Regular maintenance is the absolute most important factor in taking care of your hardwood flooring. Finishing your floor is incredibly important, and waxing a hardwood floor can enhance the natural beauty of the wood, as well as create a long-lasting, protective finish.
Of course the first step you must take before waxing a hardwood floor, is to decide what type of finish your floors already have. While surface finishes can be polyurethane, pre-finished floors, water based polyurethane, and catalyzed; penetrating seals can be acrylics, oils or waxes.
One way to tell is by feeling the grain of the wood; if you can actually feel the grain of it, then you most likely have a penetrating seal instead of a surface finish. Surface finishes actually cover the wood with a clear finish that will keep anything from damaging the wood. Waxing a hardwood floor will spruce up your floors and will leave the floor looking fairly new without much expense.
Disadvantages of Waxing a Hardwood Floor
Of course, there are disadvantages to waxing a hardwood floor. A primary disadvantage is that it is a difficult process and may be better to leave it up to the professionals. Another disadvantage is that it limits the options later on when you decide to refinish the floors; re-coating options are also often times limited after this, by the kind of wax you have applied to the floors.
Waxing your hardwood floor will often provide a good shine to the floor itself, but refinishing the actual floor is usually the only way to entirely regain the richness and beauty of the wood. Most people decide to wax their floors if their vacuum or dust mop does not restore the shine and luster.
A good idea is to buffer the floor extremely well while you wax, instead of just pouring on more wax. Buffing should always be tried first as it will often restore a nice shine and luster without adding another layer of waxy build-up.
Waxing does more than just add a physical appeal to the floor, it also strengthens it. The most efficient way to wax a hardwood floor is through buffering or burnishing. Buffering involves spraying the floor with a polishing solution and then buffing the floor with a rotary floor machine.
Burnishing is a somewhat newer method of cleaning floors, and is similar to buffering, except that it is a dry method. It also uses a rotary machine, but it uses a faster rotation on the machine head.