Just remember once you use this wax it may be impossibe to remove it all. Someday you may want to recoat the floor with a modern film finish, like polyurethane. You will have to sand the floor to the bare wood and completely refinish it. With a well maintained acrlyc waxed floor you may not have to for twenty years or so. I wouldn’t suggest using this water based waxing and stripping system on a prefinished floor, there are just to many seams exposed to the water. But, a prefinished floor that has been re-coated at least twice on site will be quite water resistant.
For those that have prefinished floors, there is a floor refresher. While it’s a little more trouble to use than a wax, Bona Kemi claims that you can re-coat over top of this with a floor finish at a later date. The Bona Kemi Swedish Formula Refresher Kit comes with cleaning supplies and a low solids acrilyc finish. After you thoroughly clean the floor you apply this finish and allow a couple of hours for it to dry. You needn’t do this more than 2 or three times a year in heavily used areas. The main advantage is that it has such a low build up that when it comes time to screen and recoat your floors with a new coating of a water based finish, this refresher shouldn’t interfere with it’s adhesion. Visit the Bona Kemi web site for more information on these kits at www.bonakemi.com.
Both Bona Kemi and Basic Coatings have come up with recoating systems that allow you to recoat a water based floor finish without having to screen the finish beforehand. It involves use of some mildly toxic solvents and you still have to buff the floor with an electric buffer. You use a conditioning pad instead of a screen. This condioning pad will create less dust but is also needed to scuff the hidden bevelled edges of a prefinished floor. That’s the best use for this rather complicated and expensive finish preparation system. Prefinished floors with even the most durable coatings will need to be recoated once they get scratched.
The Bona Kemi Prep System of the Basic Coatings Tycoat recoating systems are expensive and generally for the professional refinisher, but may be the best answer for recoating those prefinished floors. The irregular surface that prefinshed floors present makes the normal scuff-sanding (or screening) impractical, whereas the gentle scrubbing with chemical prep agents provide a more thorough preparation of these surfaces. I have yet to try these professional products as I generally stay clear of prefinished floors anyway, but I hope to get some samples and will do some simple adhesion tests to see if these products live up to their promises.
In the next part of this I’ll discuss how to maintain a floor that you have no idea what the finish is or how it’s been treated in the past.