There are a huge range of hardwood floor maintenance products available on the market to it’s essential that you understand which ones are best for your particular type of hardwood floor. If in doubt, contact your flooring manufacturer or we will happily visit you to give you our expert advice. Don’t fall for everything you read. Some products which claim to be the next best thing can cause a residue to build up which will make your floor look dirty.
It is always best to hire a professional, but if your budget does not allow it, it is possible to undertake basic hardwood floor maintenance yourself. There are three main types of wood finishes available- wax, surface finishes and acrylic. They are not all as easy to apply though and you should make sure that you know what you are doing and that you have read the instructions thoroughly before commencing.
Surface finishes (also known as urethanes and polyurethanes) provide a durable, water resistant and long lasting finish. They do, however, contain harsh chemicals and come with a strong odor that some people find difficult to deal with. If you are applying in a house or premises with children, pets or people with breathing difficulties then you shouldn’t apply when they are in the premises and you should ensure that the room is very well ventilated whilst the treatment is being applied and whilst it is drying. There are water based products that don’t take as long to dry or that don’t give off the same odor but they don’t always last as long.
Acrylic finishes are injected direct into the wood, creating a hardwearing, durable finish which is ideal for high traffic areas like hallways and shopping malls.
Waxes soak direct into the floor and leave a protective seal. They are relatively odor free, but take care to choose the correct color- starting too dark is a common problem that’s very difficult and costly to rectify! In addition, you should never use a wax based product on a floor that has already been surface finished; it will completely ruin the finish and may require you to have a whole new floor or replacement patch.
Always remember to use a suitable cleaner. If you use harsh chemicals they will strip your floor of its lustre and shine and can cause permanent damage. Always remember if you are in any doubt then ask or get a professional in to do the job!