While hardwood floors are extremely durable, their finish is still susceptible to scratches and scuff marks. After all, they take quite a beating on a daily basis from shifting furniture, children’s toys, high heels and other items! While your floors can be sanded down entirely to apply a new surface finish, this process is very expensive and really only necessary every few decades. The good news is that you can polish your floors with a product specifically formulated for hardwood floors and regain shine without spending much money at all! Here are 5 easy steps to polishing hardwood floors to restore their shine:
1. Test the Finish on Your Hardwood Floors
The first step to polishing hardwood floors is to determine whether or not they SHOULD be polished, which depends upon the finish. Floors with a protective surface such as urethane will benefit from polish while those with unsealed wood require wax rather than polish. Keep in mind that using the wrong product can lead to all types of problems! You can determine the type of finish on your floor by scraping off a tiny bit of finish from a small hidden area with a sharp knife. If the finish is smudged but no clear material shows up, your floor likely has a penetrating finish and should not be polished. However, if you see a clear material, your floor likely has a surface finish and can be polished.
2. Clean Dust and Dirt From the Floors
Once you have decided to move forward with polishing your hardwood floors, empty the room and remove as much furniture as possible. At that point, completely clean the floor to remove all of the dust and dirt. You can start by sweeping or using a vacuum cleaner, then mopping with a commercial wood floor cleaner to lift any of the leftover grime. Finish with a final pass over the floors with a clean and damp mop to eliminate and cleaner residue. At that point, you should dry the floor thoroughly with a clean, soft towel.
3. Polish the Hardwood Floors
Now that you are ready to polish your hardwood floors, start in the back corner of the room and use a path that will place you near an exit upon completion. Pour a small amount of wood polish onto the floor and use a flat surface mop to work in the solution in the direction of the wood grain and smooth out any air bubbles. The best way to control the amount of polish you applied is to work in small areas that are from 3 to 5 feet wide in each direction, but just make sure that you coat the entire floor! You can always apply a second coat if necessary.
4. Avoid Using the Room for a Full Day
After polishing your hardwood floors, wait a minimum of 1 hour before allowing light traffic back into the room. You should also wait a full day before moving furniture and other items back into the room. Avoid scratching the floor with the furniture by using a partner to help lift each piece up completely. Place it back to its original position rather than dragging the furniture across the floor.
5. Keep Your Floors Looking Great
While polishing hardwood floors is not hard work, you will want to use some effort to keep your floors looking great! You should keep rugs at entry doors to prevent dirt from being tracked into the room and remove shoes before entering. Also, maintain a regular cleaning routine, including vacuuming on a weekly basis and giving the floors a deep clean once per month. You can repeat the polishing process a few times per year if you want, but you should restrict the applications to a maximum of 4 times per year.
Now that you know the steps necessary for polishing hardwood floors and restoring their shine, take a look at all of the affordable hardwood floors from ReallyCheapFloors.com today! We look forward to assisting you with all of your hardwood flooring needs!