Hardwood and Laminate Floor Care

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Wood and Laminate Flooring are naturally durable. Here's how to keep them looking great.

Routine Maintenance

  • First, be sure to read the specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer, which can be located on every product package brought to your home.
  • Use a damp cloth to blot up spills as soon as they happen. Never allow liquids to stay on your floor.
  • For tough spots (such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, ink, or tar), use acetone nail polish remover on a clean white cloth. Then wipe the damp cloth on the stain to remove any remaining residue.
  • Sweep, dust, or vacuum the floor regularly with the hard floor attachment (not the beater bar) to prevent accumulation of dirt and grit that can dull the floor finish.
  • Periodically clean the floor with cleaning products made specifically for pre-finished wood or laminate floor care. We recommend Shaw's R2X which can be found at your finer floor covering suppliers.
  • Do not wash or wet mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, delamination, or joint-line separation, and void the warranty.
  • Do not use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, or strong ammoniated or chlorinated cleaners.
  • Do not use any type of buffing or polishing machine.
  • For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, being careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  • Sandy areas will require more frequent sweeping or vacuuming.

Protect your Floor

  • Entry mats help collect dirt, sand, grit, and other materials that might be tracked onto your floor from outside.
  • Use a non-slip underlayment to prevent area rugs from slipping.
  • Use floor protectors to minimize the chance of indentations and scratches from heavy objects.
  • Maintain a normal indoor relative humidity level between 35% and 65% throughout the year to minimize expansion and contraction of the flooring material. Humidifiers or de-humidifiers may be necessary to accomplish this and are the consumer's responsibility.
  • Keep your pet's nails trimmed to prevent them from scratching the floor.
  • Do not walk on your floor with stiletto heels, spiked shoes, or other sports cleats.
  • Never slide heavy objects across the floor.
  • A protective mat should be used for furniture or chairs with castors.
  • Avoid exposure to water during periods of inclement weather.
Congratulations on your recent purchase. You have made a wise decision in beautifying and maintaining the value of your home. That being said, you must be aware of a few things to ensure your investment holds up. Wood floors particularly pre-finished wood floors can last for years when the proper care and maintenance procedures are followed.

Temperature and Humidity

Wood (even pre-finished) floors will expand and shrink depending on humidity and temperature. This is normal and nothing to be alarmed about. In the winter, when it is cooler and drier, the boards in your floor will shrink and you may notice small spaces between them. This will go away when the relative humidity comes back up to around 50%. In the summer, when it is hot and humid, YOU MUST USE YOUR AIR CONDITIONER OR A DEHUMIDIFIER. If the relative humidity remains over 60% for any length of time, the boards will expand. When we installed your floor, we left some expansion space under your baseboards or mouldings. However, the expansion space alone is not enough to prevent buckling if an extreme situation is allowed to persist. Manufacturers warranties do not cover floors subjected to extreme climate changes of the type we have in New England so the consumer must be proactive. If you need further guidance on this subject, don't hesitate to call me personally (my name and phone are listed below).


Since even pre-finished wood floors are sensitive to moisture, you should use the manufacturer's recommended cleaning method. NEVER, EVER USE STEAM MOPS!!! These gadgets are touted on television as safe to use on all types of floors. THEY ARE NOT! Use of steam to clean your floor will ruin your floor and void your warranty.

We have found a system called the R2X Mop Kit to be a very effective and safe system to use on all brands of wood floors. It consists of an aluminum swivel mop. A dry mop head for every day dusting and a wet mop head for deeper cleaning. Also included in the kit is a spray cleaner that you lightly mist on the floor and then mop with the wet mop head. The mop heads can be washed in your washing machine so you can use them over and over. The spray is sold separately so you don't need to repurchase the entire kit. This kit is sold at Pelletier Rug & Floor Co. and other fine retailers.

Never soak your floor or use wax or polishes on your floor. Some furniture polishes contain silicon and will soften the finish on your floor--- reducing its durability.

Preventing and Repairing Scratches

Use of door mats (especially at entrances to the home) is recommended. For chairs, tables and other pieces of furniture, the use of felt bottom glides that self adhere to the furniture leg is a great way to prevent scratches. We have a complete selection of these glides at very affordable prices. When life happens and an accident does occur, there are Color Fill/Sealant kits available that are made for your floor. This means you can make a nasty scratch virtually invisible.

With a little care and the right information, you will enjoy your beautiful new floor for years to come. When it is time to sell your home, your well-maintained floor will add tremendously to your home's value.