Old Parquet Floors

karenfromknoxvilleAugust 14, 2008

Hi,

I have old parquet floors and was wondering what products you would recommend to clean and polish them? They are the original wood from 1969 and are not sealed with polyurethane. Hence, the Bona products really wouldn't work on these floors.

The original owner had carpet on most of the floors so they are in pretty good condition. I'd just like to use something on them that would restore their original shine and richness. They are pretty dull right now with some wear in spots.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Karen

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chambleemama

I just read the chapter in Home Comforts on caring for wood floors--and she recommends just what my mother used to do for her own parquet floors, back in the 1960s. Vacuum thoroughly, and use a non-water-based product to remove the old wax. Actually, I'd get some paste wax specifically designed for floors, and I'd try it on a small area, buffing and turning my cloth until any dirt is gone. Wait until it dries (use good ventilation throughout the cleaning) and buff that clean place with a soft, dry cloth until it *ought* to shine. It may well be that all you need to do is clean and wax the floors! They can be cleaned with new paste wax (read the product label carefully) or with a special cleaner recommended by the floor wax manufacturer. You can also use mineral spirits, but I'd spring for a carbon-filtered mask that meets OSHA standards (they used to cost about $40 at Home Depot). Once you've done this really well, with two thin wax coats rather than one thick one, all you'll need to do for years and years is touch up high traffic areas. My mother did that twice a year. Keep water away from wood floors, and mop any spills immediately. I love real wood floors, and although they are more vulnerable, they aren't that much work.

You've inspired me to pay better attention to my own wood floors!

Anyone have any experience with beeswax-based floor wax? Is there such a thing? I would love to switch my own floors from petroleum-based waxes to something like beeswax.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 5:12PM
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chambleemama

You did inspire me, and I researched natural floor waxes and strippers. Don't know about the wax strippers, yet. However, it looks like carnauba wax is the best bet for floors. It's made from Brazilian palm leaves, sustainably harvested, and it's harder than beeswax.

If you find a natural, non-toxic wax cleaner/stripper, please update us!

Here is a link that might be useful: H.F. Staples & Co., Inc.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 10:04PM
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karenfromknoxville

Hi,

Thanks for your reply and the benefit of all your research! Although what you suggest sounds like a lot of work for an entire townhouse of parquet floors, I do think it will be worth it in the end. I'm sure my floors will be beautiful given that much TLC!

I will keep you posted on my floor project. Thanks again!

Karen

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 10:33PM
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eli_rabanim_net

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    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 10:13AM
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eran322

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    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 8:27AM
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greencleaning

Use a floor polish occasionally that is designed for parquet to bring back the shine lost by the constant usage. Apply a water based acrylic wax to the floor which does not require buffing and let dry.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 10:31AM
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