Do not use a steam mop on your wood floor – ever!

Q: A few days ago we had Bruce engineered hardwood floors installed by a flooring contractor in our bedroom.

The planks were in our home for more than 2 days prior and should have acclimated well, as the weather has been stable. The problem/question is, when they laid the planks, the short ends have gaps between them. I would like the gaps filled.

The contractor started using wood putty that is the same color as the floor. Is that the best product, and can I steam mop the floors without this coming up every time?

A: My question is why there would be gaps, especially on the end joints? This should not be. Engineered is suppose to be very stable. Do not use a steam mop on your wood floor – ever! Ask your floor guy to provide you with an appropriate floor cleaner. By this I don’t mean something from the supermarket. Oil soaps and mops with contaminates should not be used on floors finished with a polyurethane type finish.

Follow-up: I appreciate your thoughts on the gaps. I understand where you are coming from, but unfortunately the flooring company that laid the floors didn’t have your care for detail. So regarding the gaps, have you found success with the acrylic wood filler?

Also, I will take note not to use the steam mop. We have laminate or tile everywhere else in the house. The engineered hardwoods were the only product that matched our laminates that are no longer made.

A: If these gaps are large, they will likely have to apply the acrylic filler in stages. Otherwise it will likely crack. There are some pretty good fillers of this type in tube form such as ColorRite.

This steam mop should not be used on any type of wood product, including laminate. There are available cleaners that do a very good job of removing stuck on grime in a much less harsh way than hitting it with steam.

Steam mop left whitish stain

Related Q: I left a steam mop on a wood floor too long and now have a whitish stain. Is there anything I can do to fix it?

A: I think you have moisture under the coating. Give it time to dry out and see if it causes the finish to lift off. You may have to sand down the affected boards and finish them to match. Steam mops should never be used with wooden floors. There are appropriate cleaners you can purchase from your local wood flooring retailer.

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