Wood floor finish/polish. Don’t do it.

In another life, I refinished hardwood floors…I also re-coated them. The re-coating process is a fairly straight forward process that involves you moving all of your stuff out of your house or at least the rooms you’d like to have done, and turning your hardwood floor person loose in there for a few hours. No sanding required, so the floor remains with it full thickness and you don’t have to vacuum every crevasse in your home. It restores luster and hardiness to an aging layer of polyurethane that was beginning to wear thin and fail. The job of the polyurethane is to keep dirt from penetrating into the wood leaving a dark stain in it’s wake…that’s it. It’s one and only job. Enter a re-coat…

Now the the products I mentioned in the title are not the same as a re-coat. They are made and designed for the homeowner who wants to do it all. Simple to find and apply, and very affordable…but it takes the re-coat off of the table. Most of these products are acrylic based which leaves a build up of residue on your wood floors. And in no time, you’ll be apply a second, third, and then a fourth coat in under a year, while a well maintained wood floor can last for 7-15 years before a re-coat is needed. It builds up in a way that makes the floor appear dirty, muddled, with no luster or warmth. But the real problem happens when a recoat is attempted, then all heck breaks loose.

Water and oil based polyurethanes are not able to adhere to an acrylic based product, so it needs to be removed prior to re-coating. There goes more of your hard earned money and time….and at the worst it could cause your wood floor person to suggest a refinish. Bring out the plastic and blue tape, and prepare to be gone for a few more days. Ugh…. I’ll admit that the products do what they say, but for a very short time. If you happen to use a cleaning service at your house, be sure they are not using any product that is a polish or finish, but produced to clean polyurethaned wood floors. If in doubt, vinegar and water are a treat.

Don’t buy into advertising, the old adage “if it’s too good to be true…” still works in this nomenclature. Be informed, call wood floor people, ask questions, try to find out what is currently on your floor. Even if you are not a pro it’s astounding the information you can get from the manufactures…because in the end, YOU are their customer…