The use of engineered hardwood flooring has grown in popularity as an option for even top-grade builds and remodels. Unlike traditional wood flooring, engineered products are manufactured in such a way that they are just as aesthetically appealing as their natural counterparts, but tend to offer increased durability. The manufactured products are more resistant to moisture, warping and cracking than real wood. Additionally, these floors are among the most low-maintenance, easiest-to-clean products on the market.
Aside from being less expensive than traditional wood flooring, engineered products come with a long list of benefits that can make them ideal for most homeowners. The manufacturing process includes overlapping several layers of medium or high quality fiberboard, then adding a layer of authentic hardwood. This process creates a product that is not just durable, but will avoid the process of expansion and contraction other materials may experience. This trait not only prevents cracks and warping, but is ideal for in-floor radiant heat systems. The materials come in a variety of colours, sizes and styles and do not require nails or glue to stay in place.
Cleaning an engineered wood floor is usually a simple process. To keep the floors looking their best, a good sweeping should be done two or three times per week, while a bit of vacuuming can be done once per week. Regular sweeping will prevent dirt and dust build-up, which will not only give a dull appearance, but may cause some surface scratching and scuffing. This part of the process can be done with a soft bristled broom or dust mop. Vacuuming with a soft brush attachment will remove fine dust particles, pet hair and other debris from the floor and cracks between boards.
Mopping an engineered floor is fairly easy, but different cleaners may be required whether the mess is light or heavy. For light cleaning, a mild cleaning product or warm water will usually do the job. Engineered floors are coated to resist stains, so cleaning shouldn't require a lot of elbow grease. For heavier messes, a homemade cleaning solution of one part white vinegar to four parts hot water is ideal. This is a natural product that will clean well without having an overpowering smell, while the hot water will loosen grease and dirt without being too harsh. Avoid ammonia-based cleaners and heavy wax urethane finishes, as they may cause damage to the flooring.
Though engineered wood is a durable product, like any other flooring it may be vulnerable to scratching, staining and other problems in high-traffic areas. A bit of everyday care can keep floors looking their best for longer. Homeowners should be sure to clean up food or drink spills as soon as possible to prevent staining. This can be done with a paper towel, sponge or other soft material. To minimise scratches, felt pads can be applied to furniture, and areas with high foot traffic can utilise area rugs to reduce wear. To maximise the look and lifespan of engineered floors, it is imperative to follow manufacturer's recommendations for cleaning and general care.