Back to DIY Advice
Restoring Your Parquet Floor - DIY Guide
A parquet floor that is maintained and looked after flawlessly surely will last for generations and many decades. This is some really good news as parquet flooring, no matter the pattern, wood species, finish, colour, texture, never goes out of style and will always be a perfect complement to any interior design and style. So no matter if it comes to the contemporary living room, a farmhouse-style kitchen, or a more elegant bedroom inspired by vintage interiors and influences, a parquet floor is the perfect background to any space and can be the focal point of every room. Looking after a real wood floor is not that complex and difficult, neither requiring a lot of energy, time, money, and elbow grease. Still, wood floors, especially parquet ones, have their specifics and require a regular, in-depth, and suitable cleaning and maintenance routine. Today we are going to discuss more how to take proper care of your parquet floor.
Improving the condition and appearance of a parquet floor that looks a bit tired, sad, worn, and age is usually a service you go to the specialists for. There is no doubt that parquet floors, due to their more complex patterns, are better left in the safe and experienced hands of knowledgeable professionals. However, when it does not come to more in-depth and complex parquet restoration and renovation services and all that should be done is simply rejuvenating and refreshing the look and the condition of your parquet floor, you can attempt it as a DIY project.
It is important to remember that you are not recommended to DIY your parquet floor’s “facelift” session in case you don’t feel confident and knowledgeable enough. Despite not being rocket science, all treatments and services related to parquet and designed to improve its condition and appearance are a subject of many years of training and a lot of experience and expertise gained throughout the way, which is normally only a reliable wood flooring specialist can offer. However, in case you are a handyman and know a thing about parquet flooring, you have the green light to go ahead and tackle down this restoration DIY project. Otherwise, make sure to contact the professionals and better leave all the hard work in their hands.
Here is how to restore the elegance, beauty, and durability of parquet floors as a DIY project
Start the project by clearing out all the furniture pieces and heavy objects out of the room. In case there are some valuable items and decorations in the room, make sure to remove them out of the room too to prevent breaking or damaging them. Next, you want to clean all the dust and debris from the floor too. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean but make sure you have the right attachment for parquet/hard floors, otherwise, you may scratch and damage the floor’s finish. If there is not a vacuum cleaner attachment in your machine’s settings, use the soft brush attachment instead. If you can choose, pick up a smaller vacuum that is more mobile and lighter and won’t scratch the floor.
Next, you want to clean the floor with a slightly damp mop. Remember, never use too much water and liquids on your parquet floor, otherwise, you will cause water damage. The solution you can use for cleaning is warm water and detergent or a cleaning product that is designed for hardwood floors especially. Such products have a neutral pH and won’t damage the finish of the floor. Remove all the debris and dirt and take your time to scrub out stubborn stains and dirt buildups. Repeat the damping process if needed until the floor is flawlessly clean. To finish things up, mop one last time with a mop damped in warm water only to remove any soap traces left.
Make sure to choose a hidden section of the floor that usually remains out of sight, it is recommended to choose a small section that is usually under the sofa or other bigger furniture piece. You will use this little patch of the floor to determine the type of the existing finish. If you know exactly what type is the finish of the floor, you can skip this stage. Otherwise, you want to place a couple of drops of water onto the surface of this small patch of the floor. Then leave the drops untouched like this for about 10 minutes and continue with inspecting the results. In case there are white spots left where the drops of water used to be, you can assume that the parquet floor is originally finished with either oil or wax. However, if there are no spots left where the drops were placed, the parquet floor is originally finished with lacquer or varnish. You can remove the white spots remaining after the water drops by slightly treating the surface with a piece of steel wool coated in wax.
Next, use a product that is designed to strengthen the finish of your floor. Choose the product according to the finish of your parquet floor. There are many brands and a great variety of products available on the market nowadays, so make a thorough research and choose the product that best meets your needs and fits your budget. Such products are created to restore and improve the beauty and the condition of the finish and boost it's protective and preserving power. They are a great maintenance option for DIY-ers, who don’t have the required equipment and experience for more heavy-duty parquet restoration and refinishing treatments and for parquet floors that are not heavily damaged and worn off.
Always make sure to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damages. Apply the product to the floor the way the manufacturer recommends. Most of the products designed for taking care of wood floor varnishes and lacquers usually come in the form of polish. However, when it comes to maintenance for wax- and oil-finished floors, you can choose between either using a polish or a hard wax. You can apply two coats of the hard wax case the wear and tear of the parquet floor are heavier. The process of applying such products on top of the existing finish of the floor is named recoating and does not require further sanding and refinishing.
Finally, buff the surface of the floor for great and even results. Make sure to check the guidelines on the product’s package to check out how long the product does have to be left untouched on the floor before you continue with buffing. You can use either an old-fashioned buffing block or a semi-professional buffer with a large pad attached to it.
What You Will Need for the Project?
- A vacuum cleaner with an attachment for hardwood floors/soft brush attachment
- Wood-washing detergent/product with a neutral pH
- Mineral spirits
- Products designed for parquet floor and finish maintenance
- Cleaning rags
- Buffing block or a semi-professional buffer
- A large white pad for the buffer
- In case the parquet floor is extra dirty and there is a lot of dust and dirt buildup, make sure to start cleaning it by first soaking it (don’t use extra liquid, just apply a thin layer) with the wood floor washing detergent/product and don’t add warm water. Apply the product and leave it like this for 5 minutes, then rinse the soap off the surface of the parquet floor. Then repeat the washing and rinsing process.
- Once you apply the hard wax product and buff it into the floor, you can notice some patches of the floor that are darker and sticky and this means that you have applied too much of a hard wax product there and have not blended it enough. Such darker and sticky patches you may notice before even applying a product. This means that too much hard wax is used in the past and you can remove it by using mineral spirits and a cleaning rag.
- Avoiding scratches, dents, and stains is achieved by regular maintenance and cleaning.
- Place floor-protecting pads on the legs of heavy furniture pieces to prevent scratches and other damages.
- When using maintenance and cleaning products on your floor, make sure to always keep the room well-ventilated and with a constant flow of fresh air. This is especially important if you are using mineral spirits for removing extra wax, as mineral spirits are heavier chemicals that can be toxic and damaging to your health.
- Never use multi-functional and dish-washing products for cleaning the floor. Always use cleaning products designed for real wood only.