Karndean is a type of luxury vinyl flooring. It consists of five layers: two PVC layers for the backing, a photographic layer, an embossed PVC wear layer and a polyurethane protective coating on top.
Karndean has many advantages over real wood and laminate flooring. It is waterproof, it’s more pet-friendly and is easy to install.
Another big advantage of Karndean is that it’s easy to clean. It’s easy to sweep clean, a vacuum easily collects dust and dirt on the floor and you can even wet-mop it as long as you use pH neutral detergents.
What about steam mopping? Is it safe for Karndean flooring?
Karndean Flooring And Steam Cleaning
To get a clear answer, we went to Karndean’s official website. But their cleaning and maintenance page is not very clear on this issue.
The website tells you to check with the steam mop manufacturer regarding whether the mop is safe for Karndean flooring.
We checked around with other flooring expert and the consensus is that you should not steam clean Karndean flooring.
In fact, this advice also applies to all other kinds of luxury vinyl flooring.
The reason why steam and Karndean don’t mix is the possible damage from the hot vapour. It can penetrate through the planks, causing the glue to loosen. This can cause some parts of the flooring to lift.
Even a little lifting can compromise the waterproof nature of the flooring. If a bit of water gets underneath the planks, it can further damage the flooring and lead to mould.
Another problem with steam cleaners is that the high temperature water vapour can discolour the flooring.
If You Have To Steam Clean
That said, it doesn’t mean that you should absolutely never use a steam mop on Karndean flooring. With some precautions, you can reduce the risk of damage.
For one, only steam clean if you absolutely have to. A steam cleaner can help get rid of stubborn stains and is also great for pet accidents.
If you use a steam cleaner, choose the lowest power and setting.
Generally, however, your Karndean flooring will last longest if you don’t steam clean it, even occasionally. There are many other ways to keep the floor clean.
How To (Safely) Clean Karndean Flooring
To be sure you are giving your Karndean flooring the best care possible, use Karndean’s own cleaning products. The company sells three main products for use on Karndean flooring.
- Karndean Clean – an everyday cleaner. Start by vacuuming or sweeping the floor. Then mix Karndean Clean with water then mop the floor.
- Karndean Remove – for use on the floor to remove contaminants and films before applying Karndean Refresh.
- Karndean Refresh – a polish to give your Karndean flooring a new-like sheen. Apply Karndean Refresh when your floor shows wear or has many scratches.
Of course, you can also use cleaning products from other companies. Just make sure you use pH-neutral detergent to avoid discolouring the floor. Also, avoid bleach as it can also cause discolouration.
You can also use homemade cleaners such as a mixture of warm water and white vinegar. This will clean the floor, kill germs and tackle mild stains.
Before mopping the floor, always make sure you remove loose dust and dirt. You can do this with a vacuum cleaner. Alternatively, use a long handled broom and dustpan to sweep and collect loose dirt.
Something else to remember is that standing water doesn’t go well with any kind of flooring, even waterproof flooring like Karndean.
Wipe or mop spills immediately they happen. The moisture can stain the floor and it’s also a slip risk especially for kids and the elderly.
Also, quickly clean up any messes that might cause staining such as a pet or baby accident.
If you are worried about germs on the floor, most detergents as well as Karndean Clean are great at sterilizing surfaces. You do not need to use a steam cleaner. Even a mixture of vinegar and water will work fine.
So while occasional steam cleaning will not cause immediately noticeable damage, it will reduce the lifespan of your Karndean flooring. With so many other cleaning options, steam cleaning is unnecessary.