Hardwood and laminates are an apples to oranges comparison in many ways: cost, ease of installation, durability and investment value. Yet, they do share a few things in common. Both shine in terms of the beauty, warmth and comfort they bring to a space, and surprisingly, both have a similar process for daily care and cleaning.
“Whether you choose natural wood or an engineered product, it’s important to protect your investment,” says Jerry Monroe, our flooring expert at Standard Paint & Flooring’s Sunnyside location.
“While we always recommend that customers follow the manufacturer’s instructions, it really comes down to common sense and some simple but regular maintenance to keep your hardwood or laminate floors looking like new for years to come.”
Here are a few tips for keeping your floors in tip-top shape:
- Sweep, dust or vacuum the floor regularly (do not use the beater bar, but the soft floor attachment instead) to clean up accumulated dirt and grit that can scratch or dull the finish.
- Occasionally wipe with a damp cloth or microfiber mop.
- Avoid allowing liquids to contact the floor for any extended period of time. When spills happen, use a damp cloth to blot as soon as possible. Mineral spirits on a clean cloth work to clean up tough spills (oil, paint, markers, ink, lipstick, etc.)
- Never wet mop the floor. Do not use a buffing or polishing machine.
- Likewise, refrain from using soap and detergent, oil-based cleaning products, wax, polish or strong ammonia-based, chlorinated or abrasive cleaners (like scouring powder). Only use products specifically formulated for hardwood or laminate surfaces.
- High-traffic areas will benefit from entry mats and area rugs. Use felt-padded furniture protectors to minimize scratches and scuffs over time. As a rule, laminates are less prone to scratches and fading from sun exposure than hardwoods. (Remember, damaged hardwoods can be refinished, but damaged laminate planks must be replaced.)
- With hardwoods, maintain an indoor relative humidity level between 35% and 65% throughout the year to minimize the wood’s natural expansion and contraction. You can expect laminates and engineered wood floors to also expand and contract a little with temperature and humidity fluctuations.
See the experts at Standard Paint & Flooring about installing new floors in your home – and how you can lay it down faster and more affordably with our flexible financing options for Shaw Flooring.