Hospitality

Caring for Engineered Hardwood in Coastal Hotels

by Jason Brubaker

Owners of hotels in coastal regions have particular challenges that other hotel owners in urban areas may not. Environmental concerns such as salt, moisture and sand can be worrisome and turn hotel owners away from hardwood flooring options.

As hotel flooring maintenance is always a critical consideration when choosing materials, concern for care is understandable. But this doesn’t mean that engineered hardwood flooring isn’t an option — it is!

To help hotel owners get the beautiful atmosphere that hardwood provides while keeping maintenance to a minimum, let’s look at what you need to know about caring for hardwood floors in coastal hotels.

Choosing the Right Hardwood Flooring

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A hardwood floor will only last as long as the quality of the wood. That’s why engineered hardwood flooring has so many benefits: It’s designed specifically for durability no matter the climate or amount of traffic.

Acrylic wood flooring, like Nydree flooring, is one of the most durable products available and perfect for coastal hotels. It’s made from real wood with added acrylic strength, making it 300% more durable than standard wood flooring. This added acrylic layer also means it will hold up better against salt, sand and humidity.

Part of choosing the correct hardwood flooring for a coastal hotel will also be the finish. While some finishes will change over time, this may or may not be desirable depending on the particular hotel design. Each sheen will determine the care and maintenance required.

  • Matte Sheen: This is also called a flat sheen and has 25% luster.
  • Satin sheen: This is the most popular type of sheen and is brighter than matte at 40% but without a glossy look.
  • Semi-Gloss: At 55% luster, this sheen is glossier than satin.
  • Gloss: This is the highest luster look and reflects the most amount of light. It has 70% luster.

A higher luster may not be the best choice for a coastal hotel that may be prone to sand and salt concerns as the gloss upkeep will require more maintenance. A lower luster, like satin or even matte, will require a lot less upkeep and may be more ideal for a desired coastal design.

For more information on sheens and their maintenance, check out this blog.

Regular Maintenance

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Engineered hardwood floor maintenance in coastal hotels is not as arduous as some may think, but daily maintenance is essential to keep the floors looking great and to mitigate any damage that may build up over time.

Vacuuming is particularly important for hardwood floors in coastal regions to pick up salt and sand before mopping. A regular spot mop after vacuuming is always a good idea, particularly on wet or windy days.

The regularity of maintenance will depend entirely on weather conditions and foot traffic. For hotels with a lot of foot traffic, you may want to vacuum and mop every night. For hotels with less traffic, cleaning the floors every few days may be the right amount.

Deep Cleaning and Yearly Maintenance

While maintenance is important to get the best out of engineered hardwood flooring, it’s important not to overdo it with the cleaning, particularly astringent cleaning products. Over time, repeated application of deep cleaning products can strip the finish off the surface, leaving the wood beneath exposed.

Before using any cleaning products or equipment such as an auto scrubber or commercial buffers, it’s critical to remove all salt and sand from the floor otherwise that may become embedded in the cleaning machinery and possibly harm the flooring or equipment.

For higher traffic areas or during peak seasons, the cleaning regimen should be broken into daily or weekly, bimonthly, and every 12 to 18 months.

For your daily or weekly cleaning, try using a gentle, all-purpose cleaner, like the Nydree Natural Cleaner. Spot spraying and dry cloth or mopping as needed will keep the floor looking clean and bright. Sweeping is essential, particularly for coastal hotels, to pick up any sand or salt that has accumulated over the day or week as this will mitigate against scuffs and dulling.

For a bi-monthly (every other month), clean with a slightly stronger cleanser ensuring it is used as directed. If you are unsure what cleaner to use for your flooring, reach out to the manufacturer for a list of options. For less-trafficked areas, cleaning won’t need to be as rigorous. For more detailed and technical information about cleaning schedules for your particular Nydree flooring, have a look at Nydree’s comprehensive cleaning guides here.

Periodic deep cleanings will be required but it’s important to use the correct cleaning products. Products that cause unnecessary wax buildup, or are designed for other flooring types such as vinyl and tile, can be harmful to engineered hardwood floors. Cleaning and oiling high traffic-engineered hardwood floors in coastal hotels every 12 to 18 months help to keep the color and luster of the wood like new. For lower traffic, a deep cleaning performed every three to five years will most likely be sufficient.

For more information on deep cleaning, check out these tools.

Repairs

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There will be rare occasions when a repair is needed, usually as a result of scratches. For the most part, spot cleaning, sanding and refinishing will do the trick and bring the hardwood floor back to its original beauty, but when small repairs are needed, following the system below will help.

For superficial scratches, remove the wax, polish or oily residue from the immediate area, and make sure all sand and salt are swept or vacuumed. It’s important to work with as clean a surface as possible.

Tape off the damaged area and spray to be fixed with a product such as Spray Bona® Prep™ and buff the flooring dry. Once dry, sand the area smooth, taking care not to sand too roughly or through the finish as this will result in damage down the road. Once sanded, cleaned and abraded, use the Bona® Prep™ again and dry.

Once the area is properly prepped, sanded and dried, immediately apply two to three coats of Nydree Flooring Stain Touch-Up using a sponge brush. Allow this to set for two to three hours between coats. Once satisfied with the final coat, allow the area to completely dry for at least 24 hours for light traffic and longer for heavier. For detailed step-by-step instructions, read these instructions.

For deeper, non-superficial damage, it’s best to consult a professional to determine a course of action in order to prevent any further damage.

Preventative Maintenance

For coastal hotel owners, it may feel like the elements are against them when it comes to hardwood flooring. But there’s a lot that can be done to prevent issues down the road. Inculcating cleaning regimens that include sweeping and vacuuming regularly, particularly during high tourist season, will go a long way in preventing damage.

Be mindful of wax sealant products that can build up and dull a floor over time. Even little things like making sure felt pads are firmly adhered to furniture and any rugs have a proper grip mat underneath helps too. And always have a heavy-duty absorbent mop on hand for those downpours and particularly wet days.

There are steps, as outlined above, that can be taken to prevent occasional wearing that include cleaning regimens, surface scratch and scuff repairs, and spot cleaning. However, in high traffic hotels, there are other elements that might damage the floors if not properly cleaned, besides sand and salt. For stains and spills, it’s important not to rub the area but use an absorbent cloth or sponge to soak up the spill.

Family-friendly environments will undoubtedly present the challenge of gum or crayon stains, which can appear to be particularly resilient. Not so! Using an ice pack, freeze the gum or crayon until it becomes brittle and can be chipped away with an object that won’t scratch the floor, such as a credit card or plastic spatula. For more information on what to do when floors start to show wear, review this article.

Get Started Today

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Coastal hotel owners want to make sure they offer the best experience for their guests without having to worry about the hassle of high maintenance and unreliable flooring. But this also doesn’t mean they should sacrifice aesthetics for durability. With proper maintenance, engineered hardwood flooring is top among high durability floors and perfect for all hotel flooring ideas.

Ready to get started? Great! Request a quote or a sample today!