How To Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors – Cleaning Guide

How To Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors – Cleaning Guide

When trying to understand how to clean prefinished hardwood floors, it’s important to look at both practical cleaning tips and long-term maintenance essentials to protect the condition of your flooring.

Real wood flooring is expensive and often disruptive to fix so it’s vital to regularly clean and maintain it to avoid costly and time-consuming repairs or replacements.

What Is Prefinished Hardwood Flooring?

Prefinished hardwood flooring is a high-quality real wood option that strikes a good balance between aesthetic appeal and durability.

Flooring of this kind has been sanded and treated before being delivered, meaning a mess-free option that avoids excessive dust and disruption.

Prefinished flooring arrives at a home or business ready to be installed. It is a convenient option for those seeking luxury real-wood flooring.

What Is The Difference Between Unfinished and Prefinished Hardwood?

There are differences between unfinished and prefinished hardwoods that can impact installation and general maintenance.

Where prefinished woods are treated before delivery, unfinished woods will be unsanded and untreated on arrival. This sanding process can be messy and time consuming when done on-site. Often a deep clean is required after the installation of unfinished hardwood flooring.

Prefinished flooring options will often be more durable, having undergone a more thorough curing or sealing process than is possible with untreated options. This can make the initial cost much more appealing and offer long-term savings when it comes to maintenance.

For those who hope for durable and easy-to-clean flooring, prefinished hardwood is often a good option.

Is Prefinished Hardwood The Same As Laminate?

Prefinished hardwood and laminate flooring have very distinct differences.

Although visually they might appear to be similar, hardwood flooring has a real wood top layer with a protective coating or gloss. Laminate flooring is not real wood, but instead a synthetic material designed to imitate the effect of real wood. Its design means that it cannot be sanded and retreated.

Hardwood is longer-lasting, more attractive in appearance, and has a better resale value than laminate flooring.

Why Is It Important To Properly Clean Hardwood Flooring?

Aesthetic Appeal

Regular cleaning of hardwood flooring not only has its practical uses, but also an aesthetic appeal. Dirt and dust can dull a floor’s shine and make it look unimpressive to visitors or homeowners.

Proper and regular cleaning helps to maintain the colour and shine of a prefinished hardwood floor.


High quality wooden flooring isn’t cheap, and it’s not something that you will want to replace over and over again. Proper cleaning and maintenance is much more cost-effective than replacing flooring that has not been properly cared for.

Prolonging Lifespan

As with any investment, you will want to protect and maintain it for as long as possible.

The protective layer on prefinished wood can make it naturally more resistant to scratching and general wear.

Although prefinished hardwood is fairly durable, proper maintenance and cleaning can help to ensure it lasts for a long time.

Air Quality

Dusty or poorly maintained floors can significantly reduce air quality. Dust can easily gather on flooring and in any gaps and cause respiratory issues for those spending long periods of time in the area. Proper cleaning can make a notable difference.

How To Clean Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

Cleaning hardwood flooring shouldn’t be complicated, although it can be time-consuming.

For many businesses, it can be cost effective to outsource deep cleaning whilst day-to-day maintenance should be possible for the contracted cleaning team.

Gentle Cleaning For Hardwood Floors


Dusting is perhaps the most important part of hardwood floor maintenance, and it needs to be done regularly. Use a soft-bristle broom, dust vacuum or dust mop regularly to pick up any surface level dust or dirt. Try not to use brushes that are too abrasive as this can damage the coating and scratch the floor.

In most cases, a normal vacuum can be used if it has a floor setting. You can then use a brush for gaps or hard-to-reach areas to ensure a consistent and thorough clean of the area.


With a microfiber mop, use a pH neutral hardwood floor cleaner to gently clean the surface.

Avoid excessive water and abrasive chemicals so that you do not damage the finish of the wood.

A microfiber mop, rather than a traditional mop, can be a better option for a streak-free finish.

Spills and Stains

Spills and stains can do lasting damage to hardwood flooring. Always try to clear up spillages as soon as they occur.

Gently dab the spill with a cotton or microfiber cloth, carefully picking up the spill without rubbing it further into the wood. Try to clean with the grain of the wood to avoid water marks and wear.

You can also use a damp mop if the spillage is large or sticky.

Maintaining Prefinished Hardwood Floors

There are a number of measures that you can take to better protect prefinished hardwood flooring and make cleaning more effective.

Use Rugs and Mats

In heavy traffic areas, consider using rugs and mats to further protect the flooring. They are best utilised in entryways to prevent mud and dirt but can also prevent wear in places that see a significant amount of foot traffic.

Furniture Pads

Furniture pads can help to better protect flooring from scratches and damage from chair and table legs. Investing in preventative measures like these can offer a cost saving long-term.

Inspect And Identify Damage

Try to identify and deal with damage as quickly as possible. This means that spillages and stains are dealt with promptly and worn areas are treated to ensure maximum protection.

Regular Deep Cleaning

Regular deep cleaning and additional treatment can be the best way to maintain prefinished hardwood flooring and ensure it lasts.

Professional cleaning services can be a minimally invasive and efficient way of making sure this important task gets done regularly and to a high standard.

Get a quote or more detailed advice on how to clean your prefinished hardwood floors.

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