Back in the day, the floors in people’s homes and businesses were typically made from one of three substances: ceramic tile, wood or vinyl. All of these flooring types were protected and maintained with floor wax. Typically, floor wax was purchased in the form of a paste and applied by hand, being rubbed into the floor repeatedly, a nice shiny look achieved by buffing. Today, however, waxing is easier than ever. Despite this, a lot of people aren’t entirely sure whether they should be waxing their floors or how often. The following will examine some of the benefits of floor waxing as well as some of the routes you can go to secure that lustrous, new floor look.
In the past, floor wax was most often made from organic materials. Popular options included beeswax, plant-based oils, linseed oil or carnauba wax. Many flooring professionals still admire these natural options, but as a general rule, the synthetic options on the market today are the more popular option. In part, this is because they can be purchased in liquid form, making them much faster and easier to work with. Sometimes these products are called floor polish or floor finish because they’re not technically waxes. Often, they’re acrylic-based polymers which can be applied with a mop or with a buffing tool.
All forms of hardwood flooring, including those made from recycled wood, can benefit from a good waxing. Parquet floors as well should be waxed. Any unglazed floor tiles, including terracotta tiles and any vinyl composition tile, should be waxed.
It’s important to note that not all of these floors should be waxed at the same frequency. Wood, for instance, can be waxed every six months in high-traffic areas, whereas terracotta tiles only need to be waxed once every year or so. It’s a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in regard to waxing to make sure that you’re keeping your floors protected. If you can’t trace the origins or materials of your flooring (particularly if you’ve moved into an older house), you can reach out to some floor waxing services near you. They’ll be able to tell you how often your floors need to be waxed.
One of the most attractive benefits of waxing your floors on a regular basis isn’t that fresh-from-the-store shine; it’s sealing. Any flooring material that is porous can absorb water and other liquids, which damages it over time. Moisture can cause swelling of the materials, creating an uneven floor; it can also stain the floor, leaving splotches that are discolored.
A nice layer of shiny wax or polish can provide a protective, water-proof layer that can help keep moisture out and extend the life of your floors. This is particularly alluring if you’ve spent a lot of money on your floors and want to make sure they last.
As well, a sealing layer protects your floors from things like scratches and dents. If you have pets or children, this is probably something you have to think about on a regular basis. Even if you don’t, mistakes happen. Furniture gets moved. High-traffic areas like hallways get worn down. A layer of wax or polish can take the hits and dents of everyday life, so your floors don’t have to.
Sealing your floors can help keep these forms of damage from being apparent. Most floors have some scratches on them; this is normal and okay. Fresh waxing can help disguise those superficial marks. Of course, very deep or serious scratches can still show up through wax, so you do still need to treat your floors with gentleness and respect.
When you first install flooring, it tends to have a nice rich hue. Over time, the sun and daily wear can soften the color. Waxing your floors can help add richness back into the color of your flooring. This can have a huge impact on how luxurious your space feels. Both matt and shiny options are available, though typically, the shiny option seems to revitalize color a touch more. Think about the difference between the color of your floors when they’re dry and when they’re wet, and you’ll begin to sense what a big difference waxing can make.
It’s really important that you give the room a good clean before you begin waxing. You want to avoid having dust or dirt particles that can cling to the wax as it’s drying and leave a grainy texture or look on your floors. This means vacuuming and wet dusting everything in the space before you begin to work with the floors. You might also want to remove your trim and clean the very edges of your floors before waxing. If you have pets, you will have to ensure that they keep clear of the room you’re waxing in while the floors dry.
In some hardwood floor cases, older layers of wax need to be stripped away before a new layer is applied. Mineral spirits are typically the substance used to strip away old wax.
It’s important to note that as gorgeous as freshly waxed floors can be, there are some materials that don’t respond well to the waxing process. Engineered hardwood, wood laminate, bamboo, natural stone, luxury vinyl tile that has an impermeable finish and any ceramic tile that has been glazed with a finish that won’t absorb wax shouldn’t be waxed. Each of these floor types has its own special approach to keeping things looking pristine, often involving sealer or cleaning products designed specifically for them.
The above information should have made it clear that there are some serious benefits to waxing your floors. Floor waxing is a project you can do yourself or hire a professional to handle. As with any and all home improvement projects, you want to be sure that you’re comfortable and confident with a given task. If you’re not, take the time to learn more before you begin. As well, it’s vital that you follow all instructions on wax or polish packaging, particularly when it comes to things like ventilation. You may need to schedule your waxing for a time of year when you can leave the windows wide open.