Did you know that wood flooring improves the quality of air inside your home? It also contributes to the resale value of your home, be it new or old. However, many keep a safe distance when it comes to choosing wooden flooring, as they believe it is difficult to maintain hardwood flooring. On the contrary, cleaning your wooden floors is not at all complicated. Dust mopping the floors daily and a more intense cleaning during the weekends is all it takes to keep your wooden floors spick-and-span.
In addition to this, polishing the floors once a month will revive its sheen. For this, you will need to take into account the prevalent weather conditions of your locale, the state of your home, the mop you use, and the quality of floor polish. Hence, it is important to choose the right products.
Here is a list of the best floor mops and the best wood floor polish options available in the market to maintain and enhance the beauty of your wood floors.
Best Mop Products
Bona Multi-Surface Floor Premium Microfiber Mop
18" Professional Microfiber Mop
Microfiber Mop Floor Cleaning System
1. Affordable multi-floor mop- Bona Multi-Surface Floor Premium Microfiber Mop
There is a convenient 60” handle with telescopic height adjustment option. The mop head spins 360degree to allow convenient cleaning near the corners of the room. It comes with a dusting pad as well as a microfiber pad. Both of these attach to the mop head with secure Velcro fastening. The pads can then be removed and washed in the washing machine. The handle is ergonomic and comes with a slip-resistant grip that you can hold confidently even when your hands are wet.
2. Versatile mop- 18" Professional Microfiber Mop | Stainless Steel Handle | 3 Premium Mop Pads + 2 Free Microfiber Cloths
With a broad cleaning head, this one works like a charm on the hardwood floors. The gaps in the microfiber cleaning pad trap dust particles of all sizes. The telescopic handle’s height can be adjusted in a twist. There is also a dust mop pad included tackling daily dusting routines on wood floors. The regular microfiber dust pad works on both wet and dry floors.
3. Lightweight mop-Microfiber Mop Floor Cleaning System - Washable Pads Perfect Cleaner for Hardwood, Laminate & Tile - 360 Dry Wet Reusable Dust Mops with Soft Refill Pads & Handle for Wood, Walls, Vinyl, Kitchen
This one features two types of mop heads- microfiber for everyday use and scrub pad for extra messy floors. It can be used both on wet and dry floors. The mop head swivels easily and can be used below furniture and in the awkward corners. The Velcro holds the mop heads securely in place.
Best polish products
Even after using the best mops like those above, if your floor still lacks its luster then perhaps it is time to consider giving it a new coat of polish. The fact that polishing wooden floors are easy today comes as a relief to most homeowners. It is all about choosing the right kind of products that do not damage the floor. It is all about finding the correct type of products that bring the floors back to life!
Bona Hardwood Floor Polish - High Gloss
Orange Glo Hardwood Floor 4-in-1 Monthly Polish
Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Polish Restorer Combo - 2 Pack
All 3 of these products give professional looking results effortlessly. They also help seal the surface so as to extend the life of the sheen created. Here are the features and the pros and cons of each of these polishes-
1. Bona Hardwood Floor Polish - High Gloss
Coming from the Swedish brand known for wooden floor renovation and maintenance products, this one is easy to use. This one provides on the spot correction and protects the floor from visible scratches. A single 32oz bottle can be used on 500sqft. Made of urethane acrylic blend, this product is easy to use. Approximately one hour of drying time is required after application of the product. It gives a uniform finish. For the places with heavy traffic, the second coat can be applied 24 hours post-application of the first coat.
2. Orange Glo Hardwood Floor 4-in-1 Monthly Polish
This one has a mild orange scent, whereas the other two products on our list come with the typical acrylic odor found in most polishes. It gives a smooth polishing effect with a nice shine and can make even old and dull floors look new. 12 hours after application of the product, you can use wood floor cleaners. It can be used even on floors with prominent watermarks. It is suitable for homes in rooms where there is a lot of traffic and also homes with pets. It can resist the appearance of scratches from pet nails.
3. Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Polish Restorer Combo - 2 Pack - High-Traffic Hardwood Floor, Natural Shine, Removes Scratches, Leaves Protective Layer
It is a complete combo that comes with a cleaner and polish. Therefore, you can start by thoroughly eliminating fine dust and dirt on the floor and then proceed with the polish. This is, therefore, a good combo that you can use to restore the looks of a dulling floor. It is a good polish for heavy traffic areas both in residential and commercial spaces. The product leaves an invisible protective layer that prevents scratches from showing prominently. The cleaner and the polish made of fine ingredients help preserve the quality of the wood floor and extend its life.
Understanding a few common questions that people have when it comes to buying wood floor polish
Even after checking out the above products do you have a lot of questions on your mind? You are not alone, here are some FAQs that will help you understand wood polishes better-
The best-rated polishes in the market help protect the wood and extend its life. They can also prevent scratches on the top surface.
To prep a floor for polishing it, you should clean it with a good wood floor cleaner.
Yes, the best wood floor cleaners in the market work by removing stains and debris on the polished wood without affecting the polish.
No. There are foam rollers and applicator pads designed to make wood polishing an easy job. There are only a few easy steps involved in giving the floor a neat glossy look. Therefore any homeowner would be able to use these wood polishes without professional assistance.
No. Reapplication of the product is required. The frequency of reapplication depends on the product you choose and the traffic in the area where you use the polish. Houses with pets and little children might also need more frequent repetition of the process.
Best wood floor polish – buyer’s guide
The signature trait of wood polishes is the glossy look they create. The level of shine that the polish imparts is something you should look at before finalizing one. You can look for before and after images of the polished floors on the company website or even from customer feedback images. Some of the polishes deliver a dazzling shine, and others help create a subtle natural look. Your personal preferences about the finish also play a role in this case.
2. Compatible floor type
This is one parameter you cannot ignore while picking a flood polish. As you can see from our list, most polishes might look similar, but their applications are different. Some of them cannot be used on laminate floors while some cannot be used on engineered wood. Before you buy a product, check the kind of wood floors on which it can be used. Ignoring this instruction can lead to damaging your wood flooring permanently. One rule of thumb, suggested by most manufacturers, is to do a patch test of the polish on a small area. If you do not notice any deterioration of the wood, then proceed to use the polish on the whole floor.
3. Ease of use
When you set out to change the looks of your floor all by yourself, ease of use would be the prime consideration. You would need a polish that takes simple steps of application. When you choose a product that is easy to apply, you do not have to worry about the formation of bubbles or streaks on the floor. This is also the kind of product that would not leave any waxy residues due to improper application.
4. Application procedure
Some products are ready to use as they are. You can squirt them out of the bottle and apply them with an applicator mop. Others might need to be diluted with the help of a solvent. The strength of the polish and its consistency can determine the method of application. With some products, you might have to use an abrasive stripping agent to remove the previous coat of polish to apply the next one. This can then be tedious.
5. Repetition frequency
Some products need to be used every month and some that you would only have to use twice or thrice a year. Consider the area that you would cover and the total time it would take. Given the time you spend for polishing, pick one that needs less frequent reapplication. Using the product too often than recommended can also damage the wood floor. The optimal period after which the product should be reapplied indicates the time when the polish starts to wear out. This means that the wood is exposed. The protective coating that the polish creates is not there to prevent scratches on the wood surface.
6. Residue after use
If you choose a good quality product, it doesn’t leave any buildup after application. Even if there is some residue that is left behind, you can simply wipe it off with a dry mop. Sometimes it is not about a visible residue but a sticky finish. This can make the floor feel inconvenient and unsafe to use, especially when there are kids at home.
7. Drying time
Some polishes dry within an hour or two. Others might need several hours to dry completely. Walking on the floor before the product fully dries might mar the looks. It might leave streaks on the surface. It might also be difficult to get the product off clothes.
8. Product safety
This depends on the ingredients used in the product. Some of them contain skin and eye irritants. So you would have to use them cautiously. It might also not be safe to use the product on the floor when kids are around. There are others, the Weiman polish on our list, which can be safely used around kids. The presence of volatile ingredients that can irritate the eyes also determines the safety of the product. There are some safe and natural products as well.
It is better to consider the cost-effectiveness of the polish than merely looking at the price tag alone. For the price, the polishing effect delivered, the durability of the finish, ease of maintaining the finish, and other aspects. Some only impart a gloss and others cover imperfections. The packaging size, the area that you can cover with one bottle, are all equally important considerations. If the product is already expensive and you would have to apply it every month or several times a year, then again it becomes a huge expense. The other influencer here is the number of coats needed to get the desired effect. With some, you can notice the sheen in just one coat. Multiple coats mean extended drying time and extra time for application when there is a large surface to cover. Some of the products also come as a complete package with applicator pad which makes them worthy purchases.
Weiman, Bona, Orange Glo are all brands that are popular in the wood flooring maintenance segment. With the credibility of the brand you choose comes the predictability of the results delivered. You would be able to easily find reviews about the product you choose and information about the do’s and don’t’s with the product. Most of these brands also bring a whole range of wood floor cleaners and polishing products. Therefore you would be able to find compatible cleaners to use after polishing the floor conveniently.
How to polish wood floor
Now that you know how to pick a good wood polish knowing how to use one is also crucial properly. When you get the hang of it, you can polish a variety of wooden surfaces easily. This can help you save hundreds of dollar spent on hiring a professional.
- Move aside the furniture and furnishing from the area where you wish to use the polish. Clear out the area to conveniently proceed with the polishing project. If there is another wood furniture, the polish might affect the looks of the furniture. On carpets and curtains flowing on the floor, the polish might cause stains.
- Use masking tapes and other modes of protection to cover drywalls as well as baseboards touching the floor you are about to polish. These can easily stain on contact with polish.
- Prepping the floor is the first step. This involves thoroughly cleaning the floor. Most polishes are vicious, and they can trap fine dust. This can lead to the formation of bubbles. If you need a uniform finish use a good quality microfiber mop to lift off even the tiniest of dust particles.
- You can also use wood floor cleaners to remove any superficial stains on the floor. This will get out grime, spills and ensure that the polish covers the wood uniformly. Whether you use a cleaner or a simple mop, allow the floor to dry out before you start polishing fully.
- To begin with, choosing the right type of polish for the type of wood floor you wish to treat. There are wax-based polishes and water-based polishes. Gather all the essential supplies like applicator, solvent, cleaning pad, and others.
- Do the patch test with the polish on a small area. You can choose a less conspicuous corner of the room to try out the polish. If you see that there is no clear layer that forms on top, or if there are any other visible signs of damage or degradation, then do not use the product on that floor. If it leaves a smooth, clear coat, then you can proceed with polishing the whole floor.
- Start polishing from the corner farthest away from the door and work your way up to the door. This would avoid stepping on the polished floor before it dries.
- Most brands recommend pouring the polish in s-shaped patterns and then swiping the applicator on the floor. Find the direction of the wood grain. Move back and forth in that same direction to retain the natural grain finish beneath the gloss. This also keeps up the rustic looks of the wood while making it shiny.
- Use only a small amount of the product at a time. This will give you better control of applying the polish to a larger area. For polishes that dry quickly, using too much polish can lead to an uneven finish. Some areas feel thicker than the others when there is too much polish standing on the floor before you wipe it across. Multiple thin coats give a chic shine than a single thick coat. Several hours of drying might be needed before applying the second coat, a whole day in some cases.
- Avoid using the room for one whole day. Using the room includes moving the furniture back as well as walking on the floor.
- Once the polish is dry, and the floor is ready to use, slowly reposition the furniture. There are smooth furniture pads available to prevent scratches on the hardwood floors. Here are a few precautions to take to maintain the shine of a polished wood floor-
- Use carpets wherever possible, especially at the entry of the room. Avoid moving around the furniture often.
- Use a good quality dusting mop and non-abrasive cleaning agent to keep the floor shiny.
Wrapping it Up
If you need a fuss-free polish that works quickly on a large variety of wood flooring types then Bona Hardwood Floor Polish - High Gloss polish is our favorite among the lot. The time you spend on accumulating the right type of products is the best investment you can make for your wood flooring. When you enter any room, the flooring might be the first thing that you notice. To create a lasting impression with elegant wood flooring, choose the best wood floor polish.