How to Clean Engineered Bamboo Flooring
With engineered bamboo flooring becoming a popular choice for home renovators, there are a number of maintenance issues you need to be aware of. Bamboo flooring is generally easier to take care of than solid wood flooring, and cleaning is a breeze as long as you follow some simple rules. The urethane surface of your engineered bamboo floor can deteriorate due to the abrasive action of dust and dirt brought in by pets and shoes. Keep the floor clean of dirt with regular sweeping or vacuuming. Regular cleaning actually adds to the life of bamboo flooring.
Step 1: Remove Furniture
Remove all chairs and easily movable small furniture. Moving the small furniture out first will make sure you don't miss any areas as well as making the job easier and quicker.
Step 2: Sweep and Vacuum
Sweep the floor thoroughly with the broom, including corners and around furniture. Use a vacuum to get into tight corners and under furniture. Any oily patches should be wiped with a damp rag before doing the whole floor.
Step 3: Mop the Floor
Fill your bucket ¾ full with warm (not hot) water and add some washing liquid. Avoid using any cleaning liquids containing oil or caustic ingredients. Using a good quality micro-fiber floor mop, mop the floor making sure you take special care with doorways and any areas where people walk. The mop should be damp, not wet as moisture left pooling can damage engineered bamboo flooring by getting down into the other wood layers beneath. Bamboo is quite water resistant but engineered bamboo is only a thin bamboo veneer glued over a plywood or sawdust base. The underlayers are easily damaged by moisture.
If you find a gum or gooey material stuck to the floor, apply ice to it then scrape it off when it becomes brittle.
Step 4: Dry the Floor
Wrap the towel around the broom and go over the floor again, making sure it is thoroughly dry before anyone walks over it.
To keep your floor looking its best, lay down a shoe-cleaning mat at any entry doors. This will cut down on the amount of grit that is dragged into the house and keep the floor coating in good condition. Engineered floors cannot be refinished more than once or twice or the thin veneer will be worn through. This makes it imperative that grit and sand is never allowed to be brought into the home on shoes. Keep your dogs claws trimmed to reduce the likelihood of scratches to the floor finish.
Never be tempted to apply wax or oil-based cleaners to a bamboo floor. They can cause adhesion problems if refinishing is ever required.
Another tip to keeping your floor in great condition is to glue felt furniture pads to the bottom of table and chair legs. This will reduce or stop any scratching caused by moving furniture. Most scraping of furniture will not cause damage to the bamboo as it is so hard, but scratches will be noticeable in the urethane surface coating.
Bamboo flooring can shrink if the humidity is below 30 percent for any length of time so install a humidifier if you live in a dry area.