Wood floor types and maintenance questions
Hi there, I run an independent cleaning service and I am looking for some expert advice on how to identify types of wood flooring and how to care for them.
First of all, do you have any tips on how to tell if a wood floor is laminate, engineered, or solid? Cheap laminate is pretty easy to identify, but what about others?
Second, it is my understanding that laminate is more susceptible to moisture damage than the other types of wood flooring. Is this correct?
Third, I've noticed in a couple of client's homes gouges in laminate flooring that have bloomed outward from moisture seeping in (not from me, I know better than to allow moisture to get anywhere near a hole in a laminate floor.) I would like to be able to make a suggestion to my customers when I notice a gouge in the floor to prevent further damage from occurring. Is there some type of sealant that you can suggest to protect damaged areas on laminate from getting worse from moisture exposure?
I have some more questions I will be putting in another thread.
I shoulda thought of that one myself! So simple. Thanks!! :thumbup:
NP.... That's a tip I picked up HERE! lol But it's worth repeating.
Second: I imagine any type of flooring can be damaged by water left on it for any length of time.
Third: Maybe parrafin wax?
Ask the customer...lol If that doesnt work, laminate does not age, looks cheap sometimes generally speaking, it will not show scratches or fading or rotting etc. Laminate floats so walking on it may sound hollow. Engineered wood cracks from water near front doors, it also fades bad from sunlight. Real hardwood has nails on the top in certain areas (near walls).
First I have to commend you for looking for soild advice for floor care. Second, I have to warn you that anything you read on the web is subject to correction, for example: I just had to let a customer know that she totally destroyed her floor when she used a word of advice on google. Best advice contact your local retailer (not a box store)
That in mind, I will still give you my 2 cents worth:
The vent trick does work good.
But if we have no vent, you will have a harder time. A well made engineered floor should look just like a soild. Sometimes you can look at the grain of the wood and see that it is a peeled floor vs a sawn floor. But the engineered and the solid is the same for fading, marks and care.
Laminate is normally easier to tell as the pattern is normally repeated, look for a unique mark and see if you see it elsewhere in the room and if you do it is most likely a laminate.
Water is dangerous for any of the above, the laminate shows it the most, the others hide it better.
The basic care for wood will vary on the wood. So you must figure out what finish they have. For example you could have a urethane, acrylic, or wax. and each type must be cared for differently.
Wax finish can be noticed with white wax rings showing up with a drop of water: These you wax.
Acrlic finish has special care products, you justhave to know your woods for this or ask your customer, it isn't everywhere, and it is a topic in itself.
Urethane is the most common today and I recommend using: Bona wood cleaner and Bona Refresher every 6 months to a year. The Bona refresher also can fill in the smaller gaps.
For laminate I would recommend using: Bona laminate cleaner. You would have to use a chemical rebonding agent to seal up the wood and that is not an over the counter product, or an acrylic light sensitive adhesive to bond to the laminate. Not worth the mess.
If you any wax based products on the floors it could damage the flors or make it so that the floor would require wax in the future.
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