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How to Care for Engineered Hardwood Flooring

engineered hardwood care
Jasper Engineered Hardwood – Arizona Collection / SKU: 15000649

Maintaining engineered hardwood flooring is a painless process, as long as it is a part of your regular cleaning routine. To avoid potential damage, it’s important to keep your floors as free of dirt, debris, and spills as possible. These simple tips on engineered hardwood care will help you retain the original look of your floor for many years to come.

Engineered hardwood flooring is made from wood. Because of this it requires almost the same cleaning methods as any other type of wood flooring. Check out the steps below for taking excellent care of your engineered floors.

engineered hardwood care
Walking Tall Tennessee TriStar Long Plank Engineered Collection / SKU: 15101927

Engineered Hardwood Care Tips & Techniques

Keep your engineered flooring swept, clean, and dry on a daily basis. This will keep mopping to a minimum and prevent abrasive particulates from scratching the surface.

Use either a vacuum cleaner with a soft flooring attachment, or a broom. A vacuum beater bar can cause scratches and damage to engineered hardwood. If you can’t get away from using a beater bar, make sure to set your vacuum to the bare floor setting.

Use a dry microfiber dust mop to pick up dirt and debris from the floor. Microfiber is perfect for gathering dirt and dust without the risk of surface damage.

Spills must be wiped up as soon as they occur. Excessive water or liquid can cause irreversible damage to engineered hardwood flooring. To avoid this, be sure not to mop up any pools of liquid and not let them sit. It is best to dry mop with a clean cloth when you fishing washing the floor.

Keep mats and rugs at entranceways. This will keep pebbles, dirt, moisture, grains of sand, fragments of glass, and debris out of the house and off of the floor. It will also help you avoid scratches, keeping the upper wear layer and finish of your floor safe and intact for a longer period of time.

Watch what shoes you wear indoors. Avoid walking on your floors with high heeled shoes or shoes with spikes because they can cause severe damage to the upper wear layer of the floor.

Avoid using harsh cleaners. Wax-based cleaners, powerful detergents, or steel wool should not be used to clean engineered hardwood flooring. For the best results, use manufacturer-recommended liquid cleaners.

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(155) Comments

  1. Hi! I have a enginerred harwood floors on my house, is around one year old, but with the time and after cleaning it with bona products, the shinny apprerance is gone, so we tried to make it shinny again using Satin Bona Finish Wood Floor Restorer, and it was shinny for a while but once it got dust again and we tried to clean it, some kind of wax is coming out from the floor and now it looks worst than ever. I have read that to remove wax it is recommended to use mineral spirits, but I am not sure how convenient is that for my engineered harwood floor. What do you recommend to “remove” the wax is comming from that awful bona product?, or is it better to use vinegar in water?, or soap?, or do you think that the best way is do it by hand?. Thank you for your help!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Monica,

      Thank you for getting in touch, I’m sorry to hear about your floors! I would suggest taking a solution of one part vinegar to ten parts water and very lightly spritz this onto a microfiber cloth. Make sure it is only slightly damp and use this to wipe down the floors. Hopefully this should break up the wax. If this doesn’t work you can try mineral spirits on a small area to see how it reacts to the floor. I still wouldn’t really suggest it because it is quite a harsh chemical. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  2. Hello, we have a new home (about a year old) with newly installed Mannington engineered hardwood – mahogany (dark) color. We do not wear shoes at home and soft vacuum it once a week and use Bona floor cleaner to mop once every other week. The floor looks great – dark and rich for about an hour after cleaning but then comes back to a duller appearance. Also some of the edges seems to be discoloring probably due to very small chipping (not sure why) as we do keep all areas very dry and clean. Can you please advise if we should / need to get it polished or change to a different kind of product. Please assist as we are quite disappointed due to the same in a brand new home. PS: The builder does not see any issues so won’t do anything about it.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hello,

      Thank you for getting in touch. The main issue is mopping the floor with the Bona cleaner. Engineered hardwood is not a water resistant product so you are most likely getting water damage around the edges where the water seeps in. The cleaner is also probably leaving a thin coating or haze on the top of the floor. I would suggest taking a solution of one part vinegar to ten parts water and very lightly spritz this onto a microfiber cloth. Make sure it is only slightly damp and use this to wipe down the floors. This is the only way you should be cleaning any natural wood floors other than sweeping. Please give this a try and let us know if it helps!

  3. Hi, I’m putting engineered hw flr in my bathroom. What kind of sealer would you recommend to protect against potential water spill on the floor?

    Thanks

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Ryan,

      Unfortunately you cannot put engineered hardwood in your bathroom, especially if there is a shower. Engineered hardwood is not water resistant at all and if you do not clean up spill or moisture right away it will get water damaged. I would suggest going with a luxury vinyl plank if you would like a wood look. They are water resistant and very easy to clean and install. I’ve included the link to our vinyl plank options below:

      https://www.builddirect.com/Vinyl-Plank-Flooring-Results

      Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  4. I have engineered wood floors in my home they are only 3 years old. I have used everything from bruce wood floor cleaning kit to swiiffer dust mop to shark steam mop when I get done the floors look awesome but an hour later they yo to sjow white footprints from general traffic.I am loosong my mind on how to keep these floors clean and prevent footprints from immediately showing up. Please help

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Anthony,

      Thank you for getting in touch! Do people wear shoes in your home? It may depend on the finish of the floor. If you have a satin or gloss finish there is nothing you can do to avoid the footprints, especially if someone is walking barefoot the oils on their feet will leave marks. I would suggest just sticking to the swiffer sweeper to clean the floors or a solution of one part vinegar to ten parts water, lightly spritzed on a microfiber cloth to wipe down the floor. Just ensure the cloth is only a little bit damp and not wet. Too much moisture will cause water damage to your floors. Please let us know if you have any more questions!

  5. Hello! We have an engineered hardwood floor that is less than a year old. The entire floor is covered in white, surface level scratches. We have tried the products to fix the scratches but nothing seems to help. Is there any way to remove these scratches and get our floor back to looking new? Are there any reasons you would provide as to why these scratches are showing up or how to avoid the scratches to continue and show up?

    Thank you so much!
    Sarah

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Sarah,

      Thank you for getting in touch, I’m sorry to hear about your floor! It sounds like there is something constantly scratching at the floor and it may have a softer wood as the surface veneer, like birch or aspen. Make sure you are not wearing shoes in the home or dragging any furniture around, that will cause most of the scratching. If regular wood putty fillers aren’t working to cover the scratches you can try a process called a Screen and Recoat. This is much easier than a full refinish of the floor but it will still strip a thin layer of the finish off the top and bring life back to the floor. I would suggest getting in touch with your installer or a contractor to see if they are able to do this for you. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  6. Cindy Allegretti - Reply

    Hi, we just bought a new home with enginered hardwood flooring. Can I spray bona cleaner on a mop to clean the floor, or do you recommend a little spray of water instead?
    Thanks
    Cindy

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Cindy,

      Thank you for getting in touch! I would not suggest spraying Bona or any type of cleaner right on the engineered hardwood floor to clean it. Engineered hardwood is not water resistant and if there is too much moisture you can get water damage and buckling. I usually suggest a solution of one part vinegar to ten parts water, lightly spritzed on a microfiber cloth to wipe down the floor. Just ensure the cloth is only a little bit damp and not wet. You can also try to Bona cleaner on the floor but I suggest testing it on a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure there are no reactions between the cleaner and the finish on the engineered hardwood. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

  7. I just had engineered flooring installed in a renovation. The renovation is finished but the floors have paint spots and paint overspray. How can I get this off without damaging the floors?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Jack,

      Thank you for your inquiry! I would suggest trying to lightly scrape off the paint with a rigid putty knife. This would be one of the only ways to remove it without ruining the finishing. You can also try a citrus based cleaner but make sure to try to cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t harm the finish. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Louise,

      Thank you for getting in touch! You can use a pad under your rug if you would like. I usually suggest going to your local hardware store and getting the basic rubber mat to add cushioning and stop the rug from slipping. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  8. We just finished installing engineered hardwood throughout most of our house and I try to go over it quickly with a vacuum every other day, but we have dogs so that doesn’t pull up the dog prints. What’s the best way to clean those areas? We’ve got a steam mop and a Swiffer Wet Jet but I have heard to not use a steam mop. Is the Wet Jet okay? Or should I just use a spray bottle and the mop pads?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Melaney. Thanks so much for reaching out to us. It is not recommended to use the steam mop or the Swiffer Wet Jet as this type of flooring cannot hold up to any standing water. The best option for this would be a microfiber mop and a spray, or you could even use the Swiffer pads. Please let us know if you have any other questions. Thanks!

  9. My installers used Goof Off to clean my engineered hardwood floors. They look very dull. Is Goof Off safe to use on engineered wood. The Goof Off label does not say specifically. Thanks!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Betty. Thanks so much for reaching out to us! We definitely would not recommend using Goof Off or any other harmful product like that. The best thing to do when cleaning engineered hardwood is to dampen a mop lightly and wipe, but don’t apply direct water to the floor. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Don,

      Thank you for your inquiry! If the floor cleaner specifies it can be used on engineered hardwood floor it should be ok, but I can’t 100% guarantee. I usually suggest using a solution of one part vinegar to ten parts water lightly spritzed on a microfiber cloth to clean any type of wood floors. I highly suggest testing the floor cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area before the whole flooring to ensure there will be no issues. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  10. Hello I have engineered floors and my dog has damaged some areas and stains. I’ve used several cleaning products but to no avail. Please advise if I can have floor sand to a much lighter color it’s mahogany

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Frances,

      With an engineered flooring you may not be able to sand it. It really depends on the thickness of your veneer layer of hardwood on top. However there is a process called a screen and re-coat which buffs the finish and allows you to apply a new coat of flooring finish. However you will not be able to change the color of your flooring through this process. Just revitalize the look.

  11. My cleaning lady used Shark Sonic Duo on my dark Brazilian Cherry satin finished engineered hardwood floor. Is it safe or will it be ruined.

  12. Hi
    i have 2 year old engineered flooring. due to some construction dust went middle of the 2 joins i or gap.. i tried best liquids like bona. it works very good in surface. but how can i remove dust from gap or middle ?. and my surface shining is gone. can i wax or seal it?
    Thanks in advance

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Peter,

      Thank you for getting in touch! I definitely would not wax or seal the floor because it already has a finishing coat on top. The only real way to clean the gaps would be the manually clean them out by hand with a slightly damp cloth. Sorry we couldn’t be of more help! Please let us know if you have any more questions!

  13. I have engineered hard wood floors. From the snow and salt you see paw marks from my dog and shoe marks from people that do not remove their shoes. I do use a damp mop But, when it dries I still see the marks. Any other suggestions. 🙂

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Judy,

      Thank you for getting in touch! I would highly suggest using mats where peoples shoes will track in snow and salt as well as to stop using a damp mop to clean the floor. Engineered hardwood is not a water resistant product so too much moisture can ruin your floors. You can try a solution of one part vinegar to ten parts water very lightly spritzed on a microfiber cloth to try to clean off the marks. Unfortunately the marks may never go away due to the salt completely staining the floor. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  14. Hi, we just bought a house with engineered wood floors. They are very nice, but a bit dull and matte. Is there a way to ‘polish’ them to make them gleam a bit without ruining them?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Unfortunately that may be the finish the floor has and the only way to change that would be to sand down the finish and apply a new, smooth and shiny finish to the top. You could also speak to an installer about a screen and re-coat where they scratch up the surface and refinish the floor, you can just choose a different finish after this process. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  15. We just moved into a home (new construction) with engineered wood floors with a rustic finish. Being new construction there are areas of fine dust that are not being removed using a dry mop. Can I use a wet microfiber mop with just water to help capture the dust?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for getting in touch! I don’t suggest using any moisture on natural wood floors because they can get water damaged. It does take a bit of time to wait for all the dust to settle then vacuum everything up so if you really want you can VERY lightly spritz the microfiber mop with water to help pick everything up. Do not spray the floor and make sure the mop head if barely damp at all. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Joseph,

      Thank you for your inquiry! I usually suggest against using any chemical cleaners on wood flooring to protect it as much as possible. I recommend a solution of ten parts water to one part vinegar very lightly spritzed on a microfibre cloth, then wipe the floor down. If you did want to try using the floor cleaner make sure to try it on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure there will be no reaction between the finish and the cleaner. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  16. We moved into a house nine months ago with engineered wood floors. We did not know how to care for them and have used pine sol and a wet mop to clean them. Bad decision. We now have grimy buildup on parts of the floor. Any suggestions to give the floors a good cleaning and start over? (We have stopped using a wet mop!) Thank you.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Ellen,

      I’m sorry to hear about your floor! Unfortunately the PineSol and wet mop could have damaged the finish on the floor as well as caused some water damage. If it is just the finish, you could try a screen and re-coat. This means they will scuff up the surface to remove the finish and then re-coat it again afterwards. Unfortunately if there is water damage the only way to fix that is to replace the flooring. Good luck and please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

  17. I am in need of some advice on my Engineered hardwood flooring. We bought this patio home,(9yrs. old). We moved in January. I have areas that are very dull, streaking areas. It look likes wax may be on the surface. Otherwise, the areas are shiny and smooth. I have tried, Bona, Bruce, and many different cleaners. Sadly the areas are in visible areas. Can you help me?

    Thank you in advance.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Charles,

      Thank you for your inquiry!

      It sounds like the finish or wear layer may have been worn down in those areas. It would be best to try to get in touch with who the floor was manufactured from to see what type of finish is on the top. it may need to be refinished if no cleaners have worked. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Dominika,

      Thank you for your inquiry!

      Please do not use a steam mop on hardwood flooring. Any wood or natural floors are not water resistant and will get damaged from moisture. If you would like to clean the floor you can use a Swiffer and light spritz a microfiber cloth with a solution of 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water. The cloth should be barely damp.

      Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thank you for getting in touch with BuildDirect!

      I highly recommend against using any kind of wet mop as wood floors are not water resistant and moisture can ruin your floor. If you would like to clean your wood flooring you can very lightly spritz a microfiber cloth with a solution of one part vinegar and ten parts water. The cloth should barely be damp. I usually attach the cloth to a Swiffer duster or a broom similar that to make it a bit easier. If you would like to use a chemical floor cleaner I suggest trying it out on a small, inconspicuous area before the entire floor to ensure nothing happens to the finish.

      Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any other questions!

  18. Pingback: Keep the Engineered Wood Floors in Your Apartment Clean | Stella Apartments

  19. BuildDirect Product Expert Team
    BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

    Judy,

    I have attached some care and maintenance instructions, from one of our micro-beveled products, for your reference.
    //www.builddirect.com/pdf/engineered_hardwood/jasper/care-maintenance/jasper-care-and-maintenance.pdf

    You could also take a damp cloth (be sure to not use too much water) to clean the grooves and it that helps remove the build up.

    If neither of the above work, I would reach out to the manufacturer of the flooring that you purchased to see if they have any other specific recommendations.

    Hopefully, these tips will help you to get your floor looking new again. 🙂

  20. My engineered hardwood flooring is 15 years old. The floors have micro–grooves and tbe micro grooves are beginning to look dirty. I have about 2000 sq ft of flooring. How can I clean the micro-grooves?

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