Shaw Pre-finished Floors Ruined By Wrong Cleaning Products


Joseph, I need some assistance, I have Shaw prefinished/engineered wood flooring (Tolchester in Honey Oak- glue style) in my home and unknowingly used the wrong products to clean it. Now, my floors are sticky and all subsequent attempts to either strip (per advice by the contractor who installed the floor) or use a product such as Bruce Hardwood Floor Cleaner have been unsuccessful. My floor is now a mess with stains and a milky film. I called back to the contractor who now tells me that they gave that advice based on thinking I had a different type floor.

The contractor said the only option is to replace the floor, she did say that I could try sanding but that it doesn’t normally work on prefinished floor. Given all that, what is your recommendation on saving my floor. Help, please, I just bought this new home, have only been here for 7 months, just want to explore all other options before replacing the flooring.



Hi Patricia,

It seems as if you’ve got yourself into a real mess (literally). There must have been a chemical reaction with the cleaner you used and your pre-finished floors. The pre-finished coating may have chemically melted and will forever be tacky to the touch. Therefor you may have to replace, but before you do that read our cleaning articles – you may find a solution there that can help.

If it was a non pre-finished floor I would suggest just a sand and re-coat, but unfortunately with pre-finished floors you end up dealing with a lower quality wood just under the surface that was nice and polished. That is if you can sand through the tough finish and not gum up the sander.