Introduction: Polishing Hardwood Floors

Polishing vs. Refinishing
It’s important to know the difference between polishing a hardwood floor and refinishing one. Both tasks are similar, but when you polish a hardwood floor, you are keeping the finish that is on the floor intact—polishing a hardwood floor restores a floor’s existing finish, filling in microscopic scratches and evening out the appearance of the floor. When you refinish a hardwood floor, you are completely removing the floor’s existing finish and replacing it.

Cleaning as often as you can will help minimize the dirt and dust on your floors that can act like sandpaper and wear your floor. We recommend Bona’s line of specially-formulated polishes can be used multiple times per year. Frequency of use depends entirely on the amount of traffic your floor sees, but typical homeowner floor maintenance is every two to four months.

Step 1: Prepping Your Space

Before you’re ready to polish your hardwood floor, the room must be properly prepared for hassle-free experience.

1. Remove all furniture and belongings in the room. Clear the area. Be cautious when moving large objects and furniture. If possible, use furniture pads to help protect the floor from accidental scratches and gouges.

2. Give the floors a good clean. Dust and mop your floors. Make sure the floor is completely dry before applying the polish. If necessary, discreetly test the polish on a small portion of the floor.

3. Make sure you have all the right tools. Polishes can be applied with an applicator pad or a high-density foam roller. Check the polish instructions to make sure you have all that you need to finish the job.

Step 2: Applying the Polish

When you’re ready to polish your hardwood floor, have a predetermined plan and give yourself some peace of mind.

4. Work in small sections. When applying the polish to your hardwood floor, work in small sections to keep the applicator pad/roller wet. Be sure to smooth out the polish along the grain of the wood.

5. Use a feathering technique. To avoid stripes of uneven polish on your floor, take a cue from interior painting and feather out the polish so that you have smooth transitions as you move from section to section.

6. Plan your exit. Make sure you don’t paint yourself in a corner. Know in advance how you’re going to break up the floor. If possible, have a helper apply polish along the perimeter of the rooms while you follow close behind.

Step 3: Finishing the Job

Once you’re finished, allow at least one hour for the polish to dry before the floor is exposed to light traffic. The polish should dry completely after 24 hours, making it ready for heavy traffic.Polishing your hardwood floor is recommended every few months, but this suggestion will vary based on how much foot traffic the floor experiences.