Found the installers applying paint thinner to my brand new floors

Q: I just had hardwood floors installed 3 days ago and I found the installers applying paint thinner to my brand new floors! Everyone I have spoken to has no idea why they put paint thinner on wood floors and the owner of the company is avoiding me. I have noticed that my floors no longer have the high gloss look and am worried that the coating will no longer hold up to a house full of kids.

Do you have any idea what the practice of this is and what damage this has caused and will cause to my flooring?

A: I don’t know of any pre finished manufacturer who is using gloss finish in North America. They were probably using mineral spirits to clean off adhesive that got on the surface of the floor. That should not hurt the finish.

Similar Q: I just installed new prefinished flooring throughout a house. I did not know at the time but the guys used paint thinner on the floors to clean them. There are now white streaks all over the floors. What can I do? Please help me!

A: You should get yourself some floor cleaner created by floor coatings companies and wood floor manufacturers. You will likely have to go to a local wood floor retailer but there are many offerings from Poloplaz to Basic Coatings, Mirage, Bona Kemi. Or in a pinch you can mix a mild solution of vinegar and water. Dampen a cloth or micro weave or terry cloth type mop. Spray and wipe dry. The nice thing with the other cleaners I’ve mentioned is they evaporate off the floor and don’t leave any type of residue, which is what you are looking at now. And please don’t use super market cleaners or oil soaps.