I am always amazed at how very flexible simple ingredients can be when it comes to cleaning around the house. I find that In busy, dirty, households, getting wood floors clean without a streaky, smeary, mess can be a real challenge. My steam cleaning method has been working well for me for about five years, and I’ve yet to see a floor show any signs of buckling, cupping, or damaged finish. The key to keeping wood floors looking great, regardless of your method, is a light touch, so go easy!
If you choose to buy a steam cleaner or steam mop to clean your wood floors, make sure that you know how to use it and don’t go blasting steam or hot water all over your floors. So of course I headed over to Pinterest to find a recipe for a homemade cleaner using my tried and true ingredients that I have around the house. It did clean the hard wood but the laminate wood floor in the kitchen was pretty streaky afterward. Some recent floors may be made of an engineered wood, and these cannot be refinished.
I’ll give this cleaner a few more tries before moving to the next option which will probably be investing in a steam mop. If you pull up a heating grate so that you can see the wood planks from the side you should be able to tell whether your floor is solid wood or veneer, and you should be able to whether or not it is too thin to sand. You can also tell by looking at the floor where the tongue and groove fits together. There are ways around this, so don’t give up your dream for a beautiful floor yet. If you don’t keep a drum sander moving it can make grooves in your floor that cannot be fixed, and the drum sander is heavier.
When we pulled up the carpet at our house we found that the previous owners had driven nails into the floor at about 3 inch intervals! The wood putty is a bad idea in soft woods because it will pop out in a matter of a couple of years. Before you decide to fill gouges and cracks read several articles on it. Especially if you have a historic floor you may decide to leave the smaller defects as is. If you have a soft wood floor with deep gouges new planks will have to be laced in. Unless you have lots of experience this is best done by a professional.
Do a walk through before you begin and carefully look for areas where boards seem to be loose or need repair. Beginning an area that will be least noticeable so that you can get the hang of the machineStart the sander with the drum off the floor and slowly lower it onto the wood. The drum sander is loud, and heavy and it can gouge or make a swirl mark your floor. Sand up to the baseboards and then blend the edges into the main part of the floor.