Yes, engineered wood floors can be installed in a bathroom. 

Engineered wood can also be installed in a basement and other places that solid wood can’t. Specifically, the kind of places that are prone to humidity and temperature changes. 

Unlike solid wood, engineered wood floors stand up well to environmental changes. Bathroom and basement environments can change quickly, and this can happen routinely. But engineered wood is quite well suited to this. 

Why Is Engineered Hardwood A Good Choice For These Kinds of Environments?

The layer of engineered wood that you can see is made of real wood. The core is made of layers of plywood. These are bonded together in such a way that they form a thick sort of mesh. 

This core is what gives engineered wood floors the ability to withstand environmental changes. It’s what gives this type of floor more dimensional stability.

In other words, the core of an engineered wood floor won’t warp. 

Can Engineered Wood Stand Up To Spills?

If your engineered wood floors were installed a few years ago, the answer is, “yes, but not for long”. Spills should be cleaned right away. Your floors should never be wet-mopped or allowed to air dry. This type of flooring is no less sensitive to standing water than solid wood is. 

This has invariably been the case …until recently.  

Recent Improvements in Engineered Wood Flooring Products

In the past few years, a lot has changed in the flooring industry. 

Where having engineered wood flooring in bathrooms and kitchens was once thought to represent a lot of upkeep, manufacturers now claim that their newest improvements have made them trouble-proof and worry-free The biggest improvement — waterproofing. 

Can You Let Engineered Wood Floors Get Wet?

Allowing your floors to get wet and allowing them to stay that way are two very different things. Water spills happen. Accidents are inevitable. But with traditional engineered wood, clean-up should take place as soon as possible. 

This fact represents a bit of mindful care where bathrooms are concerned. In a bathroom where traditional engineered wood flooring is installed, everyone who uses it must be sure to leave no watery footprints behind. Everyone must be sure to clean up after themselves if they allow water to splash when washing their hands. 

This makes traditional engineered wood a less-than-ideal choice for bathrooms that see a lot of use by youngsters. 

The introduction of waterproofing is said to change all this. But does it?

In fact, the words, “waterproof” and “worry-free” should be synonymous. But are they?

Is Waterproof Engineered Wood Better For Bathroom Installations? 

The very short answer is yes, although the rules change between brands and levels of water resistance. 

Before deciding on a particular waterproof engineered wood floor product, it’s important to understand its capacity or level of water resistance. 

Manufacturers of some engineered wood floors claim that a spill can safely go unseen or ignored for up to 12 hours on their improved variety. Others claim 24 hours, and some claim that their waterproof engineered wood can withstand a spill for up to 36 hours. 

Right about now, you’re probably thinking that waterproof engineered wood floors can be installed in a kitchen. Well done! (pun intended)

Of course, once a cooking spill has been allowed to go unchecked for 24 to 36 hours, a new concern about how to clean up dried crud might be created. 

…and naturally, taking care of this would involve the use of some type of liquid solution …and well, how the rest of this story goes seems to be anyone’s guess. But however it goes, waterproof is still better than not. 

How Are Waterproof Engineered Wood Floors Different?

As discussed earlier, the difference is in the core. The core of traditional engineered wood is made of densely packed layers of plywood that give this type of floor more dimensional stability than solid hardwood. 

Thus, engineered wood is better suited to below-grade installations and similar environments. 

With waterproof engineered wood, the core is different from each manufacturer. 

Some cores are made of stone plastic composite or SPC. 

One manufacturer uses an “ultra-high-density fiberboard”. 

Another manufacturer claims that their hardwood floor is waterproof as well as the most durable on the market. The floor is actually a laminate floor. How they get away with calling it “wood” isn’t clear.  

Are The New Waterproof Engineered Wood Floors Better For Installation in Bathrooms?

Well, we do know that they’re at least somewhat more waterproof than the traditional kind of engineered wood floor. But this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better. 

Besides the fact that some manufacturers don’t seem to know or care that there’s a difference between waterproof and water-resistant, there are two cons. 

  1. Waterproof floors can’t be refinished. 
  2. Unlike traditional engineered wood, installing radiant heating underneath them is out of the question.   

Waterproof or not, the fact that they can’t be warmed up might mean that no one will spend much time splashing about or letting their wet hair drip onto the floor. 

So if you want to install engineered wood floors in your bathroom, you might as well stick with the traditional kind.  

As long as you don’t install radiant heating, the floor isn’t as likely to be in prolonged contact with water anyway. 

Engineered Wood Floors In Bathrooms: The Bottom Line

If you know you can successfully manage spills, install traditional engineered hardwood in your bathroom. 

That way, you can install radiant heat while you’re at it. 

As for the kids’/guest bathroom, it’s probably the smallest room in the house. If you’re going to experiment, this would be the place to do it. 

Granted, engineered wood floors and children aren’t necessarily a match made in heaven. But you’ll probably be supervising their bath time anyway. 

If not, then another adult. So, staying ahead of spills shouldn’t be a problem. 

Teenagers might be a different story, but beyond this, there really isn’t much else to consider. 

So go ahead — install engineered wood floors in the bathroom. Take care of them a little. Enjoy them a lot.   

For many people who have hardwood floors in their homes, the appearance of white spots and white marks can be both perplexing and frustrating. What caused them? Where did they come from? How do I get remove white spots on wood floors?

In this article, we’ll answer all these questions and offer some tips for prevention as well.

white spots on hardwood floors

What Causes White Spots on Wood Floors?

Although there are a lot of ways to prompt them, there aren’t too many causes of white spots and white marks on hardwood floors.  Let’s discuss these:

Heat

If you enjoy watching TV while sitting cross-legged on the floor eating a pizza, you should probably consider how hot the underside of a pizza carton can be.

The same goes for most cardboard or foil boxes that are used to contain hot food for delivery. These containers are all designed to keep food hot.  

Heat can also be transferred through the bottom of a full coffee or soup mug, or a bowl of hot pasta.

Moisture

Trapped Moisture

If your floors have been recently refinished, white, cloudy spots may form in areas where there wasn’t enough drying time between the coats of lacquer.

Where a wood floor’s finish is worn, water can seep under the edges of the finish and also become trapped between the layers

Spills and Condensation 

If you’re washing that pizza down with an ice-cold beverage, resting the can or bottle on the wood floor can cause white marks. This is the result of condensation traveling down the outside of the can or bottle. Left unchecked, water spills on hardwood floors and condensation can form white water marks on a wood floor.  

Tap Water

In terms of water, “hard” is the term used to describe water with high mineral content.

On some level, most tap water contains minerals. When water evaporates, the minerals remain. Damp mopping with tap water can cause white spots to appear if droplets are allowed to evaporate before they’re dried. The harder the water; the bigger the problem.

Rainwater

Rainwater that’s tracked in from outside is a more common concern in climates with heavy or long rainy seasons.

In these cases, white spots are usually more present nearest a home’s entry doors. This is because rainwater usually contains sodium. On hardwood floors, when rainwater evaporates, the sodium remains.  

Snow 

As if water tracked in from outside isn’t bad enough news, snow along with its naturally high sodium content can be especially rough on hardwood floors. Rainwater is naturally salty, but snow is even saltier.

In the northern hemisphere, wood floors surrounding entry doors can quickly become almost entirely white during the winter. The melted snow’s deposits of salt and other minerals often combine to form what appears to be a large cloud.

Removing scale from a hardwood floor can be a tedious and time-consuming challenge.  

Mold

If the white spots were discovered under a potted plant or under something that remained in direct contact with the floor (boxes, cushions, or even shoes), this could be white mold.

Mold needs two things to survive; moisture and a food source. In this case, the food source is wood.

This type of trouble is more prevalent in moist climates. White mold usually grows in dark, dank areas of a home. You might notice a white powdery substance on the edges of the wooden basement stairs or the basement ceiling joists that support the floor above.

If a roof has leaks or isn’t properly ventilated, white mold might be present on the attic rafters or crawlspaces.

In some cases, the overall appearance of mold can become darker as it generates more spores.

For some people, this situation can send health spiraling downward. For others, the same situation might not even prompt a sneeze. 

Read our article on how to remove mold on wooden floors to deal with this.

Spider Poop

Yes. You read that right.

No. We’re not kidding.

Granted, spiders don’t usually gather out in the open for a poop pow-wow or defecation shindig on hardwood floors.

In fact, most spiders don’t even do this on special occasions. (!) But if it’s been a while since the last time the corners of the room were dusted, well …anything’s possible.

Cleaning Solutions For Removing White Spots That Can Ruin Hardwood Floors

When some people think about removing hard water deposits, the first solution that comes to mind is a container of all-in-one calcium, lime, and rust remover. This type of product can be very destructive to wood and wood finishes.

For other people, the solution is vinegar. But vinegar’s low Ph content makes it as unsuitable for cleaning wood floors as other acidic solutions. Vinegar is corrosive. Corrosives should not be used as wood floor cleaning solutions.

Of course, vinegar can be diluted, but if you’re going to do that, you might as well dilute lemon juice. The Ph content is about the same and lemons smell good.

How To Remove White Spots From Hardwood Floors?

The solution to white spots and marks depends on the cause:

White Spots Caused By Heat

The remedy for this is quick and simple; Place a dampened terry cloth towel on the spot and hold a blow dryer over it.

Start with the blow dryer on the lowest heat setting and check your progress every few seconds.

White Spots Caused By Trapped Moisture

More often than not, these will go away on their own.

If not, treat these as you would a white spot caused by heat, but leave the dampened terry cloth towel out of the process.

Removing Spots Of White Mold

If the white spots are limited to an isolated area such as under a potted plant, a pair of shoes, etc., hydrogen peroxide will remove this. Hydrogen peroxide also functions as a mildewcide.

(See, How To Remove White Spots Caused By Moisture…)

However, if you discover white mold in other places as well, the best thing to do is to call a mold remediation specialist. A remediation service ensures the removal of all mold throughout the entire home.

To Remove Spider Dung

Dust the corners and spray some pet stain cleaner on the um… er… spots. They will disappear in a few minutes. Wipe the area dry with a microfiber cloth (If you’d rather use several squares of t.p., that’s your prerogative).

To Remove White Spots Caused By Moisture

Alkali and acid neutralize one another.

Because most forms of water are somewhat alkaline, a somewhat acidic solution should be used to remove the minerals that remain after evaporation. Hydrogen peroxide in an appropriate concentration will serve this purpose.

Things You’ll Need:

  1. Floor Vacuum (or a vacuum with a setting for wood floors or with a hard floor accessory attachment. Nothing with a brush roller)
  2. Face Mask
  3. Rubber, Latex, or Vinyl Gloves
  4. 8 oz. Hydrogen Peroxide 6%  (or 1 oz. pure lemon juice and 10 oz. distilled water)
  5. Spray Bottle (Empty and clean)
  6. Neutral Ph Floor Cleaner for Hardwood
  7. Flip-Head Mop
  8. Several Two-Sided Mop Pads (one side for damp mopping, the other side for drying)
  9. Several Terry Cloth Towels
  10. Plastic Putty Knife
  11. Whisk broom and dustpan

Instructions:

  1. Put on the face mask and gloves
  2. Transfer the hydrogen peroxide or lemon water solution into the spray bottle
  3. Spray a small area (1’ x 1’) of the floor
  4. While this area of the floor is still wet, use the plastic putty knife to gently remove as much of the offending white crud as possible. Don’t worry if you can’t get all of it. We’ll discuss what to do about the rest later. Pro Tip: When scraping any surface with a putty knife, it’s important to always keep the surface wet.
  5. Scrape residue from the putty knife into the dustpan.
  6. Wipe the area with a water-dampened terry cloth towel as you move from one area to the next. After you’ve scraped up as much of the white stains as can be easily scraped from your wood floor, you’ll move on to confront the more stubborn deposits that remain.
  7. Saturate several terry cloth towels with distilled water and wring them out until they’re damp only
  8. Focusing on a 3’ x 3’ section of the floor, spray the remaining patches of white with the solution in the spray bottle (It’s easier to work in sections not larger than about 3’ x 3’)
  9. Place the damp terry cloth towels over the white stains.
  10. Check the stains every five minutes to see if they come up more easily.  If they don’t, leave the dampened towels in place until the next check. Be sure to keep the towels damp. Exchange them with freshly dampened towels if necessary.
  11. When the stains have become less resistant, remove them with your   putty knife as you did earlier with the less stubborn ones
  12. Move to the next section of the floor and repeat steps 8-11
  13. When all the white spots and marks have been removed, damp mop the entire floor with the neutral Ph floor cleaner. Use the chenille side of the mop pad to dry and buff the floor as you go
  14. Follow up with the Neutral pH Cleaning Solution according to the manufacturer’s directions for use

Preventing White Spots on Hardwood Floors

As always, the key to the life and beauty of hardwood floors is proper care.

Of course, it might be possible to go on forever about various difficulties that can come with hardwood floors. But in reality, these challenges are usually the result of improper or lacking maintenance.  Where a simple but solid care and maintenance routine is in place, these challenges rarely present themselves.

Listed in random order, here are some measures to take to prevent white spots:

  1. Clean up spills as soon as they happen
  2. If you’re inclined to using your hardwood floor as a coffee or dining table, be sure to use coasters.
  3. While you’re at it, set that pizza carton on a pair of oven mitts
  4. To clean your hardwood floor, try using a neutral Ph floor cleaner intended for use on hardwood
  5. When damp mopping, be sure to dry the floor as you go
  6. If your tap water is hard, use distilled water to damp mop
  7. Remove potted plants from the floor
  8. Place protective floor mats on either side of exterior doors. To ensure that shoes are dry, place two or three mats next to one another inside the entry
  9. Keep a towel handy so that Fido’s paws can be dried when he comes in after getting them wet
  10. Better yet, buy Fido some protective footwear
  11. Even better still, be sure that everyone removes wet footwear upon entering the home (You too, Fido)
  12. Have and use an appropriately located umbrella stand
  13. If your home doesn’t have a mudroom or some form of an anteroom, try setting up an entry bench with shoe storage. That way, items 9 and 11 can be more easily managed
  14. Mount coat hooks and a hat rack over the bench so that outerwear can be removed when entering the house
  15. Get in the habit of entering through the door located nearest to wherever the floor cleaning equipment and supplies are stored
  16. Be sure to include corners in your usual dusting routine to ensure the removal of spider webs
  17. Place rugs in areas of your wood floor where foot traffic is heavy. This will prevent the finish from becoming worn.

Whatever type of hard floors are installed in your home, in addition to preventing white spots, keeping floors dry will go a long way to reducing the risk of slips and falls.

Guests who won’t take off their shoes, kids who love nothing better than clambering onto one piece of furniture and launching themselves off it and onto another, that armchair which actually turned out to be heavier than it looked. These are just a few reasons scuff marks can appear on your smooth gleaming wooden floors and detract from the pleasant natural touch they bring to their surroundings.

Thankfully such unsightly blemishes can often be removed. We discuss exactly how you can do so by showing you what you will need and how to remove scuff marks from wood floors and as a result, restore your surface to its original perfection.

scuff mark on hardwood floors

10 Ways to Remove Scuff Marks From Hardwood Floors

Scuff marks are actually blemishes on the finish of a hardwood floor and are by no means permanent. As a result, they can often be removed by means of simple procedures.  

The items you will need to remove them can be easily obtained and are by no means costly, ensuring you will be able to get rid of those scuff marks without needing to expend a great deal of time or effort.

However, it is worth noting that scuff marks need to be removed as soon as they appear since they are easier to get rid of when they are new.

1. Buffing With a Damp Cloth

Items you will need

  • A small quantity of water
  • Clean microfiber cloths/ a towel/ a sponge

If you have a clean microfiber cloth, towel, or sponge, all you will need to do to remove any scuff marks from your wood floor is simply dampen one of those items with a little warm water and buff the spot.

It is worth noting that although this method can be effective for new scuff marks, it may not be as efficient for those which have lasted for some time. 

2. Using  an Eraser

Items you will need

  • A pink pencil eraser/a rubber eraser
  • Clean cloth/towels
  • Some water

The first thing you will need to do is slightly wet a towel or cloth and wipe the scuff mark with it. Next, you will have to apply the eraser to the blemish. Once it has been gotten rid of, you will need to clean the floor with another dry cloth.

To achieve the best results, you will need to ensure you use a clean eraser. Alternatively, it would also be possible for you to buy rubber scuff erasers from a retailer specializing in home decoration.

However, you should be aware of the fact that frequently relying on an eraser to remove scuff marks on wood floors may eventually dull their shine.

3. Footwear With Rubber Soles

Items you will need

  • Rubber-soled shoes

If you have shoes that have rubber soles, you will also have the option of slipping them on and rubbing them over the scuff marks to remove them.

Paying close attention to the color of your soles and your floors is important since soles may actually cause discoloration on your floors if the latter happen to be lighter in color. 

4. A Tennis Ball

Items you will need

  • A brand new tennis ball
  • A knife
  • A mop stick

This method will require your cutting an ‘X’ in the ball and inserting the mop stick into it. 

Next, you will need to rub the tennis ball against the scuff mark taking care not to apply too much pressure. Following this procedure, the scuff mark should disappear. 

5. Baking Soda

Items you will need

  • Baking soda
  • A clean microfiber cloth/sponge
  • Warm water

This option is ideal for floors that have perfectly smooth surfaces and no scratches. You will have to make a paste with the baking soda and dabbing it with a clean cloth or sponge, apply it to the scuff marks.

Any residue should be wiped away with a clean damp cloth.

6. Toothpaste

Items you will need

  • White non-gel toothpaste
  • A clean microfiber cloth/sponge

Like baking soda, toothpaste happens to be one of the mildest abrasives available, it is also only suitable for smooth floors with no scratches since it may get into them and contrast with your floor especially if the surface happens to be darker in color.

Simply use a cloth to apply the toothpaste to the scuff mark and wipe it off with another clean damp cloth.

7. Applying WD40

Items you will need

  • WD40
  • Microfiber cloth

WD40 is an excellent option for light scuff marks. All you will have to do is simply spray the solvent onto the affected part of your floor and then wipe it with a microfiber cloth.

In addition to being ideal for restoring the uniform appearance of your floor, WD40 may also make it gleam when applied. However, it can also make your floor rather slippery and you will need to ensure you remove any residue.

8. Applying Mineral Spirits

Items you will need

  • Mineral spirits
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Gloves
  • Dish soap

In addition to being suitable for thinning paint, cleaning brushes, and taking care of slight scratches, mineral spirits are also ideal for cleaning scuff marks. 

All you will need to do is apply a small amount to a clean microfiber cloth and wipe the affected area. Since this product can cause slight irritation and is also flammable, you may need to wear gloves when applying it. You will also need to clean the residue away with dish soap to ensure none is left behind.

9. Steel Wool

Items you will need

  • Grade #0000 fine steel wool
  • Floor wax

This option is best used when you intend to get rid of scuff marks which are particularly difficult to remove. 

It is also worth noting that it comes with the risk of dulling the shine of the surface it is used on. A good solution to that issue is to apply a slight quantity of floor wax to the steel wool before using it to remove the scuff marks

10. Store-Bought Products

Items you will need

  • A store-bought solution
  • A clean microfiber cloth/sponge

Store-bought products for caring for hardwood floors can also be used to remove scuff marks.An example is the Bruce Hardware Floor Cleaner which is renowned for its ability to keep hardwood floors shiny and in excellent condition without leaving any residue. All you will need to do is spray a small quantity on the damaged area before wiping it with a cloth. No additional wiping will be required afterward.

Replacing the flooring in a house is always a big decision — it can be expensive and there are almost endless flooring material choices. When it comes to hardwood flooring, you also have the question of what size and color of planks to buy and what wood pattern to use when installing the floor.

Things get really tricky if you only want to replace the flooring in some of the rooms at one time, or if you only want to replace a section of flooring.

Sometimes an accident, like a kitchen flood, can necessitate replacing at least part of a floor. If you can’t match the same wood flooring exactly, you might wonder if putting two different wood floors next to each other will look okay.

If you’re thinking about installing two different hardwoods next to each other, this article will help you find the techniques you need to make it look intentional.

two wood floors with concrete brick transition

Can You Put Two Different Wood Floors Next to Each Other?

The simple answer to this question is yes, but you need to do it right.

If you simply install two different sizes or stain colors of hardwood flooring next to each other, with the planks running the same direction and little or no transition, it will look terrible. The mismatch suggests that you could not afford to replace the whole floor at one time.

If you’re going to place one type of wood floor next to a different type, you need to include some special design choices to make the transition look like a real transition, not just an accident.

For example, transitions should happen in a doorway, not the middle of the room. If you can’t make this happen, it’s even more important to include elements like a border to help offset the difference in woods.

Do All the Wood Floors in a House Need to Match?

It’s definitely not a rule that all the hardwood floors in a house have to match.

While it’s beautiful when you can make it happen, sometimes it just isn’t practical. It can be a huge investment to install a whole house of hardwood at one time. And some rooms look better with different floor colors or patterns, even within the same house.

The key is that you manage the transition between wood floors nicely. The easiest solution is to keep different hardwood floors separated by a section of carpet or another flooring material. If this doesn’t work for your design, then the advice in this article can help make the transition look beautiful and intentional.

How to Transition From One Wood Floor to Another

There are a few great design techniques you can use to make the transition between two wood floors look a lot more natural. You might have to adjust them depending on whether you are installing both wood floors or if you are placing a new flooring next to an existing section. Check out the following ideas to see which might work best for you.

Keep in mind that the best solution for your space might be a combination of two or more approaches listed below.

Use T-Molding

T-molding is a great tool for blending different wood floors, and it’s probably the easiest technique of all. It doesn’t always look great, but it can do the trick, especially in a natural transition like a doorway.

Wood floor T-moldings are shaped like a T, with the thicker stem piece attaching to the subfloor and a thin, rounded top piece designed to cover the transition between two different floors. They work best on floors of the same height but create a very gentle transition both visually and underfoot.

This is the most basic technique to separate two floors. It only requires laying the flooring with a gap of about 1 inch, cutting the T-molding to size, and attaching it to the floor.

When you buy new wood flooring, you can usually pick up matching T-molding at the same time.

Use a Seam Binder or Transition Strip

A transition strip is like using only the top of a piece of T-molding. It’s a thin, rounded piece of wood material that you can nail down across a wood flooring seam to “bind” the two areas together.

It’s one of the simplest options, but it has the potential to look tacked-on. It’s good in a pinch because it will still blend the two flooring materials more smoothly than a natural joint, but it’s not the best.

Use a Thin Metal Transition

The wooden transition pieces discussed above are classic solutions, but in recent years metal transitions have become very popular. Most metal transitions are very narrow (1/8th of an inch), but their straight lines and shiny appearance make for an attractive joint between floors.

Metal transitions give a contemporary look to a room and can also be very smooth to step on. If you want a modern look, and you are sure that your two wood floor stains will go well with the metal color, this might be a great option for you.

Like the techniques before, this one is not too hard to achieve. You only need to leave a thin gap between floors and mount the metal transition strip between them using the right adhesive.

Install a Threshold Piece

A threshold looks like a flat, rectangular block about the thickness of hardwood flooring. It doesn’t have tongues like a regular hardwood plank and it may come in other materials such as stone or marble. They are usually several inches wide.

A threshold is designed to be placed in a doorway between two different types of flooring. It can be quite an attractive option because of its larger surface. If you choose a threshold made of a nice wood or stone, it can really shine.

Plus, it’s easy to install. Simply order a precut length that is nearest to your transition area, cut it to size if necessary, and install the threshold in between your two flooring materials.

Transition Between Floors of Different Heights

Sometimes you will end up with floors of different thickness, or built on different levels. There are a few solutions you can choose, depending on how high the difference is.

A difference of less than an inch may be solved with transition pieces that are kind of similar to T-molding discussed above. You may need molding with a square nose or an angled nose, instead. These wood detail pieces can bridge the transition nicely.

If the difference in floor height is several inches or more, then you want to start looking into options that would be used on a staircase. There are stair nose pieces that create a rounded edge on the higher floor, which is laid over a piece of wood flooring standing vertically against the face of the step. You can apply staircase flooring principles to many steps of offset floor height to create a beautiful and smooth transition.

Lay One Floor With a Border

One way to create an intentional-looking transition between floors without buying any special pieces is to lay one floor with a border. This can actually come out looking great in a room.

Simply lay a square of hardwood one or two planks wide (no wider) around the outside of one wood floor area. Then you can lay the flooring inside that square and it will appear more offset from the other flooring.

This technique depends on a nice smooth edge on both floors since you will jamb the flooring materials right up against one another. If you are putting a new wood floor next to an old one that had its rough edges hidden under a transition piece, you may need to cut the old floor off by about 1 inch to create a new, clean edge to receive the border of the new floor.

Lay the Two Floors in Different Patterns

If your first floor is installed with a typical vertical or horizontal layout (parallel to one of the walls in the room), you can set the second floor off by installing it with a very different pattern.

Some hardwood floor layout options include herringbone, diagonal, or parquet. Each of these will look like a completely different flooring material, even though they are really just layout techniques.

two wood floors transition

It’s usually best to combine this approach with the border technique mentioned above.

If you think this might work for your space, check out our article on choosing a hardwood floor pattern.

Tips for Transitioning Between Two Hardwood Floors

In addition to the more detailed techniques we’ve covered, you should keep the following tips in mind to make sure your wood floor transition comes out looking like you planned it.

Choose Contrasting Colors

There may be some exceptions to this rule, but you will usually have the best-finished product if you keep adjacent wood floors at a high level of color contrast. This means that you shouldn’t have two light-colored floors next to each other, but rather you should choose a dark, complementary color for the second flooring material.

Colors that are too close together can suggest that you couldn’t afford to match all the flooring or put it in at the same time, or can even just look like a mistake.

If you can, it’s better to pick two materials that aren’t so similar. If you really want the floors to match, you can get a flooring professional to try and match the original wood and stain for you.

Think About the Room Size

You should always think about the qualities of your rooms before you choose flooring. If you have a smaller room and you place very dark flooring in it (or if you paint the walls a very dark color), it can make it feel smaller and more closed-in. On the other hand, lighter wood floors can brighten up a small room and make it feel bigger. In big rooms, this effect isn’t so dramatic, so you can get away with more colors.

Is your room big or small? How much natural light is in it? Could you choose a certain color or type of wood to enhance the room? Think about these questions when you choose to transition between floors.

Consider Other Flooring Types

If you’ve thought about these methods and tips and none of them seem right for your room, maybe it’s time to think about other flooring types, such as tile or vinyl. You can apply some of the same principles to create a transition, but you might not have to worry about contrast or layout as much.

It can be a tricky balance to install two wood floors next to each other and make them work naturally. If another material is right for your space, go for it!

They are two varieties of flooring that can provide your home with the natural appeal, charm, and sophistication of solid hardwood at a fraction of the cost. However, they couldn’t be more different.

Engineered hardwood comes with an upper layer that is actually made of real hardwood and can thus provide an added touch of authenticity, as well as an enhanced degree of stability compared to solid hardwood.

Vinyl plank floors happen to be a subcategory of vinyl flooring which has been designed to resemble real wood as closely as possible and is even manufactured in the form of planks that can be clicked together. Also referred to as luxury vinyl flooring, it is considered to be more prestigious than laminate flooring and is several times thicker than standard vinyl flooring.

Which option should you choose? To find out the right answer, both floor types have been examined in detail with comparisons drawn up between them using key qualities that should be taken into consideration during the process of selecting a flooring surface. Examining them according to your preferences will enable you to make the best choice for your dream home.

Engineered HardwoodVinyl Plank
LifespanWill last between 30 – 50 yearsWill last between 5 – 25 years
Cleaning and maintenanceRequires special products and itemsEasier to clean and maintain
Water resistanceWater-resistant but not waterproofIs waterproof
Susceptibility to sunlightWill fade with continued exposure over timeWill fade with continued exposure over time
CostMore expensiveRelatively cheaper
Ease of installationSlightly complexEasy
Refinishing optionsCan be sanded and refinishedCannot be sanded or refinished
VarietyA wide range of colors, species, stains, and finishes are availableAn extensive range of colors and styles is available
Suitable for petsYes (high Janka rating, distressed finish recommended)Yes
Overall valueMay raise the value of your home significantlyMay not raise the value of your home significantly

Durability

This quality is one of the most important you will need to take into consideration when selecting a flooring option for your home. This is because selecting a durable surface can save you the extra cost and effort involved in shopping for new flooring and having to install it all over again.

Engineered hardwood

Engineered hardwood is pretty durable and also comes with added stability owing to its multilayered core. High-quality varieties can last for up to 50 years. However, because it is made from wood which is a porous material, it is by no means waterproof.

It is also susceptible to scratching and unlike solid hardwood cannot be refinished several times to get rid of extensive damage (high-quality products are the exception in this case).

Vinyl plank flooring

Vinyl plank flooring is also considered to be one of the more durable flooring options available however it does not last as long as engineered hardwood flooring since its lifespan does not exceed 25 years.

Yet, one of its key advantages over the former is its resistance to wear and tear and to scratching in particular; these qualities make it especially child or pet-friendly.

Another is its water resistance. Newer models which are made from polymers are fully waterproof making them ideal for mudrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.

Verdict

In terms of longevity, engineered hardwood wins overall, yet in terms of water and scratch resistance and all the daily concerns they entail, vinyl plank flooring is the preferable option.

Cleaning And Maintenance

Different types of flooring surfaces have different types of cleaning and maintenance requirements. Some can be cleaned using general cleaning materials and do not require any special kind of maintenance. Others can only be cleaned using approved materials and their maintenance may involve considerable expense. 

Engineered Hardwood

The refined beauty engineered hardwood floors can provide requires special care to be maintained. Reaching for any available brush or broom and using a very wet mop or even a steam cleaner might simply ruin your floors with scratches from hard bristles or from buckling, crowning, or cupping due to water damage.

To clean your engineered hardwood floors effectively, you will need to ensure you use manufacturer-approved products and avoid harsh cleaning solutions which may also cause damage to the finish. You will also need to endeavor to use soft-bristled brushes and brooms when sweeping to avoid scratching the surface.

This surface is also susceptible to blemishes. Depending on their severity and number it may be possible to repair scratches on engineered hardwood floors with a clear coat or colored markers, wax pencils, or filler and a stain.

Alternatively, you may need to refinish the entire surface. However, unlike solid hardwood floors which can be refinished several times, it may only be possible to refinish your engineered hardwood surface once. The only exceptions are products that have a veneer layer of over 3mm.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Despite vinyl plank flooring’s impressive resistance to moisture and scratching, you should still aim to use soft-bristled brushes when sweeping and should clean it with a microfiber mop which must be squeezed properly to eliminate as much moisture from it as possible during the process.

You will also need to ensure you avoid harsh cleaning products such as ammonia, bleach, or high pH detergents (mild dish soap is best) and avoid steam cleaning it as well.

The use of wax on surfaces in this category must also be avoided since doing so may cause buildup rather than providing them with an alluring sheen.

Vinyl plank flooring cannot be refinished and you will need to replace the damaged part of the floor using extra planks from the batch you have purchased.

Verdict

Both surfaces require the use of soft-bristled brushes and microfiber mops during cleaning. Neither take kindly to harsh cleaning products and require approved solutions or mild soap. However, vinyl plank floors are generally low maintenance compared to engineered hardwood floors.

Ease Of Installation

Flooring which is easy to install can enable you to save on cost and even time. Several homeowners now prefer to install their flooring themselves rather than relying on professional assistance. However, depending on the level of skill required, hiring the services of a contractor may be the more prudent and cost-effective option in the long run.

Engineered Hardwood

In terms of hardwood floors, engineered hardwood is considered to be an easier option compared to solid hardwood. Homeowners who are rather savvy with home renovation projects will be likely to find the floating installation or the nail-down installation methods easier than the glue-down method. The third option is to install engineered hardwood flooring over a concrete slab.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Flooring surfaces in this category are even easier to install compared to engineered hardwood floors and are considered one of the most convenient in this regard.

The procedure may either involve locking them together if they have a tongue and groove design or gluing them down if they happen to be of the peel and glue variety, and do not require the services of a professional.

Verdict

If you prefer to save on time and avoid complexity, vinyl plank flooring will be preferable to engineered hardwood since you will be able to install it yourself. The simplicity of the process means that you will be able to complete it promptly compared to the latter option. It also means you will be able to spend less money since you would not need to hire a contractor.

Susceptibility To Sunlight

Sunlight can add a touch of natural magic to our surroundings bathing them in the warmth and glow of summer or spring. 

And yet it can also fade organic and non-organic materials. As a result, the susceptibility of your flooring of choice to damage from the sun’s rays is also another factor that you will need to take into consideration as well as protective measures you may need to take to preserve its charm for as long as possible.

Engineered Hardwood

Wood is sensitive to sunlight and will fade over time as a result of continued exposure to it. This is mostly due to its ultraviolet rays although infrared and visible light also plays a role. The change to your hardwood floors will depend on the nature of the wood used and certain species will lighten as a result of exposure while others will darken.

For example, cherry will darken rather quickly to a reddish color and jarrah will also develop a more intense color over time. On the other hand, walnut and hickory will lighten after a while. 

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Despite its impressive resistance to factors such as scratching and moisture, vinyl plank flooring is also susceptible to fading as a result of prolonged exposure to sunlight. As a result, you may need to rely on tinted windows or the use of window treatments to protect it.

Verdict

Both engineered hardwood and vinyl plank flooring are susceptible to damage from sunlight over time. It is worth noting that it is possible to find engineered hardwood that comes with UV protection in its finish or certain varieties of vinyl plank flooring which have been manufactured with wear layers that have UV protection.

Alternatively, you may also need to use window films to filter out UV light or rely on low-e coated glass.

Cost

Quite often when embarking on a reflooring project, a tradeoff will have to be made between your set budget and your preferences. Factors worth considering will not only include the cost of the flooring but also the cost of installation.

Engineered Hardwood

Surfaces in this category are generally considered to be cheaper compared to solid hardwood and often cost $4 – $10 per square foot. However, depending on the installation method you are choosing, you may also have to consider the cost of hiring a professional which may cost you between $3 – $8 per square foot.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Luxury vinyl plank costs even less than engineered hardwood with prices ranging between $2.50 – $5 per square foot. Installation is pretty cheap compared to engineered hardwood and ranges between $1 – $3 per square foot. However as noted above, this is one of the easier flooring options to install and you may be able to cut costs even further if you install it yourself.

Verdict   

If you intend to enjoy the aesthetic appeal of one of the more expensive flooring surfaces for a fraction of the cost, vinyl plank flooring may be the preferable option given that it is considerably cheaper compared to engineered hardwood.

Variety

Availability of a wide selection of options increases the likelihood of you being able to obtain the style and color of flooring which perfectly suits your preferred esthetic for your home. Certain types of surfaces can be especially versatile in this regard.

Engineered Hardwood

If you select this option, you will find that you will have an extensive selection to choose from. Regardless of your preferred species, grain, finish, and grade, you will be able to find just what you need.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Because luxury vinyl plank flooring is printed, the variety on offer is practically limitless. As a result, you will be able to have access to an even greater selection of colors and styles.

Verdict

While vinyl plank flooring offers a truly impressive range of options, engineered hardwood can provide you with all the choices you need to imbue your home with the natural appeal of real wood.

Which Is Better: Engineered Hardwood vs Vinyl Plank Flooring

If you are interested in obtaining the authenticity of hardwood which comes with enhanced moisture resistance and stability at a lower price than solid hardwood, then engineered hardwood will be an excellent choice. The fact that it is also sustainable and will add to the value of your home are added benefits for selecting this flooring option.

However, if you prefer a more child-friendly surface that is low maintenance, has an enhanced resistance to moisture and scratching, and can also be very budget-friendly, you may prefer vinyl plank flooring.

Fleas happen to be some of the most prolific pests which can detract from your quality of life. This article covers the most effective methods which can be used to eliminate them so you can enjoy a home that is free of these insects. 

We also discuss methods that must be avoided when you need to get rid of fleas on hardwood floors to enable you to come away with a knowledge of what works best so you can save time and possibly money during the extermination process and possibly afterward.

Can Fleas Live on Hardwood Floors?

Yes, they can. These parasites normally make it into your home by hitching a ride on one or more of your pets. Once in, they tend to hide in soft furnishings such as rugs and carpets and can also snuggle into cracks and splits in your hardwood floors. 

Old floors are particularly conducive for fleas. While concealed thus, they will rely on dust and debris for sustenance while they also multiply their numbers by laying eggs. Their droppings will also provide food for their larvae once they hatch.

How to Identify If Your Hardwood Floors Have Fleas?

Excessive scratching: Does your pet sit around and scratch actively behind its ears and other parts of its body where it never used to do so before? The culprit might be fleas whose bites cause itching due to their saliva.

To be certain you will need to inspect your pet’s fur for the presence of insects that have:

  • A small wingless torso under 3mm in length
  • Six long legs
  • Reddish-brown coloring

Redness on the skin: Does your pet have redness around its ears, belly, or hindquarters? These spots are a flea’s favorite area to latch onto your pet and take a bite.

Flea dirt: Do your pet’s fur and bedding have any telltale dark spots? Do they turn reddish-brown when dropped in water?  These dark specks are actually flea dirt, or more appropriately, flea droppings. 

Why are they red? Due to the blood from your pet some of which also makes it into their droppings.

How to Get Rid of Fleas on Hardwood Floor?

There are different remedies for dealing with flea infestation. However, for them to work effectively, you will need to prepare the room to be treated first of all.

1. Preparing Your Room

You will need to empty it of all furniture and soft furnishings.

You will then need to vacuum it thoroughly, paying special attention to the gaps between the planks and the walls.

Vacuuming itself can eliminate a great number of fleas at all stages of their life cycle: eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults.

Once you are through you will need to seal the debris and dispose of it outside your home.

You will then be able to apply any of the remedies listed below.

2. Applying Your Remedy of Choice

The following options for getting rid of fleas on hardwood floors are some of the most widely available and effective. They are also easy to apply and clear up afterward as can be seen from the procedures for applying them which have also been provided.

Borax

This versatile chemical which is used in the manufacture of detergents and insecticides has a desiccating effect on fleas.

However, it is worth noting that it is slightly toxic and as a result is unsuitable for the following:

  • Use around expectant mothers and small children.
  • Use around pets, especially cats (because it may cause pulmonary issues for them).
  • Ingestion under any circumstances (and as a result must not be applied around food).
  • Use around plants.
  • Use in damp carpets (due to the discoloration it may cause).

Its slight toxicity means you will need to ensure the room in which you apply it is adequately ventilated. 

You will also need to make use of protective clothing and gloves when applying it, taking special care to ensure it gets into crevices.

You will need to leave it for a minimum of six hours and a maximum of 48 hours to eliminate the pests. (You will also need to close all windows and openings in the room while you wait for the treatment to take effect. Doing so will prevent it from spreading about.)

Following this period, you will need to vacuum it thoroughly and take special care to remove the residue of the chemical in cracks and gaps in your floor and even beneath planks as well.

Diatomaceous Earth

Natural, easy to apply, and safe for use in your home, diatomaceous earth works by lacerating the cuticles of adult fleas and absorbing the moisture from their bodies.  

You will need to ensure you obtain the food-grade variety from the store and not the filter variety.

You will need to wear a face mask when applying it and ensure you sprinkle it generously.

Diatomaceous earth can also be sprinkled on rugs and carpets.

You will have to leave it for about 72 hours during which it will kill fleas and their larvae on your hardwood floors. Following this period, you will need to sweep or brush the diatomaceous earth or vacuum it using a shop vac or a filterless vacuum. Alternatively, you will be able to use a standard vacuum cleaner as long as you clear out the filter frequently — you will need to check it several times during an hour.

What about flea eggs and pupae? Does diatomaceous earth harm them? No, it does not. So, you may need to repeat the procedure of vacuuming and sprinkling the chalky white substance after a period of 72 hours, repeating it if necessary, to ensure you can eliminate any newly hatched larvae or newly emerged adults.

Baking Soda and Salt

Like diatomaceous earth, baking soda and salt are highly effective natural options when you have to kill fleas on hardwood floors.

It is also worth noting that salt is capable of eliminating adult insects and is also capable of killing their eggs as well.

All you will need to do is test the quality of the batch of baking soda you intend to use by sprinkling some of it in some vinegar. If it fizzes then you can be certain it is still active and will be efficient in eliminating the pests.

You will then be able to proceed to mix it with finely ground salt and sprinkle it all over the floor following which you will need to use a brush to ensure you spread it efficiently.

Next, it will have to be left for a period of about 48 hours following which you will need to vacuum it and dispose of the bags outside your home.

It is worth noting that this mixture can also be used on rugs and carpets, but not on your pets due to the irritation it may cause.

3. Mopping the Floor With Pine Sol

Why Pine Sol? Because it contains eucalyptus oil which kills fleas. Using disposable microfiber mops is highly recommended in this instance.

You will need to create a solution using one gallon of water and a quart of the cleaning fluid.

You will then need to proceed to clean the floor thoroughly, taking care to use a minimal amount of moisture to get rid of the flea-killing product you have used.

Doing so will enable you to kill any fleas which incidentally escaped your choice of borax, diatomaceous earth, or baking soda and salt, not to mention the second round of vacuuming.

4. Additional Steps

Cleaning an infested room is merely a single step out of several which need to be taken to get rid of fleas. You will also need to do the following:

  • Treat your pets using veterinary-approved products.
  • Wash household linen and clothing (including your pets’) with hot water.
  • Thoroughly clean furniture and window sills with Pine Sol or any other suitable product.
  • Wash your rugs and carpets with hot water where possible.

Alternatively, treat them with any suitable remedies which have either been specified above (such as diatomaceous earth or baking soda and salt) or happen to be others that have been proven to be effective against fleas.

Alternatives You’ve Always Wanted to Find Out About

While several remedies, homemade or store-bought will work on your hardwood floors, there are other flea exterminating solutions that are probably best kept away from them. 

To be able to assist you with those you need to avoid, we have taken a look at some more popular flea terminating options and the questions which revolve around them with regards to killing fleas in hardwood floors.

1. Will Flea Bombs Work?

Although this option is rather effective, it does also come with some drawbacks. The first of these is the fact that a flea bomb will only cover a limited area.

The second is the fact that fleas are pretty impressive jumpers and will be able to execute a prompt leap to a safer spot in the event of a flea bomb exploding in their vicinity.

2. Will Bleach Kill Fleas on Hardwood Floors?

Although this alkaline substance does kill fleas, bleach will damage your hardwood floors. Since several other suitable and equally effective alternatives exist, it is far better to select them rather than risk additional cost owing to damaged floors.

3. How Efficient Are Essential Oils?

While fleas are known to dislike certain essential oils, the fact is that several of them merely dissuade them from taking up residence in the area rather than killing them. As a result, fleas might stage a comeback depending on the kind you use.

4. Will Mopping With Vinegar Kill Fleas?

No mopping with vinegar will not kill fleas.

This is because its acid is generally too weak to cause any significant degree of damage to adult insects or their eggs.

However, it is widely considered to be an efficient flea repellent and is relied on by some pet owners to repel the parasites from their canine or feline charges.

There is also the fact that vinegar can be harmful to hardwood floors since it can erode their finish, stripping them of their luster and appeal as a result.

Hence using tried and tested options mentioned in the third section for killing fleas is highly preferable if you want to get rid of any of them in your home.

It’s the perfect shade of red to go with your very favorite outfit. But while you’re applying it, the phone rings. It’s only your friends confirming your presence at the party tonight. You return to finish your nails, only to find that Timothy, your Bengal, has tilted the container over on your brand new pale gray floor and is now staring at his handiwork in fascination.

How can you restore your floor to its original unblemished pearly allure in time to make it to your best friend’s birthday bash?

Find out how to remove nail polish from your hardwood flooring from our pointers provided below.

nail polish on hardwood floors

How to Remove Nail Polish From Your Hardwood Flooring

The last thing you want is your favorite brand and shade of nail polish on your floor. Especially since any mishaps on hardwood floors can’t simply be banished with harsh soaps or solvents and a stiff-bristled brush.

Reacting as fast as possible is key here, especially given the porous nature of wood.

But even though it seems like the next natural thing to do, don’t go reaching for your nail polish remover just yet.

There are a number of remedies that can ensure you will be able to get rid of the offending stain and restore the smooth appeal of your floor as shown right here.

1. White Sugar

To remove the stain while it is still wet and without risking the finish of your hardwood floor, sprinkle a generous amount of sugar on the still wet nail polish, ensuring you cover it completely. The crystals will absorb the polish and all you will have to do is wait for it to dry.

Once the polish has dried, you will simply be able to brush up the colored, clumped sugar with a brush or broom.

But what if you weren’t lucky enough to spot the mishap on time and the nail polish has dried up or there are still tell-tale stains even after you’ve taken this first step? The following solutions will come in handy.

2. Mineral Spirits

A more refined version of paint thinner, mineral spirits can be an excellent remedy for tackling dried nail polish or any lingering residue following an application of white sugar.

Before you use it, however, you will need to dab your floor in a corner to check for any unusual discoloration.

If you are able to proceed, you will need to apply a small amount to a cotton bud, a rolled wad of cotton, or a clean cloth and rub the stain gently following the grain of the wood.

It is important to apply only slight pressure when cleaning the stain. Any vigorous scrubbing could damage your floor’s finish resulting in yet another quandary.

3. Rubbing Alcohol

It’s best known as a household disinfectant and is pretty versatile for solving knotty little problems in the home. Hence it’s no surprise that rubbing alcohol is also ideal for cleaning dried-up nail polish as well.

There is also the fact that it is a more suitable option compared to nail polish remover.

The application process is pretty similar to that of mineral spirits.

You will need some cotton wool, a clean cloth, or even a cotton bud and will also have to apply the rubbing alcohol to your material of choice before rubbing at the stain taking special care to avoid unstained parts of your floor.

If the stain happens to be particularly persistent, a slightly different approach may be required: you may need to soak cotton wool in the solvent before placing it over the stains on the floor and then wiping it gently afterward.

You will also need to avoid any vigorous rubbing since doing so could also damage the finish.

4. Hairspray

This blend of polymers, propellants, and fragrance which is meant to provide your hair with both sheen and structure, can also function as a surprising remedy for getting rid of any tell-tale lingering nail polish stains.

All you will have to do is simply spray it once you have already cleaned the floor, let it sit for half a minute and then wipe it off with a clean cloth.

You may need to repeat the procedure if the stains happen to be particularly persistent.

Once you have gotten rid of the stains, you will also need to use a manufacturer-approved cleaning product to completely remove the hair spray from your floor.

Should You Use Nail Polish Remover?

Ideally, you should not. This is because most nail polish removers contain acetone, a solvent that may not only cause damage to the finish of your hardwood floors but also alter their color as well.

It is worth noting that while it also consists of additional chemicals other than acetone, nail polish remover is considered capable of damaging your floors to the same extent as pure acetone.

However, certain experts may recommend the use of the chemical itself.

That said, they advise applying the acetone in a corner or location where any such changes in coloration are likely to be unnoticed.

They also advise lightly touching the stained surface with the fabric to which the acetone has been applied and cleaning up the spot afterward to remove any lingering traces of the solvent.

Other experts recommend using varieties of nail polish remover which do not continue any acetone.

However, it is best to contact your manufacturer to ensure you make the right decision.

So, what should you do if the spill is extensive and has somehow gotten all over your floor, tempting you to unscrew a bottle of acetone-based nail polish remover?

Seeking out the services of a flooring professional might be the best solution.

They would not only be in the best position to get rid of the stains but also be able to restore your hardwood floor to a state of uniform perfection.

Two weeks after you have moved into your dream home, you pop out to do some shopping. On your return, you find Cookie and Fudge, your two Labradors, lapping at a pool of water on the pale golden wooden floor of your dining room.

What should you do to clear up the spilled water on the wood floor and minimize water damage to your hardwood floors? What issues are likely to arise as a result of the incident?

In this post, we examine the answers to these questions in detail to enable you to handle such an occurrence effectively and as a result, minimize the risk of further damage to your floor.

What To Do If You Spill Water on Hardwood Floor?

When any spill occurs, you will need to act as quickly as possible. Taking prompt action can enable you to forestall the possibility of your floors sustaining any serious damage, and possibly prevent any reduction to the value of your home, and even damage to your property as well. 

The following steps will enable you to get rid of as much moisture in the shortest possible time and greatly reduce the risk of any of the above issues occurring.

1. Identify the Source of the Spill

The first thing you need to do is determine the source of the water (once you’ve gotten your pets out of the room to prevent them from spreading even more water all over your home). You would need to find out whether it is due to a leak, a burst pipe, or simply the result of your pets turning over their water bowls.

This step is of paramount importance since attempting to mop up the water without being able to stop it from its source will defeat the purpose of getting rid of it.

2. Remove Any Furniture and Furnishings

Once you have cut off the flow of water, you will need to remove any mats, rugs, or carpets in the area. You will also need to remove any furniture as well. The furniture and the furnishings will have to be placed in an appropriately safe place.

Doing so will enable you to assess the full extent of the spill, and also ensure you can prevent any furniture or soft furnishings which have not been drenched from getting soaked.

Taking this precaution will also enable you to prevent any soaked items from constituting an additional risk to your wooden floor.

3. Mop Up the Water

This task is best handled using absorbent clothes such as old towels to be able to get rid of the excess water as promptly as you can. If you have to deal with a significant amount of water, you will need to make use of a wet vac. You will also need to use it even if you are dealing with a spill that has been mopped up with towels to ensure you can target any moisture which has seeped between each plank.

4. Get Rid of Any Residue

Depending on the source of the spilled water on your wood floor, you may have to deal with lingering silt or mud. This residue will need to be cleaned up thoroughly as well to not only restore the surface to its pristine state but to also reduce any possible risk of staining.

5. Disinfect the Surface

Getting rid of any water spilled on your hardwood floor is only one part of the task of minimizing damage to it. Another risk that occurs due to the spill is that of mold that prefers moist, warm, organic surfaces. This fungus can cause damage to your floors, furniture, and soft furnishings and most importantly can negatively affect your health.

You will need the following:

  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Absorbent cloths
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Spray bottle
  • Disinfectant (store-bought or homemade — a solution made from 1 cup of water and ¼ cup vinegar.)

You will need to ensure the entire room is ventilated properly and spray the disinfectant on the part of the floor affected by the spill. You will also need to clean the surface thoroughly with it and clean it up with absorbent cloths at once.

Following this procedure, you should make use of the wet vac to eliminate any excess moisture your floor has been exposed to as a result of this step.

If you have any questions, we have a detailed guide for disinfecting your hardwood floors here.

6. Switch on Your Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers are excellent at eliminating any excess moisture from the air and in this instance, they will dry it out and also dry out your floor as well.

Air conditioners are also capable of functioning as dehumidifiers to some extent and should be switched on as well as any fans in the room.

To eliminate as much moisture as possible, you will need to run these appliances for an extensive period (between 24 to 72 hours).

As is required during the disinfecting process, you will also need to leave the windows open during this step (unless there happens to be a downpour).

7. Assess the Extent of the Water Damage

Despite your efforts, and depending on the circumstances of the spill, there will be the possibility of lingering moisture in your wood floor. As a result, you will need to use a moisture meter to regularly check for the presence of any excess moisture during the weeks following the spill.

Issues Which May Arise Due to Neglecting Water Spilled on Wood Floor

Due to the organic nature of wood and its tendency to absorb water, spills should be taken seriously.

Merely mopping up the pooled water and moving furniture aside to dab up any in concealed areas will not be sufficient in the event of a spill. Failure to implement the above steps may result in the following issues:

1. Cupping

Exposure to water may result in an imbalance in moisture levels in the planks of your wood floor with higher levels being present at their bases. This could result in their sides expanding so that they are raised higher than their centers giving them a convex shape — an occurrence known as cupping. Learn how to fix cupping in hardwood floors in our detailed article.

Cupping in hardwood floors

2. Buckling

If the spill happens to be especially large and is not handled immediately in an effective manner, the exposure to the excess moisture may result in the planks actually lifting from the floor resulting in an uneven surface. This occurrence is referred to as buckling. It may be resolved by removing the affected planks, thoroughly drying the underlying surface, and adding new replacement planks. For more details, check out our article on how to fix buckling in hardwood floors.

buckled hardwood floors

3. Mold Damage

Mold tends to thrive in the presence of moisture and organic material, hence an unattended spill could provide it with the ideal opportunity to spread in your home. The fungus also tends to propagate promptly as well.

The presence of unattended moisture in your floors could attract spores which will begin to reproduce while feeding on the wood. They could also spread to other sources of organic material such as paintings, furniture, drapes, and upholstery and damage them as well.

The presence of mold in your home could irritate the eyes, noses, and throats of residents. It could also trigger allergic reactions and even result in more grievous issues such as serious damage to the lungs.

We recommend going through our article on removing mold on hardwood floors.

What to Do In Case of Major Water Damage to Your Hardwood Floor?

In addition to buckling or cupping, another sign which is likely to alert you to the presence of water damage is the appearance of stains on the affected parts of the hardwood floor.

This discoloration may be caused by nails becoming rusted, the presence of mold, or the reaction of the tannins contained in the wood to the presence of water.  

The following steps will need to be taken depending on the extent and the nature of the damage to restore your floors to normal:

1. Drying

Occasionally, cupped hardwood floors may flatten over time as they dry out. However, this may take up to half a month or even longer. The use of dehumidifiers and special fans can help to shorten this process. 

2. Removing Damaged Planks

In the event of permanent damage to part of your floor, you will need to remove the affected planks. 

It is worth noting that you will also need to remove adjacent planks to those damaged by mold or stains.

This is due to the fact they may very often be affected as well even though it may not be immediately visible.

3. Checking the Subfloor

You will also need to check the subfloor and the underlying concrete to ensure they are both free of mold and moisture. If this is not the case, you will need to remove the subfloor and dry out the concrete. You will also need to replace the subfloor and install a moisture barrier following which you will be able to add the new planks which should ideally be from the same batch as those already used for your floor.

4. Sanding and Refinishing

This procedure is often carried out to correct cupping in flooring. However, special care must be taken to ensure the planks are dried out properly, failing which crowning may occur.

This procedure may also be an option when replacing part of the wood floor with new planks to provide the entire surface with a uniform appearance.

Figuring out how to remove haze from a hardwood floor can be frustrating. You might have applied various methods to return your wood floors to their former beauty.

Yet, each attempt seems more disappointing than the last one. You might be wondering if your hardwood floors are actually getting hazier despite your efforts or if it’s your imagination. Relax. You’re not losing it. Honest.

In this article, we’ll discuss the causes as well as what to do about the cloudy film on your hardwood floors.

haze on newly installed wood floors

Why Do Your Hardwood Floors Look Cloudy(Hazy)?

Knowing the cause of haze on your hardwood floor is half the battle won. So, let’s take a look at what the trouble could be:

1) Trapped Moisture

If you’ve noticed cloudiness after refinishing your wood floor, the likely cause is insufficient drying time between coats of varnish. To remove the white haze from your hardwood floor, first, try doing nothing. It might be possible for the moisture to leave on its own in a couple of days.

2) Wax Build-up

Very few hardwood floors are finished with a penetrating seal anymore, but if your floors are sealed with wax, occasional waxing is called for. Frequent waxing is not.

Also, today, most hardwood floors are coated with a polyurethane finish. The coating doesn’t need to be waxed at all. Putting wax over a polyurethane finish will invariably leave a film on your hardwood floor.

Learn: How To Remove Wax Buildup From Wood Floors

white cloudy film on wood floors

3) Inappropriate Cleaning Solution

There are more floor cleaning solutions available on the market than ever. But not all floor cleaning solutions are good. Not all are intended for all hardwood floor finishes. It isn’t always easy to navigate a clear path to the solution that’s best for your hardwood floor. Cleaning a urethane-coated floor with a solution not intended for such can cause trouble. So be sure to read labels.

4) Inappropriate Application Of Cleaning Solution

Applying too much cleaning solution can result in hardwood floors that have an uneven, white, cloudy film over them. Here again, strong emphasis is placed on the importance of labels. Follow application and/or dilution instructions to the letter. More isn’t necessarily better. A stronger solution isn’t necessarily better either. “More” and “stronger” aren’t always as easy to remove.

5) Infrequent Change Of Cleaning Pad

To do its job effectively, a cleaning pad must be clean. Frequent rinsing and wringing will keep the pad clean, but the less you need to touch a dirty mop pad, the better. With plenty of clean mop pads on hand, there’s less chance of dragging dirt and germs across all the hardwood floors in your house. There’s also less handling of dirty pads.

Because most mop pads are machine washable, you can simply toss the used and dirty pads into the washing machine when you’re done cleaning your hardwood floors. Frequent changing of mop pads is better than frequent rinsing of the same mop pad. Better for your floors and better for you and your family.

6) Tap Water, Rain, And Snow

If it comes from nature, it’s good. Right? Mmmm… not necessarily. Your hardwood floors also come from nature. Trees need water to grow, of course. But your floors’ polyurethane coating doesn’t and hopefully, your floors have stopped growing. Your hardwood floors and the polyurethane that coats them should have limited contact with water.

This should especially be the case with hard water. Hard water, rain, and snow can do to the surface of a floor what they can do to a shower door. They leave an ugly white film that’s made from hard water deposits. Use water to damp mop only. Then use a flip-style mop and the chenille side of the mop pad to wipe the surface completely dry. Keep plenty of extra mop pads on hand.

If hard water constantly reminds you of its presence, use a neutral pH solution to clean your floors.

Snow is particularly loaded with salt. This makes long winters even longer for hardwood floors where entry mats have inadequate bristles and poor absorption.

Popular Remedies For Getting Rid of Haze on Hardwood Floors

Here are a few of them:

1) Olive Oil Mayonnaise For Floor Blushing

Blushing is the term used when moisture is trapped between or under the layers of a hardwood floor’s finish. The popular remedy for this involves spreading olive oil mayonnaise over the cloudy areas of the floor.

This might seem a little whacky until you think about the science involved:

Because oil is heavier than water and the two don’t mix, the oil displaces the water. The water has nowhere to go but the surface where it’s met by the mayonnaise. High fives and bonding follow. Wherever one goes, the other goes.

Naturally, when the mayonnaise is removed, the water goes with it. Thus, no more blushing.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Directions:

  • Remove area rugs, furniture, and all other items from the entire room.
  • Dust and damp mop.
  • With the rubber spatula, scoop out enough mayonnaise to spread a layer over the affected area of your wood floor. About ⅛” to ¼” thick.
  • Let the mayonnaise sit without drying, for one hour.
  • Use the paper towels to wipe the mayonnaise from the floor. Depending on the size of the affected area, you might need a generous amount of these.
  • Working in small sections, damp mop with the short-napped side of the mop pad to remove any oily residue.
  • Use the long-napped side of the mop pad to wipe the floor dry.
  • If some haze remains, repeat the process. You’ll need to use your judgment or best guess to increase or decrease the time between application and removal of the mayonnaise.

2) Vinegar To Remove Haze Caused By Hard Water, Cleaning Solutions, Or Floor Wax

Vinegar is another popular remedy for hazy hardwood floors. Most wood flooring manufacturers and professionals advise against it. We’re no exception.

Yet, there’s an increasingly popular belief about certain household products. Accordingly, if a solution is acidic, but diluted with water, it will clean your floor and do it safely. So, it’s the solution to use.

Following that logic, diluted battery acid will also clean a wood floor without damaging it. But no one seems to consider using it to clean a floor. Maybe this is because battery acid isn’t a household product.

Whatever the logic used, people seem to be unshakeably convinced that white vinegar can do no harm. Irreversible staining of raw wood and clouding on coated wood floors aside, this may be true.

Still, this is as good a place as any to offer advice to first try new solutions in an inconspicuous area of your floor.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ½ cup Vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. Dish Soap
  • 1 Gallon Warm Water
  • Microfiber Spin Mop and Bucket

Directions: 

  • Remove rugs, furniture, and other objects from the workspace.
  • Thoroughly dust the floor.
  • Mix all ingredients into the bucket.
  • Dip the mop in the bucket and wring it out until it’s almost dry.
  • Move the mop in an ‘S’ pattern across the hazy area of your hardwood floor.
  • To be sure the floor doesn’t dry on its own and leave streaks, dry the floor with a microfiber cloth as you go.

This method is also used to deep clean hardwood floors.

Now that we have the condiments out of the way…

Remedies For Removing Haze From Hardwood Floors That Work

Apart from removing the finish altogether, there are two solutions for removing the ugly white film. In the right measure and correctly applied, the haze will be removed while the wood and finish remain uncompromised using either of these two solutions. Both solutions also function as disinfectants.

1) 3% Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is the quintessential cleaning solution. It cleans, disinfects, is odor-free, and very inexpensive to buy. The solution is almost invariably sold in dark brown containers. This is because hydrogen peroxide is sensitive to light. It also has a shelf life of about six months to a year.

Whether or not there’s haze on your hardwood floors, hydrogen peroxide will leave them clean, disinfected, and looking refreshed and restored. To use hydrogen peroxide to remove haze from your hardwood floor, 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Bottle of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide 
  • 1 Clean Empty Spray Bottle
  • 1 Flip Style Mop
  • Several Two-Sided Microfiber Mop Pads

Directions:

  • Remove all rugs and furniture from the work area.
  • Dust and damp mop the floor.
  • Transfer the contents of the hydrogen peroxide bottle into the empty spray bottle.
  • Working in 2’ x 2’ sections, spray the floor with the peroxide.
  • Let the peroxide stand for several seconds without allowing it to dry.
  • Use the wet side of the mop pad to work out the haze.
  • Spray again.
  • Use the chenille side of the mop pad to wipe the floor dry. You might need to put a very small bit of back into it.
  • Change the microfiber mop pad frequently throughout the process until the floor is clean.

2) Ammonia Based Or Ammonia Free Window Cleaner

Follow the instructions for cleaning with hydrogen peroxide. Substitute peroxide with an ammonia-free window cleaner. If this doesn’t remove the haze, try substituting with a conventional ammonia-based window cleaner instead.

Once all the haze has been removed from your wood floors, be sure to clean the rugs and dust furniture before bringing them back into the room.

Installing a hardwood floor is all about protecting your investment with good techniques.

No matter how nice of hardwood material you buy, even a simple mistake installing the floor can throw off the beautiful, seamless look of a new hardwood floor.

The easiest way to make your new floor look more professional is to do a great job staggering the wooden planks. If you do this right, the flooring will appear as one beautiful surface from wall to wall. If you mess it up, you will create patterns that are impossible to overlook and leave an amateurish feeling in the room.

You want your expensive hardwood floor to look as warm and natural when it’s in your room as it did when you picked it out from a website or catalog. The best way to do this is by following the steps in this guide to nail a carefully randomized installation that will let the beauty of your new floor shine.

Stagger Flooring for Strength and Stability

Laying your hardwood floor with good staggering technique makes a more beautiful floor, but did you know that it’s also essential for the strength of the floor?

Hardwood floors are like a puzzle of interlocked wooden pieces. They need to be strong enough to walk on and to hold heavy furniture. Proper staggering helps to dissipate this weight across all of the nearby boards.

Wood flooring is also known to expand and contract slightly as temperature and humidity change. It’s like a living material. If you have weak staggering patterns in your floor, it’s more likely that your floor will buckle when this expansion occurs, creating unattractive gaps in your floor, or worse.

Staggering your wood planks properly is what makes the floor strong. It’s similar to how a brick wall is built: the bricklayer doesn’t stack bricks in tall columns that can fall over. Instead, the bricks overlap to create one strong wall.

You may also want to check our guide on acclimating hardwood flooring correctly.

Overlap Wood Floor Planks by at Least 6 Inches

The basic rule to remember for creating a strong stagger is that all planks should overlap by 6 inches or more.

This means that the short joint between planks should be at least 6 inches away from the nearest joint in any adjacent row.

This type of stagger will lock the flooring tightly together. This is especially important on the first 2-3 rows of wood flooring that you lay because these will create a strong base as you lay the following rows.

This is also the first step to creating a stagger that looks good. Parallel seams within a few inches of each other will be very obvious when you look at the finished floor.

Avoid Creating a Patterned Appearance

We always recommend a randomized installation of hardwood floors because it creates a floor that looks seamless and draws attention to the natural color and grain of the wood, rather than the joints.

patterned wood floor installation

Some installers and DIYers choose a rigid, patterned look, but they can appear amateurish and distract from your wood floor’s natural beauty. Here are the common patterns that you should avoid:

Stair-Step Pattern

We recommend avoiding this pattern when you are laying the stagger for a hardwood floor.

You can create a stair-step pattern on the floor if you are using boards of the same length and you offset each row by the same length. For example, staggering the joints in each new row to be 6 inches to the left of the joint in the previous row.

This will create a diagonal pattern of joints across the room. If you crave an orderly, patterned look, you may choose the stair-step technique. Just know that you are choosing to emphasize the joints in the floor over the more subtle beauty of the flooring itself.

“H” Pattern

The “H” pattern is another one to avoid.

This pattern forms if you use planks that are all the same length and you offset each row by half of one plank. This makes the seams line up on every 2nd row of flooring, so you can easily see two columns of alternating joints that line up across the room.

This is another pattern that is obvious to the eye and will take the focus right off of your gorgeous flooring with its natural patterns and color. All you will see is the pattern of short joint lines. Again, it’s a fine option if you prefer the orderly appearance, but the best recommendation is to randomize your layout so that the joints disappear and the wood itself is the focal point.

avoid h joints

How to Randomize a Wood Floor Layout

While the ideal appearance for a hardwood floor is a completely randomized installation, that doesn’t mean that you can achieve this look by chance. It takes a lot of patience and planning to make sure that every row is unlike those around it.

If you just install the boards one by one as they come out of the box, you will likely create patterns by accident.

This section will show how to lay out hardwood planks ahead of time in a process called “racking.” You will choose planks and lay them out next to each other on the floor to see how they look, before locking the tongues or gluing them down. Racking a floor is great because it lets you experiment and make changes.

Once you’re satisfied with the layout, you can just move your racked rows slightly out of the way and install them using whatever method your flooring requires.

Not all hardwood products are the same. Some materials come with boards of all the same length. Others include 3 or more lengths of board inside the cartons. Each has its own challenges to randomizing your layout and avoiding a patterned stagger.

Randomizing Hardwood Flooring of Varied Length

To prepare yourself for racking a beautiful, random installation, first lay out the wood planks in stacks of matching size. Create stacks of 5-10 of each size a few feet in front of your first row.

Always mix wood pieces from different cartons as you make your stacks. This is because one package can have significant color differences from another carton. If you just lay wood from one carton at a time, you can end up with all dark pieces on one end of the room and all light pieces on the other end.

Once you have the stacks sorted, start racking your first row by choosing a variety of lengths and laying them out end-to-end.

When you create the following rows, pay attention to the joints in the row behind it. Make sure there is always an overlap of at least 6 inches in between joints on adjacent rows. Remember that this is especially important on the first 3-4 rows you lay out because they will create a strong foundation for the rest of the floor.

Once you rack 3-4 rows, stand up and look at them from a distance. Are there any obvious stair step or “H” patterns, or any joints too close together? Now is the time to rack a different combination of planks to remedy the problem.

When you are satisfied that the several rows you have racked to install create a random stagger pattern with at least 6 inches of overlap on all joints, you are ready to install them!

Randomizing Hardwood Flooring of the Same Length

Begin laying out your flooring for the racking process by opening several cartons of wood and creating stacks across the room just in front of where you will lay your first few rows. This will make them easy to reach as you lay them out. Stack 5-10 planks in each pile.

Always mix planks from several different cartons because the color of the material can vary from box to box. Pulling planks from multiple boxes will spread out the wood from each carton and hide any color differences.

If your hardwood is all the same length, you need to cut your starting end piece on each row to be different from the piece that started the previous row.

As long as your starting board overlaps the adjacent joint by at least 6 inches, the stagger will continue across the whole row.

The fastest way to create a good stagger when working with boards of the same length is to take 4-5 planks out to the chop saw and cut each board to a different length. You can use these cut ends to start several rows at once. You can trim the unused cutoff ends to complete the rows on the wall opposite your starting boards.

When you make your starter cuts and rack 3-4 rows by laying them out on the floor, stand up and look at the flooring from a distance. Are there any joints that are too close together? Are there any stair-step patterns or H-patterns in the rows you racked for installation? If so, choose a longer or shorter starting piece to offset the joints in the row.

Always remember to keep at least a 6-inch overlap between seams for stability and appearance.

When you have created a good, randomized stagger across several rows, you can install the boards you racked and repeat this whole process for the following rows.