In this guide, we’ll be providing answers to the question; how often should wood floors be mopped?

Unlike other floor types, wood floors require a specific type of maintenance and care. This includes the type of cleaning as well as the frequency.

This article will be discussing the frequency of cleaning.

Before we go into detail, mopping wood floors should generally be carried out when it’s necessary. In other words, the frequency of mopping can be reduced until it’s necessary. This and more will be discussed as you read further.

Type of Wood Floors

Knowing your type of wood floor is also important in determining the frequency of mopping to be done. There are two types of wood floors; sealed and unsealed.

  • Sealed Wood Floors

Sealed wood floors are coated with a protective top layer consisting of either polyurethane or varnish. This gives it a shiny or glossy look. The purpose of sealing such woods is to protect it from moisture which mopping is likely to introduce.

Not only does sealing a wood protect it from moisture, but it also helps protect against everyday wear and tear in addition to stains and scratches.

  • Unsealed Wood Floors

Unlike sealed wood floors that come with a protective layer that guards against moisture, unsealed wood floors don’t have such protection. This means that unsealed wood readily absorbs any liquid it comes in contact with.

This, in turn, results in damage to such floors as the wood swells.

Not only will there be swells on the wood, but there’s also a likelihood of cracking. This isn’t a problem you’ll want to be faced with. Hence the need to adopt safer cleaning techniques like sweeping and vacuuming.

How Frequent Should Wood Floors Be Mopped?

This is an important question as caution should be exercised when maintaining wood floors.

For every home or structure, there are usually high and low traffic areas. These are places with the most human activity. They include entrances, hallways, bathrooms, and the kitchen area.

These high-traffic areas of homes should be wet-mopped once each week. Doing anything more than this won’t be necessary.

Also, there are rooms in every home which aren’t frequently used. As such, mopping such wooden floors should reflect usage.

Such rooms include guest rooms. Such rooms can either be mopped bi-weekly or monthly. This should be sufficient to maintain the wood floors.

  • Mopping Sealed and Unsealed Wood Floors

There are different approaches to be adopted when mopping sealed and unsealed wood floors. For sealed floors, the tolerance for water is quite good and can be mopped as long as it dries fairly quickly. The same cannot be said for unsealed wood floors.

If you must mop unsealed wood floors, such floors shouldn’t be exposed to as much water as sealed wood floors.

Your mop should be wrung out thoroughly to limit the amount of water that gets in the wood. That way, you’ll be preserving and extending the lifespan of your unsealed wood floor.

Traffic Volume

As mentioned earlier, the traffic volume your wood floors handle will determine mopping frequency.

With such traffic comes the degree of accumulation of dirt. Now, there are areas with light, moderate and heavy traffic within homes. These will require different approaches to mopping.

  • Light Traffic

Living and dining rooms are examples of areas in a home with light traffic. The same applies to guest rooms. For such areas, regular dusting will suffice. However, if it must be mopped, this cleaning activity should be done once a week.

  • Moderate Traffic

Unlike wooden floors experiencing light traffic, areas with moderate foot traffic see increased human activity. This results in more dirt being introduced or settling down on such floors. The particulates will first need to be cleaned or swept off before mopping.

Now, mopping should be done at least once a week. The frequency of cleaning will be determined by the condition of such floors. You can mop two to three times to keep such floors in great condition. However, such mops should be wrung thoroughly to enable the floors to dry quickly.

  • Heavy Traffic

The higher the number of people walking into a building with wood floors, the more frequent it needs to be mopped.

Homes typically have a lower number of people living in them. As such, heavy traffic areas aren’t found in homes. Rather, they are common to public buildings, business areas, and apartment building lobbies.

Wood floors in such areas won’t last as long as those in homes. More so if they aren’t cleaned frequently enough.

You’ll need to either mop daily or give a day’s interval in your cleaning schedule. Such floors can further be maintained by polishing.

Tips on Mopping Wood Floors

Because water and wood do not mix, it’s necessary to find ways to mop your wood floors safely without causing damage. This is irrespective of whether your floors are made of sealed or unsealed wood.

  • Dust or Sweep Your Floors Well

Before you begin mopping your floors, it’s necessary to first dust or sweep such floors. This helps remove any particulates that may be scattered on them.

  • Use Only Damp Mop

This point cannot be emphasized enough. The less wet the mop is, the better for your floors. Water is readily absorbed into the wood which causes damage that includes swells and cracks among other things. The less water penetrates the wood through your mop, the better.

Here is all you need to know about damp mopping.

  • Work in One Small Area at a Time

The best approach to take when cleaning wood floors is to work in one small area at a time. This prevents water from sitting for long enough to get absorbed.

  • Avoid Using the Following Products

While cleaning your wood floors, there may be a need to improve the look of such floors. However,  while trying to do this, avoid using oils, furniture sprays, or waxes. A residue is left on behind when you use oils.

Furniture sprays make your floors slippery while wax makes re-coating difficult and also takes a lot of time.

Proper care for wood floors depends on how frequent such floors are cleaned and mopped. We’ve provided information on the frequency of mopping for different conditions.