is baked with an aluminum oxide substance to create a sturdy acrylic finish. Since each board gets treated separately, a beveled edge forms along their sides. When it comes to being installed, all that needs to get done is cutting and nailing it to the subfloor; then, it’s done. There are grooves in between each board during installation, allowing for visible separation lines in between.
Pros and Cons of Prefinished Hardwood Flooring
Prefinished hardwood flooring comes with pros and cons, depending on how the buyer sees them. One of the most significant advantages of prefinished flooring is the quick installation time. After each board gets laid, you can easily place furniture down and walk over it. Prefinished hardwood also creates less mess and no chemical odors. Since the flooring is already treated in a factory and doesn’t have to worry about scratches, it makes prefinished hardwood less expensive.
However, a few minor cons come with prefinished hardwood flooring. The most significant downside of prefinished hardwood is that there are some limitations with lengths, widths gain, colors, and so on. Additionally, if the homeowner ever wants to re-sand or refinish the hardwood, it will become difficult to remove the surface layers.
Differences Between Unfinished and Prefinished Wood
Since prefinished and unfinished hardwood have been competitive rivals for many years, knowing the difference between the two will help with further understanding the maintenance and qualities a client wants. Compared to prefinished hardwood, unfinished hardwood is a raw material. Therefore, when it comes to unfinished hardwood, it’s essential to install, sand, and refinish it and keep it clean.
While prefinished hardwood allows for minor changes, you have a better ability to re-sand and refinish your unfinished floor however you desire. Adding in layers will also make the flooring lay perfectly flush with the rest. However, unfinished hardwood takes more time to install because of manual sanding and finishing. Lastly, it will need a proper cure time before walking and moving furniture back.
How To Clean Prefinished Hardwood Flooring
Now that you better understand prefinished hardwood, it’s vital to go over maintenance and learn how to clean prefinished hardwood flooring efficiently. Because the flooring is already cured and prefinished before installation, cleaning is more straightforward and doesn’t require much time. Additionally, it’s easy to keep it looking pristine without investing in numerous chemicals or tools. Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the flooring, you’ll fall in love with your flooring all over again.
Dust Your Flooring Weekly
Hardwood quickly can accumulate dirt, debris, and dust throughout the week. So, it’s ideal that you make sure to dust your flooring regularly. It will ensure that your flooring won’t obtain scratches and won’t get ground into your hardwood over time. You can dust with a microfiber cloth or sweep with a soft bristle brush broom to maintain a luxurious, shiny floor.
Try to avoid tools such as stiff bristles, as it can lead to scratching and scruffs in your prefinished hardwood. If you choose a microfiber cloth or a cotton dust mop, you’ll have an easier time collecting dust. Lastly, you can always use a vacuum with a soft brush hardwood attachment to keep the flooring looking new.
Wet Mopping Monthly
Mopping your floor will help remove more stubborn dirt and debris caked onto each panel every month. Use an appropriate floor cleaner recommended by the flooring manufacturer so that it doesn’t impact the hardwood negatively. Make sure not to soak your flooring either, as it can lead to damaging the wood and leave unwanted streaks behind.
One of the best methods for mopping hardwood flooring is performing the leading-edge cleaning trick. You walk backward through a room, working the mop from side to side. As you move the mop, you twist the handle to turn the mop in almost a figure-eight motion. It’s best to use a flat microfiber mop to pick up dirt without using excess soap.
Polishing and Avoiding Streaks
If you mop the hardwood and notice that you leave streaks behind, there are a couple of tips to reduce their appearance. Using excessive soap can make the job more challenging and leave more streaks. It’s best to work in small sections to ensure that dirty water doesn’t dry onto the hardwood. Additionally, make sure your mop gets cleaned and wrung out regularly, and don’t use dirty water to clean.
Even if you tried these tips and still have streaks along with your hardwood, you can use a microfiber cloth to buff the residue out. You can also use a stronger scrubbing mop pad to get stubborn dirt out. As for polishing, use the preferred manufacturer polish and work with the grain of your floors. Use a mop or microfiber cloth for optimal distribution and time to cure before walking on the floor.
Other Prefinished Hardwood Cleaning Tips
If you’re worried about scratches or potentially wearing out your hardwood flooring, you can put floor protectors under chairs and furniture to prevent scuffs. Additionally, doormats and area rugs help protect your floor and make the room pop.
Make sure to move your furniture once a year so the floor can age evenly. Lastly, if you own any pets, it’s best to trim their nails regularly. Trimming their nails will keep your pets healthy and save the flooring from further damage.