Hardwood flooring care: the ultimate guide
A floor is exposed to high loads every day. Due to its robust and resistant material properties, parquet is therefore one of the most popular floor coverings.
However, in order for your parquet to withstand these stresses over a long period of time, it needs the correct cleaning and care. In this article you will learn how to maintain the different types of parquet properly and what is important in this respect.
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What is the surface of the parquet?
Its surface is decisive for the optimal cleaning and maintenance of parquet.
Various types of surface finishing protect parquet from dirt, moisture and wear.
Parquet can either be oiled or waxed or lacquered .
Depending on the method, the parquet has differences in its resistance and therefore requires different care.
For oiled or waxed parquet, the surface of the floor is protected by applying parquet oil or wax.
The natural raw materials do not form an additional layer on the parquet, but penetrate into the wood and the surface is impregnated.
This keeps the pores of the wood open and breathable, which largely preserves the naturalness of the parquet and has a positive effect on the room climate.
However, loads on oiled or waxed soils can act directly, increasing the need for care.
In the case of lacquered parquet, on the other hand, the surface is completely sealed by applying parquet lacquer.
The additional protective layer makes the floor more robust and resistant to stress and is easier to maintain compared to oiled or waxed floors.
Initial maintenance of parquet
If parquet has been newly laid or freshly sanded, an appropriate initial care is recommended for oiled surfaces.
For this purpose, the parquet is treated with special parquet care oils after careful cleaning from dust and dirt (office chair mats, carpets or similar must be removed beforehand).
These ensure that the wood pores open completely and tannic acid in the wood is neutralised, making the parquet less susceptible to stains and scratches.
In the case of painted parquet, initial maintenance is not necessary in principle. However, in order to make the floor even more robust and resistant, a special parquet Polish can still be applied to the surface.
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Regular cleaning of parquet
The basis for a long beautiful looking and well-kept parquet is the regular cleaning, which is basically the same for all parquet surfaces.
Ideally, parquet parquet should be cleaned dry in the first place. To remove loose dust or dirt, it is best to use a broom or a dry cotton cloth. When cleaning with a vacuum cleaner, it is essential to ensure that it is equipped with a parquet-compatible brush , otherwise scratches can easily occur.
For more thorough cleaning, the parquet should be wiped moist regularly.
It is important that not too much water is used, but that the parquet is only cleaned damply .
Carefully wrensed wipe covers made of pure cotton are optimally suited – a slinging system or a wipe press prove to be very helpful.
For oiled parquet, a small amount of wood floor soap should be added to the mopping water.
Due to the regreasing ingredients contained therein, such as coconut or soy fats, not only coarser dirt can be removed more easily, but the parquet is also additionally maintained during every swipe process.
For wiping with wooden floor soap, besides a bucket with the soapy water, a second bucket with clear water should be ready by flushing out the dirt.
As an alternative to wood floor soap, a oil fresher can be used at regular intervals (approx. every fifth wipe) to refresh the protection of the initial care.
The moist cleaning of painted parquet basically works the same as with oiled parquet. Only special paint soap is used as a cleaning agent instead of the wood floor soap.
Refreshment of parquet care
Even with careful cleaning, the daily stress leaves traces on the parquet floor over time.
Whether oiled or sealed parquet – unsightly signs of wear or minor damage such as scratches or stains can not be completely avoided on any surface.
Depending on the intensity of the stress, intensive cleaning and a refreshof of the parquet care are therefore required sooner or later.
Oiled Maintaining parquet
In order to maintain the protective oil layer as long as possible, the oiled parquet should be thoroughly cleaned regularly with an intensive cleaner and a single disc machine with black pad.
The surface of the parquet is then refreshed with care oil. Parquet care oil is available in both natural and different shades.
By refreshing the oil treatment, the wood becomes saturated and dulled parquet looks as if freshly laid again. The maintenance of oiled parquet should be repeated in living spaces every 2 to 4 years, or more often in the case of heavy use.
Sealed Maintaining parquet
In order to slow down the abrasion of the paint layer by dirt and dust particles, a temporary refresh is also necessary for painted parquet.
For this purpose, the parquet is first thoroughly cleaned with a suitable intensive cleaner and then applied a layer of undiluted paint care. The special care products contain polymer dispersion that reduces abrasion, refreshes the floor and masks minor scratches.
Parquet Care against scratches and stains
One of the most important differences between oiled and painted parquet is the handling in case of damage.
For stubborn stains, undiluted special cleaners are used for oiled surfaces, for varnished floors there are special intensive cleaners or stain removers. Turpentine or methylated spirits are also very useful for stains on sealed parquet.
In the case of scratches in the parquet, the effort is greater with painted parquet.
While fine scratches or cracks in the lacquer can be repaired with special repair kits, deeper scratches or other major damage requires sanding and resealing the entire parquet surface.
In the case of oiled parquet, however, this is not necessary. Even larger scratches or other damage can be partially repaired with relatively little effort.
For this purpose, only the affected area is sanded and a new layer of oil is applied. Fine scratches can also be removed with care oils or furniture polish.
Care products for parquet: This is what matters
Care products for parquet are available from numerous manufacturers in a wide variety of designs in DIY stores and specialist retailers.
The most well-known brands include
- Dr. Schutz
- u. from above
Which products is best suited for the respective parquet always depends on the coating used. When purchasing the care product, care must be taken to ensure that it is suitable for the respective parquet surface. In addition, the product should not contain silicone oils or mineral oil derivatives if possible.
Better are care products with water-soluble and regreasing polymers or waxes.
Decisive for the selection of the appropriate parquet care is always the manufacturer’s care instructions. In most cases, it also contains specific product recommendations or is their own product series from the manufacturer.
The best tips for protecting, care and cleaning Parquet
- Protect the parquet against too much dirt by placing protective mats in front of the door and not entering the floor with street shoes. It is best to use slippers or walk barefoot.
- In particular, sharp, hard objects, such as small stones and sand, or shoe heels can quickly damage the parquet. Therefore, coarse dirt should be removed as soon as possible.
- Fasten felt gliders to furniture, armchairs and table legs or use suitable floor protection mats in places subject to heavy use, such as desks. This will prevent pressure marks or scratches.
- In order to protect the parquet floor from water or too much moisture, you should preferably not place houseplants directly on the floor. Use waterproof pots or plant rollers instead.
- A balanced indoor climate also protects the parquet floor. Therefore, make sure that a humidity between 35 and 45 % and a constant room temperature between 20 and 22°C.
- It is best to clean your parquet mainly dry with a soft broom or a dry cotton cloth. If you are using a vacuum cleaner, make sure you have a parquet-compatible brush.
- It is essential that you only wipe the parquet with a damp cloth – preferably with a lint-free cotton mop. If water puddles appear, they must be dried as quickly as possible so that the moisture cannot penetrate the wood.
- Use only special cleaning and care products that are explicitly suitable for your parquet. This applies to regular cleaning as well as intensive cleaning and care.
- When cleaning your parquet floor, completely avoid microfibre cloths and aggressive cleaners or abrasive cleaners. Also steam cleaners are rather not suitable for parquet and may – if at all – only be used for fully glued, hard sealed parquet.
- Get expert advice about the special requirements of your hardwood flooring in terms of cleaning and care. In addition, it is essential that you follow the care instructions of the manufacturer and keep the instructions of your parquet manufacturer carefully.
* Last updated on 2023-06-10 / We are using affiliate links / All images are served from the Amazon Product Advertising API.