If you didn’t install or finish the hardwood floors in your home, you may have no idea what type of finish is on your hardwood flooring. You are not alone.
The first step in understanding more about your hardwood floor finish is to understand the three common types of wood flooring finish used.
The three major types of wood flooring finishes available are surface finishes, wax, and acrylic impregnated. The experts at the National Wood Flooring Association, stress that using the right maintenance products for the right type of hardwood finish will protect and prolong the life of the floor.
SURFACE FINISHES, also referred to as urethanes or polyurethanes, are practical and very popular. They remain on the surface of the wood and form a protective coating that is water-resistant, durable and requires minimal maintenance. If you have a newer wood floor, it is likely surface sealed.
For cleaning purposes, use products recommended by the flooring manufacturer. If the floors were finished or refinished on site, contact the installer. If neither is known, use a generic hardwood floor cleaner which can be purchased at a retail flooring store. Never use wax-based or petroleum-based products on a surface finish floor, as they will damage the finish.
WAX FINISHES soak into the wood, harden to form a protective penetrating seal, and when needed, are maintained with additional thin applications of wax. Only solvent-based waxes, buffing pastes or cleaning liquids made specifically for wax-finished wood floors should be used.
Use cleaning products, available at retail flooring stores, made specifically for wax finishes. Follow the directions carefully to determine how long the cleaner should remain on the floor. Once the floor is clean, apply a new coat of wax to restore luster.
ACRYLIC IMPREGNATED FINISHES are injected into the wood to create a super-hard, extremely durable floor. These finishes most often are used in high traffic areas of malls, restaurants and other commercial settings.
Cleaning an acrylic impregnated floor depends on the finish. If the floor has a urethane-based finish, follow the same procedures suggested for surface finished floors. If the floor has a nonurethane-based finish, use a spray and buff system, as recommended by the manufacturer.
In our next blog, learn more about taking care of your hardwood flooring.