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SPECIALTY FINISHING OF WOOD FLOORS

Wax Finishes

Maintenance tips specific to wax-type finishes include:

  • As with any wood floor, follow a program of sweeping and vacuuming.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a dry cloth. Buffing may be required.
  • To remove white spots caused by water spills, use a fine steel wool, a soft cloth or synthetic pad and a small amount of mineral spirits. Rub gently in a circular motion until the spot is gone. Then re-wax the area and rebuff.
  • When the floor loses its luster in heavy traffic areas, buff those areas with a polishing brush or pad. If that does not restore luster, re-wax only those areas and buff. Note that too much wax causes the floor to scuff easily.
  • Eventually the floor will need to be stripped and re-waxed. Even if waxed floors are completely sanded down, they may be very difficult to coat over with a surface finish.
  • Use only a professional carnauba-based wax designed for wood floors.

Oil Finishes

Maintenance tips for oil – type finishes include:

  • As with any wood floor, follow a program of sweeping and vacuuming.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a dry cloth.
  • The oil finish will need to be periodically reapplied by a professional. There are many types of oil finishes (see glossary); follow the directions for that specific product

Non-Urethane-Coated Acrylic Impregnated Floors

The care of non-urethane-coated acrylic impregnated floors differs significantly from most other floor finishes:

  • Use a low speed buffing machine with the appropriate pad and recommended cleaning product as necessary. Depending on the manufacturer, different pads may be recommended for different steps in the cleaning process.
  • Use recommended dust mop treatments to enhance dust mopping.
  • For white/bleached products, always use an untreated mop-never use water or petroleum- based products. The floor should be buffed with a low-speed buffer and a recommended product specifically for white/bleached floors. (More maintenance will be required of white/bleached floor than other colors.)
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions for spot-cleaning stubborn stains. Methods include spot sanding or screening and then applying the recommended cleaner and conditioner. Other methods include using mineral spirits or hydrogen peroxide and a hand-sized piece of synthetic pad to remove the stain.
  • Note that recoating such floors with urethane will void the manufacturer’s warranty.

 

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