DIY Guide: Keeping hardwood gorgeous without all the effort! Part 1
Those of us who have already invested in the addition of beautiful hardwood flooring within our homes know what a pleasure it can be.
Though some may still be on the fence about taking the leap, should they decide to go forward with hardwood flooring, they will likely do so without ever looking back. One of the things that makes one love their hardwood floors is the ease with which the floor can be cleaned and maintained. A simple dusting or sweeping and use of a barely dampened mop can leave your hardwood surface looking like it did on the first week after installation in just a few short minutes!
Often one will hear and read about further maintenance of their hardwood flooring, such as polishing and buffing. I decided to look into these methods in order to decide if I wanted to try and restore the hardwood in our home to its former glory.
It has been a few years since installation and it had never been submitted to any maintenance such as polishing, waxing or anything further than a good cleaning. As I began to research these different methods, I quickly noticed inconsistencies in what path to take. Obviously I was looking for a DIY option rather than hiring expensive professionals, and I am not looking to do anything too drastic such as stripping or refinishing the floors.
The main goal I was setting out to achieve was to give the finish that like-new shine it once had and possibly improve upon the appearance of the hardwood floors that have become a little worn and scratched over the years. Some places I looked said to use polish, while other said that a good cleaning was just as good for the shine of the finish if done properly. Some other sources suggested buffing the floors by hand or with an electric buffing machine.
Luckily, I remembered the golden rule of floor maintenance; always check with your floor covering’s manufacturer.
Out of the two different floors I was looking to improve, one was a solid, prefinished pine floor and the other an engineered hickory hardwood made by Mannington. I checked with mannington and found that they suggested no buffing and no waxing on their floors. They also said that if you wished to polish your hardwood then you should use their polishing product. Here is where I came to see that in some cases you will not want to use the same methods of maintenance on engineered or solid wood floors.
After much deliberation I decided to start by focusing on the solid wood, as it is in a smaller area and would be the lighter task.
So what direction to take?
Should I polish or wax it by hand?
Should I rent a buffing machine from a local hardware store and go hardcore on that fading and worn finish?
I was in the midst of choosing the latter when I found out about another option. The wax most commonly used on hardwood with an electric buffer is made by SC Johnson, and while researching it I found out about another alternative product offered by SC Johnson for restoring your hardwood floors. This other option is a one step, no buffing solution that is merely wiped in with the grain of the wood and then allowed to dry.
I was intrigued by the option of saving around $40-50 in equipment rental and being able to restore an entire room worth of floor myself for under $10!
(Some quick pics of the solid hardwood that I will be attempting to restore first.)
This option is the one I have opted to try out myself. So consider me your guinny pig and wish me luck as I enter into my maiden voyage of the endeavor of maximizing the brilliance of these solid hardwood floors. I will be releasing a follow up to this article to let everyone know if this cheap and easy option worked out for me!