Steam cleaning hardwood floors is a common topic of discussion for homeowners who are either planning to have a wood floor installed, or already have one installed. Some people believe this method is one of the best ways to clean hardwood floors, while others believe that steam cleaning hardwood can damage it's integrity. Each end of the spectrum has a point, but it all comes down to floor style, finish, and of course, moderation.
An engineered hardwood floor is perhaps the most common style nowadays. It combines three to five levels of hardwood which have been cross-grained, and bonded together under pressure and heat. This approach reduces the likelihood of the floor being affected by humidity, and therefore makes it more resistant to steam, provided it has also been properly finished. However, this is not the primary example of how to clean engineered hardwood floors. Cleaning hardwood floors with steam should be an occasional method, because excessive heat and water can cause damage, even on surface-treated floors. Implementing this method once in a while is great for deep cleaning hardwood floors, but vacuuming and using cleaning solutions, like Bona floor cleaner, are much safer alternatives.
Cleaning engineered hardwood floors is one thing. Cleaning old hardwood floors is another. Older floor styles run the risk of having been untreated, or of having the finish stripped off over time. Regardless of which, steam cleaners
should be a last resort product for maintaining them. If water is left standing on an unsealed floor, it can make its way into the wood, and puff the grain, which can cause warping, making vacuuming and wax-based cleaners the most viable options.