Our Best Tips For Cleaning Your Hardwood Flooring

Our Best Tips For Cleaning Your Hardwood Flooring

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Taking great care of your hardwood flooring has great benefits. Solid or engineered hardwood flooring represents a great financial investment with its 100-to-150-year lifespan. Wood is also one of the top materials in many design trends. Two reasons to try and make it last as long as possible. Plus, whereas ceramic tiles, many hardwood suppliers are established in North America, which makes it an environmentally responsible option. The most popular wood species on the market come from Canada and the United States, such as our best-selling Canadian maple, which is resistant and even finished. There’s also the yellow birch, our second most popular essence, and the red oak that we find in many Montreal interiors. It’s no secret – wood is a very durable floor covering and is very worth maintaining. Here are our best tips to help you clean your hardwood flooring and make it last longer.

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Day-To-Day Maintenance of Your Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood is a living material that reacts to cycling relative humidity. It absorbs and releases moisture before but also after the installation, which means that wood naturally expands during summer and shrinks during winter.

Prevent humidity

One of the most important rules: monitor your indoor humidity level.

  • Wood and water don’t get along. Always wipe any liquid that spills on the floor and clean with a damp mop (not wet!).
  • For health reasons as well as to protect your wooden floors and furniture, it is recommended to keep your humidity level between 35% and 50%. Use a hygrometer to properly monitor the humidity level. It will tell you if the air is too humid or not enough.

Protect from scratches

Add felt pads to your furniture legs to make them easier to move and prevent scratches on your floor. Make sure the pads stay clean and in good shape. You can also replace plastic wheels with large rubber or flexible polyurethane wheels.

Preserve from sunrays

Sunrays and other artificial lighting sources may eventually alter the colour of exposed wood. This chemical reaction is called oxidation and is completely normal. Just make sure to protect your floor from intense bright light to prevent this from happening.

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Pre-Oiled Or Varnished Flooring: What’s The Difference

Whether your hardwood flooring is made of solid wood or engineered wood, the cleaning process will depend on the finish. You don’t clean a pre-oiled floor the same way you do a pre-varnished floor.

Cleaning your varnished hardwood flooring

Varnish gives your floor extra resistance to water, wear, abrasion and scratches. Cleaning varnished floor is easier than pre-oiled floor and doesn’t require as much regularity. Here is what we recommend:

  • Regularly remove dirt and other debris that could scratch your pre-varnished floor with a vacuum or microfibre dust mop.
  • Use the neutral pH Ôbois Pro Clean product especially designed for routine cleaning of hardwood flooring. Lightly spray the product on your mop to clean your floor. BE CAREFUL: the cloth should be damp but not wet. For optimal results, replace the mop cloth at least once during your cleaning session depending on the surface to clean. Do not use this product on waxed, oiled or unfinished flooring.

Cleaning your pre-oiled hardwood flooring

What’s great about pre-oiled hardwood flooring is that scratches can easily go unnoticed, as opposed to pre-varnished flooring. You can also do touch-ups on the scratched area or the whole surface to help reduce the marks appearance.

Pre-oiled flooring requires the use of specific cleaning products, the best one being what the manufacturer recommends. Always use the product following the instructions on the bottle or provided by the manufacturer on their website.

Good to know! Pre-oiled hardwood flooring also needs a refreshment coat every 3 to 5 years depending on the state and use of your floors.

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What to Avoid: Products & Actions

There are a few things you must never do, whatever the type of hardwood floor.

  • Don’t walk on your floor with stilettos. After water and sand, spike heels are hardwood floors’ worst enemy. Also avoid some types of sports shoes, especially if they are well worn.
  • Never pour any cleaning product directly on the floor.
  • Never use a wet mop that can leave excess water on the floor.
  • Never use wax, oil-based detergent or any other household cleaning product on the floor (no vinegar, no soap, no dishwashing products, no homemade products). These products may damage the floor finish and leave a grease film, which can cause the floors to be slippery, harder to clean and even impossible to refresh without deep sanding and complete revarnishing.
  • Finally, don’t increase or reduce the underfloor heating system more than 2.8°C (5°F) per day when turning it on or off.


👉 Note: Vinyl and laminate flooring are not part of the hardwood flooring family. All the recommendations do not apply to these types of floors.

Carefully following this advice will help your investment last longer. Don’t hesitate to contact our team in one of our 9 stores for any questions. We will be more than happy to assist you.