Maintaining floors after the professional work
Getting floors sanded and then polished is a major undertaking thus making sure the floors stay in good shape is pretty critical. It isn’t necessary to always call in the professionals to have the floor polished and for smaller floors which don’t have issues with scratching or damage, floor polishing can be done a few times a year to make sure the floor retains its shine after the professionals are done.
Before doing anything it’s important to know what kind of floor is actually in place. This should have been communicated either when the house was built or when the floor was last sanded or polished. This is important because floors need different kinds of treatment. Some, like polyurethane can be cleaned with water only but lacquered floors should not come into contact with water and needs to be waxed. Lacquer thinner can be used to test if the floor has been finished with lacquer. This can be done by applying a few drops to an inconspicuous part of the floor. If the floor feels soft after application, then it has been lacquered.
The first step is clearly the most obvious one in that the floor itself needs to get exposed. That means removing any mats or rugs and clearing away any furniture on the floor so the floor can be accessed. The next step is clearing away any dust or cobwebs from the floor so the surface is able to be properly polished without any issues. If the floor has not been waxed, it should be mopped but if it has been waxed then vacuuming is the right step.
The choice of polish is quite important. For polyurethane floors, water based polishes are best but for other types a wax based polish is better. Not matter the type of floor, choose a polish without organic compounds so limiting toxic chemical exposure. Even though the guidelines for choosing should help with getting the right product, it is important to test the polish to ensure it won’t affect the colour of the wood. For this, choose a part of the floor that is hidden by furniture and apply polish and then wipe it away. If no damage appears, continue but if the colour changes then it is time to call the professionals.
Polish from the interior corner and move outward.
Wipe in sections of 1m x 1m at a time and move gradually across the width to the next corner and then along the length to the other corner. Polish the centre and area next to the doorway last to avoid issues with walking over recently worked on areas . Floors that have been waxed would need multiple layers of polish and the layers should be given 24 hours each to dry before applying another layer. In every case of application, the drying phase is critical and the room should be left without interference till everything dries to ensure the best finish.