How to Polish Hardwood Floors (Step by Step Guide)

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As hard as your floor may be, it needs proper cleaning and polishing. With the number of times it endures beating, from shifting furniture, high heels to children’s toys, its finish still gets scuffs and scratches.

Refinishing is one way of handling your hardwood floor. This is the process of entirely sanding your floor by giving it a whole new surface finish. It is an expensive process that lasts for a couple of years.

When it comes to polishing the floor with specific products designed for your floor, it becomes an easy and less expensive way to regain your hardwood floor shine with reduced imperfection and an extended lifetime for your hardwood floor.

All you have to do is use a commercial hardwood floor polish which comes in high or low-gloss sheens with a flat-headed mop that has cleaning pads that are microfiber to get your desired floor look.

Polishing your floor depends on the finish. Floors with unsealed woods or Tung oil finishes need no polishing, but hardwood floors with a protective surface will gain from polish.

Consider knowing what type of floor finish you have before thinking of going for a polish. The use of incorrect products can cause huge problems, from the finish being dull to improper refinish down to your floor, turning out slick.

The first step to take before knowing how to polish your hardwood floor is knowing your floor type. This will be of help you not to enter and bring about damages.

After knowing your floor type, here are the simple step on how to polish your hardwood floor;

How to Polish Hardwood Floors: Step by Step Guide

1. Testing the finish on the floor

You are not sure what type of floor you have? Do not worry about yourself. From an inconspicuous place, scrape a little bit.

If the area’s finish has no clear materials after scraping, it means your floor has a penetrating finish. Stop there! Do not go further as your floor type does not need polish instead of wax it.

If the floor shows clear material after scraping a bit, it means your floor has a surface finish. Go ahead and polish this type of hardwood floor.

Do not forget to test the finish of inconspicuous areas of the wood before polishing the whole floor.

2. Clean and clear dirt and dust from your hardwood floor

Here you need to empty the room by taking away any furniture available. Later, you can sanitize the room comprehensively to eliminate dirt and dust.

Vacuum or sweep the floor, then mop it with a wood floor cleaner. Give the floor another rinse with a clean mop to remove any cleaner residue left behind. Dry it completely with a clean, soft towel and let it dry on its own.

3. Polish your hardwood floor to a shine

After making sure the room is clean and dry, bring your polish for application. Start from the back corner of your room, making sure you create your exit path near the door.

In an S-shaped manner, pour a small amount of hardwood floor polish on the floor. Using a mop with a flat surface, spread the solution back and forth carefully on the wood floor, get rid of any air bubbles.

Polish your hardwood floor to a shine

To best control, your spread and your amount application, work in small portions like two to five feet in all directions. Try to make sure you have coated the whole floor, remember thin layers dry more than thick layers.

In this case, you do not have to stuff your floor with much polish. You can always repeat the process at any time when you need a shiny hardwood floor.

4. Do not reload your room for a day or two.

Do not rush to bring your furniture or things back to the floor-polished room. Give the floor a full bright-lit day and some traffic light to dry before embarking on your normal.

Take care not to scratch the floor when getting back your furniture to their original places. Try not to drag or slide furniture, lift all items when returning to their places.

You just had your hardwood floor polished. You won’t want to lose that shine any soon, remembering the hard task you took in polishing the floor.

For further protection from your heavy furniture, try placing furniture pads underneath.

5. For a great looking hardwood floor, follow a few precautions.

great looking hardwood floor

Amazing! Your floor looks exactly new as it was first before all its scratches. Try to maintain it by doing the following simple tricks; placing a rug at the door entrance helps prevent any dirt from tracing its way inside the room.

If your hardwood floor is in the kitchen, place a rug below your sink to capture any water drops.

You can also have a regular cleaning routine, like cleaning the entire floor deeply once a month and vacuuming it weekly.

Avoid the use of homemade cleaning detergents like ammonia or vinegar on your hardwood floor- these will dull your floor. Instead, check on the natural solution like castile soap to use on your wood floor.

Following these measures, keenly will help you to maintain the shine of your hardwood floor. If need be, polishing your floor annually to retain its shine won’t be a bad idea.

Just remember not to exceed three polish applications annually.

The Do’s When Polishing a Hardwood Floor

The key to any work done well is proper preparation. When you want to have the best results polishing your floor, a dry floor is a secret—not forgetting having the correct amount of polish and the right tools to make your working session hassle-free.

  • Before your working session, make sure you get enough polish for your floor. Calculate the room’s square footage and measure the floor. To get the footage square, multiply the room’s width and its length. If your room is 500square meters, then 32oz of polish is enough.
  • After getting enough polish for your floor, it is time to clean it. Use a natural soap solution with a flat surface mop to clean the floor and then a small clean pad to remove all the solution residue.
  • Take away all your furniture, rugs, electronic applications, and your vacuum cleaner from the room.
  • Later on, try to clean the floor in sections to ensure no residue or dirt is left behind in any section.
  • Test the polish in a small area to ensure it is the one you want to use on your hardwood floor.
  • You can now pour the polish directly to the flow in an S-shape pattern. Take a flat microfiber pad and use it to apply the polish on the floor in a back and forth manner. Be careful not to pour the polish on the wall.

The Don’ts When Polishing A Hardwood Floor.

It would be best if you had a shiny wood floor after the polish application. When the floor turns out milky or cloudy, it is as a result of handling the polish improperly. To get the best polishing results, do not contaminate your polish by transferring it to another container. Also, water should not come near your polish solution. Other things to do are;

  • The polish should not be poured into a bucket.
  • It would be best if you poured your polish directly on the floor. Do not pour it on a spray bottle or the microfiber pad.
  • It would help if you did not use your polish with a string, wring mop or a sponge.
  • Your polish should have a shiny and thick layer when applied at the right rate. Do not make the layer so thick.
  • When applying your polish, do not use the cleaning action. Your floor needs you to work on it gently and not to rub or scrub it.
  • After opening your polish, use it before one year of opening and have one to two years of shelf life unopened.

Winding up your polishing

Allow your hardwood polished floor one and half a day before getting it back to allowing pets on the floor, returning furniture, and any other normal traffic.

For a better shine, wait for a day to apply a second coat on the floor. It is always advisable to check the right polishing products before you think of purchasing.

How to Polish Hardwood Floor Naturally?

You do not always have to go and buy a cleaning solution for your hardwood floor to look clean and polished. There is a natural way of the do it yourself method to help you polish your wood floor.

You only need white vinegar and olive oil. These combinations added with a little lemon will leave you hardwood floor sparkling and smelling nice.

This is worth a try at home! Your floor needs to be thoroughly clean before polish.

Whatever means you want to use to polish your hardwood floor, it is important to note that not all floors are the same. Some look great when waxed, and we have other wood floors that need polishing.

Try as much as possible to know your wood floor type before embarking on your polishing journey.

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