Q: One visitor asked, "We have oak floors through out our home. It was built in 1951. Our kitchen has linoleum. We want to tear that up and refinish the oak floors. Do you need to wax or clean hardwood with a buffer or electric polisher? What is the best cleaning product?"
A: It depends what the current condition of your floors may be, and what kind of finish is on them now. If nothing has been done to them since 1951, chances are these floors will likely need a complete resand and finish. However, if you do not wish to hire a company like mine to do this work, and if the floors are wax finished, there is a product from Dura Seal called renovator that is designed to strip, clean and prepare a waxed floor for a re waxing. Polyurethane or varnish is meant to be buffed (abraded with a fine abrasive) and recoated with a similar type of finish. There are also specific cleaners for polyurethane finishes that leave no oily residue, or residue of any kind on the surface. Short of having such a cleaner, a mild mixture of water and vinegar may be used. Careful attention must be used that this is only a damped cloth and not dripping wet. Water and wood do not mix well.
Related questions about wood floor maintenance and cleaning:
Cleaning and Maintenance
>Are the cleaning products we use making our new floors look dull and mottled? What can we use to get the shine back?
>Why should we not use "oil based cleaners" on our hardwood floors?
>What's the best cleaner for wood floors?
>How do we clean these old floors?
Care & Maintenance
>How do I care for my hardwood floor?
>Should padding be placed under our area rug?
>I put on three coats of polyurethane on my newly sanded and stained floor, do I need to wax it?
>How do I get my dull laminate floor to shine?
>How long should I wait to replace the furniture after the final coat on our floors?
>What can I put in between wide pine boards after installing so stuff won't fall in the cracks?
Humidity & Home Environment
>Is this true about new hardwood needing to settle?
>Preventing cracks in floor boards of harder species.
>Is cracking due to humidity?
>We have large cracks even in our master bath. Now after 3 months of humidity control & moisture on the insides of my windows the cracks are even worse. I can see the subfloor through some of them. Is moisture the only cause of these cracks or might there be some other causes we should consider, and what are the best ways to take care of this problem?
>How long would it take for the wood to respond to the increased moisture, and is is reasonable to expect the cracks to close completely? What is the recommended thing to fill these cracks? Wood putty, etc?
>How do we protect our floors from cold weather?
>Have you ever seen a change with your moisture meter on hardwood flooring in just one week?
>How do you prevent douglas fir from oxidizing and turning orange?