What are floating floorboards?
While it may sound odd, floating floorboards are nothing more than a flooring installation system made up of interlocking hard boards. You may even be using one at home!
Instead of using glue or nails, floating floorboards sit atop a harder surface, or a subfloor, and use friction and the boards’ weight to keep them steady, hence their name ‘floating floorboards’.
Floating floors are flexible and able to withstand movement and weight. They are also easy to install and less expensive than your traditional hardwood floor. Floating timber floors are a good example of this type of flooring.
Don’t worry about your floor expanding when the weather is warmer than usual. There’s an allowance between the flooring and walls to allow room for expansion. These gaps are covered with mouldings to maintain the attractive appearance of your home.
Best way to clean floating floorboards
Floating floorboards are made of durable material, but there’s still a recommended way of cleaning them. The best way to do it is to clean gently and frequently.
As much as possible, only use a cleaning solution on floating floors when necessary. Other than that, a regular sweep should be fine. You should also protect your boards from soaking up liquids, whether it be from spills or a soggy mop.
Cleaning floating timber floors
As with regular wooden floorboards and other timber flooring, floating timber floors can warp when they get soaked too long or when subjected to extreme heat. This is the recommended method on how to clean floating timber floors properly.
1. Sweep or vacuum your floor regularly.
Sweeping or vacuuming removes dirt and dust from your floor. Unless your floor is particularly muddy or sticky, a regular sweep should be enough to keep it clean.
2. Wipe off spills and stains.
Using a soft cloth, wipe away spills immediately to prevent the liquid from destroying the wood. Spot clean sticky spills with a damp cloth, then wipe with a piece of dry cloth.
3. Mop the floor to remove remaining residue.
Mopping your timber floor is only necessary when the dirt cannot be removed through sweeping and spot cleaning. Soak a microfibre mop in warm water then wring thoroughly. Take care to remove excess water that can seep into your wood floor. Mop in the direction of the wood grain. If your flooring has hard-to-remove stains, use a spray bottle to apply a small amount of cleaning solution.
4. Buff then allow to air dry.
After mopping, use a dry microfibre mop to soak up the remaining moisture. This step ensures that your flooring won’t buckle or have any streaks. Open the windows and doors in the area (if there are any) to let your flooring air dry quicker.
5. Use a timber refresher to make your floor shiny.
As an extra step to protect your flooring, use a timber refresher that’s well-suited for your wood. This will help make any dull-looking floor look shiny and bring it back to life.
Cleaning laminate floating floorboards
Laminate floors are planks made with layers of hybrid material. You’ll find that these floor boards contain a wear layer, a pattern layer, a core layer, and a balancing or backing layer. These make up a durable plank that’s scratch-resistant and can mimic beautiful stone and wood patterns – minus the expensive pricing.
Laminate flooring is a practical choice because it’s stronger than real hardwood floors, but proper care should still be observed when cleaning it. When it comes to these boards, a frequent gentle clean is more effective than an occasional deep clean and scrub.
Here’s an easy guide on how to clean laminate floating boards.
1. Sweep or vacuum any dirt.
This is the easiest way to clean laminate floors. For spills, wiping is your best option. When sweeping or vacuuming, make sure to remove all the dirt and tiny particles on the floor as these can cause scratches on your floor’s surface.
2. Wipe off spills immediately.
While laminate floors are durable and scratch resistant, liquids can still seep into the planks and cause them to warp. A quick solution when sauce, juice, wine, and other liquids spill onto your flooring is to wipe with a piece of dry cloth or paper towel.
If the liquid leaves a sticky residue, wipe with a moist towel dipped in hot water, then dry immediately. Make sure to get into crevices and dry the affected area thoroughly to prevent your flooring from warping.
3. Mop with hot water.
Give your laminate flooring a monthly wash with hot water to remove grease and grime. Dip a mop in hot water then wring out as much liquid as possible. Clean your floor with the damp (not wet) mop then dry thoroughly with a clean cloth.
Hot water is a good floor cleaner for your laminate floor because it can melt residue without destroying the quality of your planks. This will help maintain the overall appearance and cleanliness of your floor when combined with a weekly sweep.
4. Wipe with a dry mop then allow to air dry.
Dry your laminate flooring using a clean microfibre mop then allow to air dry.
What are the things I should remember when cleaning floating floorboards?
These are the top things to remember when cleaning your floating floorboards:
- Sweep at least once a week to maintain your flooring.
- Wipe spills as soon as they happen to prevent liquids from seeping into the wood.
- Use a damp but not wet mop when cleaning.
- Use a cleaning solution made specifically for the material of your floating floorboards.
What are the things I shouldn’t do when cleaning floating floorboards?
Here’s a list of things you shouldn’t do when cleaning your floating floorboards:
- Don’t use harsh chemicals that can destroy the surface of your floor.
- Don’t let water soak into your floorboards.
- Never use a steam mop on your laminate floorboards. The high heat can destroy the wood and cause it to warp.
- Don’t leave wet fabrics like wet rags or carpets on your floating floor boards.
- Don’t use a vinegar and baking soda solution. While these are eco-friendly cleaning agents, baking soda may have an abrasive effect on your boards’ surface, while vinegar can seep into the wood and cause permanent bleaching and damage.
- Don’t use abrasive cleaning tools like metal brushes on your floorboards.
- Don’t use wax on your floating floorboards.
What are bamboo floating floorboards?
Bamboo floating floorboards are floating floorboards made of bamboo. They’re a good option to try if you’re after using ecologically sustainable materials in your home. Unlike other hardwood flooring that makes use of trees grown over many years, bamboo is easy to grow and can be harvested quickly. As with other wooden floorboards, bamboo floating floorboards are prone to warping or distortion when there are extreme weather changes.
How do I make my floating floors shiny?
There are some reasons why your floor is lacking luster. Use of harsh chemicals, presence of dust, scratches on the surface, and forgetting to dry the floor after mopping can be causing your floor to lose its shine.
To make your floating floors shiny, follow the cleaning steps mentioned above, then dry your flooring with a microfibre cloth. This extra step will prevent streaks from forming and ensure that your floorboards are buffed and polished well.
Can you use a steam mop on floating floorboards?
Never use a steam mop on floating floorboards. While your boards may be durable and able to withstand enormous weight, the extreme heat from a steam mop can still cause serious damage to your floor.
Proper cleaning of your floating floorboards
Cleaning floating timber floors and laminate flooring is actually quite easy to DIY. There are some stains like nail polish that are more challenging to remove, however. While your first instinct may be to use a nail polish remover, this can damage or discolour floating timber floors.
If you’re still unsure on how to go about cleaning your floating floorboards or feeling a little daunted that you might do more harm than good, you can call professional cleaners near you to help with the task. They will be able to properly assess what type of floating board you have in your home. A professional cleaning team will be quick to know what cleaning agents and techniques are best suited for your floor.