Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wax Your Hard Woods Beautifully

One of the cheapest and most effective ways to protect hardwood flooring is by waxing. Water-based wax is non-toxic, has little or no odour and is not harmful to children or pets. You can wax an average size room by yourself even if you have never done so before.

The idea is of course to have the floor look as shiny as possible without actually being shiny enough to be slippery. In this regard then be sure to follow product guidelines to the letter and take additional precautions too such as using non-slip runners on rugs and mats.

Different types of wax

If the floor is bare (that is it has no veneer) then solid wax can be applied straight from the tub and worked energetically into the grain of the wood by hand. Time consuming as it is, this method works really well and is so worth doing if you want your hardwood floor sanding to stay beautiful. Solid wax comes in paste form and can also be used on real linoleum, cork (if unfinished) and, surprisingly enough, concrete.

The best way to apply this solid wax is via a piece of porous cloth (cheesecloth is ideal). You simply place a chunk of wax inside the cloth and wrap it up. Secure the bundle tightly and apply to the floor. You can work on your knees applying the wax through the cloth (never directly on to) the floor, but you can also tie the bundle securely onto a brush shaft to give your knees a rest.

You should avoid using solid wax on any hardwood floor that has a topcoat applied and never use it on artificial flooring such as vinyl or flooring that has been finished with a urethane-based product.

If you feel solid waxing is not for you then you can use liquid wax or oil. Like the solid wax, liquid wax too should only be applied to unfinished hardwoods, real lino and unfinished cork flooring. The liquid is easier to apply but unfortunately the sheen will not last as long as with solid wax.

The other alternative is to use a water-based silicone product. This type of finishing can be used pretty much anywhere except on wood which has not been sealed, cork or linoleum products. This product can be applied using a floor polisher. Avoid allowing the liquid to seep into the floor boards and through the cracks. To avoid this happening apply only sparingly and give the floor several coatings. Ensure each coat is completely dry before applying the next. Applying this product on a floor that is not dry will result in a messy, streaky effort, which you will then have to re-do. Patience is key here. Water-based silicone is in fact the only product which can be safely applied to floors with a urethane finishing.

Whichever product you use, take care to wear appropriate protective overalls and always wear gloves. If you should spill any product on the skin wash off immediately. Work carefully and slowly to avoid splashing furniture, skirting and walls. This product will stain paint and wallpaper.

To wax or not to wax

With so many new and wood floor renovation finishing products out there it is not surprisingly that old-fashioned wax has lost some of its appeal yet it is the most economical method of refreshing any type of hardwood floor.

If you are willing to put in the time and elbow grease then your floor will reward you by looking beautiful, sparking and bright. However if you are unable to commit to working for long spells on your knees then you may consider getting a little specialist help. You will be able to obtain a no fee quotation from your local floor sanding company who will assess your floor and tell you whether waxing is right for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment