“Any hard floor in your home should have a finish – even if it is brand new. Why? That way any wear that happens is on the finish, not the floor. Once the floor is scratched or damaged it can’t be repaired but it is easy to deal with worn finish.” … Don Aslett
Did you know your floors can change the look and feel of your home? A dull, scratched dirty floor makes the home feel less welcoming – a clean polished floor is inviting. Caring for hard floors is far easier than you may think due to improvements in cleaners and finishes as well as mopping techniques.
But the road to easier floor care and maintenance always starts with the finish. Finishes create lasting beauty and protect hard flooring from wear, dirt and damage. At Cleaning Center, we have a wide selection of flooring finishes and restorers, each with its own distinct benefits and appearances. So if it’s time to refinish your floors, read on and follow these easy steps!
Vinyl, Linoleum and Vinyl Tile floors: First, identify if you need to strip your floor. If your floor has a “strippable” finish, you need to remove the old finish. To test the finish, pour a small amount of Mop Stripper in an out of the way spot. If it can be removed with Mop Stripper, it will soften and turn into a substance that looks a lot like kids white glue. Then follow directions for the Mop Stripper, neutralize and then you are ready for a new coat of finish. NOTE: Never apply stripper to a wood or laminate floor.
Need a little more explanation? View our brief demonstration video on stripping and refinishing hard floors:
All Hard Floors: Before you apply a new coat of finish, make sure your floor is clean and free of residue. Even if you use a “no rinse cleaner” you need to rinse prior to applying finish – any residue on the floor can cause the finish to dry or treat improperly and then you need to start over. (Or worse, on wood floors you can’t strip them so you have to live with a murky floor for a while.)
After making sure you have a clean dry floor, you can apply your finish. The type of finish depends on the type of floor – don’t assume one finish will work on all floors since all floors are different. The finishes are developed to be chemically compatible with the coating applied by the factory when the floor was produced.
Wet your clean applicator and apply the finish in small areas – about 3 feet by 3 feet. You can use the Mini Pro with either the damp scrubbing pad or the wet/dry pad to apply – make sure you rinse well afterwards before it dries. If finish dries in the applicator pad you won’t be able to get it out.
Thin coats are easier to apply evenly: They are less likely to bubble and dry more quickly. Better to apply more thin coats than one heavy coat – you will be happier with the results. Allow your floor to dry completely before applying additional coats. Secondary applications too soon can cause milkyness that will NOT go away. Again, you don’t want to have to start all over … better to be patient.
You will need to reapply your finish periodically – about every 3 months: Acrylic finishes will need to be stripped and re-coat sometimes – depending on how much wear your floor gets. A houseful of kids and dogs is going to shorten the life of a finish.
I hope this information has been helpful! Now that you have the perfect floor finish, check back later for information on easy care and maintenance of your hard floors!