Here are the most common forms of hardwood flooring and cleaning products.
1. Laminate Hardwood Flooring
Laminate hardwood flooring is the most popular type of hardwood flooring. This flooring type has a relatively thin profile and a wood grain that is a relatively consistent colour throughout the plank. It comes in a wide range of dimensioned plank options. Laminate hardwood flooring is affordable, with a lower price per square foot than other hardwood flooring types. For this reason, laminate hardwood flooring is a popular choice.
2. Solid Hardwood Flooring
Solid hardwood flooring has a thicker, solid wood profile. The wood grain is very visible. This flooring type can be found in virtually any environment, with different types available in all colours and grains. Solid hardwood flooring requires additional maintenance, compared to other types of hardwood flooring. It requires deep cleaning of all wood surfaces.
3. Vinyl Sided Flooring
Vinyl sided flooring is an option when you are looking for a warm, natural look. This flooring type is more durable than the vinyl plank; however, it lacks the durable look and feel of solid hardwood. Vinyl is available in two primary qualities: thermoformed and injection moulded. Thermoformed vinyl tends to be a little heavier than its injection moulded counterpart. Both vinyl types are available in a variety of colours and patterns.
Types of engineered wood flooring uk:
1. Indulge ceramic system
Indulge ceramic system flooring is available in a variety of thicknesses, colours, and styles. These types of flooring have a high-gloss polyurethane coating. Indulge ceramic is available in various hardwood species, including walnut, oak, maple, mahogany, redwood and more.
2. Indigo System
Indigo System is a luxury option in engineered wood flooring. This is a heat-treated, polyurethane vinyl flooring available in a variety of wood species and thicknesses. The Indigo system comes in solid wood, engineered wood, and inlay options.
3. Richlite system
Richlite is a manufacturer that produces lightweight, durable ceramic tile. These products are designed to make the area feel warmer, larger and more open than other hardwood flooring types. Richlite ceramic tiles have a high-gloss ceramic coating.
Choosing the correct flooring type can have a profound impact on the interior of your home. Understanding the various types of hardwood flooring available in the UK can help you find the right product with the perfect design to suit your needs.
How to Clean Hardwood Floors
Gather the right tools.
First, find a broom (or just a long-handled, stiff brush) and a mop or scrubber, depending on the kind of flooring you’re tackling. Don’t forget to keep a dustpan and broom handy. If your floors are stained, check out this wood floors stain remover for a natural approach. A high-quality mop or scrubber will work great.
Once you’re ready to clean your hardwood floors, follow these steps from Forte:
Put down a generous layer of cleaning wipes on all the areas you’re scrubbing. Make sure you have a spray bottle of cleaning solution nearby, so you can also use a damp sponge to remove the excess cleaning solution when it’s time to go.
Choose the right surfaces for scrubbing.
- Use a hard-bristled broom to sweep the floors. It would help if you scrubbed the floors on the sides and corners of the areas where they meet the wall or where they meet carpeting or rugs. Scrubbing the floor at the corners makes it easier to see where dirt or debris is concentrated.
- Brush the floor with a high-quality mop or scrubber. Use a cleaning solution (30–50 percent) that’s loaded with abrasive particles. Scrub the floors until they’re completely dry. Scrubbing wet will help remove stubborn stains.
- To prevent the hardwood floors from scratching and breaking under your feet, trim the edges with the high-quality mop or scrubber. Make sure you use a rubber mop pad and wear rubber-soled shoes or socks when you’re cleaning.
- Tread lightly and ensure you don’t kick or step on the floor when you move between surfaces.
- After scrubbing the floor, vacuum the floors (though this step may take a few passes), then use the edge of a table or carpet to apply the finishing touches.
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Shampoo the Hardwood Floors
- Skip the water when cleaning your hardwood floors. Instead, find out the surprising benefits of a liquid cleaner!
- Start with the areas you just cleaned and finish using a damp sponge to remove any excess cleaning solution you left behind.
- Use a soft, scented cleaner for hardwood floors. Note: Hard surfaces can’t tolerate strong fragrances.
- Work your way around the perimeter of the floor.
- Wet the floor and work your way around with a scented cleaner for 10–15 minutes.
- Use an elbow tool and clean the center of the hardwood floor.
- Repeat the process on the floor from the center to the edges.
Refresh the Soft Surfaces
- Start with a wet mop and clean the area from the bottom.
- Use a soft-bristled brush and a soft cleaner. Scrub the floor until the floors are completely dry.
- Wet the area and work your way around with a scrub brush.
- Finish by using an elbow tool to remove any lingering dirt and debris.
- If you think hardwood floors are delicate and require special TLC, think again. It’s quite the opposite, really: Most wood floors are finished with polyurethane, making them one of the most durable flooring options out there. Like everything else in your home, it’s best to clean hardwood floors well and often. Wood floors can be prone to wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas, that’s why Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, has an easy-to-follow guide on most effective ways to restore your dull, dirty hardwood floors.
Best ways to care for wood flooring
1. Clean floors with a lint roller and fine-grit cleaning cloth
“Scouring pads and brooms with a lint brush are typically too large to reach underneath the top layer of your wood floors,” Forte says. “Light-colored wood floors, which are especially prone to dirt and grime, can be hardest to clean because the dirt isn’t as noticeable.” To avoid muddying up the floors and bringing down the value of your home, clean with a lint roller or cloth that’s specifically designed for your floors.
2. Give floors a rinse with a diluted solution of baking soda and water
“Your floors have a protective coating on them, called wax, and can be dulled if they’re constantly exposed to rain, snow, and hard floors — the traditional purpose of an antibacterial solution,” Forte says. “However, the ingredient in some cleaning solutions, such as the old liquid bleach, can bleach the finish on the floor. To avoid dulling the floors, coat the floors with a diluted solution of white vinegar and a little dish soap before cleaning.” It’s not as harsh on the floors as some cleaners, and it won’t strip away the protective coating.
3. Use a dry, soapy brush to remove dirt and grime
“If you’ve noticed that your floors are beginning to show some wear, use a dry, soapy brush to get any remaining dirt and grime off,” Forte says. “This is also a good way to remove black buildup, which might be on your floors from making your floors dust-proof.” For larger areas, such as entryways, try sweeping the floor before using the brush.
4. Clean floors with a microfiber cloth and warm water
“If you’re trying to get the dirt and dirt buildup off the floor, you’re going to need a microfiber cloth, which is a soft towel-like material,” Forte says. “Dampen the cloth, then use it to work the dirt and debris into a sudsy solution.” For a more powerful sudsy solution, add a bit more warm water. (This one-step solution will leave your floors squeaky clean without using harmful chemicals!)
5. Use a floor scrubber to remove light stains
The best floor scrubbers are rubber, as they don’t absorb odors and cleaning solutions. Try to avoid household-grade scrubbers with chemicals, as they can quickly stain hardwood floors. For mild stains, stick with a microfiber cloth, damp with warm water. If the stain is more noticeable, use a scrubber made from natural rubber.
Tips for Wood Floor Scratch Repair
If you have a patterned finish on your floor, such as a patterned grout tile, you need to see a professional for the repair. Otherwise, you will probably have a lot of difficulty and expense attempting this yourself.
- If you have a small, single scratch which you can only see when you close, and your floor is relatively fresh, try a DIY home solution first. In a little tub, combine bits of apple vinegar and olive oil and sprinkle with the mixture.
- Leave it and rub it out for the rest of the day. Sometimes small scratches are taken care of this process.
- Don’t scrub. When it comes to wood floor scratches, most people go one of two ways: one, try to “clean” it—which, to be honest, is a pretty painful process and not a good way to treat the problem—or two, put on a boot and sand it down.
- One word of caution: Don’t use heavy equipment and don’t use a razor blade. You can remove the dings and imperfections with sandpaper, but the new damage is likely to get bigger—it may not even be noticeable if you’re sanding it down, but it will likely start to reveal itself if you use an abrasive to scour it.
- Use a product that’s designed to absorb moisture. Some professionals recommend taking a bucket of warm water and a bunch of rubbing alcohol and pouring it on the scratch.
- But it turns out that’s not a very effective way to do it. When you try to use it, most water-based, absorbent products make the problem a little worse.
- Instead, find a product that’s designed specifically for wood floor stains. There’s a ton of them out there, but the thing that differentiates most of them is the absorption method: Abrasive products soak up some of the stains on contact, while silicone-based products actually “cook” it off.
- Wait 30 to 60 minutes. Depending on how badly you want your floor to look like new, you’ll want to wait at least 30 minutes before you start cleaning the scratch.
- You might think that waiting will make scratch bigger, but the opposite is true. By not scouring the surface, the dirt underneath will wash away a little at a time. As you’re waiting, you’ll notice that the scratch shrinks a little, so it starts looking a little better. It’ll never go away entirely, but it will be a little less noticeable when you do sand it down.
- Skip sanding. Resist the urge to sand. It can be useful, but you’ll probably just make the problem worse.