Hardwood floors are one of the easiest types of flooring to keep clean. Unlike carpets, they require minimum maintenance and could potentially last for a couple of decades, if attended properly. Clean hardwood floors have a way of making your house look both beautiful, and spacious. Most of the maintenance methods are relatively the same, and don’t differ much depending on the particular type of hardwood flooring, but some finishes might require you to pay extra attention and work with extra care when removing stains.
Using a damp mop is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to clean a hardwood floor. Just make sure you have removed all of the dust from the surface of the floor (vacuuming, or through some other means), as the dust particles can act as an abrasive and actually scratch your floor. You can use a soft broom, or a lightweight vacuum cleaner, and then simply mop. Rinse and repeat a couple of times until you’re faced with a sparkling clean floor. It’s important to emphasize on the importance of removing grit and dirt from hardwood floors, as they are one of the main reasons behind scratches, scuffs, and scours.
There is a wide variety of hardwood floor cleaners available on the market, but a pH neutral cleaner, coupled with some water, will be your best option. Please make sure the sealing coat is untouched and undamaged, as if it’s not, the water-based solution will seep through any worn patches, penetrate the floor, and cause warping.
Most hardwood floors nowadays are finished with polyurethane-based agents that make the surface appear shiny and glossy. Polyurethane provides a mirror-like look, and it makes the material become extremely hard wearing. The other main groups of finishing agents, called penetrating seals, are wax- or oil- based coating products, that penetrate deeply in the wood, in order to protect it from within.
There’s no such thing as a wooden floor that’s impervious to stains. A small amount of alcohol can be used to help remove persistent stains, followed by polishing and buffing, as a way of finishing the job. For the really hard-to-remove stains, the only way of getting them removed might be to have the entire floor sanded.
Depending on the amount of floor traffic in your house, you may have to clean your wooden floors at least once a week. Take the time to tell your guests to remove their footwear on entering. This will immensely help in reducing the number of heel marks that will get imprinted onto the floors, and cut down on future maintenance costs.
It comes as no surprise that many people don’t make a difference between polishing and refinishing. Refinishing is a process where you remove the old finish and apply a completely new one, whereas polishing refers to strengthening the already existing finish by adding another coat of it on top.
How Exactly to Polish Hardwood Floor?
The first logical step would be to free up the space in the room by removing all furniture. If possible, use furniture pads to avoid doing damage to your floor. Then you have to thoroughly clean the area by sweeping and vacuuming the dust, then follow up with a wet mop. Make sure the floor is dry before proceeding further! The polish itself can be easily applied with an applicator pad. Begin working in small areas while always keeping the applicator wet, and more importantly – follow the wood’s grain. Do you know what the ‘feathering’ technique painters use, is? It’s when the painter dampens the canvas he is working on, and then applies a colour with a single stroke of his brush. As the colour is absorbed by the paper, it will spread and expand further, due to the paper being moist. A similar technique should be applied here. This way the polish will disperse evenly if the floor has suffered damage, such as scratches, as they will be filled perfectly and will even out with the rest of the floor. Then you should wait for the polish to dry for at least an hour. Consider letting it dry for about 24 hours, if you want to expose it to a heavy foot traffic. When it comes to polishing, few can match the leader in the category – Bona. We recommend using Hardwood Floor Polish, when you need a quality product that will provide you with lasting results.
How Often Do I Have to Polish My Floor?
That heavily depends on the amount of foot traffic your floor is getting. If the floor in question is in a small, family home, there’s no need to polish it as often as someone who owns a big business, with lots of visitors, will. The size of the room will obviously have an effect on the amount of time and effort put into the task, but every average person should have no trouble polishing the floors at their home. Although it’s a relatively easy DIY project, we still recommend leaving it to professionals.