5 Ways to carry on your hardwood floor shining brightly
Many people enjoy the natural look of hardwood floors. To ensure that the floors stay clean and shiny for as long as you live in your home, there are several tips that you can use for general maintenance.
Tip # 1 - Never Use an Oil-Based Cleaner
An oil-based cleaner is not recommended for hardwood floors because it can ruin the finish and cause an oily residue that is difficult to remove. Make sure that you use a reputable cleaner designed especially for Hardwood Flooring.
Tip # 2 - Dust Your Hardwood Floors Weekly
To avoid dust and dirt working its way into the crevices of your hardwood floors, be sure to dust them regularly. It is the small dirt particles that do the floor damage when walked on & ground into hardwood. If you prefer to vacuum your hardwood floors, use a soft brush attachment to avoid damaging the surface.
Tip # 3 - Avoid Surface Damage Whenever Possible
Take steps to ensure the surface of your hardwood floors is not damaged by things such as your animal's claws and high-heeled shoes. Have family members remove their shoes before walking on the hardwood floors and keep your animal's nails trimmed to prevent surface scratches.
Tip # 4 - Do Not Use Wax
Wax is not recommended for hardwood floors. Refinished hardwood is naturally more durable than old sand and finish floors. Waxing will leave a residue that is difficult to remove, potentially risking wood damage.
Tip # 5 - Use Furniture Gliders
Preventative maintenance is critical to keep your hardwood floors looking new. Be sure to use gliders when moving heavy furniture. In the case of an area such as a dining room, chairs should be lifted and placed instead of being dragged across the floors.
It should also be noted that the amount of caution a person needs to exercise with their hardwood floors to keep them shiny also depends heavily on the hardness of the finish on the hardwood.
The most common thing to use over hardwood is "polyurethane". However, there are many different kinds of polyurethane. To most people, the word "polyurethane" means an "modern oil based varnish, kinda". However there are also isocyanate based polyurethanes that are water based, non-yellowing and approximately three times as hard and durable as "oil based varnish, kinda".
One of them is "Traffic", which is made by Bona. It's most commonly used on commercial hardwood floors, like gymnasium floors, but it's used around the world where ever heavy traffic on a hardwood floor is anticipated.
Also, Traffic is best understood as a catalyzed waterborne polyurethane, and that deserves some explanation. It comes in a plastic jug and you get a small bottle of catalyst. You add the catalyst to the jug, shake the jug and then spread the mixture on the floor. The "pre-polymer" which consists of isocyanate pre-polymer resins that are too large to evaporate from the water get spread on the floor. As the water evaporates, the catalyst causes these pre-polymer resins to crosslink with each other. The pre-polymer consists entirely of urethane groups, and the crosslinks that form between neighboring resins are urethane groups. So, the result is that you end up with a coating of pure urethane over your floor.
Since it's the urethane groups that form inside alkyd resins (to make "alkyd based polyurethane" resins) that make "oil based polyurethane" dry to a harder and more durable film than a conventional alkyd paint, having pure urethane on your floor results in a very much harder and durable floor than you could ever get with an alkyd based polyurethane (aka: "oil based varnish, kinda"). Bona boasts that Traffic dries to a film that is approximately 3 times as durable as their own "Woodline" alkyd based polyurethanes finishes.
Bona's Traffic is even harder than moisture cure polyurethanes, (which are really "polyureas" and not polyurethanes) and moisture cure polyurethane clear coats and paints are used in industrial applications, like on bridges and factory floors. The Seattle Space Needle has a Wasser moisture cure polyurethane paint on the floor of it's observation deck. Many more people will track mud and sand onto that floor with their winter boots on than will be walking over your living room floor without their shoes on.
I don't think Traffic would be as hard and durable as an epoxy clear coat like Nu Lustre 55. But, I don't think Nu Lustre 55 is recommended for use on floors.
So John, that was a great post, but you can also extend the lifespan of that "new floor look" by using a much more durable finish over your hardwood in the first place:
And, if a person uses a harder finish on their hardwood and also follows the advice you gave in your post, that finish will stay shiney for very much longer still.
Don't forget the importance of "walk off"mats at all entryways leading to hardwood!!:whistling2:
This topic is of interest to me, not because I plan to finish a hardwood floor, but because I lathe-turn wooden components used to build fly fishing rods. I have used Cyanoacrylate and a moisture cure urethane called Permagloss to finish these wooden components.
Moisture cure urethanes sold to finish floors sounds very similar to Permagloss. One downside to Permagloss is that once the bottle is opened, and the product is exposed to atmosphere, it begins to set up and unused Permagloss will harden in the bottle. I'm interested in learning whether moisture cure urethanes for hardwood floors would also harden in the container once the container has been opened and some urethane removed.
Traffic, the catalyzed waterborne polyurethane also sounds interesting. I'm aware that the catalyst is generally added to the gallon container and mixed before using. Am I wrong in assuming that any unused Traffic would cure in the gallon container. Since I use very small quantities for each of several applications to the wood I later sand and polish, mixing small batches may not be practical, though I suppose I could do it by the drop. LOL. Any information you could provide about the cure process for Traffic would be greatly appreciated.
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