Beginners Guide To Using Hardwood Flooring

How do I safely clean a real wood floor?

A real wood floor adds a truly beautiful style and feel to any space. But keeping that floor clean is essential for protecting it and extending its longevity. The colour and appearance of the wood will naturally slowly shift, but it’s important to ensure this only happens as a result of natural ageing, and not as a result of damage caused by poor maintenance.

General wood floor cleaning tips

There are several things you can do regularly that will make maintaining your beautiful hardwood floor considerably easier…

  • Ensure you have good quality doormats at all entrances to your house, preferably made from coir matting, to catch as much dirt as possible before it enters your home.
  • Immediately wipe up any spills on your wooden floor. Liquid left standing on the surface of the wood is more likely to be absorbed into the timber, which can cause stains or movement within your floor.
  • Sweep, mop (with caution) or vacuum your hardwood floor regularly. This will prevent any abrasive dust or grit accumulating, which can scratch the surface of the wood and damage / dull the finish.
  • Use a vacuum with a soft brush head. It is not recommended that you use a vacuum with a hard head that can mark the floor. The same applies for heads with a rotating brush as these often have a support bar underneath that could potentially scratch your floor.
  • No steam cleaners. It is not recommended that you use steam cleaners to clean your hardwood floor as they can breakdown the finish as well as potentially cause damage to the floorboards.
  • Use felt pads on the base of all your furniture, to prevent anything scratching the wood.
  • When mopping your floor, use the minimum amount of water. Use a mop you can ring out well so you’re not applying an excessive amount of water over the timber.
  • Avoid household cleaners and detergents as they can be abrasive, causing damage to your wooden floor.


How to clean a lacquered wooden floor

A high quality Lacquer will provide an extremely hard finish that is designed to last a long time. From a cleaning perspective, it is simple, as you can effectively clean your floor using a damp mop and appropriate lacquer wood floor soap.

That being said, it’s important to be extra careful when cleaning lacquered floors, as the finish can’t be replenished or patched up easily. Avoid detergents and the use of steam, as this can break down the lacquer over time and take note of the other tips described above.

How to clean an oiled wooden floor

An oiled finish on a wooden floor provides a more penetrating seal, which soaks into the grain of the wood and hardens. Unlike lacquer floors, oils can be more easily replenished by the use of soaps and further treatments of oil.

Consequently, oiled wooden floors can last longer than lacquered providing they are correctly maintained – many lasting decades in good condition.

Oiled floors are simple to clean. The cleaning product that you use will depend on what oil has been used to treat your floor. For example, if your flooring has been treated with Treatex Hardwax oil you would clean your floor using a product called Treatex Floor Care whereas if your floor was treated with a Woca Oil you would clean your floor with Woca Soap. These products are simply mixed with water and you can mop your floor, being careful not to get the floor too wet, in the normal way.


Routine Hardwood Floor Cleaning

  • Sweep, dust mop or vacuum regularly. When using a vacuum cleaner, disengage the beater bar or use the “bare floor” setting to avoid damaging your floor. The vacuum head must be brush or felt, and a wand attachment is preferable.
  • Clean your hardwood floor occasionally using a mop with a microfiber or terry cloth cover and cleaner. Never mop with water.

Tips for Protecting Your Floors

  • Wipe up spills immediately.
  • Place a natural or colorfast mat at outside entrances to reduce the amount of dirt and moisture brought into your home.
  • Use area rugs in front of kitchen sinks and within high traffic areas. Rugs must be made of a breathable material to prevent moisture entrapment — and rugs with solid rubber or vinyl backings are not recommended.
  • Keep your pet’s nails trimmed to minimize finish scratches.
  • Use floor protectors on furniture to reduce indentation. The heavier the item, the wider the floor protector needed.
  • Protect your floor from direct sunlight.
  • DON’T walk on wood floors with spike or stiletto-heeled shoes. Remove shoes at the door to avoid potentially dragging in sharp objects that may be stuck in your shoe treads.
  • DON’T use any of the following products (or products similar in nature) on your floor: ammonia-based cleaners, acrylic finishes, wax-based products, solvent-based polishes, detergents, bleach, polishes, oil soap, abrasive cleaning soaps, or acidic substances such as vinegar. Only use a designated hardwood floor cleaner.


Things to Avoid

Part of proper engineered hardwood flooring care and maintenance is simply knowing what not to do. As mentioned above, it’s important to avoid cleaning products with harsh chemicals, such as ammonia. You should also steer away from wax-based cleaners and oil soaps. Use only soft materials to apply your cleaners—never use a steel wool brush or scouring pad to buff out marks or scratches. A microfiber cloth or mop works great to collect dust and debris without damaging your floors. Because excessive moisture can damage your floors, avoid using floor steamers, wet mops, or other cleaning methods that would allow water to seep between the planks and cause warping or other damage.

Other Tips and Tricks

Dirt, scratches, and other minor damage is an inevitable part of living with engineered hardwood floors. However, several tricks and tips can help you prevent potential damage—no matter how many pets, kids, or unexpected events your floors face. Do your best to stay on top of messes. Wipe up any spills immediately, before the moisture has a chance to get into the wood and cause damage. Floor mats near doorways are a great way to trap dirt, gravel, and other outdoor debris that might make its way inside. You can also get a floor rug or runner for your entryway, hallway, and other high-traffic areas. Avoid using mats with latex or rubber backing, as this can damage the finish on your floors. You can also place protective mats under chairs or tables with wheels to prevent scratching. Similarly, make sure all the furniture in your house has felt padding on the bottom of the legs. This will help you avoid damaging your floors whenever you move or rearrange furniture.

Taking care of your engineered hardwood floors might seem like a hassle at first, but once you build a routine, you’ll have the reward of gleaming floors and rooms. From the Forest is here to help by providing quality, nationally sourced maple, walnut, hickory and oak engineered hardwood flooring, along with the cleaning products and information you need to make them last. With a little care and effort, you can maintain the luxurious and traditional style that drew you to these floors in the first place.


Ice out wax and gum.

Dried candle wax, crayon marks, and chewing gum on floors with surface or penetrating finishes readily come away with ice. Fill a freezer bag with a few ice cubes, then place the chilled bag over the offending buildup until it becomes brittle, then scrape it off with the edge of a plastic spatula. If the spatula removes the protective wax from a floor with a penetrating finish, re-apply a solvent-based hardwood floor wax to the scraped area with a soft cloth, then buff it into the repaired area with the cloth.

Scrub water, ink, and pet stains well.

Spots left by water, ink, or pet urine represent the most stubborn of stains. Remove them from floors with penetrating finishes by lightly sanding the stain with extra-fine sandpaper, then gently scrubbing with a coarser “00” grade steel wool wet with mineral spirits. Wipe away the mineral spirits with a water-dampened cloth, followed by a dry cloth to remove the water. Apply a solvent-based hardwood floor wax to the scrubbed area with a soft cloth and buff it in to restore its shine. Sandpaper and steel wool can degrade surface finishes, so you’ll want to tackle these stains using only a hardwood floor cleaner, along with a scouring pad designed for surfaced-finished floors.

Choosing The Best Carpet Flooring Option For Your Home

Things to know before laying down money or carpet

It just makes sense that, the more you know about something, the better able you are to make a smarter purchase decision. That goes in spades for buying carpet. Information about the construction of carpet is good, but knowledge about carpet specifics and characteristics, about its traits and subtle differences, can be invaluable.

It’s a fact. Choosing the best carpet is really about knowing the right combination of characteristics, aesthetics, performance and budget to best meet the needs of your lifestyle. For example, looped Berbers and high twist friezes perform wonderfully in high traffic areas in your home, but an elegant Saxony in the same area may show footprints. Isn’t that good to know?


Carpet is available in 12’, 15’ and sometimes 13’ widths. Unless the room to be carpeted is narrower than these widths, the carpet will be seamed. With looped or low-profile patterned carpet you may have visible or peaked seams. The degree of their visibility depends on texture, color, lighting and furniture placement


Be aware that, as carpet bends over stairs, its backing may show depending on texture, color and density. Plus, you should know that looped carpet can snag, particularly at a seam or at a carpet transition. But never fear, in the Carpet Floor Care section we provide information on how to properly care for looped carpet


The nap of all carpets run in one direction. Pile reversal, or shading, is a normal characteristic of many cut pile style carpets. This can be particularly apparent with plush carpet. If this becomes an issue, consider window treatments and furniture placement as a way to minimize this effect.


Carpeted floors

Carpeted floors are favorites in the household because they can easily create a cozy and luxurious atmosphere in any room in your home. Carpet is simple to maintain, easy on the wallet with the lowest total cost, quick to install, and is versatile enough to match the decor of any room. It is also the best choice for those who prefer warm and cozy areas and sound-insulation for their floors

However, with the vast array of carpet qualities, types, and styles, the task of getting the right carpet to perfectly match a room and your needs can be daunting. Most homeowners are not acquainted with the factors affecting carpet selection and performance so they can end up with the wrong purchases if not helped by professionals.

Understanding what is important to consider when buying carpet will not only help individuals choose the right material for their carpeting; it also results in a good investment and the most cost-effective decisions.

Carpet Durability

The most important aspect of carpet for the long-term is its durability. There is more to durability than just the brand and the way a carpet feels. A carpet’s durability is directly related to:

The thickness or density of the carpet

The fiber it is made from

The way a carpet is constructed (i.e. type of carpet)

Stain Resistance

When purchasing carpet for any area in your home, stain resistance is very important. Stain resistance can mean many different things when purchasing carpet


How to Keep your Carpet Flooring Clean and Hygienic

Putting in carpet flooring is an investment in your home – and not a cheap one either. While carpet is an excellent choice for durability and comfort, it does come with some maintenance if you want to keep it hygienic and looking good over the course of the next several years.

And let’s face it – carpets get dirty. But if you let them pile up, spills, snags, stains, and everyday wear and tear can leave your carpets looking dingy and worn. Worse – if you don’t maintain them properly and clean them regularly, allergens and other particulates can build up and become a health hazard for you and your family!

Vacuum Regularly

The number one thing you can do to keep your carpets clean and fresh is to vacuum them regularly. Ideally, you should be vacuuming your carpets once a week – twice in areas with heavy foot traffic. Dirt and other particulates tracked into your home have abrasive qualities and it can actually erode the backing of your carpet flooring when it’s ground into the carpet by daily foot traffic.

Treat Stains Immediately

Prevention is obviously the best strategy with spills and carpet, but sometimes life just happens. Especially if you have kids or pets, spills and accidents and stains are just inevitable. But when they do happen, treating them immediately can save you a lot of frustration later.

Have the Carpet Cleaned Professionally Once a Year

Even when you vacuum weekly, your carpeting will get dirty over time. Dust, dirt, pet dander, and pollen that are too deep to be reached with the vacuum will start to build up and make your carpet dingy and unhygienic.



Office carpets are on top of the list for many businesses when choosing what kind of flooring the office should have. With brilliant design selections, great acoustic qualities and an abundance of other advantages that check all the right boxes, carpets for offices are always a solid choice for commercial flooring. Take it from us, however, that selecting the right office carpets for each of your projects may not be as easy as it appears. There are many fantastic options with so many factors to take into account. Therefore, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to take you through the entire process of choosing the best office carpets.

Why Office Carpeting Is a Great Choice for Office Spaces

Allowing you more freedom and flexibility in creativity and design than any other flooring material, office carpeting is the perfect pick for any office design project. With new high-velocity dye-technologies, custom carpet manufacturers provide you with the tools to create virtually anything on high-quality material at an appropriate price. Flooring is such an important part of any design project, encompassing a massive percentage of an office space. Great office carpets enable you to use this space to your advantage by creating a design that defines the brand you are working for, and a carpet for office use is the most practical flooring choice for an everyday work environment due to its ability to absorb and improve sound in an open office layout.

How to Choose the Best Office Carpets

Designing an office space can be a long process, part of which includes picking the perfect carpeting for the office. Choosing the right carpet for your next office-project requires you to assess the workspace and consider the multiple factors that can affect commercial carpet types. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when picking a carpet for office use.

How long does the office carpet need to last?

First things first. Figure out what the office carpet’s life expectancy should be. A basic rule of thumb: the longer the lease, the higher quality of carpet required.

How will the different spaces in the office be used?

Next, determine how much each office area will be used in terms of foot traffic and furniture movement. Private offices and conference rooms may require lower levels of carpet resilience due to moderate use, while corridors and common areas typically receive heavy use. These are important things to consider when choosing the best office carpet for your office.



Like any other flooring type, carpet needs cleaning from time to time. Cleaning a carpet is easier than you may think. Discover our simple carpet cleaning tips.

Common sense will take you a long way when it comes to keeping your carpet gorgeous and clean. Follow these simple tips:

Vacuum regularly Remove dust and dirt with a powerful vacuum cleaner. This is a good habit that improves the air quality in your home and ensures the durability of your carpet. Note that heavy traffic areas may need more regular vacuuming than other areas.

Use doormats at entrances A simple walk-off mat or entrance mat prevents dirt from getting transferred all over the building and into the fibre of your tufted carpet. Make sure to clean these mats often, so that they do not become a source of dust and dirt themselves.

Take care of spills as they happen It’s best to take care of spills as quickly as possible. Don’t let liquids or dirt dry up and set in. The quicker you act, the easier the stain can be removed. Follow the stain and spill removal guidelines below.

Spills and stains don’t have to be a problem. Always act quickly and follow these guidelines for an effective and correct stain removal:

Grease stains Use a product specifically designed to treat grease stains. Warm water alone won’t remove the grease. Never apply these types of products directly to the carpet fibre or yarn. It could be a good idea to test the product on a small area of the tufted carpet first, to see if the product causes any decolourisation. 1. Use a piece of cotton wool and apply to the edges of the stain, working inwards. 2. Blot with absorbent tissue or paper towel. The carpet may darken during this process, but this should disappear afterwards. 3. Dampen the area with a light soap solution (add half a teaspoon of professional carpet shampoo to 2 liters of lukewarm water) to remove any cleaning product residue. 4. Blot with tissue or paper towel. 5. Dry the area with a hair-dryer, moving continuously over the stain, to avoid watermarking. 6. Repeat this process if the stain is not entirely removed. 7. The final step is to cover the stained area with 6 layers of paper towel, place a heavy object on top and leave to dry for 24 hours. The paper towel will absorb stains in the base of the yarns.

Water-based stains 1. Soak up the spill immediately with absorbent tissue or paper towel. 2. Re-wet the stained area with lukewarm water on a sponge or piece of cotton wool to dilute the spilled liquid. 3. Blot with tissue or paper towel. 4. Dry the area with a hair-dryer, moving continuously over the stain, to avoid watermarking. 5. Repeat this process if the stain is not entirely removed. 6. The final step is to cover the stained area with 6 layers of paper towel, place a heavy object on top and leave to dry for 24 hours. The paper towel will absorb stains in the base of the yarns.

Dried-in (water-based) stains 1. Scrape off excess spill with a spoon, from the edges of the stain to the centre. If necessary, freeze the spill with ice cubes and then scrape off with a spoon. Make sure to not put the ice cubes on the carpet directly, as they will melt and soak the area. Put them in a plastic bag instead. 2. Apply a light soap solution (add half a teaspoon of professional carpet shampoo to 2l of lukewarm water) to a piece of cotton wool and dampen the stained area. 3. Blot with tissue or paper towel. 4. Dry the area with a hair-dryer, moving continuously over the stain, to avoid watermarking. 5. Repeat this process if the stain is not entirely removed. 6. The final step is to cover the stained area with 6 layers of paper towel, place a heavy object on top and leave to dry for 24 hours. The paper towel will absorb stains in the base of the yarns.


Even if you vacuum your carpet regularly and treat stains accordingly, an in-depth cleaning is necessary once every 12 to 24 months. This will remove persistent dirt and smaller particles that cause your carpet to wear out.

There are various in-depth cleaning methods. Here is an overview of the most common ones:

Wet shampoo First test to see if the product is of a good quality. Pour some drops on a saucer and let them evaporate overnight. If the leftover stain looks greasy or sticky, avoid using the product. Dust could cling to the sticky film that is formed over your carpet. When you rent a shampooing machine, follow its instructions precisely. Make sure to remove your furniture and vacuum before shampooing. It is very important to not let your tufted carpet get too wet. This can cause permanent damage to the fibre and backing.

Dry powder or dry shampoo Follow the instructions on the package. Make sure to properly vacuum the carpet afterwards, to remove any leftover product.

Injection-extraction with hot water – Also referred to as “steam cleaning”. The injection-extraction method does not require steam, so this term is actually incorrect. With injection-extraction, the carpet pile is injected with hot water and a cleaning solution under pressure. The water is extracted immediately, as it is suctioned out by a wet vacuum system. This prevents the carpet from getting too wet. Injection-extraction is very efficient and cleans out all of the dirt and shampoo residues from prior cleanings. This type of cleaning should be done by a professional. If you rent a machine and do it yourself, you risk over-wetting and soaking the carpet. This could permanently damage the backing and fibres.

A combination of these different methods is also possible. A wet or dry shampoo treatment first and a hot water injection-extraction cleaning second, for example.

Pick The Best Carpet Flooring For Your Living Room

Tips for Choosing Carpet

Start the Countdown

Nothing compares to the soft, luxurious feeling of carpet under your feet. Carpeting provides a safe, comfortable spot for kids to play and may even reduce the risk of injury during a fall. Sure, carpet requires a bit of extra maintenance compared to vinyl or tile, but there’s simply no substitute in terms of sound absorption, warmth and overall comfort.

Pick the Perfect Padding

Don’t be tempted to skimp on carpet padding to save a few dollars. Just as a building needs a solid foundation, carpeting relies on a layer of padding for support, strength and a bit of extra cushioning. You can’t see the padding, but you’ll definitely spot the extra wear and tear on your new carpet if you pick an inadequate padding material.

Consider Various Carpet Styles

Carpet comes in many styles, including plush, Saxony, Berber, textured and frieze. These terms apply to its pile, which is the surface you see, created from yarn tufts that are either folded over into loops, cut straight across or both. While each style has a distinctive look, that shouldn’t be your main consideration. Instead, look at how well your lifestyle meshes with a particular carpet style. Plush carpeting, for example, is made from tightly twisted pile, and is thick, soft and inviting. But it also shows footprints and vacuum tracks, and can develop something called “pooling,” or areas that appear shaded because the normal direction of the carpet fibers has been reversed. Saxony, the most common type of carpeting, is similar to plush. These carpet styles work best in low-traffic areas like formal living rooms and master bedrooms.

Don’t Blow Your Budget

Even the most luxurious carpet doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Shop around to find carpet that fits your lifestyle and budget. Always request separate pricing for materials and installation so you can make an “apples-to-apples” comparison among different suppliers.

Select Your Carpet Provider with Care

You can purchase carpet in a variety of places — carpet showrooms, of course, but also flooring companies, furniture stores, large department stores and even online. While you can end up with beautiful carpet that’s expertly installed using any of these options, your best bet is to select a reputable establishment that specializes in carpeting.


The Do’s and Don’ts of Choosing a Carpet

Deciding What You Like With Confidence

Do decide on a style that works for you. While there are hundreds of carpets available, they can all be narrowed down into one of only a few style categories. Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of each carpet style, so that you’ll know whether it will work in your home.

Finding a Retailer

Do shop around and find a retailer you are comfortable with. Many people feel vulnerable when shopping for carpeting because the quality of the carpet isn’t always immediately apparent, so customers often have to trust the salesperson. Make sure that you deal with a salesperson you feel you can trust, at a store where you can expect to have a positive experience.

Determining Quality

Do learn how to tell the quality of a carpet. You don’t have to become an expert on the subject, but if you have an overall sense of the various factors that contribute to a carpet’s quality and how well it will perform, then you can avoid choosing the wrong carpet.

Understanding Fibers and Warranties

Do learn about the fiber types and figure out which one would work best for you. Not all carpet fibers are created equal; for example, there are natural fibers, such as wool, and synthetic fibers, which are more commonly used in wall-to-wall carpet. Understand the characteristics of each fiber type so that when you go shopping, you can almost immediately narrow down your selection.


How to Select the Perfect Carpet

Though numerous carpet options are available, there are basically only two styles of carpet — loop pile and cut pile.

In the loop-style pile each of the ends is connected into the backing so there’s a continuous loop. If you actually ran a pin underneath, you would feel the loop.

In the cut-style pile, the loops are actually cut so that there are individual ends sticking up through the backing. If you ran the same pin through there the pin would lift right up. It is like a sheer cut pile.

Fiber is a critical area when it comes to carpet. There are three basic fibers used today in the carpet industry:

  • Polypropylene, such as the loop-style pile.
  • Polyester, which is made from recycled beverage containers.
  • Nylon, the most popular and durable fiber by far.


How to Choose Carpet

Nylon outperforms all other fibers in durability, resilience and easy maintenance. This is a good choice if you want your carpet to last a decade or longer, for high-traffic areas, and in homes with kids and pets (Photo 1). Higher quality nylon fibers are “branded,” and the carpet label will use terms like “100% Mohawk Nylon” or “100% Stainmaster Tactesse.” Lower-quality, “unbranded” nylon fibers are listed simply as “100% nylon.” The strongest and softest type (and most expensive) is 6.6 nylon. Nylon carpet cost is $10 to $45 per sq. yd.

Triexta (brands include Smart-Strand and Sorona) is a newly classified fiber derived partly from corn sugar (Photo 2). It has excellent, permanent anti-stain properties (nylon must be treated with stain protectors over its life span). It also has good resilience, but it’s too soon to tell whether it will match the durability of nylon in high-traffic areas. Because of its superior stain resistance, this is a good choice if you have young kids or pets. Triexta carpet cost is $20 to $45 per sq. yd.

Polyester (also called PET) is stain resistant, very soft and luxurious underfoot, and is available in deep and vibrant colors (Photo 3). However it’s harder to clean, tends to shed and isn’t as durable as nylon. It’s best used in low-traffic areas (like bedrooms) and in households without kids or pets. A nice, cushy choice if you like to exercise on the carpet. Polyester carpet cost is $8 to $18 per sq. yd.

Olefin (polypropylene) is an attractive, inexpensive fiber that’s strong and resists fading, but it’s not as resilient as nylon (Photo 4). It’s most often made into a looped Berber with a nubby weave that conceals dirt. It has good stain, static and mildew resistance. Olefin carpeting is often selected for high-traffic “clean” areas such as family rooms and play areas. Olefin carpet costs $8 to $25 per sq. yd.


How to Choose the Best Carpet for a Modern Home

Consider Durability

One of the reasons so many people choose hard flooring is that it tends to be more durable and easier to clean than carpet. While that’s true in most cases, some fibers are more robust and low-maintenance than others.

You can identify the durability of most carpets by checking their tuft twist, density rating and face weight. The density rating should be at least 2,000, while the face weight should be at least 40 ounces. Also, look for a tuft twist of five or more.

Choose the Right Pile

When you start searching for a carpet for your modern home, you’ll need to know whether you want a woven or tufted pile. Generally speaking, modern spaces tend to be more conducive to tufted carpets, but not always. To make the right decision, you need to know the characteristics of each pile type.

Woven Pile

There are two main varieties of woven carpet: Axminster and Wilton. They’re both made the traditional way using loomed methods, and they’re both relatively expensive.

Choose the Right Level of Softness

Softness isn’t usually a word used to describe a modern living area. Yes, a soft carpet might be great for lying on, but it might confuse the overall aesthetic. Limit your search to short-pile carpets made with manmade fibers — or at least a combination of manmade and natural fibers.

Alternatively, you could go the other way and choose something extremely deep and luxurious. After all, a sumptuous floor covering can be a great way to relieve the monotony of clean lines and minimalism.