Maybe, but you must be sure your hardwood floor is sealed, and even then, you should proceed with caution. For expert advice about wood floors in Portland, OR, visit Marion's Carpet & Flooring Warehouses.
What is sealed hardwood?
The protective coating on hardwood flooring is polyurethane, aluminum oxide, or shellac. It guards against west, scratches, scuffs, etc. We call it finish, but you'll hear the words "sealed hardwood" when talking about steam cleaners. The problem is the finish is only on the surface, so a "sealed hardwood flooring installation” isn’t completely waterproof, especially since it isn’t possible to seal the seams or joints between the floor planks.
Hardwood is porous, and excess moisture and humidity will cause wood to warp, cup and crown. Steam cleaners use hot water to clean and disinfect the surface of a floor. While the vapor travels into crevices to kill germs and bacteria, it can also stay there to create problems in the future, despite manufacturer claims.
If you do proceed to use a steam cleaner
Be sure the seal is intact before using any machine on wood. The thicker it is, the more impenetrable it will be.
Use the water test: drop a tablespoon of water onto the floor's surface. If it just beads up and doesn't move, the floor can't be penetrated. However, if the water spreads out or is absorbed, the seal is compromised. Note: The quality of the seal varies throughout the surface, do test it in several locations.
At Marion's Carpet & Flooring Warehouses, our goal is to keep your hardwood flooring looking great for a long time. So come into our showrooms in either of our two locations: Wilsonville or Portland, OR, especially if you live or work in or around Wilsonville, Beaverton, Portland, Vancouver, and Lake Oswego. You'll be happy you came in and will walk out with a free quote.