Water, Wood & Steamer Problems – Let’s Investigate
Recently it was brought to my attention that several large cleaning
companies have been advertising that you can use their floor steamers on hardwood floors
them. We thought we better address this
issue on our site a bit. We have found
most people have heard the old adage – “wood and water don’t mix.” When we have hardwood floors delivered we
have to take several precautions during the new construction process because of
Make sure the house is done being painted and
that the paint has dried so extra moisture isn't absorbed by the wood
Check the wood moisture content before
installing the wood to make sure it is in range for your area in Boise the
range is 6 to 8% depending on the hardwood floor specie.
Let the hardwood acclimate before installation,
especially on remodels
Remind homeowners to use minimal amounts of
water when cleaning their floors.
Idaho and the surrounding areas just has a very dry climate that
fluctuates seasonally so precautions are necessary with wood flooring.
as well as the hardwood manufacturers highly recommend NOT using a steamer on
their floors and in fact, it will void their warranties on the product if a
customer does just one time. It is always important to do what the hardwood
flooring company says in regards to their warranty, especially if you want to
keep it. Not only will it void a
warranty, but the combination of steamed water and heat will open up the wood
grain and the moisture will be absorbed from the steamer, at an even greater
rate than if you were to just mop the floor.
Your hardwood floor will swell and buckle. One can read on the internet from homeowners
and the steamer manufacturers that if a floor is sealed that moisture will not
get into the floor; however, no hardwood floor is sealed underneath – the
sealing is always the top part of the wood only, so that just isn't true (see
pictures below) so the hardwood flooring will be exposed without any
PS – Everything in this article also applies to laminate wood
flooring as well.