Nothing says “Home” quite like the timeless beauty of hardwood flooring. Known for its warmth, durability and easy maintenance, hardwood flooring has been used for hundreds of years. And these days, with so many options available, you’re bound to find a wood flooring product that suits your taste and budget.

Whatever the type of wood flooring, you’ll want to keep it looking fresh and clean. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning regimen. Of course, with so many options available, selecting the right cleaning products for your floor can be a bit tricky. In this article, we’ll try and make things a little simpler by making a few specific recommendations for some of the more popular types of wood flooring.

Using the wrong cleaning product on your hardwood flooring can leave your floors looking dull, or worse yet lead to (very) costly repairs and even cause irreparable damage to your expensive wood floors.

Solid Hardwood Flooring

As the name suggests, solid hardwood flooring is made from solid hardwood throughout, is typically nailed or glued to a subfloor. Solid hardwood flooring is available both in pre-finished and unfinished varieties.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood is made by adhering a layer of real hardwood to multiple layers of plywood or Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF). Installation methods include: floating, glue-down, lock and fold, locking, staple, and nail-down. Engineered hardwood is available both finished and unfinished, with pre-finished being the more common choice.

Care Products for Unfinished (Site-Finished) Hardwood

Unfinished hardwood must first be installed, and then sanded and finished on site. Finish options vary widely and include: water-based polyurethane, oil based polyurethane, wax, shellac, penetrating oil, acid cured.

Each of these finishes requires a specific regimen using a specific type of cleaning product. Its always best to first consult your flooring professional when choosing products for your site-finished hardwood floors.

Care Products for Pre-finished Hardwood

Pre-finished flooring is factory-finished and comes ready to install. Each board has been finished individually with sprayed-on coats of polyurethane. The boards are then oven baked with aluminum oxide to create an extremely hard acrylic finish.

Many engineered hardwood flooring manufacturers offer their own line of cleaning products, or you can purchase a commercial cleaning product that is specifically designed for use on engineered hardwood flooring.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring consists of a high-quality photographed image of finished hardwood fused to a fiberboard core and topped with a highly durable transparent wear layer. Its typically installed as a floating floor. The synthetic wear layer is usually smooth, which means that it’s incredibly easy to wipe clean. Improper cleaning can shorten the life of the floor’s wear layer, so you’ll want to stick to using manufacturer-approved cleaning products.

What about BAMBOO?

Technically a grass, Bamboo is a hard, resilient material that looks like light colored wood, though it is sometimes treated to appear darker. Known for its durability and earth friendliness, bamboo comes in a number grains and patterns, and is available in both engineered and solid varieties