Most homeowners with hardwood floors eventually get to the point where the original luster of their refinished floors begins to dull down. This is normal, especially when small children, pets and an active social schedule are involved. A few coatings manufacturers provide cleaning products to remove dirt and grime but these cleaners will not address a dull look acquired from constant use. Even after the floors have been thoroughly cleaned, they still look dull. You really want to be careful about your next choice.
The most natural course of action is to go to your local hardware or building supply store, or even the internet to look for options. Without a doubt, the products that get the most attention are acrylic waxes. They are easy to apply (usually mixed with water and applied with a sponge mop), cheap, look good and offer very fast turn around times. However, what most homeowners don’t realize is that they are no longer trying to maintain a floor finish; they now have to maintain a maintenance product and that is a whole other ballgame.
The Ugly and Dirty Truth about Acrylic Waxes.
Contrary to what the label may say, acrylic products do not wear well and much of their maintenance involves applying more of the same. And that is where it becomes a problem because most of these manufacturers do not make a product to get the acrylic products off the floor. Making matters worse is the fact that they usually turn an ugly grey as the accumulation increases. Look at the photo for proof. The muddy, dirty look is an acrylic wax that has discolored and started to flake and chip, making a handsome floor into an embarrassment. Most people quickly realize that maintaining a maintenance product is not as easy as they thought it would be and certainly didn’t make the wood floor more attractive.
If you insist on using these products, let me give you this advice – any manufacturer you select absolutely and positively must make a product that will safely remove the acrylics from the surface. Do not accept any excuses. If the acrylic products cannot be removed, you lose the option of recoating the floor and that is not acceptable. You have to be diligent about this because you don’t want to give up you future maintenance options.
I am not against people using acrylic products on their wood floors, I just don’t like the negative consequences and how they can create a much more unattractive and expensive problem than they solve. If you have wood floors and notice they have lost their luster, a clean and recoat is probably going to be a much better option than a maintenance system. The coatings available today are much more durable and easily maintained than any we have ever had. There is stronger product support and homeowners are much more likely to adopt these products than something that only offers a fleeting resolution to their problem. So, if you want to use acrylic products to maintain your hardwood floors, be careful what you wish for! You may be going down a dead end road.
Michael Purser | © Rosebud Co. 2016