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According to statistics, one of the most popular flooring options in most homes is hardwood floors. If you have read about hardwood flooring, then it’s not difficult to understand why. Unlike other floorings, hardwood floors have a tendency of blending well with the rest of your indoor acoustics leaving your home looking at its absolute best. But, despite bringing an earthy and warm beauty to your interior, hardwood floors endure a lot including foot traffic, grime, debris, and inevitable spills caused by kids and pets. Since cleaning is part of your daily routine, learning how to clean hardwood floors is one way you can restore the marvelous luster it once enjoyed.

But, cleaning your hardwood floor doesn’t involve the usual old broom and mop method. There’s a lot more you need to learn to ensure that your floor continues to look magnificent even after years of use. With that said, this guide has gathered insightful information in form of a detailed step-by-step guide to help you clean your hardwood floor without ruining its marvelous luster.

 

How to Clean Hardwood Floor: Step by Step Guide

 

General Maintenance Tips For Hardwood Floors

Whether you’re installing hardwood flooring for the first time or you already have one installed, one thing about this type of floor is that it’s quite unique and very tricky to maintain. So, without the right information, cleaning and maintaining hardwood floors will be quite difficult something that can lead to rapid wear and tear. Thankfully, this guide has highlighted some key maintenance tips that must be observed at all times.

  1. Determine the Type of Wood Finish You’ve Got

So, before you start cleaning your hardwood floor, the first thing you need to think of is the type of floor you’ve got. You see, hardwood floors come in different variations such as stained vs. unfinished, solid vs. engineered, and sealed vs. coated. Therefore, before you start cleaning the floor, you need to determine whether the seal on your wooden planks is old or modern or whether the wax on the shiny floor is resilient enough to offer the much-needed reinforcement in case the floor gets into contact with water.

To test whether the floor is waxed or not, you can try scrubbing a small area of the floor with steel wool to see whether you’ll see some wax. To test the seal, you can try adding a few drops of water on the floor then leave it for a few minutes to see whether the water droplets will get absorbed.

Once you get an idea of the type of floor you’re dealing with, you can easily determine the type of cleaning method you’re going to employ.

  1. Always Use the Recommended Cleaning Products

Once you determine the type of flooring you’re dealing with, the next step is to stick with the recommended cleaning products as directed by professionals. If you don’t have any idea on what to use, always consult professional cleaners on which products to use depending on the type of floor you’ve installed.

  1. Vacuum Regularly

If your home is one that receives high foot traffic, then you need to vacuum the floor at least once daily. This way, you’ll manage to remove dust and dirt more easily instead of letting it accumulate over time. Now, when cleaning your floor routinely, you can opt to use a soft-bristled broom or a vacuum with a soft-bristled brush.

The reason for using a soft-bristled brush is to prevent large particles such as sand and grit from scratching your floor. Also, some of the particles can get into crevices making it difficult to clean them especially if you’re using the wrong brush.

  1. Take Off Your Shoes While Indoors

Although we’ve mentioned about vacuuming your floor regularly, one tip that will help to reduce the amount of dirt and dust that’s accumulating on your floor is by keeping rugs on the front door. Also, it’s good to remind your visitors and members of the family to remove their shoes while getting in to reduce the amount of dust. Lastly, by taking off your shoes, you’ll reduce the rate of wear on your floor as scratches will be reduced to the minimum.

  1. Always Clean Spills ASAP

Although spills are inevitable, drying them up immediately is one way you can guarantee the longevity of your dear hardwood floor. Regardless of the type of finish you’ve got, failure to clean spills exposes your floor to rapid wear as fluids can penetrate into the grains to damage the wooden planks permanently.

Still on spills, when cleaning your hardwood floor, always avoid using excess water. Instead, use a damp sponge or soft cloth to wipe the surface in case of spot cleaning. Also, avoid using wax or oil-based products as they too can damage your floor by making it look dull and cloudy.

  1. Repair Scratches

If you have pets around, you will need to figure out how you can protect your floor against unavoidable scratches. You see, when your pets are anxious, emotional, sick, or hungry, there are chances that they can scratch your hardwood floor as a way of conveying a message. If you don’t repair these scratches immediately, then they can end up providing perfect hiding spots for dirt and grime. As they become deeper, your floor will eventually get ruined forcing you to replace the entire floor altogether.

 

Best Ways to Clean Your Floor

 

Now that we’ve discussed everything you need to know before cleaning your hardwood floor, this guide will now focus on three main methods you can use to clean your floor. These are dry mopping using a vacuum, wet mopping using a mop, and using home-based products to clean your floor.

  • Dry Mopping Method

The first method we’ll be discussing here is cleaning your floor using the dry mopping method. In most cases, using a vacuum is considered the most effective method as you only have to use the hard floor setting to clean your floor.

A dry mop and a broom are two other great tools you can consider as they too perform well in removing loose dust, dirt, and debris from your floor. But, when choosing any of these tools (especially the vacuum), you need to choose a model that’s versatile enough to clean both hardwood and carpeted floors. So, for that reason, I will discuss several tools that you can consider if you’re using this method.

Gather Your Supplies

  • A Vacuum Cleaner
  • Microfiber Mops
  • Broom

Since most of you must be wondering which vacuum cleaner is the best, I’ve rounded up two perfect options you can consider.

 

· Shark Rocket HV301

 

One of the best vacuums you can consider when getting ready to clean your new hardwood floor is the Shark Rocket HV301. The reason why I selected this vacuum over hundreds of other choices is due to a couple of factors. The first one is its lightweight. At just 7 pounds, this vacuum is easy to hold and maneuver throughout the floor when cleaning.

The second feature is its high suction power which is all thanks to its 4.2 Amps motor. By combining its high suction power with the swivel steering, you’ll manage to vacuum your entire floor without a hassle.

 

· Hoover Linx SH20030

 

Another great recommendation is the Hoover Linx SH20030. This upright model uses the cyclonic technology that gives it tremendous suction power to suck any dirt, dust, and debris that comes its way. It has rubber tires at the bottom that prevents it from scratching your floor. The handle can easily recline to allow the vacuum to reach those hard to reach areas beneath your furniture.

The long 20 ft. cord allows you to clean a wider area without feeling restricted. This vacuum comes with several attachments that make it useful in cleaning both hardwood and carpeted floors.

If your hardwood floor doesn’t have a carpet, you can instead use a microfiber mop to capture more dust and dirt from getting stuck on your beautiful floor. Here are two models you can consider.

 

· Turbo Microfiber Mop

 

The Turbo Microfiber Mop is a versatile mop that boosts being efficient enough in cleaning a variety of floors. Provided your floor isn’t carpeted, this mop can do a perfect job of cleaning hardwood, tile, and laminated floors with enthusiasm. The microfiber pads have a length of 18” which is wide enough to handle expansive floors.

It also has an aluminum frame that makes it extremely light when used by both kids and seniors. The head can swivel at an angle of 360° making it much easier to use. The package comes with at least two microfiber mops that can be machine washed to be reused.

 

· Microfiber Wholesale Professional Mop

 

Just like the Turbo Microfiber Mop, this one too is fitted with a light aluminum framework that makes it easy for you to do the mopping. The mop head is 18” in length which again is wide enough to help you accomplish most of the cleaning work.

 

· O-Cedar Fast ‘N Easy Angle Broom

 

In case you need to clean small messes here and there, then you can consider using a broom which in this case is the O-Cedar Fast ‘N Easy Angle Broom. Weighing just 1.3 pounds, this broom is among the best to consider as it’s made from 80% recycled plastic bottles. The bristles are soft and are the best for cleaning tough messes that are hard to get rid of when using a soft microfiber mop or a vacuum.

 

How to Clean the Floor

Now that I’ve discussed the right tools you’ll need for your project, the next step is to commence the cleaning process.

  • Step One:

If you’re planning to do a general cleaning over the weekend, then the first step you’ll have to take is to clear your floor by moving the furniture to one side. Since heavy furniture can scratch your hardwood floor if dragged, you need to use furniture pads and coasters to help you slide the heavy stuff effortlessly without causing any damages to your floor.

However, if you have a tiny space, or maybe you’re a senior who is unable to drag the furniture around, then you can start the cleaning process immediately by taking advantage of a vacuum cleaner such as the Hoover Linx SH20030. This vacuum can easily get beneath your furniture which is a huge plus for you.

  • Step Two:

Once you’re done moving your furniture to create space, you can start by inspecting the floor to ensure there are no spills. In case of any, then you use a dry paper towel to clean the mess starting from the edges making your way to the center. This step is very critical as it will prevent you from spreading any fluids to neighboring parts of the floor.

Still while inspecting your floor, you can use a broom such as the O-Cedar Fast ‘N Easy Angle Broom to clean any food or large particles that lie on the floor. This will make it easier for you to jump to the next step.

  • Step Three:

In our next step, simply grab your vacuum or your microfiber mop and start cleaning your hardwood floor. If you’re using a vacuum, always use a brush attachment that’s specifically designed for cleaning hardwood floors.

On the other hand, if you’re using a microfiber mop, avoid repeating the same area over and over as this can cause dust and debris clinging on the mop to get back to those areas that are already clean. In case you get to those tricky corners, you can use a broom to get rid of dirt then continue vacuuming.

 

Wet Mopping Method

 

In most cases, dry mopping is considered the first step in cleaning your hardwood floor. In case there are more messes such as dried stains, spills, pet urine, and muddy shoe prints, then wet mopping is definitely the other half of your hardwood floor cleaning equation.

Gather Your Supplies

  • Damp-mop
  • Hardwood cleaning products

Now, in the case of the damp mop, you can use the regular damp mop and a bucket or you can go with my recommendation which is the Bona Hardwood Floor Premium Spray Mop. The best thing about this damp mop is its microfiber cleaning pad that’s versatile enough to work on any flooring.It’s also machine washable and wide enough to cover a large area.

About the cleaning products, I’ve opted to recommend the Weiman Wood Floor Cleaner and the Method Squirt + Mop Cleaner. The reason why I’ve selected these two products is due to their pH-neutral formulation that’s perfectly safe for both finished and prefinished hardwood surfaces.

How to Clean the Floor

  • Step One:

Since wet mopping is considered the other half of your floor cleaning equation, you will simply go straight to the point where you’ll mix your water-based cleaning product with distilled water as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Mix the two in a bucket and get ready to start mopping.

  • Step Two:

Having taken off your shoes, start by dipping the damp mop into the bucket then rinse it entirely before wiping your floor along the wood’s grains. Always clean your floor starting from the furthest corner working towards the door. This will prevent you from stepping on the already cleaned areas. In case the solution gets too dirty before you’re done, you can always replace it with fresh content to guarantee maximum efficiency.

  • Step Three:

Once you’re through cleaning, rinse, and squeegee the mop entirely to get rid of any water. Use a damp mop to rinse off any excess water from your hardwood floor. Continue repeating this step until the entire floor is dry.

You see, although most modern hardwood floors are protected by surface seals, most of these seals cannot tolerate being wet for too long. So, by rinsing the floor entirely, you’re able to get rid of any excess water which is healthy for your floor.

  • Step Four:

When cleaning, there are times when you might get close to tough stains. In case this happens, don’t feel distressed. Instead, sprinkle some cleaning solution on the affected area then use a clean microfiber cloth to scrub it over the affected area.

  • Step Five:

Now that your floor is completely clean, it’s time to make it sparkle. This step usually comes last and it’s meant to restore your floor’s former luster. So, the first step here is to mix your preferred cleaner concentrate with water according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

  • Step Six:

Next, mix the solution inside a spray bottle then get ready to spray directly on the floor. But, before you start spraying, it’s recommended that you first test the reaction by spraying it in a separate inconspicuous area. Here, you’ll be looking for any discoloration, clouding, or bubbling on your floor.

Once you’re satisfied with the results, start spraying the solution on your floor by first spraying then buffing the floor using a clean microfiber cloth. In case the floor is too wide, you can opt to use a damp mop instead.

If you’re lucky enough to own a buffing machine, then you can use it to buff your floor until it sparkles.

 

Using Homemade Floor Cleaners

 

If you have kids around, there are times when you might consider taking the DIY homemade route to reduce chemical buildup on your floor. So, if you intend to protect the environment, then you can ditch those chemical cleaning products and instead consider using vinegar. The reason why I’ve chosen vinegar is due to its immense popularity as a green cleaning product.

You Will Need

  • ¼ cup of white vinegar
  • 1 tsp of castile soap
  • 1 gallon of warm water

How to Clean the Floor

  • Step One:

Just like in our previous methods, always start by sweeping your floor using a broom to remove large debris such as sand and grit that can easily scratch your floor.

  • Step Two:

When you’re done, mix a ¼ cup of white vinegar and one tablespoon of castile soap to a 3.8-liter gallon full of warm water. Stir the content thoroughly to ensure all the vinegar plus castile soap have dissolved in the warm water.

  • Step Three:

Using your damp mop, soak it inside the bucket then rinse thoroughly before mopping the floor. Mop the entire floor strategically from one corner to the door. When moping, make sure that you pass the mop at least twice in one area to ensure that all dirt and dust particles have been wiped off the floor completely.

  • Step Four:

When mopping, you might notice some dark spots that are quite tough to remove. In the case of such stains, mix equal parts of baking soda and white vinegar. By mixing the two, you’ll form a paste that will be essential in cleaning those dark stains including spills and pet urine.

During application, you’ll only have to apply the paste on a non-abrasive sponge or a cloth then spot clean the floor by applying pressure on the affected parts.

  • Step Five:

Although it’s optional, it’s always wise to buff your floor with a clean non-abrasive sponge or a clean towel. Despite giving your floor that shiny and sparkling appeal, buffing your floor allows you to detect and wipe off any water pooling on the floor.

 

What to Avoid When Cleaning Hardwood Floor

  • When mopping hardwood floors, always avoid using cold or hot water as this can warp/dull your floor.
  • When removing tough stains, avoid using abrasive scrubbers and instead stick to soft brushes, sponges, and towels.
  • Avoid wax-based cleaners as much as possible. Such cleaners leave a thin film over the surface of your floor that can become a hiding spot for dust.
  • Never clean your floor with your shoes on. This can easily scratch your floor in case you step on large debris such as sand and grit.
  • Avoid leaving the floor wet. Always wipe it dry and if possible, use a towel to buff it until it’s entirely dry.

 

Conclusion

As you can see from this guide, cleaning your hardwood floor doesn’t cost you the whole world. With the right tools and information, you don’t have to wait for the weekend to clean your floor. Instead, you can develop a ritual of spot cleaning your hardwood floor every time you spot small messes. This way, you’ll maintain your floor’s beautiful luster for a long time without allowing it to fade or wear out.

Lastly, this insightful guide has discussed three major methods you can consider when cleaning your hardwood floor. I’ve discussed professional methods and concluded by discussing a homemade method you can employ if you want to avoid chemical buildup on your floor.

So, with that said I just hope this guide was both helpful and insightful. Please share these tips with your friends and family and most importantly, don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Hardwood floors are very expensive to install. Although they’re hailed for their outstanding characteristics when matched with your indoor acoustics, hardwood floors require a high level of maintenance to keep them glossy and long-lasting. Now, if you have a canine friend around, it’s likely that you’ll focus on protecting your floor against scratches and food stains. But wait. There’s one more thing you need to be worried about; dog urine. Since this is an inevitable situation, the first thing you’ll need to learn immediately you install a new floor is how to remove dog urine from hardwood floors.

You see, your dog is part of your family and much like your toddlers; they can also cause messes that can happen unintentionally. Even after potty training your dog for a long time, accidents can occur inevitably due to old age, sickness, anxiety, or if your dog was left inside for too long. Since you can’t just fold your hands and cry over spilled milk, cleaning the mess as soon as possible is the very first step you need to consider. Thankfully, this guide has gathered inspiration from experts to discuss how exactly you’re supposed to remove dog urine from your expensive hardwood floor.

 

How to Remove Dog Urine from Hardwood Floors: Step by Step Guide

 

What Should You Do Immediately You Notice Dog Stains?

Pet stains and pet odor are some of the things that can create black marks that can warrant a quick acknowledgment on your hardwood floor. However, since we love our dogs so dearly, the first step you should take immediately you notice it is to clean the mess as soon as possible. At least by taking quick action, you’ll manage to tackle the urine before it can get soaked into the wood.

So, to remove the urine, you need to pick a cloth or a paper towel then blot the urine starting with the edges then working your way to the center. At least by doing this, you’ll remove much of the urine without allowing it to spread further which could damage a larger area.

Once you’ve removed much of the urine, the next step is to use any of the five methods we’ll be discussing just below to tackle the stain and the potential unpleasant smell from your hardwood floor.

 

Do Dog Urine Affect Hardwood Floors?

 

Most pet parents with hardwood floorings in their homes usually keep asking this question over and over again. To give you a simple answer, hardwood floors, whether laminated or not, are highly susceptible to dog urine. This, in fact, can get worse if your dog urinates in an area you haven’t noticed forcing the fluid to soak into the wood. With that said, this section will discuss at least four ways that dog urine can affect your hardwood floor.

  • Staining and Discoloration:

Have you ever realized that dogs tend to pee on the same spot repeatedly? If your dog tends to pee on the same spot in your backyard, you’ll slowly start to realize that grass around that area will turn from the usual green color to yellowish. Since urine contains powerful chemicals such as uric acid, the same will happen to your hardwood floor where the acid in the urine will act as a bleach to stain and discolor your floor.

Unless you use the right cleaning procedure, cleaning your hardwood floor using the usual water and rug will only make things worse as the chemicals will remain on your floor and continue forming noticeable spots.

  • Corrosion:

If you fail to clean your hardwood floor using the recommended procedures, the urine will slowly start to eat your floor causing corrosion. Just as we’ve mentioned, dog urine contains a mixture of uric acid and ammonia.

Uric acid starts by eating the protective layer on top of your floor. Once your floor is exposed, ammonia takes over by activating bacteria that slowly penetrates the wood’s grains to cause further damage. What happens eventually is that your floor will get corroded from the first plank to the neighboring planks. In the end, the only remedy will be replacing the entire floor.

  • Smell:

Unlike cats, dogs’ urine is much worse as it contains a mix of uric acid and ammonia. Failure to clean your hardwood floor paves way for the urine to soak into the wood’s grain causing it to perforate. As the wooden planks perforate, ammonia penetrates deep inside causing your floor to release a noticeable odor.

  • Swelling:

Although hardwood floors are protected with polish or a layer of lamination to prevent fluids from penetrating, this is usually not the case with dog urine. Due to the harsh chemicals contained in the urine, bleaching can occur which can damage the protective layer on top to allow urine to penetrate through.

When urine penetrates deep into the grains, your floor is likely to swell over time making the damage irreversible. Over time, this will force you to completely replace your floor which is both annoying and expensive.

 

How Do You Remove Urine From Your Hardwood Floor?

 

Now that we’ve discussed a few pointers related to dog urine, this guide will now get into the main topic to discuss a detailed step-by-step procedure on how you’re supposed to remove dog urine from your expensive hardwood floor.

 

Part One: Potty Train Your Dog

 

The first step of preserving your floor against the harsh effects of your dog’s urine is by teaching them how to use the litter box. In most cases, puppies use the litter box at least every 30 minutes while adult dogs take longer. Always praise your dog whenever it uses the litter box and avoid scolding them whatsoever. Lastly, always have a rug put in place to clean any mess during the training stages.

 

Part Two: Use Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Step One:

If you have already potty trained your dog then you notice it has messed up on your floor, the next possible step is to clean the mess immediately. So, the first step you should take when removing your dog’s urine from the floor is to use an absorbent cloth to blot the wetness.

This is a very important procedure that allows you to soak the urine by confining it in a small area rather than smearing it across the floor. At least by reducing the area of contamination, you’ll have an easy time cleaning a small area rather than a large spot.

  • Step Two:

Once you’ve removed much of the urine by blotting it with a cloth or several paper towels, the next step is to use an effective chemical cleaner that will remove the urine stain and the odor completely. In this case, it would be best to start with hydrogen peroxide as it’s a home-made cleaning solution that contains two molecules of oxygen that makes it an oxidizer.

  • Step Three:

To start, mix equal measures of hydrogen peroxide and water then pour it inside a spray bottle.

  • Step Four:

With the help of a sponge, pour the hydrogen peroxide mixture directly on the affected area and scrub gently.

  • Step Five: If you notice the stain or blemish is too tough to get off easily, you can switch to the next step which is leaving the affected area covered with a cloth or a paper towel soaked with hydrogen peroxide.

Note: Although hydrogen peroxide has some bleaching properties, they’re mild and are usually considered as safe when used on hardwood floors. Although the affected area will be easily noticeable, you can easily mask the area by sanding the floor and reapplying the wood finish.

 

Part Three: Using Baking Soda

 

Another DIY option you can consider to remove a dog’s urine from your hardwood floor is by using baking soda. As you all know, baking soda is hailed for its alkaline characteristics that allow it to neutralize the acidic content found in your dog’s urine. So, by using baking soda, you’ll generally be neutralizing the uric acid and masking the tangy stink of ammonia. To use baking soda, here are a few steps you can follow.

  • Step One: Just as you did it in the previous method, the first step is to soak as much urine as possible from the floor using paper towels.
  • Step Two: Once you’re sure most of the urine has been blotted and removed, proceed to sprinkle baking soda on the affected area.
  • Step Three: Next, cover the area with another paper cloth and leave it to rest overnight. At least by leaving it overnight, you’ll give the baking soda enough time to soak the wetness of the urine and prevent ammonia from penetrating deep into the wood’s grain.
  • Step Four: Once all the urine has been soaked, remove the paper towel and vacuum the area to clear the residual baking soda. In case there are some noticeable spots, you can consider repeating this procedure a few times until you’re confident your hardwood floor has been restored to its prime.

 

Part Four: White Vinegar and Grapefruit Oil

 

Another natural solution you can consider when removing your dog’s urine from your precious hardwood floor is by using a combination of white vinegar and grapefruit. Now, one advantage of using this method is the fact that both of these ingredients are readily available in your modern kitchen.

Secondly, vinegar has mild bleaching properties and has a sharp natural deodorizing agent. Thankfully, to mask the harsh sparks of vinegar, you need to add a few drops of grapefruit oil which has a natural citrus smell and highly potent antimicrobial properties. So, to clean your floor here’s a procedure you can follow.

  • Step One: As usual, start by using several paper towels to soak the urine to prevent it from spreading to neighboring planks.
  • Step Two: Once the floor is dry, mix the white vinegar with a few drops of grapefruit oil. Since the surface of your floor can be damaged by excess water, add the mixture of the vinegar plus grapefruit oil inside a spray bottle to use it instead of pouring water on the floor.
  • Step Three: Once everything is set, spray the solution on your floor focusing more on the most prominent areas. Use a sponge or a cloth to scrub the spots until the entire floor is clean.

 

Part Five: Using Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda, and Dish Soap

 

When using either baking soda or hydrogen peroxide, you have to wait for long hours to give the treatment time to soak. Now, if you’re not in a position to wait for such long hours, then you can consider using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap. In some cases, the hydrogen peroxide is switched with distilled vinegar to do the same.

  • Step One: While the previous methods were specifically meant to clean fresh urine, this last method is intended to clean urine that has already dried up. Since the urine is already dry and tough, you’ll first have to mix these ingredients to form a tough cleaning solution.
  • Step Two: Pick a bowl and mix the hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of liquid-dishwashing liquid. Sometimes you can substitute the hydrogen peroxide with distilled vinegar depending on what’s available.
  • Step Three: Next, pour some mixture on the affected area and use a dry cloth to scrub the area gently. Allow some of the solution to seep through the affected area into the wood’s grain to help neutralize the ammonia and the uric acid that has already penetrated through.
  • Step Four: If you have enough time, you can leave the solution on your wood for a few hours to allow it to remove the stench and stain that has already penetrated. After an hour or so, you can finalize your cleaning ritual by using a microfiber mop to clean the affected areas thoroughly.

 

Conclusion

Other than the methods I’ve highlighted here, other options you can consider when removing urine from your hardwood floor is by using a white vinegar plus baking soda solution or using an enzymatic cleaner. Using enzymatic cleaners is one of the most sure-fire ways of removing urine from your floor.

By spraying the solution on the affected area, the enzymes in the cleaner, which have various biological molecules, dissolve into the urine to break down ammonia and uric acid to destroy their toxicity.

As you can see, removing your dog’s urine from your precious hardwood floor can be quite frustrating as it can always leave stains, discoloration, and odor in your indoor environment. Thankfully, with the five methods I’ve discussed above, cleaning around your floor will be safe, fast, and easy as each of these methods is natural and safe when used around your pets, kids, and the rest of the family.

If you own or work in a large commercial-grade setting, then you’re aware of how tedious it can be to clean the entire space. Since cleaning the floor to remove blemishes and other clutter is quite inevitable, it’s important to pay close attention to the type of vacuum being used to ensure the health of your guests, visitors, and employees is safeguarded at all times. In our case, a commercial vacuum is a perfect alternative that will keep the job done. But wait.Have you ever thought of the different types of commercial vacuums cleaner that are available?

You see, following the advancement in modern technology, commercial vacuum cleaners are now available in different variations to help handle a variety of cleaning assignments. Now, on average, a commercial cleaning worker spends approximately 3 hours cleaning a space. With such a huge amount of time being spent daily, having an idea about the different types of commercial vacuums can help you choose a specific model that will increase workers’ productivity and help to lower the cleaning time. With that said, this short guide will roundup five major types of commercial vacuums alongside their features, pros, and cons to help you make an informed decision.

 

Different Types of Commercial Vacuums Cleaner: A Complete Guide

 

What is a Commercial Vacuum?

A commercial vacuum cleaner is a large and heavy-duty type of vacuum that’s designed to handle mammoth cleaning assignments in expansive floors. Since these vacuums are intended to be used a few hours each day, they’re designed with special features that include large filter bags, fans, belts, and powerful motors to provide high suction power.

Unlike regular vacuums that are susceptible to regular wear, commercial vacuums are professionally built in a manner that they can withstand everyday knocks and heavy-duty work without having to be serviced routinely.

 

Why Choose a Commercial Vacuum?

 

The success of any business premise is impacted by a myriad of factors some of which are external and others internal. Looking at the internal side of a business, its success depends on how safe and determined the staff is. One way of guaranteeing healthy and effective teamwork is by cleaning the workspace to keep the employees healthy and free from illnesses.

While most people trust the efforts of their cleaners, what they tend to forget are the benefits of employing a commercial vacuum cleaner. In this section, I will discuss several benefits of having a commercial vacuum as part of your office staff.

  • Cost-Effective:

When buying a commercial vacuum for the first time, most people will argue that the initial cost is much higher than that of buying a regular vacuum. However, if you consider the long-term costs you’ll have to incur in repairs and parts replacement, you’ll realize that a commercial vacuum is a much cheaper route.

Secondly, commercial vacuums are intended to clean vast areas. This makes them more useful as you’ll end up spending less time cleaning without worrying about the machine getting jammed or getting overwhelmed after working for long hours.

  • Time-Saving:

Another benefit of employing a commercial vacuum is the short time it takes to clean a large area. Now, take an example of a janitor straining to clean the walkway in the reception area or cleaning a large conference hall. When using a commercial vacuum, cleaning will take a much shorter time meaning you won’t have to collide with incoming and outgoing visitors on a business premise.

Also, by investing in a commercial vacuum, the time, the energy, and the manpower spent will generally be reduced as you’ll need a few people to complete the cleaning chores.

  • Excellent Cleaning:

Commercial vacuum cleaners are designed for heavy use. This makes them exceptional in cleaning large areas both in terms of speed and efficiency. Since these vacuums are rigorously tested for efficiency, most manufacturers strive to make them superior by adding strong suction power, motor power, better energy efficiency, and a couple of features and technologies to boost their performance.

  1. Environmentally Safe:

Since most commercial vacuums are intended to be used for health critical applications such as in hospitals, most manufacturers fit them with excellent cleaning features to prevent contaminants from leaking to the environment.

Some of these special features include the HEPA filtration system that’s excellent in trapping microbes and contaminants from the air. Another feature is the safe disposal mechanism that allows you to dispose of dust, dirt, and allergens without allowing them to leak to the environment.

 

Types of Commercial Vacuum Cleaners

 

Now that we’ve discussed some major benefits of employing a commercial vacuum cleaner to your daily cleaning rituals, this guide will now move on to discuss the different types of commercial vacuum cleaners that are available.

  • 1. Canister Vacuum

The canister vacuum is one of the most popular offerings in the commercial sector. This type of commercial vacuum is among the best in cleaning large floor areas as it’s packed with the much-needed torque to keep the job done. These vacuums are designed with extra-long hoses that are flexible enough to reach profile areas when cleaning. They also have very long cords that are flexible enough to prevent tension.

Other than their light maneuverable heads, these types of commercial vacuums are lenient enough to allow a variety of attachments to be added on to help you clean a vast range of floor types from carpeted floors, hardwood to tile floors.

When it comes to maneuverability, these vacuums are fitted with wheels at the bottom with the front wheels being multi-directional to eliminate drag. Equipped with very powerful motors, canister vacuums are among the best in cleaning commercial spaces thanks to their high suction power and the ability to allow a variety of specialized attachments to be added on.

Advantages

  • They’re easy to push around thanks to the multi-directional wheels.
  • The ability to allow specialized attachments makes these vacuums the best for cleaning mixed flooring.
  • The handle is light and long enough to provide some freedom when cleaning.
  • Great suction power saves you time and man-power.

Disadvantages

  • The long cords and hoses restrict these vacuums from being used in high-traffic areas to prevent possible tripping hazards.
  • The long attachments require you to have immense storage space.

 

  • 2. Upright Variants

The next type of vacuum that’s totally different from our previous canister vacuum is the upright vacuum. While the movement of the canister vacuum is hugely restricted by its huge dirt collection bag, the upright variant is immensely flexible thanks to its design. This type of vacuum consists of a cleaning head and a tall handle that stands vertically.

Upright vacuums are fitted with long handles and brush rolls that have wheels at the bottom. They have a dirt collection bag for easy storage of debris though some models are bagless. The cords are usually long to make cleaning quite easy as you won’t have to keep unplugging it time after time when cleaning.

Now, to give a competitive edge, most manufacturers are releasing cordless versions of the upright vacuum. Since the corded versions are sometimes disliked due to the clutter they create with their long cords, most institutions are considering cordless versions instead.

Advantages

  • Upright vacuums are available in both single and twin motors.
  • Since everything lies on the vertical handle, these vacuums are compact making storage a breeze.
  • They’re available in both corded and cordless versions.

Disadvantages

  • Since the dirt collection bag is fitted on the handle, it’s hard to maneuver these vacuums since they’re already heavy.
  • Cleaning profile areas such as corners are quite challenging.

 

  • 3. Backpack Vacuums

Another type of vacuum cleaner that fits the commercial category quite well is the backpack vacuum. This type of vacuum is quite new to most cleaners as it’s not as vocal as the ones we’ve already discussed. However, the idea of carrying it at the back like a backpack seems to impress most users as it makes this vacuum both versatile and flexible enough to be used in almost any location.

Since these vacuums are intended to be carried on the back, they’re usually lightweight and perfectly loaded with ergonomic pads to reduce user fatigue when vacuuming. They also increase efficiency and productivity as you can easily vacuum while still moving stuff with your hands to create space.

These vacuums are available in both corded and cordless versions with the cordless variants being the most dominant. They help to reduce clutter and are heavily considered as the best option when cleaning high traffic or congested areas such as conference halls and walkways near the reception areas.

Advantages

  • The best for cleaning busy and heavily congested areas.
  • Since they’re lightweight, carrying them and maneuvering around hard to reach areas is quite easy.
  • They can be used for cleaning stairways, carpets, and hard floors such as hardwood, laminated, and tile floors.

Disadvantages

  • Since most are cordless, recharging the batteries will cost you a lot of your time.
  • The design of these vacuums makes them quite pricey.

 

  • 4. Handheld Vacuum

Another commercial vacuum that has been available for quite a long time is the handheld variant. Having appeared first in 1979, this type of commercial vacuum is hugely regarded for being the best in spot cleaning large areas especially high traffic areas.

Their featherweight nature makes them highly portable making them the best in spot cleaning stairways, moldings, and drapes. They’re available in either corded or cordless versions depending on your needs.

Advantages

  • Since they’re small and lightweight, these vacuums are the best in spot cleaning profile areas.
  • They have a high suction power that makes them the best in cleaning even wet residue.
  • They can be paired with multiple accessories to make cleaning a breeze.

Disadvantages

  • Since they’re tiny, you’ll need to empty the dust cup and clean the filters more frequently.
  • If you happen to choose a cordless model, recharging the battery more frequently will force you to waste a lot of your time.

 

  • 5. Wet/Dry Vacuum

Last, in my list, we’re going to discuss the wet/dry vacuum cleaner. Now, just as its name suggests, the wet/dry vacuum is designed to clean a myriad of floors with both wet and dry residue. They have a sophisticated motor system that doesn’t get damaged when fluids are sucked.

Wet/dry vacuums are not so picky like most other vacuums I’ve discussed here. That’s because their heads are easily paired with common accessories to make cleaning a breeze. They can be used to clean both carpeted and hard floors without any problem.

Advantages

  • They’re versatile enough to clean both wet and dry litter on your floor.
  • They can be paired with a variety of attachments to clean profile areas.

Disadvantages

  • The commercial model of the wet/dry vacuum is very loud and quite heavy.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you thought that commercial vacuum cleaners were not available in different variants, then think again. These vacuums come in five different variations that help to improve productivity. So, whether it’s cleaning soils, spills, dirt, or any other type of slurry after a wet mopping procedure, commercial vacuums will always be the perfect choice you’ve got either in your office or in your home.

The need to clean our homes has existed since Godzilla was just a little lizard. Since our homes are the places we turn to after a long busy day, it’s important to have them cleaned routinely to keep off allergens and other forms of bacteria. In the past, cleaning our homes involved using manual methods that were both tiring and time-consuming. Thankfully, since the invention of the vacuum cleaner, housekeeping and cleaning have totally been revolutionized as you only need a handheld or an upright vacuum cleaner to keep the job done. But wait, choosing a vacuum cleaner doesn’t seem as easy as it sounds. You need to make a firm choice between a commercial vacuum vs residential vacuum cleaner if you really need to make a statement in your cleaning rituals.

The first powered vacuum cleaner made its debut back in 1901 thanks to a British engineer, Hubert Cecil Booth. Since then, major improvements were evidenced that made the vacuum one of the most important power tools in most homes today. But, despite its significant evolution, most homeowners have found themselves in a major dilemma of choosing between a commercial and a residential vacuum cleaner. Due to this reason, this guide has offered to dig deep below these two worlds to discuss the major differences between these two vacuum cleaners. If you feel you’re ready, then let’s begin.

 

Commercial Vacuum Vs. Residential Vacuum Cleaner: An Ultimate Guide

Residential Vacuum Cleaner

 

A Brief History of the Vacuum Cleaner

Before I proceed to discuss the differences between commercial and residential vacuum cleaners, I think it’s wise if I could first discuss a brief history of this sort-after home appliance. In the modern lifestyle, a home is never complete without the noise of a vacuum cleaner. Tasked to suck out dust and grime from your home, a vacuum is a major household necessity that every homeowner cannot do without. But, despite its huge contribution, how much do you really know about its genesis?

Now, the vacuum cleaner’s humble beginning started with the broom. Later on, in the 1850s, Hiram Herrick of Boston patented a mechanical sweeper that became a less tedious, more efficient alternative as compared to the broom.

From the 1850s to the 1890s, more improvements to the mechanical sweeper were evidenced such as the Whirlwind (invented by Ives W. McGaffey in 1868) and the pneumatic carpet renovator (invented by John S. Thurman in 1892).

However, it wasn’t until 1901 that the first vacuum cleaner (the Puffing Billy) was invented thanks to the efforts of structural engineer Hubert Cecil Booth. In 1907, the first electric vacuum was invented by James Murray Spangler. Designed with a rotating brush and a motorized fun, this vacuum marked a major breakthrough in the world of handheld vacuums.

However, following lack of finances to run the company, Spangler asked for help from his cousin Susan Hoover whose husband, William Hoover, went ahead to acquire the company from Spangler. Later in the years, Hoover went on to add sophisticated features and technology into the vacuums making the business more successful than ever before.

Today, other big names such as Black & Decker, Roomba, and James Dyson have joined the market making the vacuum business one of the most sophisticated markets one can ever think of.

 

Commercial vs. Residential Vacuum Cleaner

 

Now that I’ve discussed a brief history of the vacuum cleaner, my next focus is to look at a few common differences between the commercial and the residential vacuum cleaners. At least with the right information, you won’t get to the point of using a commercial vacuum to clean a residential space or use a regular vacuum to clean a vast industrial space.

  • Price

The first major difference that comes to mind when comparing commercial to residential vacuums is the price range. Now, residential vacuums on their end are much smaller in size as compared to their commercial counterparts. They also have fewer features and less complex attachments that make them less pricey.

On the other hand, commercial vacuums can cost much initially. They’re bigger and come with more advanced features that make them efficient. However, since these vacuums are designed to handle huge cleaning assignments, they’re more robust, meaning there’s less breakage or mechanical issues. This means your vacuum will require fewer repairs which is not the case with residential vacuums.

  • Versatility and Flexibility

When it comes to versatility and flexibility, commercial vacuums are generally the best as they’re engineered with great suction power that allows them to suck huge amounts of dirt and debris. To make things even more interesting, these vacuums are designed with unique capabilities that allow them to suck liquids, large pieces of trash, wood, and metal debris without getting punctured.

Some models even go to the point of incorporating steam cleaning capabilities that allow them to efficiently clean different floor types that require specific cleaning methods. Lastly, since industrial vacuums are designed to clean expansive floor spaces, they’re engineered with long special power cords that are resistant to regular stretching and tension.

Residential vacuums on the other hand may not be able to offer the tremendous amount of suction power offered by their industrial cousins. However, these small vacuums cannot just go down without a fight. Therefore, they’ve managed to make up for their size disadvantage by offering customers plenty of attachments that can be used to clean virtually any space in your home.

Therefore, with these vacuums, you’ll be getting various attachments such as soft-tip brushes, narrow-ended crevice tools, squeegee attachments, and a variety of motorized nozzles for cleaning different types of floors.

  • Capacity

Perhaps one of the reasons why commercial vacuums are considered for large industrial use is their huge capacity. Since they’re intended to clean expansive floor spaces, these vacuums are fitted with large filter bags that allow you to vacuum for longer hours without having to empty them. As a result, commercial vacuums save you time that could otherwise have been lost when emptying the filter bags.

Residential vacuums on the other hand are small and lightweight. Although that’s a huge benefit, what’s worrying about them is the amount of time that’s lost when making several trips to the trash bin to empty their tiny filter bags. Although their featherweight advantage will make carrying quite easy, you’ll end up spending a lot of time cleaning especially if you’re cleaning the entire house from the ground floor to the rooms upstairs.

  • Ease of Operation

The operation process of these two vacuum cleaners is very different. The commercial vacuum on its side is larger due to the enormous cleaning work it shoulders. As a result, this type of vacuum is heavyweight making it extremely difficult to push around when cleaning. These cleaners also have more advanced electronic features that can demand only an experienced user to operate them.

This is not the case with residential vacuums that are small, light, and very easy to use. In fact, their lighter weights make them the best for kids and senior users as pushing and carrying them around will not be a huge burden.

  • HEPA Filtration

One of the major benefits of commercial vacuums is their ability to reduce micro-particles such as pollen, dust, dead skin, and pet hair from your indoor environment. To do this, these vacuums take advantage of the HEPA filters that are hailed for their high-efficiency in removing nearly 99.99% of airborne particles from the air.

Unlike regular vacuums, commercial vacuums are rigorously tested and certified to meet HEPA needs since they’re usually used in hospitals, hotels, and other areas that require people to stay in allergen-free environments.

Although residential vacuums are not thoroughly tested for HEPA requirements, you need to be very keen when choosing these vacuums by ensuring they have HEPA filters onboard.

  • Power and Durability

From what we’ve already seen, commercial vacuums are designed to cater to huge cleaning assignments such as in hospitals, conference halls, motels, and walkways around reception areas. Since these areas receive high foot traffic, cleaning dirt, dust, spills, and debris will require a commercial vacuum with high suction power that’s nearly 10 times that of a regular vacuum.

With such high suction power, dust and dirt cannot circulate back to the air to cause respiratory issues. Also, cleaning is made much easier as you won’t have to spot clean one area a couple of times like it’s the case with residential vacuums.

Now, although residential vacuums are sometimes condemned for lack of enough power, some specific brands and models offer just enough power to handle daily cleaning duties. So, when making your choice, ensure that at a very minimum, you get a vacuum that has at least 4 Amps to avoid being disappointed at the end.

As for durability, commercial vacuums are hailed for being durable and long-lasting thanks to the high-quality materials used to manufacture them. They’re also fitted with longer-lasting motors that are powerful enough to resist shock and knocks.

Although residential vacuums are made of lighter materials, their light weights make them easier to maintain. Also, repair costs are quite low as most of the replacement parts are easily available in your local stores at affordable prices.

 

Conclusion

So, in case you’ve been caught up between a commercial and a residential vacuum during your research, then I believe this guide has navigated you back on course. As you can see, this guide has offered you valuable information regarding these two vacuums to help you make an informed decision before partying with your hard-earned money.

Lastly, most of you must be asking which between these two vacuums should end up in your home. To answer this question, let me say that both of these vacuums are perfect and their performance varies depending on how you wish to use them. For instance, if you’re looking for a vacuum to cater for light cleaning tasks, then a residential vacuum is the best to consider. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a vacuum to handle mammoth cleaning tasks, then a commercial version will be a perfect choice.

Now that you’re fully satisfied, please share your thoughts or your experience with vacuum cleaners and what you think about commercial vs. residential vacuum cleaner.

Whether you’ve just owned a new home or you’re simply looking to revamp your old home to meet your home improvement dream, transforming your floor is one factor that can’t miss in your wish list. But, when you think of ripping off your floor, most homeowners perceive it as a complex endeavor that can be challenging to accomplish. What they tend to forget is that there’s a hardwood floor removal tool that can be considered to turn this complex task into a simple DIY project.

Now, the reason why most homeowners shy away from hiring professionals to remove existing hardwood floors is due to the hefty costs incurred. Most professionals charge around $2-$3 to remove a square foot of hardwood flooring which can turn out to be super expensive if you have a large room. Thankfully, this guide has come to rescue enthusiast DIYers by discussing some of the key tools you’re supposed to consider when ripping off your existing hardwood floor. Please read on.

Related Post: Hardwood floor cleaner

 

Hardwood Floor Removal Tool: A Complete Guide

 

Why Do You Need To Remove Your Existing Hardwood Floor?

Now, let’s imagine you’ve just moved into a new home. The first step you’ll need to take before you can move your stuff inside is to inspect the entire house to ensure it’s in perfect condition. Here, you’ll need to inspect the walls, the ceiling, the plumbing lines, and the floor to decide whether you’ll need to revamp them or not.

If we specifically focus on hardwood flooring, you’ll realize that three major factors can force you to remove the existing floor to replace it with a new one.

  • One of those is when the existing floor is badly damaged. In such a scenario, you’ll have to remove the remaining planks to pave way for the installation of new hardwood flooring.
  • The second reason is if the existing flooring fails to meet your aesthetic needs. You see, hardwood floors come in many variations ranging from honey oak, cherry, maple, walnut, ash to mahogany floorings. They also come in different categories such as unfinished vs. finished and solid vs. engineered. Since you already have a choice in mind, removing the existing flooring to replace it with your favorite option will be a logical move.
  • The third and last reason why you might be pushed to replace your existing flooring is to lower the height of your floor. There are some cases when you discover the hardwood flooring on your new home was installed over several layers of subfloors. In such a case, removing a few layers will be necessary to lower the floor to make it easier to open the doors and to fit custom made furniture will tall heights.

When removing existing hardwood flooring, there are several ways you can choose to accomplish this task. You can take the shortest route that involves removing the planks without considering recycling them or you can choose to remove them with a bit of care to ensure they remain in good condition.

Since removing hardwood flooring requires you to have the right tools, this guide will focus on discussing each of these tools to help you understand what each of them is tasked to do. For easy visualization, I will discuss these tools in order according to the exact steps you’ll have to follow when tearing off your existing hardwood floor.

  1. Floor Tape

To start the project, you have to mark the floor to determine the exact point you’ll be starting from. Although some people might consider using a pencil or a marker pen, floor tape is a perfect choice. You see, hardwood floors are not the same. In the case of laminated or oil/polyurethane polished floors, a pencil cannot work perfectly. Therefore, you need to have a floor tape for you to make visible marks.

  1. Tarps

Once you’ve marked the area you’ll be cutting, the next step is to cover those parts you’ll not be touching. If you’re removing the hardwood flooring to renovate your floor, you may find that even after removing your furniture and electronics, some appliances might not be removed such as a custom-made wall unit or cupboard in the dining area.

Since some of these accessories might be sensitive to dust, covering them is the best approach you can consider. So, if that’s the case, the perfect tools needed for this task are plastic tarps. Therefore, when laying down your tools, you’ll need plastic tarps to cover your furniture or electronics to protect them from dust.

  1. Working Gear

Before you commence the project, always remember to wear protective gear. This is one area most DIYers go wrong as they assume that removing hardwood floors is an easy task. Although these are not removal tools, wearing protective working gear will keep your body safe.

For instance, a pair of goggles will protect your delicate eyeballs from dust and flying debris, a pair of gloves will protect your hands against splinters and blisters, earbuds will protect your ears from the noisy power tools, a dust mask will prevent you from inhaling the dust, knee caps for the knees and closed shoes with thick soles will protect your feet when stepping on pins and pointed nails.

  1. Trim Puller/Utility Knife

Once you’ve put on the right gear, the next step is to commence the removal process. Here, you will be starting with removing the baseboard. Since you need to be gentle enough to salvage the baseboard in case you decide to reuse it, you will need to use a utility knife, a box cutter, or a painter’s tool to scrape off any paint or drywall paper lying between the wall and the baseboard. You will also need a marker pen to mark the baseboard and the wall to which it’s attached on to make it easier for you to return it after you’ve installed a new floor.

To pry the baseboard from the wall, you will need the trim puller. What you do with this tool is that you position it between the baseboard and the wall then use a mallet or a sledgehammer to gently tap the trim puller. This strategy will allow you to pry the baseboard from the wall without causing any damages.

  1. Dremel Multi-Max

Still, on the baseboard, there are times when nails make it extremely difficult to pry the baseboard from the wall. Since you need the baseboard to maintain its structure without getting damaged, a more advanced tool will be needed. In this case, a Dremel multi-max is what you need to consider.

By equipping it with a metal blade, this versatile 5HP tool will allow you to shred those stubborn pins and nails that might be preventing the baseboard from coming off. The tool is easy to handle and it offers you enough clearance to coordinate the cutting process without damaging your wall or the baseboard.

  1. Circular Saw

Once you’re through with the baseboard, the next step is to cut the boards into smaller sections for fast removal. In my case here, I will be quite picky on how I cut the boards as I will be reusing them in another project. Therefore, since I won’t be throwing the old hardwood flooring away, I will make sure that I remove the planks with extreme care.

So, the next tool you’ll be using here is a circular saw. This tool is considered the backbone of any hardwood removal project as it makes the work much easier than considering manual ways. Since it’s an electric saw, the circular saw can either be corded or cordless. In most cases, DIYers consider the cordless version to get rid of the annoying cables that can create a lot of clutter.

When using this tool, you need to be really careful with how deep the blade penetrates. Since most hardwood boards are ⁵⁄₈” to ¾ “ thick, you need to ensure that the blade doesn’t penetrate beyond the plank’s thickness to prevent puncturing the subfloor.

Lastly, when cutting the boards using a circular saw, you need to cut across perpendicularly to minimize the risk of cutting through nails and pins which can damage the blade.

  1. Pry Bar

Once you’re through cutting the hardwood planks, the next step is to pry the planks by getting them off the subfloor. Whether the planks were installed using the floating, gluing, or nailing method, the pry bar is the perfect tool you’ll be using to accomplish this tedious task.

To do this, position the “J” end of the pry bar between the already sliced planks and the subfloor. Pick a mallet and hit the pry bar gently to pry up the planks. Since you’ll need the wooden planks later on, you need to be very gentle with the removal process to avoid damaging the planks. As you can see, this step requires the use of two major tools that are the pry bar and a mallet.

  1. Nail Claw and Curved Vice Grips

After you’ve pried up the entire floor, you will notice that your floor has nails and staples lying all over. The worst thing is that these nails/staples are attached to the subfloor so removing them will require you to use a special tool. Thankfully, a nail claw and curved vice grips are the perfect tools you can consider at this stage.

If the floor you’re working on is quite expansive, you might need to use a nail claw as it’s much faster. With this tool, all you need to do is simply pop it under the nail or staple then pop the nail claw right up to remove the nail/staple.

On the other hand, if the floor you’re working on is quite small, then you can opt to use a pair of Vice Grips to squeeze the nails out of the subfloor.

  1. A Magnet

After removing all the nails and staples from the subfloor, you’ll notice that all that is left is nothing short of debris which includes wooden and metal debris. Since the wooden planks are easy to remove, the tiny nails and staples will require you to pass a magnet all over the floor to pick all these debris.

  1. Floor Scraper

With most of the debris already out of the way, the next step is to use a floor scraper to remove any remaining nails, glues, and staples. If you’re looking to install hardwood flooring over a large area, then considering this tool means that you’ll accomplish the job much faster than if you’re using a nail claw and a curved vice grip.

In addition to that, a floor scraper allows you to remove any dried glue from the carpet when removing it. It also allows you to remove paint and other adhesives when readying the subfloor.

  1. Vacuum/Brush

So, once you’re through collecting all the nails and staples lying on the subfloor, the next step is to vacuum the floor to make it spotlessly clean. Here, you can use a brush to clean the floor then use a dust collector tool to pick up all the dirt and dispose of it in a bin. Alternatively, you can opt to use a vacuum to clean the entire floor. For large floors, a vacuum is a perfect alternative as it saves you time.

 

Conclusion

Once you’re through vacuuming the floor, the last step is to salvage your wooden planks to reuse them in another project or to donate them. As you can see, removing hardwood flooring is not just a walk in the pack. You need to have the right tools ready to make the process fast and as efficient as possible especially if you’re planning to salvage the planks to reuse them in another project.

Although some tools seem to be a hefty investment when it comes to buying them, the best thing with most of them is that they’re affordable and readily available in your local store. With that said, this two-in-one guide has discussed both the tools and the steps you’ll need to follow when removing your hardwood floor.

Whether you’re building your retirement home or you’re simply renovating your old mansion to give it a new look, one area of concern you can’t afford to shy away from is the type of flooring you’ll need. At a glance, this topic doesn’t seem to create debate as there are myriad options available. But, if you take a closer look, you’ll realize that a floor isn’t just a floor. You need a floor that will make a statement and above all, a floor that’s sleek, durable, breathable, and dynamic enough to blend with your home’s interior acoustics. For this reason, a hardwood floor is a perfect option you can ever rely on. But, there’s one huge preposition you need to think of; do you know how to install hardwood floors?

You see, the reason why I’ve asked this question is because most homeowners love the idea of installing hardwood floors to enjoy its myriad benefits. Unfortunately, one look at the cost of installing hardwood flooring professionally scares them away forcing them to drop this option right at the bottom of their home improvement wish lists. What they don’t realize actually is that this dream can be made a reality if you can consider taking the DIY route.

Related Post: Best Hardwood Floor Cleaner

How to Install Hardwood Floors: Step by Step Guide

 

If you’re tired of having regular floors that can’t keep up with the test of nature, then a hardwood floor is the way to go. Since the installation prices demanded by professionals are likely to ruin your home improvement dreams, this guide has come to encourage you to take the gun into your own hands by offering a detailed step-by-step procedure on how to install hardwood floors.

But, before we begin, I would like to highlight some warm-up steps you’ll need to follow during your initial preparation. These steps will help you distinguish the different types of hardwood floors including the patterns and the plank width. Please read on to learn more.

 

How Do You Choose Hardwood Flooring?

 

Since you’ve chosen to take the DIY route, there are a couple of factors you need to familiarize yourself with before you commence the project. These factors are key throughout the project and can affect the overall outcome of your flooring if you fail to follow them keenly.

  • Solid vs. Engineered Flooring

When choosing hardwood flooring, you’ll always come across two major options which are solid flooring and engineered flooring. Solid flooring on its side is quite expensive and has a thickness of around ¾ inches. This type of flooring comes in the form of planks that are quite easy to install. Since these planks are thick, sanding this type of flooring at least once in a while is perfectly allowed as you won’t damage the planks.

On the other hand, there’s engineered flooring. While solid wood comprises a block of natural wood, engineered flooring comes in the form of layered wood and plywood combined to form a thin sheet of plank. This type of flooring can come at varying prices depending on how creative the manufacturer is in designing the planks.

Some planks have quality core layers sandwiched together while others have a laminated top to block moisture away. These floorings are easy to install though sanding them is not recommended.

  • Prefinished vs. Site Finished Planks

The second choice you’ll need to make is to decide whether you’ll go for prefinished or site finished wood planks. Again, there are pros and cons of choosing either of these hardwood planks. However, since you’ll be installing the floor by yourself, you need to take the route that you’re confident will favor your level of experience without costing you a lot.

In most cases, the prefinished route tends to favor most DIYers as the planks arrive when they’re already laminated. Therefore, all you need to do is to pick your favorite patterns, texture, and color palette which you’re confident will complement your interior décor. Besides, prefinished planks take the least time to install as you won’t need to apply any color or sealant.

On the other hand, site finished planks have their own distinctive benefits that seem to favor a particular class of designers and homeowners. For instance, if you’re planning to customize your flooring with something a bit more unique, then site-finished planks will offer you that freedom as they’re not laminated.

Secondly, site finished planks tend to be smoother as the floor has to be sanded when the installation process is done. When you’re through, you have to apply the polish to customize it depending on your home improvement dream.

  • Oil vs. Polyurethane Polish

Other than the wood, another important consideration you need to think of is the type of finish you’ll be applying on your floor. Although there are myriad options available, these finishes melt down to two main categories which are oil and polyurethane polish.

Now, if you consider an oil finish, this one will cost you less. Another benefit of oil is its low density which means it will penetrate deep into the wood giving it a soft, matte, and natural appeal. However, its low density means that oil is more impervious to stains, scratches, and other damages. The good thing about it, however, is that these scratches will be less noticeable and it will be much easier to top up the finish on a spot-by-spot basis.

On the other hand, there’s polyurethane. Since it has a high density, polyurethane creates a thick and hard top coat on top of your flooring that’s resistant to wear and tear. It also doesn’t scratch easily making it a perfect option for homeowners with kids and pets. Although oil is easy to apply, the fact that it has a low density means that you’ll need to service it more regularly. With polyurethane, you don’t have to conduct regular maintenance.

  • Wood Grain Patterns

Before I discuss the grain patterns, you first need to consider the type of wood you’ll be working with. For instance, if you live in North America, you can consider planks made of Oak, Walnut, Ash, Maple, Cherry, and Hockey. The reason why it’s best to work with what’s available locally is to avoid spending a lot of money.

About the grain patterns, there are three main variations available. These are the plain-sawn, quarter-sawn, and rift-sawn. Plain-sawn produces undulating patterns that are commonly known as cathedrals. Rift-sawn planks feature long consistent grains while quarter-sawn planks feature linear grains just like rift-sawn only that they have additional irregular figuring that resemble 3D rays.

So, depending on the type of flooring design you wish to achieve, you can choose any of these grain patterns.

  • The Planks’ Width

The last factor you’ll need to consider before you get started is to determine the width of the planks you’ll be working with. Now, this is a very important consideration that can have a direct impact on;

  • The time you’ll take to install the planks.
  • The amount of money you’ll spend.
  • And the level of difficulty of the entire project.

For instance, if you’re installing the flooring on a standard room, then you should choose planks that measure around 4-5 inches. On the other hand, if you’re installing the flooring on a more expansive room, then picking much wider planks from 6-7 inches will be good. However, you need to understand that wider planks are usually more expensive than thinner planks.

Now that we’ve discussed some important factors you’ll need to peruse through before you can get started, our next part is to commence the installation process.

 

Gather Your Tools

  • An ordinary hammer
  • Electric chop saw
  • Framing square
  • Pry bar
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Flooring nailer
  • Wood to concrete glue
  • Moisture meter
  • Jigsaw
  • Spacers

 

Part One: Prepare Your Working Area

 

The first step you need to take before you install your new flooring is to remove any item that isn’t nailed on the floor. This includes furniture, decorations, and hanging pictures to prevent them from collecting dust during the process.

  • Step 1: Remove the Existing Flooring

When installing your floor, you need to note that the subfloor is the foundation of your new flooring. Therefore, before anything else, you need to consider the type of subfloor you’re working on to avoid ruining your new flooring.

If the subfloor is a carpet, then you have to remove it entirely. If the subfloor is an existing sheet of vinyl, ceramic tiles, or marble, then you can opt to lay your hardwood flooring on top of it provided it doesn’t raise the height too far that it will make it impossible to open or close the doors.

If the height is likely to compromise the doors or the ceiling, then you have to remove a few layers of the subfloor to lower the floor. If that’s the case, then you need to make sure that the final subfloor you’ll be working on is flat without any holes, bumps, or rough texture.

  • Step 2: Bring in the Materials

Once you’ve repaired any damages on the subfloor, the next step is to bring in the flooring materials. I’ve already discussed how you’re supposed to choose the right planks so I won’t talk about that again. Always remember to measure the floor to determine the amount of materials you’ll need to buy. You can do this by multiplying the length and width of your floor then add about 10% to that figure to compensate for warped or flawed planks.

When the boards are delivered, remove them from the delivery boxes and spread them across the floor. This is a very crucial step that will allow the wooden boards to acclimate to room temperature and humidity. Acclimationwill allow the wooden boards to dry any residual moisture preventing them from bulging upwards or creating gaps on the floor later after installation. Leave the boards to settle for a minimum of 72 hours.

  • Step 3: Map the Floor

Since the installation process is quite complex, you need a strategy that will help you all the way through. This is how you can plan your progress.

First, pick a measuring tape and measure the floor to determine the center. You can use chalk to mark the subfloor to simulate how the wooden boards will join together. When marking the floor, remember to leave a small gap (about 12mm) on the perimeter of the wall to serve as the expansion gap. Since hardwood tends to expand and contract in response to temperature changes, this will help to prevent the floor from bulging or creating gaps later in the future.

Next, you need to determine the number of full flooring planks (boards) you’ll be using. To do this, simply measure the length of the subfloor then divide the figure with the width of one single board. This will tell you the number of full boards you’ll be using. In case there’s any extra space left, divide it by two to determine the proper width of the first and last planks.

To help you understand better, imagine your floor is 12 ft. wide after you’ve subtracted the expansion gaps. This means that if your planks are 5 inches wide, then you’ll have (12 ft. ÷ 5 inches = 28 planks). Since there will be 4 inches more to spare, dividing it by 2 means that both the first and last planks should be 2 inches wide.

 

Part Two: Installing the Flooring Planks

 

Now that everything is well prepared, this part will now focus on installing the flooring. To make this guide an insightful one to all DIYers, I’ll discuss three installation methods that most professionals use depending on the hardwood planks they’re installing and the type of subfloor they’ve got. These are the floating, nail-down, and glue installation methods.

Floating Method

If you’re installing flooring planks for the first time, this is the simplest method you can consider. It’s usually the best for installing engineered hardwood floorings as it doesn’t involve nailing the planks to the subfloor.

  • Step One: Start by placing spacers between the first row and the wall to maintain the expansion gap. If you’re using the tongue and groove planks, then you can go ahead to apply glue on the groove side then link it with the tongue side for them to flash together.
  • Step Two: Once each row is complete, pick a mallet and use it to hit a piece of scrap wood against the newly installed row. By gently hitting the scrap wood, the glue between the pieces will settle and allow the planks to hold tightly against each other.
  • Step Three: Continue to lock and glue the pieces together until you get near a permanent obstacle. In such a situation, you’ll need to cut the hardwood planks to fit around the obstacle. Remember to maintain the expansion gap.
  • Step Four: When you get to the final row, you will need to first measure the distance between the second last row and the wall. With this measurement, pick a new plank and mark this measurement. Trace a line using a pencil and use an electric saw to cut the plank along the grid. Use a hammer to lock the last row into place and don’t forget to maintain the expansion gap.
  • Step Five: Once you’re through, restore the baseboard so that it flushes with the top of the wooden planks on the last row and against the wall.

 

Nail Down Method

The next method is the staple or the nail-down method. While the previous floating method is specifically intended for engineered hardwood flooring, this one is perfect for both engineered and solid hardwood flooring. Here’s how the process goes.

  • Step One: As usual, use your spacers to maintain the expansion gap. Next, start face nailing the wooden planks about ½ an inch from the edges while maintaining a spacing of 6 inches apart.
  • Step Two: When you’re done, use an air nailer to blind nail the head of each nail. This will allow you to create a countersink on each nail head so that it rests evenly beneath the surface of the planks. The reason for countersinking the nails’ heads is to prevent them from interfering with the grooves when connecting the rest of the planks.
  • Step Three: To make the project move a bit faster, you can use a nailer or a stapler from the third row moving forward. Here, you only need to line up the planks’ grooves and tongue then hit the trigger as you move forward.
  • Step Four: As you get close to the wall, you’ll need to use a pry bar instead of a pneumatic stapler as there’s no more space available. So, as usual, measure the distance from the wall to the plank then cut the last piece using an electric saw. Fit the last row using a pry bar then hand nail it just as you did at the beginning. Don’t forget to countersink the nails’ heads and also, don’t forget to maintain the expansion gap.

 

The Glue Method

The glue method is recommended when you’re working on a concrete subfloor to install engineered hardwood planks.

  • Step One: Begin by scrubbing or vacuuming the floor thoroughly to remove any debris or impurities that may prevent the glue from sticking.
  • Step Two: Next, apply the glue a little at a time enough to complete one row. Place your hardwood planks on the glued subfloor then use a mallet to hit them gently. Continue setting the planks one after the other while hitting them gently to ensure that they lock against each other while still being attached to the floor.
  • Step Three: Just like in our previous methods, ensure that you maintain the expansion gap at any cost. When you get to the last row, measure the remaining distance, and subtract the expansion gap. Cut a new board and fit it in the remaining gap. Once you’re through, restore the baseboard and ensure that it sits flush on the new floor and against the wall.

 

Part Three: Doing the Finishing Touches

 

Now that you’re through with the project, the final part is to conduct the final touches. If you’re dealing with solid hardwood flooring, sanding the floor can help to smoothen it and remove any imperfections that might be present on the surface. If you’re dealing with engineered hardwood flooring, then sanding can be tricky as the planks consist of a layer of wood sandwiched on top of a plywood core.

Once you’ve sanded the surface, reinstall the baseboards then install molding to cover the expansion gaps. Next, fill the nail holes with some wood putty to give the floor a professional finish. Allow the floor to dry up for 24 hours before applying your favorite polish which can either be oil-based or polyurethane-based.

 

Conclusion

There you have it. In case you’re struggling to gather reliable information on how to install hardwood floors, then this insightful guide has offered you everything you need to know from the very start to the end. As you can see, installing hardwood flooring isn’t a complex endeavor. What makes it sound difficult are the multiple steps you must follow to avoid making major errors.

Since the slightest of errors can also be costly, I would recommend you to work at your own pace and convenience to avoid them at any cost. Also, make sure that you prepare your working area perfectly such as cleaning the subfloor. Lastly, choose a method that will be convenient for you depending on your level of experience and the type of hardwood flooring you’ll be installing.

Buying a contemporary vacuum for residential use might not cost you a lot. However, buying a vacuum for commercial-scale will require you to spend several thousand dollars as these tools are expensive due to their advanced characteristics. One good thing about commercial vacuums is that they’re designed to be robust, powerful, and effective. But, depending on the commercial environment they’re routinely used on, these tools can pick a lot of dirt and debris that can make them ineffective over time. So, to extend the life of these vacuums while still keeping your floors and carpets looking fresh, you need to learn how to maintain your commercial vacuums.

Now, since commercial vacuums are believed to be robust, most owners tend to think that“If it isn’t broke, then don’t fix it.” Although I’m not advocating for anyone to attempt any home repairing here, what I’m simply trying to say is that failure to maintain your vacuum will significantly diminish its performance. With that said, this short guide will discuss major steps you’re supposed to follow to properly maintain the health of your commercial vacuum on a routine basis.

 

How to Maintain Your Commercial Vacuums: A Complete Guide

 

1. Read the Manual

 

The first step of maintaining your commercial vacuum is to try and understand the machine. You see, for you to operate any machine professionally, you need to first master its system to understand its working limit and its demands that come in the form of signals. To do this, you have to read the manual to understand its brain and to identify the different parts.

Also, the manual gives you a general guideline on where each part should go and which tools you need to use to open the machine and clean the interior components.

 

2. Consider Having a Backup Vacuum

 

The second step you need to take is to add a secondary vacuum cleaner in the picture. Remember, the second vacuum is not here to replace the primary one but rather to act as a backup whenever you’re planning to service the primary vacuum. You see, there are cases where dirt, debris, and grime can accumulate on crucial components forcing you to call a professional to check it out. In such rare cases, having a backup vacuum can help you continue with your daily cleaning routine while the technician checks the main vacuum.

Just to mention, the backup vacuum doesn’t have to be an expensive model. You can just pick a slightly smaller option that will get the job done.

 

3. Empty the Dirt Bag Often

How to Maintain Your Commercial Vacuum

After every cleaning ritual, it’s a good practice to inspect the dust bag to ensure it’s not overfilled with dirt and debris. In case it’s 2/3 full, then you should remove it to dispose of all the debris. Apart from just emptying the dust bag, it’s recommended that you check for any dust and debris that might have fallen in the zipper bag.

Although most vacuums will not require you to do this, you must remove any dust and debris from the zipper bag using a handheld vacuum with a hose. If the zipper bag is removable, then you can detach it from the vacuum to clean it with warm water. At least by doing this, you’ll maintain the structural integrity of your vacuum and that of your carpet.

 

4. Clean and Replace the Filters

 

Another maintenance step that must be considered is removing dust and debris from the filters. Since this is a pretty dirty job, it’s always recommended that you take your vacuum outside to avoid inhaling the dirt. So, to clean the filters, you’ll first have to peruse through the owner’s manual to identify the location of the filters.

With solid information at your disposal, you can now disassemble the vacuum to access the compartments of both the microfilters and the HEPA filters. For the case of reusable filters, you can wash them with warm water then dry them thoroughly before replacing them. For the case of the HEPA filter, you need to check whether it’s visibly soiled. If that’s the case, then you can simply replace it with a new one.

Besides the filters, another critical part you need to clean is the vacuum’s rollers. Since this vacuum is for commercial use, there are times when pet hair and other debris can get tangled on the rollers making it extremely difficult to move the vacuum freely.

 

5. Wipe Exterior Parts

 

Although a vacuum is tasked to clean your floor, it also needs to take a bath at least once in a while. This can be scheduled at least once every week where you can use a brush, a damp cloth, or a small vacuum to clean the exterior of your commercial vacuum.

When cleaning, you need to target those hard to reach areas where dirt and debris usually build up. Make sure that you clean the handle, the rollers, the bumper, and the frame. Also, ensure that you disconnect the vacuum from the main power outlet to avoid possible electrocution.

 

6. Clean the Cord and the Brushes

 

The last step you need to take when conducting routine maintenance of your commercial vacuum is thoroughly inspecting the electrical cord, the brushes, and the suction hose. To clean the cord, you only need to disconnect it from the power outlet to stretch it. Pick a damp cloth and wipe it clean from one side to the other.

When you’re done, inspect it for any cuts or rodent attacks before rolling it up using the figure 8 method. About the brushes, you need to inspect them thoroughly for any debris or pet hair that might have stuck between the bristles. You also need to check the bristles to ensure they’re all touching the floor.

Lastly, you need to inspect the hose for any obstructions. To do this, you need to remove the nozzles to check whether they’re blocked. Next, straighten the hose gently and try looking through it to see whether you’ll detect any debris. When you’re done, wash it thoroughly and leave it to dry up.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, maintaining your commercial vacuum routinely is an extremely important task that improves the performance of your vacuum. Although I must confess that this job is quite dirty, it’s well worth it if you truly need to prolong the life of this valuable machine.

Thankfully, with the help of the owner’s manual, cleaning your vacuum will only eat away a few minutes of your time daily and as you adapt, the process will become even simpler something that will benefit both you and your investment.

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