One of the best things about wood flooring is that you can keep it looking great for a lifetime, with relatively little effort.  Polishing wood flooring is the perfect way to protect the wood and add an appealing shine.  There are two main types of polish to choose from and they are one-step or two-step.  One-step polishes are easier to use and will produce a faster result, but there’s no getting away from the fact that two-step polishes will produce a harder, longer lasting result.

Here’s our “how to” guide:

Make space. Like any major cleaning exercise, if you plan to polish your wood floor, it’s best if you can clear the room of all furnishings and rugs.  This will give you space to work and will help avoid the need to drag heavy furnishing around the room, potentially causing damage to areas you’ve just polished.  If it’s not possible to clear the entire room, eg.  if your furniture is too bulky to remove, or you don’t have space to move it to, at least try to work the room in two parts.  In order to do this, move everything to one side and polish the clear area and then swap over.

Clear your floor of dust and debris. Before you can polish the floor, you need to make sure it’s clean.  The first step in getting your floor really clean is to sweep it with a soft broom or to vacuum it.  This process will help pick up any dust and debris that would cause damage if left on the floor during the polishing process.  Make sure you get into every corner and pay particular attention along skirting boards to make sure the maximum amount of dust is removed.

Wash and dry your floor. The next part of the process involves removing any truly grubby marks from your floor.  To do this, use a humid, not wet mop, either with or without a wood floor cleaner, depending on how dirty your floor is.  Once you’ve mopped it thoroughly either leave it to dry naturally, or, if you’re in a rush, dry it with a dry mop or a cloth.

If you choose one-step polishing…you need to follow the polish manufacturers instructions on precisely how to apply the polish, but the most important principles are:

To start with a small, hand-sized pool of polish which you will use to coat your applicator.

Once your applicator is coated, you should start to work in a corner of the room, always pouring a small, hand-sized pool of polish directly onto the floor and working in arms-length sections in the direction of the grain.

Each time you move on to the next section, be sure to allow a slight overlap, otherwise you risk having gaps in your polish.

Once you’ve covered the entire floor, leave it to dry, each manufacturer will tell you exactly how long this will take, but normally it should take anywhere between half an hour and an hour.

Using this method, there is no need for buffing.

If you choose a two-step polishing process…again you’ll need to carefully read the manufacturers instructions but essentially here’s what you should expect to do:

Apply the polish paste with a soft cloth, working in sections of the room, again starting in a corner so you don’t have to walk over areas that you’ve completed.  TOP TIP: Sections of just over a metre are both workable and reachable.

Once you’ve let your waxed section of floor dry (according to the manufacturers instructions), it’ll start to look white and it’s now time to start buffing.

Ideally you should use an electric floor buffer with a polishing head to buff your floor.  This will not only be easier than buffing by hand, but will provide a more uniform result.

Continue this process until you’ve completed the whole floor.

Enjoy the result!