Doesn’t that sound like an opening line from Sheldon in a skit on the “Big Bang Theory”? Or how about “ You Walk All Over Me…A Note from Your Floors”. Either way, I have clients that ask questions about the maintenance of wood floors after we paint patterns on them. They don’t want to damage the design or ruin the shine on their new floors. When it comes to the maintenance part I was totally at a loss. I only know what I know from commercials on TV, not a great source. So I called Greg Schenck at Schenck and Company. Greg does the most jaw dropping beautiful wood floors in this town. Greg knows floors! If you want the correct answers you go to the experts, right? Normally, when the floor is installed, Greg or the flooring guy installs the wood, sands it, stains it and then seals it. If we are painting a design on the floor, our artistic part comes after the staining and before the flooring guy seals it in. If we are to paint the whole floor, not just a pattern over stain, the wood needs to be prepped for paint, painted, and then sealed. Either way the artwork is sandwiched in between wood and sealant. Once the artwork is sealed, it’s there to stay. The sealant most often used is polyurethane.
So the question for us from our clients, and from us to Greg is, “How do I maintain my polyurathaned floors?”
One thing I have always been told is never put water on wood. Water is woods enemy. It raises the wood grain, warps it, and leaves nasty marks. When I see the cleaning ladies whip out the Mop and Glow I cringe. Isn’t that water based? Isn’t that bad?
Greg pointed out that polyurethane is in essence a plastic film that sits on top of the wood. It doesn’t look like a naturally part of the texture. It’s very different from an oil or wax finish that you find on very high end wood floors or fine furniture.
If you don’t know if your floor is sealed with polyurethane, oil, or wax there are simple tests that you can do. If you look closely at your floor you can see the thickness of the polyurethane floating above the wood. Drop a little water on a waxed floor and it will bead up and leave a dull spot. Oiled floors have a natural beauty that amplifies the texture of the wood.
If you have polyurathaned floors, the cleaning solution from my expert Greg is “Bona Cleaner”. You won’t find it at Kroger’s but Home Depot and Lowe’s carrys it in our area. You are allowed to damp mop (not wet mop) your floors on a regular basis with Bona and do no harm. Throw out the grocery store stuff. Use what the pros use for the best looking wood floors in town.