How to Apply Floor Polish

The process for applying floor polish is not difficult but does take some time and effort. Pick a day when the floor will be free of traffic. Ideally, remove furnishing from the floor before you start for a smooth finish application. Plan to keep off your freshly polished floor for an entire day to allow application and drying time.

To get the best results when applying polish to your floor at home or in a business, attention to prep work is as critical. First, buy a new mop pad to be used only for floor polish. This is really important because a mop pad that is contaminated with other floor cleaning or finishing products, or fabric softeners from the wash, will mess up the floor finish job by leaving streaks or haze so, if you don’t have one, buy a clean, uncontaminated mop pad when you buy your flooring finish. 1877FloorGuy sells both floor finishes and mop pads.

Floor polish is most often applied to LVT and luxury plank flooring when the look of the floor is not as shiny as the home or business owner might want or because a coating is needed to protect against floor scratches. Flooring finishes or polishes are great for making these adjustments so the owner of the floor is happy with the planks or tiles underfoot, especially when it’s a brand new floor. For most luxury vinyl floors, applying a floor finish is not required however buyers have the option of adding polish to their LVT.

Floor finish poured

So, what’s involved in prep work to get ready for floor polish? First, take the time to sweep, or vacuum the floor (only vacuum with hard floor setting), to lift all loose dirt and dust. Then mop the floor clean with an appropriate neutral cleaner or heavy-duty cleaning/stripping solution, diluted according to label instructions. The cleaning solution you choose will depend upon the floor type (for example: luxury vinyl plank, sheet vinyl, VCT, rubber flooring), residential or commercial floor, and if a finish was previously applied to the floor.

The idea is to remove all dirt buildup, residue and previously applied polish from the floor. Refer to your specific floor maintenance instructions to ensure your floor is compatible with a finish remover and with an applied finish coating before starting the project. If you don’t know the floor brand, apply floor polish in a small inconspicuous area before finishing the entire floor. Let it dry and test it out to see if the polish adheres well to the flooring surface and if it provides the intended gloss level. Acrylic flooring finishes are relatively easy to remove if you find your floor is not compatible or if you don’t like the results. For commercial flooring projects, additional floor preparation may be required.

Tip: Rinse floor thoroughly after using a heavy duty cleaner or finish remover to ensure all cleaning solution is off the floor so your polish can apply consistently.

Spreading floor finish

Once the prep work is done and the floor is free of dirt, dust and previously applied polish, follow these instructions:

  1. Gently shake polish in container. 
  2. Pour a thin line of polish onto floor, enough to spread but not so much that it starts to dry before you get to it.
  3. Using a flat mop with a fresh, clean microfiber mop pad, smooth out the polish into a thin, even coating. Move the mop back and forth, in one direction only until polish appears smooth and even. Repeat this process until the entire floor has polish applied.
  4. Allow floor to dry approximately 1 hour before applying a second coat of polish. 
  5. Second coat of polish applies just like the first coat except apply crosswise.
  6. Repeat for additional coats as needed.
  7. Let polish dry completely, 12 + hours, before allowing traffic on the floor.

Tip: To mininize floor scuffs and scratches, fit furniture bases with heavy-duty felt protectors. Chair leg protectors are most important on tables and chairs that move a lot on the hard surface floor causing localized scuffing which will dull the floor shine over time.

even application with flat mop microfiber pad

A common question from homeowners and small businesses is, “How often do I need to reapply floor polish?” The answer is not one size fits all and depends upon the amount of traffic on the floor and how frequently the floor is swept and mopped. Commercial facilities may reapply polish twice each year or more frequently while homeowners may only need to reapply polish every 1 to 3 years and sometimes less often than that.

Still have questions? Reach out to Customer Support at or check 1877FloorGuy FAQs for answers to floor cleaning & finishing questions and when you need help selecting the right products to clean, polish or protect your floor.


  1. E on December 5, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    Thank you for including that key bit of information no one else seems to include! *only one direction*

    • Angela Henry on December 6, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Thanks! We’re glad you found the video helpful.

  2. Lyndon Jewell on February 23, 2024 at 9:12 am

    It was very useful to me and will help me with my floors .
    Thanks you

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