Hardwood floors are durable floorings that are installed in most homes. But over a period, they may accumulate microscopic scratches and lose its finish and luster as a result of daily foot traffic and the weekly cleaning. Whether you are planning to or already have it installed in your home, it is an essential practice to polish the hardwood floors every two to four months as recommended by most flooring experts. Polishing does not only restore your wooden floors to its original shine and beauty, but it will also increase their life span by being protected from any future damage.
Not all hardwoods require polishing
Before planning to polish your floor, make sure that you know what type of flooring is under your feet. If you have lacquered or oiled floor, you may need to refinish it instead of polishing. Refinishing these types of hardwood will require you to remove the existing finish by sanding it off and replacing it by waxing. It is best to polish hardwood floors finished with polyurethane. Completing the existing finish isn’t necessary; rather, it is refurbished by covering the blemishes caused by daily living and restoring it to its most desirable appearance.
Things to consider when polishing
Before bathing your floor with a polishing material, the very first thing to consider is the type and brand that you plan on using. A water-based or urethane polish would be the right choice for polyurethane finished floors. Also, it is important that you test the polishing material on an area that is hidden, like under a cabinet. Apply the polish on the selected area then wipe it with a cloth. After a week, check the area and if the surface gloss looks desirable enough for you, you’re ready to go through polishing the entire floor.
One more thing to consider is the length of time that the cleaning and polishing will take. For extensive floor areas, you may need to work the whole day, or pick a polish that makes the work less strenuous. An example of which is Bona Polish that only requires you to clean the area quickly with Bona Hardwood Flooring and to dry it for one hour before stepping on the floor.
For an easy DIY polishing, here are some quick steps to guide you:
Step 1. Prepare the floor.
The first step in making the floor ready is to clear it by removing all obstacles as much as possible. Do not drag furniture and heavy objects across the floor. Doing so may bring permanent damage to the hardwood which cannot be helped by polishing. You can use pads under the legs of your furniture to prevent this.
Clean the floor using soft bristled broom to sweep the floors without causing further scratches. If you prefer vacuuming, a vacuum in good shape with good wheels should be used. After removing the dust, mop the floor with hardwood cleaner diluted in water. Make sure to let the floor dry thoroughly before starting to polish it.
Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the polish bought and make sure that the tools required for polishing like applicators are ready.
Step 2. Apply the polish.
Now that you’ve done all the necessary preparations, you can start polishing by working in small sections. Following the instructions on the package, you can apply it by spraying directly on the floor or by using a microfiber cloth, an applicator pad, or a roller. The feathering technique is probably the best approach in polishing as it prevents visible streaks of uneven polish on the floor. This technique is done by overlapping semi-circle strokes. Make sure to work first from the most interior corner of the room up to the door so you can exit without stepping on the area that was polished already.
Step 3. Finishing.
Allow the polish to dry completely for at least an hour before stepping on it and arranging the furniture back in the room. Do not subject the floor to heavy traffic until after 24 hours. Now you have a perfect looking hardwood floor.