After you read this blog, you may be game for a thorough cleaning of your floor and possibly adding a top coat of finish or wax to your floor. But, beyond that you could be entering un-chartered territories. Then it’s best to call in an expert for sanding and finishing. So, as with any home improvement contractor, get referrals from trusted friends and tradesmen, check references, and go see their previous work. So, here’s the short list for refreshing your hardwood floors.
Give them a thorough clean.
Start your clean with a thorough vacuum throughout the room and then clean your floor with a damp, not wet mop which has been sprayed with warm water. If your floor is extremely dirty, you may decide to use a cleaning product but here are 2 good tips:
Do use a floor-cleaning product recommended by the floor finisher or opt for plain soap and water.
If the recommended product is hard to find or costly and other floor cleaners contain ingredients that violate your floor’s warranty, try soap and water. Try a 1/4 cup of mild or pH-neutral soap (like liquid dishwashing soap) or Murphy Oil Soap (despite the name, it doesn’t contain oil) to a bucket of water.
Don’t rely on water alone or a vinegar and water solution to clean hardwood floors. Mopping with water will result in dingy-looking floors and won’t fight dirt buildup. Vinegar and water is not as effective as soapy water and — some suggest — may dull floors sooner.
Top up your finish.
If your floor is looking tired because the finish has had its fair share of wear and tear, you can refresh it by topping up the finish. The two main types of wood flooring finish are lacquer and wax. People who prefer lacquered wood flooring tend to appreciate a higher shine than those who choose the more natural looking, oil finish. Obviously, you put on what you already have – do not mix and match coatings.
Screen & Re-coat.
Screening and buffing are the same thing. Both mean that you “scuff up” or abrade the floor, and then you apply a coat of polyurethane for protection and sheen. Screening is often called buffing, since the screening is done with a buffer. Screening both smooths the floors a bit, and the abrasive action allows the polyurethane to adhere to the surface better. The screen and recoat process can restore the glow of the floors and give them a refreshed look.
Refinish & Re-coat
If your floor has deep gouges and the finish has been completely worn through in areas, you will need a full refinishing job. So, as with any home improvement contractor, get referrals from trusted friends and tradesmen, check references, and go see their previous work. This is important as they will be running an industrial grade drum sander which will take your floor down to the bare wood. After that you can decide to add stain and re-coat or simply re-coat your floors and they will look like new!
Hardwood floors are a gorgeous and enviable feature of any home. They add a touch of luxury and warmth, and can elevate the presentation of an entire room. They are worth the effort.