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Engineered wood flooring is an attractive and modern kind of flooring that has the same surface appearance of solid wood, but greater structural stability. One advantage of this is that it is better able to deal with changes in moisture and temperature. However, as with any floor, steps need to be taken to ensure it stays in good shape.
While the floor may cope better with water than a solid one this does not mean it can be allowed to get soaking wet. When cleaning the floor only limited amounts of water should be used, so a mop should be damp rather than sopping wet. Similarly, standing water should not be left on the surface.
As with any wooden floor, there is the danger of scratches or dents. Items to avoid include stiletto heels or contact with abrasive furniture. Castors and table legs can be isolated from the surface by placing furniture pads underneath, preventing damage. Also, dust can cause damage if it is allowed to build up, by inflicting minute scratches that build up a cumulative level of damage over time.
This should be swept, mopped or vacuumed up frequently and you can limit the amount of dirt or grit getting on to the floor in the first instance with well-placed mats. The best place of all to put a mat is by the door so when people enter they can wipe their feet.
Hardwood floors can be sanded many times to remove any surface blemishes but because an engineered floor has only a veneer of real wood, this can only be done two or three times. This makes prevention of damage even more important than with a hardwood floor.
Spillages should be dealt with quickly for two reasons. As mentioned above, there is the issue of the effects of water in making wood expand. Also, chemicals like ink, blood or wine are more likely to leave a stain if they are allowed to dry. If your floor has a lacquered or oiled finish, this may give some protection against such staining. Some kinds of coating actually harden over time, making them easier to clean and maintain, but be prepared to coat it with a new layer if this does wear off.
If you have a lacquered wood floor, we recommend that you use a lacquer soap on the product as soon as it is installed, as this will help it with the hardening process. Thereafter, wood cleaner and lacquer care can be used to help keep the floor in top condition.
Engineered wood flooring will, if looked after properly, stand the test of time and be a beautiful addition to your home. By following the right measures to maintain the floor and prevent damage, you will ensure that it stays looking great for many years.
Submitted by Jason Ashby, UKFD