How to Choose, Maintain and Care for Engineered Hardwood Floors
- Tags: cleaning, dust, floor care, kid-friendly flooring, kids, maintenance, pet-friendly flooring, pets, urethane-finished hardwood
- Category: Blog
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When LIFECORE® launched this blog last year, our goal was to provide informative and inspiring posts on topics related to healthier homes, hot interior design trends and hardwood flooring basics. Since then, we’ve received questions from readers specific to their flooring needs.
So we’ve created a Q&A of the most common questions we get from customers. Keep an eye out for future posts, and as always, feel free to reach out if you have questions you’d like to see on our blog.
Q: Help! Our new house cleaner used a waxy, multi surface polish on our gray matte hand-scraped hardwood floor (from the Amara Collection, I believe). Now there is a sticky film on the floor. What is the best way to fix this and clean my hardwood floors?
A: Using this type of cleaner on LIFECORE floors is like trying to clean your windows with furniture polish. They don’t go together. Our floors have a matte finish, so they aren’t meant to be polished and shiny. Fortunately, our Amara hardwood collection has 9 coats of a durable UV finish, meaning whatever products your cleaning crew used are probably just sitting on the surface because they cannot penetrate into the wood.
We suggest you try a quality product specifically designed for deep cleaning pre-finished. For everyday cleaning, we recommend dry-mopping your floors and then periodically using a microfiber mop and specially formulated hardwood floor cleaner. Leave it out when your next house cleaning is scheduled and make sure to let your housecleaner know that this is the only product you want them using.
Q: I’m looking for new flooring and would like something nice, but with 3 kids, two dogs and a cat I am worried that if I splurge they will only get scratched or scuffed. Do you have any suggestions?
A: LIFECORE’s Allegra collection may be just what you’re looking for. The Allegra Collection is made from hand scraped maple, a durable hardwood known for its longevity. Each plank is treated at our factory with an organic reactive process, which brings tannins out from the wood naturally to highlight the grain pattern. The wood is then sealed with 9 coats of a clear, low VOC, UV-friendly finish for added protection. Unlike flooring that has a stain applied topically, the wood’s unique color permeates through the wood, making scratches harder to see. Plus, the hand scraped texture and contrasting hues make it difficult to see scuffs, dings, dirt and debris. As far as on-trend upgrades go, LIFECORE’s Allegra is a stunning, kid-friendly investment that won’t break the bank.
Q: Do you have any spring cleaning tips for urethane-finished hardwood flooring? I want to get rid of any remnants of this long winter once and for all.
A: The steps below are specifically for urethane finished floors—like LIFECORE engineered hardwood floors—and are not recommended for floors that are unfinished or have an oil finish.
1. Use a soft bristle broom to pick up any dust and debris, making sure to sweep gently and in the direction of the wood grain.
2. Use a quality pre-finished wood floor cleaner and microfiber mop to get the dirt up. Although popular store brands say they’re good for all floors, that’s not always the case. Follow your manufacturer’s advice, not the info on in-store products. Your new LIFECORE floors have a beautiful matte (low sheen) finish and are not meant to have a shiny polish on them.
3. Once the floor is completely dry, if you think it still needs something more to bring back its pre-winter glory, you can apply urethane floor refresher like Bona Clean & Refresh, a unique 2-in-1 formula that cleans and shines your hardwood floors. Follow the directions and use a microfiber mop to apply. Make sure not to use more than recommended, and wait until it‘s completely dry to walk on. You may want to open the windows in the house to allow the air flow to ensure it dries thoroughly. Note: This is not something we recommend using on a regular basis, just once or twice a year to bring back luster.
4. Lastly, we recommend that you buy new mats, runners or even a new area rug to protect and maintain your spring-cleaned floors!
Q: We have chewing gum stuck to our LIFECORE floor, right in the middle of our dining room. What is the safest way to remove it without ruining our floors?
A: This is an easy fix. Put ice cubes in a plastic baggie and place it right on top of the gum. Make sure that the bag is sealed so that no moisture can leak out. Leave it on until the gum turns dry and brittle, which should be in a few minutes or so. Once the gum has become hardened you can peel it right off. Follow up with a quick mop of the area with a prefinished wood floor cleaner and microfiber mop. This trick works great for candle wax and other gummy substances!
Looking for advice on how to clean that pet stain out of your hardwood floor? Not sure how much flooring to order or what to look for in an installer? Wondering which LIFECORE color and finish will work best in your home? Email us and you may see your question answered in a LIFELINE column! *
*Questions specifically about LIFECORE products that require an immediate response will be answered by our Customer Service team. The question and resolution may be used anonymously in a future LIFELINE column.
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