How to Determine the Finish On Your Floors

There are many different ways of cleaning your hardwood floors and it’s important to do your research. Because hardwood flooring can be finished in multiple ways, such as with a surface finish like polyurethane, or with a wax or oiled finish, the first thing you want to know before cleaning your floors is what type of finish you have. Making the mistake of overlooking this first step can have unwanted results.

Put Your Floors to the Test:

  1. Choose a small, discreet spot on your floor.
  2. Put a couple small drops of water on that spot and wait about 15 minutes.

If… the water leaves a white residue, you have a wax finish. (And if your floor is more than 30 years old, then you probably do.) Another way to tell is by running your fingers over the wood. If you feel the grain of the wood then you probably have a wax finish.

If… the water doesn’t leave a white or cloudy residue, you have a urethane finish. (Most modern floors are finished in this type of surface finish because it is easier to maintain.) Another way to tell is by scratching a small discreet spot of the floor. If a clear, nail polish type of material peels from the surface then your finish is urethane.

After figuring out the type of finish you have, it’s time to learn the best way to clean it because all finishes have their own set of cleaning rules!

See also:  Cleaning “Wax-Finished” FloorsCleaning “Surface-Finished” Floors

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Categories: Hardwood Floors, Maintenance

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