It starts like this on social media: “What can I use to clean my wood floors?”
Thirty totally random comments later, you’re still not sure if there is any help for your wood floor. I mean, just because you CAN use something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Right?
Oil soap? What even is that? Vinegar and water? How much to how much? Isn’t vinegar acidic?
What cleaning products get rid of dirt and grime on wood floors, especially high traffic areas? Do I need to get down on my hands and knees? Is there a cleaning solution on the market that gets rid of scuff marks? Is a microfiber mop really better than a wet mop? How do I get my floor to dry if I’m using a steam mop? (DO NOT use a steam mop.) Will I find good or bad floor cleaning products at my local Lowe’s or Home Depot? What about Bona hardwood floor cleaner? We’ve even been asked for our recommendations for a good laminate floor cleaner. (Note to self: we don’t touch laminate. Sorry, laminate people. Good luck to you, though.)
No one wants to damage the floor, especially right after it’s been installed and/or refinished. Here are three ways to keep clean hardwood floors.
First, listen to your professional wood floor contractor.
This might surprise you but not all contractors are professionals. By professional, I mean a contractor that is certified through the National Wood Flooring Association. There is no licensing for the hardwood flooring industry in the state of Colorado, but this doesn’t mean that there are no professionals in your area. It just means you will have to do some research (www.woodfloors.org) to find one. A professional does not just do technical work and is never heard from again.
A professional, by Merriam-Webster’s definition, is one that engages in a pursuit or activity professionally, conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession, exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace. Another definition (and one in which we often find ourselves) is participating for livelihood in a field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs (DIY).
We are not the least expensive contractor in the Denver area. But just because you CAN hire the cheapest contractor doesn’t mean you SHOULD. We operate Artistic Floors by Design as professionals and have been recognized as industry experts by the National Wood Flooring Association. When we make recommendations for the cleaning and care of your wood floor, we do so because we want it to look good for years. Your floor is an artifact of our professional reputation. Comparing products matters, but processes matter, too. We follow technical standards for installation and refinishing so that color and finish is more durable and long-lasting. Just because a contractor applies a water based polyurethane, doesn’t mean it’s the longest lasting product on the market. The sanding sequence, finish application process, and addition of hardening components matter for finish adhesion and durability’s sake, too. (Believe it or not, there are super nerdy scientists who get paid to analyze finish adhesion and durability. They’re actually not that nerdy. Some are pretty cool. And the testing is crazy legit.)
If you’re not sure what cleaner your wood floor contractor recommends, contact our nationally certified Wood Floor Sales Advisor. We’ll help you with what NOT to use and also advise you about appropriate cleaners. Believe me, in nearly 30 years working in this industry, 13 of them owning our own wood floor business, we have heard it all, from Magic Erase to Method Dish Soap. (By the way, these two products will destroy your finish.)
Second, don’t just listen. Do. Follow the recommended maintenance program.
Just like there is a difference between a contractor and a professional, there is also a difference between cleaning and maintenance. Cleaning removes dirt. Maintenance keeps your floor looking great for years and years. Proper maintenance involves a professional returning to care for your floor and extend the life of the floor. If you are getting an estimate for either installation or refinishing wood floors, ask the contractor what their maintenance program involves. Tip: If a contractor doesn’t have a maintenance program, they are not a professional. Ask them what their warranty covers. Tip: If a contractor doesn’t have a warranty, they are not a professional. Ask them what’s in their contract. Tip: If a contractor doesn’t use a contract, they are not a professional. (OK, those last three tips were sort of sarcastic. But not really, considering how often we see floor installations and finishes fail.)
Depending on the type of finish on your floor, maintenance will differ. Not sure? Contact our nationally certified Wood Floor Sales Advisor. Tip: If the sheen of your finish is inconsistent, you likely need a maintenance coat. How will you know? Contact our nationally certified Wood Floor Sales Advisor
Third, deep cleaning is different from sanding wood floors.
If your wood floors need deep cleaning, contact our nationally certified Wood Floor Sales Advisor. We do not deep clean wood floors but we know a professional who does. He comes highly recommended and we do not make referrals lightly.
Last, be cautious about labels.
Just because a store or a person is selling you a product does not mean it is good for you to use on your wood floors. Even if it screams in big letters, SAFE FOR USE ON WOOD FLOORS. (In fact, sometimes the bigger the letters, the worse it is for your wood floor.)
We offer Denver’s only Nationally Certified, Award-Winning Wood Floor Advanced Master Craftsman. Our technicians have more than three decades’ experience and continue their education regularly to maintain professional status. We commit to our client experience every day: treat each home as if it were our own with no surprises because art is not just for walls.