How to Polish Polyurethane Wood Floors

Polyurethane floors tend to be shiny and bright. They offer highly abrasive coatings that provide both durability and longevity. But you may have to polish your floors every now and then to ensure a good shine. 

One thing that is sure to enhance the beauty of your home is a polyurethane wood floor. It not only gives your room an extravagant look but also makes it appear brighter. However, there is usually a catch. Frequent exposure to dirt and debris may damage your floors and make them appear dull.

This article will highlight the many reasons floors lose their texture. It will also include steps that you can follow to recover the original look and surprise your guests. There is a lot more to the story, continue reading to untangle the full mystery.

How to polish your polyurethane wood floors

Before you polish your floors, it is important that you are sure of the material used in its construction. Testing the wood finish is an easy job. You can either get a professional to do it or you can scrape off a small area yourself to access the finish. The penetrating finish is visible if you are unable to take out a clear material. Your floor has a smooth finish if there is a clear material underneath the wooden surface. Here is a visual aid to guide you through the process:

Here is what you have to do to polish the floors.

  1. The first step is to clean the floors to remove any accumulated dust from the surface. Remove all the furniture from your room and make as much space for the process as possible. 
  2. Install furniture pads to avoid leaving any stretch marks on the floor. Make sure none of your kids or pets come inside the room for a day.
  3. Then, mop the wood to ensure the removal of dirt. You can use a homemade solution containing warm water and dish soap. There are also commercial cleaners available.
  4. Once you have cleaned the surface with damped cloth, dry it using a soft and clean towel.
  5. Now it’s time to polish the surface to restore the original shine of the polyurethane floors. It would help if you ideally began from a corner and then move up and down the room. This is to ensure that no air bubbles remain while smudging.
  6. You should also apply the coat to smaller areas to ensure even distribution. If you see some layers drying up before others, make sure you apply an additional coat on top.
  7. You should leave the room for some time and open windows to speed up the drying process. 
  8. Then wait for a day before you place the furniture back inside the room. If this is not possible, then avoid walking on the floor for a few hours.
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How to maintain a well-polished look

We have already established the correct procedure for polishing the floors. But once you have done that, you need to maintain that look for the greatest time possible. Here is what you should and shouldn’t do to ensure a beautiful polyurethane wooden floor.

Things you should do

  1. Always inspect the floor to see whether there are any scratches or permanent prints. You may also check it for coating errors and apply a finishing when needed.
  2. When dragging or moving furniture to and from the room, you should always use furniture pads. These are rubber leg protectors that are used to ensure that no scratches or marks appear on the flooring.
  3. Thorough cleaning is important, but so is frequent cleaning. You should try to sweep up any dirt or dust that accumulates on the surface. This is harmful because abrasive dirt can leave scratches.
  4. Footprints and toenails of pets can damage the flooring, so you should always place solid doormats at your home entrance. These will keep dirt out.
  5. If you have kids who are often reckless, you need to keep soft paper towels on standby. If there are any liquid spills, you can immediately remove the stains with a damp towel.
  6. Exposure to moisture can also leave a lasting imprint on your floor. This is why you should dry your bathroom slippers frequently to avoid any such issue.
  7. It is recommended that you use homemade solutions for cleaning the floors; however, if you don’t want to go through the trouble, then buy light cleaners that don’t permanently damage the exterior layer of the wooden floor.
  8. Temperature changes also tend to damage the layers. Wood can expand and contract according to the external environment. So it would be great if you ensure a constant temperature throughout your home.
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Things you should not do

  1. You should not wear high or sleek heels when walking on your wooden floors. These tend to leave permanent marks on top. If there is a carpet covering the floor, then you can wear any shoes you want. 
  2. Any extreme measure that you take for cleaning is going to backfire. You should hence not use very cold or very hot water. The former will damage the edges, whereas the latter will dull the finish.
  3. You should never use a completely soaked cloth or towel on polyurethane surfaces. These are likely to damage the coating that covers the floors.
  4. If you have kids at home, make sure they don’t leave any wet items like towels, slippers, or moist cups on surfaces. These tend to hamper the effort you did while polishing the surface.
  5. Harsh cleaners tend to be counter-effective and should hence not be used. The damage is more evident when you use them with abrasive tools.
  6. Any cleaners that contain oil and wax should be avoided. This is because polyurethane already comes with oil covering on top.
  7. Contrary to what is believed, ammonia and vinegar and any similar ingredient tend to harden the floors and remove a good finishing. It is advised that you avoid their usage at all costs.
  8. The most important step is not to avoid the cleaning process. You will have to spend twice the time and effort if you prolong the cleaning.
  9. Avoid opening your home to direct sunlight because a sudden or prolonged exposure to it can reduce the wood’s shine.
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Polyurethane wood floors are an expensive investment and they hence need to be protected at all costs. Since they are delicate, they tend to be affected by dirt and debris accumulation. You can avoid any such buildup by polishing these floors and restoring the beautiful aesthetics of your home.

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