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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. My engineered wood floors are finished in a high gloss shine. We vacuum regularly, use Bona for spot removal throughout the house but in the kitchen I use Lysol wipes right out of the can. My kitchen is small so this is done on hands and knees. The wipes are damp, not wet. They clean all spots and I feel the floors are clean. My floors were installed in 2003 and still look new.

  2. I am obsessed about clean floors. I use Swiffer wet-ones and ammonia/water to clean my real wood floors–they look great. I also have two golden retrievers that are indoor/outdoor pets, so naturally, they track in dirt that needs cleaning. My husband insisted on engineered wood floors for our basement, and I understand that ammonia/water is “taboo” on engineered wood floors. How often can I clean the floors with vinegar/water to ensure that they are maintained cleaned, especially since we have a “no shoes” in house rule? Dry Swiffer sweeping is not sufficient for me to feel that the floors are truly clean. I look forward to your advice. Thank you.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Nancy,

      Thank you for getting in touch! I would only use the water/vinegar solution on the floor about once every couple weeks or so. The most important think is to make sure the floor does not get too wet and the moisture doesn’t seep into the seams of the floor. I would discontinue use of the Swiffer wet-ones and the ammonia/water just to be safe. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  3. installed engineered floors sent from
    Florida now used in the Northwest.
    The change in seasons has affected
    the floors making them have deep ruts, holes and bubbles. The color is changing also. What can I do???
    Thank you for your help.
    Clara …

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Clara,

      Thank you for getting in touch! It sounds like you may be having some moisture issues with the floor but I can’t be 100% sure without seeing the area. I would highly suggest getting an installer or inspector out to look at the area to recommend a fix. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need anything else.

  4. Do I use Bona for hardwood floors or Bona for laminate floors to clean my new engineered hardwood floors? Thank you

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Jan,

      I wouldn’t suggest using either cleaner on your engineered wood floors. This is a natural product and it can be susceptible to damage from chemical cleaners. 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. If you are completely set on using the Pledge or Old English cleaners you should try them on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure they don’t ruin the floors. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  5. I had engineered hardwood flooring installed during a remodeling job. They used Rejuvinate on my floors afterwards and sealed in a lot of dirt and smudges. It looked awful and was so sticky everything coming in stuck to it I wanted it all taken off and I was told new wood flooring doesn’t need anything on it. They came back and cleaned it with ammonia and water and then Bona then applies something called Quickshine . It looks worse. Way to sticky and shiny. All I wanted was to get the floors back to original condition, they didn’t do what I asked which was DONT put anything on it.. I don’t know what to do. I can’t find a professional wood flooring specialist to touch this project. I’m unable to do it myself although this is probably the only way to get it done right. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Marni,

      I’m sorry to hear about your floors! Unfortunately you may have to completely strip the floors to get all the sticky surfaces off. You can also try a solution of one part vinegar to ten parts water lightly spritzed on a microfiber cloth to try to dissolve the substances on top. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  6. We just got a dog that has been going to the bathroom on our engineered hardwood floors. I’ve been using a wet swiffer to clean and disinfect. It’s leaving steaks in the places I use it and fear a discoloration of the flooring. Is there a better product to use?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Darren,

      Thank you for getting in touch! I would not use the wet swiffer on the floor because there is a chance you can cause water damage. The best solution to use is 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, dust and streaks. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

    • I have cats and one cat was rather sick and was urinating on the engineered floor. I used Natures Miracle and followed their instructions for wood floors, you don’t need a lot. Leave on floor a limited amount of time to allow some of the product to go into the seam. I know this is scary but I tried it and it worked for me, especially for the smell. This was going on for about 6 months (I did use puppy pad to circumvent a lot of it) and their appears to be no adverse reaction from the spray and the smell is not there. I have used Nature’s Miracle for years for vomiting and urine, and it has never failed me. Now, with that said, I don’t know how it will work on your particular flooring. Also, they have recently changed the product and I understand that it now comes scented. I personally don’t like the scents so I searched local pet food supply stores to see what they had left of the original formula and picked up the last two on a shelf in a small local shop. Good luck.

  7. I have engineered hardwood and found a few dried urine spots from one of my dogs. I cleaned them with Bona and both areas now have a “tacky” feeling when you walk over them. Is there anything I can do to remove the stickiness? And what can I use in the future if I find another old spot of urine?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Lynne,

      Thank you for your inquiry! I would suggest trying a solution of one part vinegar to ten parts water to try and clean up the tacky feeling. This is the best solvent to use on the floor to provide a thorough and gentle clean. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help out with!

  8. I have been using Bona floor cleaner on my new engineered wood floors (installed 6 months ago), but was hoping to find a less expensive intermittent cleaning solution while still using Bona for “deep cleaning” days. I’m finding just as many sites recommending the vinegar/water for cleaning as ones specifically saying DO NOT use vinegar/water on engineered wood floor. If vinegar/water is NOT ok to use on the floor, is there a cleaner you’d recommend as safe, but ok to use more often than the Bona?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Joni,

      Thank you for getting in touch! Vinegar and water is the best solvent to use on natural floors because it is a safe and gentle cleaner. Most people only have issues with this if they use too much moisture which will cause water damage. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  9. Dear Build Direct, We just had an engineered wood floor installed in September. I thought it might be time to clean as I noticed a few spots. I bought a Bona kit as recommended by the manufacturer and am not happy. The cleanser did not clean up a single spot and left the floor with a dull gray film. I am OK with wiping up each spot by hand, but I would appreciate any advice you may have for restoring the shine. Thanks, Marianne

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Marianne,

      I’m sorry to hear about your floor! I would suggest using 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. This is the best solvent to clean natural wood floors. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  10. I had just had an oiled finished oak engineered flooring fitted and am concerned about what to do if I spill red wine on it. It looks so lovely and I really do not want to ruin it, should I be so clumsy!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Claire,

      Thank you for getting in touch! We always recommend cleaning up the spill as soon as possible, the trick is to not let the wine soak into the wood. If you do need to clean using a solvent you can use 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water on a damp microfiber cloth. Just make sure the cloth isn’t too set or you will get water damage. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  11. Hello! I recently moved into a new place that has engineered wood floors. They seem to scratch easily, is there a cream or protector I can apply (an extra layer of protection)? Also, my dog slobbers after he drinks water. I try to clean it up when I see it but I can’t be home all the time! Will water drops ruin the floor? These type of flooring seems to be more high maintenance than I thought! Thank you for your advice .

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Caroline,

      Thank you for getting in touch! Unfortunately there is nothing you can add on top for extra protection. I can only suggest to make sure there are no sharp objects dragging across the floor and to have foot pads underneath your furniture to prevent further scratching. If the floor gets very scratched you can look into a “screen and re-coat” process to refresh the finish of the floor.

      In regards to the water, you will need to clean everything up right away to avoid moisture damage. If the water sits on the seam of the floor for a long time it can seep in and cause warping or cupping. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  12. I have just had re-engineered oak flooring installed in the living room and dining room. The skirting boards were fitted a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, the dust from the work and workman has left smudges on the new floorboards. I think he may of used wipes on floor. Please can you confirm the best approach to removing smudges and marks.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Ann,

      Thank you for getting in touch! Dust from renovations is very hard to clean up and it will take a few months for everything to completely settle. Until then you will need to just dust the floor every week to gather all the leftover dust. For smudges and marks you can 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!

  13. We are moving into a home with engineered hardwood flooring and have no idea how to keep it clean. We have a crawling baby so need something that will clean and disinfect for our little one on a regular basis. Aside from sweeping, what can I use regularly to also disinfect and mop the floors with?

    Thank you!!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Odalis,

      Thank you for getting in touch! 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!

  14. I am about to install engineered hard wood in my entire house. Can I have it professionally sealed to be able to use a steam mop to clean it? Our house was built on a slab so solid hard wood after construction we are being told isn’t a good option.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Brenda,

      Thanks for reaching out to us. It is never recommended to steam that type of flooring, and sealing the material would not make it possible either. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  15. We just built a brand new house and laid down engineered hard wood throughout the main level. Can I use murphys oil soap to clean? A microfiber dust moon day vacuum just aren’t cutting it. Thanks

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Nikki,

      You may be able to use that product, however you would want to check the compatibility of that product with the type of finish your flooring has. For example, some cleaners are not recommended for oil finishes. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  16. I have engineered wood floors throughout the house. The floors have been well kept up but after almost ten years are beginning to show their age. The bevels need to be really cleaned out and floors are looking a bit dull. Can they be professionally cleaned, or do we have to replace them?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Vicky,

      Thank you for getting in touch! You should be able to clean out the bevel but to refresh the finish you would need to do a full screen and re-coat of the floor. This is similar to refinishing the floor but it does not take off a significant layer of wood off the top. I would suggest getting in touch with a contractor to find someone that can do this for you. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  17. Hello. I currently live in an apartment since 2008, where the hardwood floors are engineered, so, now they are areas where it’s devoid of color, what should I do? I purchased Bona cleaner but did not use it yet, my mother always use Spic n Span then wring dry spin mop, is it okay to use, even though it has not left any marks? Also, what should I use to make it shine again? Any advice or suggestions on this matter will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and patience as well as your efforts.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Shalonne,

      Thank you for your inquiry! I would not suggest using any kind of wet mop on this floor because you will get water damage. It sounds like the finish on the floor has worn down so the only option would be to do a screen and re-coat to bring life back to the floor. I would suggest getting in touch with a local installer or contractor and ask them to screen and re-coat the floor. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  18. I don’t know why I got this type of floor fitted its suchbhard work keeping it clean! What type of vinegar,is that clear the one? Do you know any companys that offer a cleaning or resurfacing service?
    Thanks

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Lynsy,

      Im sorry to hear about y our flooring! White vinegar should work for this floor. I don’t know anyone local off hand but you can try http://www.pro.com to help find someone in your area. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  19. I have manufactured wood floors. I first used Bona and it left a terrible haze. Them to get off the haze i used a spritz of Windex without ammonia and it helped a great deal. I dried the windex without ammonia off to the point it was dry.Not quite as shiny but the closest to the shine of the floor I could get. Just sure what to use to actually clean the floor in the future as I have a lot of traffic that leaves spots and grime. Have to work so I cannot sweep everyday nor clean the gloor every 7 days. Can I use a spritz of windex without ammonia on a regular basis?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Deborah,

      If the Windex has worked so far it may be okay to use in the long run but we can’t 100% guarantee. 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!

  20. Our older dog had an accident on our engineered hardwood floor while we were gone. We have cleaned the floor several times with a wet swifter but the urine smell won’t go away. What do you recommend using to fully clean the floor and get the smell out?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you for getting in touch! Unfortunately if the smell isn’t going away it most likely means the urine has soaked into the edges of the wood and the only way to get rid of the smell is to replace that section of the floor. I would also be very cautious while using the wet Swiffer on the floor because if there is too much moisture you will get water damage. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • I had the same problem. One of my little dogs had an accident. I bought OUT Advanced Stain and Odor Remover at Walmart. I sprayed the area and let it dry. You can’t hurt these engineered hardwood floors. Afterwords, it left an oily topcoat. I just mopped it up. Good as new and no smell. Can also use this product on carpet to rid of smell. It has an enzyme base that dissolves protein, which is what urine and feces are.

  21. I have been cleaning my engineered wood floor with Bona for sometime,…..several years. I have quite a milky smeary looking buildup. How do I remove this and can I have them refinished.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Pat,

      Do not use a steam mop on engineered hardwood floors. They are made from natural wood material so too much moisture will cause damage. 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!

  22. We used stick on pads to the bottom of our furniture legs, which have come lose and has left a sticky residue/build-up on the engineered floor. What is recommended for removing this adhesive build-up? (Ice has not worked)

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Brad,

      I would suggest trying a small amount of dish soap on the sticky area. That should break up the glue and make it easy to rub off with a slightly damp wash cloth. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Jessica,

      I would not suggest using that cleaner on the engineered hardwood floor. It is a natural product so it is not water resistant. If you use too much moisture on an engineered hardwood floor you will get water damage and will have to replace the floor. 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. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

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