Procedures for Finishing a New Floor
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Reapplying coats to an already finished floor or applying finish to a new floor requires a specific procedure. When finishing a new floor, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for prepping the floor. You should always consult the flooring manufacturer on the types of finishes that are suited to your floor. When finishing any floor, we recommend that you use a quality floor finish that is correctly matched to your flooring. Our online floor finishing procedures are the general guidelines for finishing a floor. These days, floor finish has become the alternative to old fashioned waxes. Floor finish can give a floor a great long-lasting shine without the problems of conventional waxes.
Here are some procedures to consider:
Make sure that your floor has been prepared for finishing.
Clean the floor, removing as much dirt and debris as possible. If the floor has more than 5 coats of finish, we recommend stripping the floor first. Too many layers of finish can dull a floor. Over time, floor finish can yellow in color. If you see any yellowing on the floor, we also recommend that you strip the floor first.
After the floor has been prepared, vacuum or dust mop the floor to remove any dust.
We recommend that you spray your dust mop with dust mop treatment to remove as much dust as possible. Make sure to remove anything stuck to the floor, anything that is on the floor when you finish it will become part of the floor finish and you will have to strip your floor and begin again.
Make sure that the floor you are finishing does not and will not have traffic moving through it for at least 12 – 24 hours. This depends on the type of finish that you are applying (see floor finish manufacturers specifications for curing and drying time). Use warning signs to make sure the area where you are finishing is marked out so that everyone is aware of the area.
Finishing a floor requires the use of two mop buckets.
One bucket will be used to keep the finish mop damp and the other will be used to apply the floor finish. Line the floor finish bucket with a clear trash can liner so that you can dispose of the finish easily after the job is complete. Fill one mop bucket half way up with water and the lined mop bucket a quarter full of floor finish. Dip your finish mop into the water bucket and wring until the mop is damp and water does not drip from the end. Next, dip the damp mop into the floor finish and wring until the finish mop does not drip.
The best way to finish floors is to divide the floor into sections to assure that an even amount of floor finish is applied everywhere. Begin applying the floor finish at the furthest corner from the entrance. Apply floor finish to the baseboard area first (a block applicator can be a great tool for this job) working away from the corner. Make sure the floor finish is going on to the floor in a thin even coat.
After you have applied floor finish to the baseboard move on to the open areas of the floor.
Move the mop head in a figure eight motion overlapping mopping sections by about an inch. After you have applied the finish evenly to the entire area, let the floor dry. The floor should look glossy with no raised areas or drip marks. Follow the floor finish manufacturers recommendations for drying time. Depending on the floor finish, you may wish to apply more than one coat of floor finish; if so, let the floor dry in between coats. You may also want to buff the floor in between coats so that the second coat adheres better to the first coat.
To maintain the new look of the floor finish, you can burnish with a burnishing floor pad. Again, see the manufacturers recommendations for maintenance on your floor.
After 12 hours, your floor should be fully cured. Floor traffic can now resume.