While this might seem like the ideal way to deep clean your hardwood floors, steam cleaners are generally not recommended. Even when the label reads as “Ideal for hardwood,” you should proceed with caution.
At Cherokee Floor Covering, we're wood flooring experts in quality products, superior installations, or sanding and refinishing. In addition, we give our customers tips on flooring maintenance, so feel free to come into our showroom when you are shopping for hardwood flooring in Woodstock.
Why steam cleaning may not be best for wood floors
Solid hardwood, which is one thickness throughout, can be damaged by excess water and moisture, leading to warping. Remember, too, that wood expands or shrinks to adjust to the humidity, and the drastic temperature changes of steam cleaning lead to cupping (where plank sides are higher than the middle) or crowning (the middle gets higher than the sides).
While wood is thick, the liquid from steam cleaners is thin, which can lead to seepage between the fibers and the joints, even if the floor is sealed– not to mention any possibly damaging chemicals that may be lurking in the attempt to disinfect.
So, what cleaning method for hardwood floors is recommended? First, regular sweeping with a soft broom or dry mop should be done every day. Then, every couple of months, use a well-rung mop with a wood cleaner, and be sure to wipe with a clean, dry cloth to remove any excess liquid.
Remember that prevention is always better than cure, so put mats strategically at entrances. If possible, you might even ask people to remove their shoes before stepping onto the wood floor, so dirt and moisture aren't tracked in.
Can I use a steam cleaner on engineered wood floors?
No, because while engineered has a wear layer, it protects the floor's top, not sides, seams, or bottom of planks.
Cherokee Floor Covering has a staff with years of experience in the flooring industry. To learn more about maintaining hardwood or any flooring, visit our showroom in Woodstock, GA. You'll also get a free quote. We're convenient to Woodstock, Marietta, Canton, Acworth, and Kennesaw, GA.