Learning Center

Find the answers to your home improvement questions.

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.

Browse Engineered Hardwood Flooring

(155) Comments

  1. We had our engineered hardwood floors installed before construction was completed. There is construction dust from drywall and feet of the workers everywhere. We took a damp cloth and tried to vacuum and sweep the dust with a cloth. The dusty stain keeps coming back even after wiping the area with a towel. What is the best way to remove that dusty film. I am disappointed in our contractor for not covering our floors.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Jeanne,

      Thank you for your inquiry! Construction dust takes a very long time to fully settle. You will need to continue cleaning as you have been for about a couple months before all the dust finally settles. You will notice over time that it will be less and less but unfortunately that is the only way to get rid of it. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  2. We had our engineered water treated hardwood floors installed before construction was completed. There is construction dust from drywall and feet of the workers everywhere. We took a damp cloth and tried to vacuum and sweep the dust with a cloth. The dusty stain keeps coming back even after wiping the area with a towel. What is the best way to remove that dusty film. I am disappointed in our contractor for not covering our floors.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Max,

      Thank you for getting in touch! No, you cannot use a steam mop on engineered hardwood. It is made of natural wood material so it is not moisture resistant.

      For regular cleaning you can use a vacuum or a broom with a microfiber cloth like a Swiffer. If you would like to do a more thorough clean I would use a solution of one part vinegar to ten parts water very lightly spritzed on a microfiber cloth. You can use this to wipe down the floor and it will clean up any dirt and dust and break through any oils from footprints. Just be sure not to use too much moisture because you can get water damage if the floor gets too wet.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  3. I have had engineered hickory hardwood floors about three months, and I’m amazed at how quickly dust accumulates. Would an IRobot Roomba be safe to use on my floors?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Lynn,

      Thank you for your inquiry! The Roomba should be okay but we cannot 10% guarantee it will not scratch the floor. I suggest using a Swiffer Sweeper once a week to keep the dust controlled. Thank you for getting in touch!

  4. Hi we have had our engineered hardwood floor for just over a week. I noticed this morning that there is a small dark stain on one of the boards like something sticky was spilt on it. I can’t seem to remove it any suggestions? Also now I’ve started looking I’ve noticed lots of little white spots in different areas which I can only assume have come from water drips. I know I’m being hypercritical but I want to make sure this doesn’t escalate into a bigger problem. Should we have finished our floor with something? Is there anything we can do to protect it? And how would you remove the stains??

    Many thanks

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Rebecca,

      Thank you for getting in touch! You can try a damp cloth with a bit of vinegar on it to try to remove the stain. The floor should already have been finished once it was installed but it might be a good idea to check with your installer as to what type of finish they used and what cleaning methods would work best. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  5. Thank you so much for this, I have been having quite a hard time cleaning up especially with stains in the way – – that’s where the “hardwork” comes in though. Not really sure if I could use any enhancers? ie oil to keep the shine?

    Oh, I recently read quite a nice article about this too, hope you don’t mind me sharing with all the readers, really helped me.

    https://www.builddirect.com/learning-center/flooring/care-engineered-hardwood-flooring/

    Have a great day everyone! Great article! Please keep them coming đŸ™‚

  6. I have engineered wood flooring throughout my house. We used a swiffer jet with solution for wood floors. Our floors started having a white milky film on them. I called the place we got flooring from. They told me NOT to use the swiffer jet or water on floors. Told me to use Woodpecker. Spray a little on dry cloth & go over floors regularly.

  7. Hi, we are in the middle of having our floors covered in oiled engineered oak, please can you advise on how to clean the floor, would your recommendation of white vinegar and water work on this type of floor? Thanks

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Marilyn – thanks for reaching out to us! Yes, that would work for cleaning this material. You just want to make sure that you aren’t using tons of liquid at a time on this product. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Max – thanks for reaching out to us! It is not recommended to use any chemical cleaners on engineered hardwood flooring. A better alternative is using an all natural cleaning product that is suited specifically for that type of material. Some of the chemical cleaners say they can be used for hardwood materials, but I would do so at your own risk, and would definitely test on a small area first. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Barb – thanks for reaching out to us! There is no product on the market that we know of that restores shine to engineered hardwood flooring, so you’ll probably have to look into getting it refinished. It isn’t recommended to use a wet mop on hardwood, and there isn’t a set time of how often you should clean your floor, as it does depend on foot traffic and the environment (pets, children, etc.). Upkeep is important, so regular cleaning is a good idea :). Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  8. Hi there,

    We just had maple engineered hardwood put in and unfortunately when the contractor was doing work on the plumbing in bathroom area a small fire started in the wall and they used 4 extinguishers to put out. The extinguishers contained dry chemicals that were wiped up however residue remains on the floor (feels gritty). What is the best method to clean the floors?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Shana. Thanks for reaching out to us. I’m sorry to hear about your experience! It’s hard to say exactly without being on site, but a hardwood floor cleaning product would probably work best. Here is an example of a product that may work: https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.hardwood-floor-cleaner.1000411443.html . We always recommend testing any new product on a small space before applying it to the entire area. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for reaching out to us! It really depends on the type of finish on the engineered hardwood product – do you know what kind your product has? Regardless of the type of finish and/or product, it is always recommended to test any new product on a small, inconspicuous space to make sure it doesn’t react negatively with the material. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  9. We just had pre engineered hardwood installed throughout a home. There were white footprints everywhere from the installers. I used a mop with LITTLE water to try and get up the white prints when dusting alone was not working. Most of the white footprints have spread into white streaks. What product can I use to mop the pre engineered floors since dusting and just water did not work?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks for reaching out to us! It’s hard to say for sure without seeing photos of the issue, but you could try using an eco-friendly hardwood floor cleaner. You just want to make sure you’re not using any harsh chemicals. Please let us know if you have any questions!

  10. Just curious we have engineered maple hardwood and there are a couple deeper scratches. How would you recommend we raise the grain? Would we put some oil and use an iron

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Pat,

      Thanks for reaching out to us! We’ve never heard of an oil and iron process, but you could take some pictures of your product and bring them to a local home hardware store to see if they have any matching fillers. Depending on the wear layer of your material, you might be able to screen and recoat or refinish the floor entirely. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  11. A year ago we had engineered hardwood installed. We have very light traffic in our home and no pets. I use a microfibre dust mop on the floors every other day. I have also used the vileda cloth mop with plain water and very little moisture in the cloth mop to wipe down the floors about every 2 months. The floors have started to splinter on the non nailed side. Have I done something wrong with the care of the flooring or was it installed improperly or could the flooring be defective?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Tracy. Thanks for reaching out to us. Based on the information you provided, it’s most likely a site related issue, it’s hard for us to confirm without seeing photos. If you want to send some through for us to take a look at, please send them to alexandrakrause@builddirect.com. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  12. Hi, I have an engineered wood floor and clean it with a damp cloth regularly as we have a dog. However in large areas the floor appears to be wearing quite bad. Is there anything I can use to bring the floor up to a nice finish again? Or how should it be maintained properly as it has only been layer 2 years ago.

    Many thanks

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Stephanie. Thanks for reaching out to us. The only option that you have is to get someone in to do a screen and recoat, which will give your material a new finish. This is only recommended for products not finished with oil. There are some general care and maintenance tips listed above. If you ordered the material from us, let me know the full name or the SKU, and I can see if there are more maintenance tips available for that particular product. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  13. My dark engineered hardwood is 10 years old and quite frankly I’m at my wits end with it. I’ve learned my lesson and will never get dark floors again however it is too costly to replace them so here’s my problem, the floors are very dull, there doesn’t seem to be any build up or anything just seems the shine is gone. They show every mark and footprints. I’ve tried some wood cleaners but have mainly used vinegar and water. Do you have any suggestions?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Amanda. Thanks for reaching out to us, and I’m sorry to hear about the issues with your flooring. There aren’t any polishing products out there that we know of, so you’ll probably have to get your floor refinished. You could always look locally to see if any of the home hardware stores carry such a product, but it is highly recommended to test any products in small, hidden areas before applying to the whole area. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  14. Good Morning,

    We have Engineered Hardwood floors. Unfortunately, our pet has had some mishaps that were difficult to locate immediately. In some cases the accident had dried. Now we have staining in the shape of “puddles” even after we have tried to clean. I note you suggest white vinegar..which we have not tried. as all the other store bought cleaners have failed. Would a 1/10 ratio White Vinegar solution help in this regard ?

    Any Suggestions would help.

    Thank You in advance.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Tracy,

      Sorry to hear about your floor. I would definitely suggest trying the vinegar and water solution. Unfortunately it does sound like the moisture has seeped into the wood so it may not take the stain out. If this doesn’t work the only option would be the replace the floor. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  15. I also have an engineered wood floor. I use vinegar and water to clean my floor and still am left with a residue that can be buffed out with a cloth. This is a new floor and bona had been used by the builder while the house was being shown for sale. Could it be the Micro fiber products that are leaving the residue? I am about ready to remove it all and put down tile.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Terry,

      You may be using too much vinegar in the solution. It should only be one part vinegar to ten parts water. This has to be lightly spritzed on the cloth and wiped down by hand to ensure there are no marks or residue left. If the builder used Bona it may just be sitting on the surface of the floor collecting dirt and dust. Either way a little extra elbow grease should remove the issue. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  16. We are moving into a home with brand new engineered hardwood floors… the home inspector flooded 3 rooms in it…. how long does it take to know if damage has occurred?? Thank you!!!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Amy,

      Sorry to hear about your floors. You will usually know within a day or two if damage has occurred. You will see the edges of the floor start to come up and expand. Unfortunately, if the water sat on the floor for a long period of time there is most likely going to be damage and you will need to replace the floor. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  17. An area of our engineered flooring has been damaged. Think this has been caused by using an abrasive material. The area now looks dull as if the top sheen layer has been removed. Is there anything I can do to rectify this. Thank you.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Donna,

      Sorry to hear about your floor! You can try a “screen and re-coat” process on that area. You will need to hire an installer or contractor to do the job though. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

  18. I’ve been using Swiffer Wet Jet for wood flooring cleaner for yrs now and noticing almost a stickiness. I’m a dbl amputee and have to wear shoes in the house and shoe prints as well as marks from the wheelchair are becoming more of a nuisance. Once it gets on the wheels it really becomes a pain, constantly clean wheels but it still leaves sometimes dark as well clear waxy like marks/treads on tile. Was thinking of buying a vileata cloth mop and try vinegar and water. Any suggestions to stop the tackiness and preserve, restore and clean my floors I’d appreciate.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Irene,

      Sorry to hear about your floors! It sounds like the Swiffer cleaner isn’t actually cleaning the floor, but is leaving a film on the surface that collects dirt and dust. To do a more thorough clean I would use a solution of one part vinegar to ten parts water very lightly spritzed on a microfiber cloth. You can use this to wipe down the floor and it will clean up any dirt and dust and break through any oils from footprints or the cleaner. Just be sure not to use too much moisture because you can get water damage if the floor gets too wet. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Marva,

      Thank you for your inquiry! If you would like to use wax or oil on the floor you would need to do a full screen and recoat process, you cannot just add the oil or wax on top. This will cause the product to sit on the surface and collect dirt and dust. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  19. We’ve just had engineered oak flooring with electric u f heating put down on the ground floor of my house. I have read all of the comments on cleaning daily with a brush etc. However, the builders will finished today so I need to give the floors a good clean – a dry brush won’t be able to clean it properly. Also I have a dog who sometimes comes in with wet or muddy feet so I’ll need to be able to clean up after her a bit more thoroughly from time to time.

    Please could you advise what I should use? I’ve seen floor cleaning devices for sale in places like Lakeland or Argos so I was wondering if they are recommended? Any advice would be great. Thank you

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Kate,

      Thank you for your inquiry! I would stay away from chemical floor cleaners or steam mops to clean your floor because they usually do more damage than cleaning. To clean the floors after the builders leave you can use a solution of one part vinegar to ten parts water very lightly spritzed on a micro fiber cloth. Use this to wipe down the floor, just be sure the cloth isn’t too wet or you will get water damage. You can use this method to regularly clean the floors after you either sweep or vacuum the dirt and dust. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  20. Hi there

    I have some light oil stains on my engineered floorboards (toddler dropped food so I now have a mat). Is there anyway to get it off or if this happens again is there something I can do straight away to limit the stain?

    Thanks

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Amanda,

      Thank you for getting in touch! Unfortunately without seeing the actual area and knowing what type of floor and finish you have it’s very hard to say what will help bring up the stain. If possible I would suggest checking with the original manufacturer of the floor to see if they have any recommended cleaning instructions. You can also try getting in touch with an installer or floor repair man to see if they have any advice. Sorry we couldn’t be of more help! Please let us know if you have any other questions!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You can use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.