Can I clean a carpet without ruining the hardwood underneath?
August 1, 2008 7:45 PM   Subscribe

If I steam clean a carpet that has been installed on top of a painted hardwood floor, will I ruin the hardwood?

I have a room in my house that has carpet on top of painted hardwood. Down the road, I am thinking of refinishing the hardwood floor. If I were to steam clean the carpet, would I be risking ruining the hardwood? Are there other things I should be taking into consideration?
posted by perpetualstroll to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
I don't think a steam-cleaned carpet stays wet long enough to harm the wood underneath. The fact that it's painted might be a consideration, but if you're eventually going to refinish it anyway, I don't think you have anything to worry about.
posted by amyms at 10:09 PM on August 1, 2008

If you don't want to risk damage to the floor, you might try one of these "dry" cleaning processes. None will give as good a cleaning as steam.
posted by Knappster at 10:36 PM on August 1, 2008

People wash hardwood floors with water all the time, wisely or not. The paint probably offers ample protection against damage, and you say you plan to refinish anyway, which will pretty much eliminate all but the worst blemishes (and often you need to replace a few boards when you do this regardless; keep in mind that the floor may have been painted because it was already ugly).

If you are exceptionally concerned about locking in moisture, you could go over the carpet using a wet/dry shopvac after cleaning.
posted by dhartung at 11:35 PM on August 2, 2008

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