Floor Wax VS Floor Polish: What is the Difference

Published on: August 11, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

Swing to opt-in the floor wax vs floor polish? Or, what is the difference between them?

Both are valuable to keep the floors glossy and clean. But, the main difference is their uses where wax acts as a defensive sealant and polish acts as restore & shine. 

floor wax vs floor polish

However, waxing gives you a texture and shine on a large hardwood floor along with protection against dirt, damage, and other unnecessary materials. 

Alternatively, polishing provides you with luxurious and shiny floors by restoring the damage of the previous one. Suitable for use in small areas. 

To know every ins and outs data on this versus, you could visit this page within a fixed time. Because this post is not too large. Only major things are discussed here. 

Basic Difference Between Floor Wax and Floor Polish 

Floor wax is an outstanding choice for protecting and maintaining the original hardwood floor from dirt, water, or more. Alternatively, floor polish is a great way to keep the hardwood floors shiny and protect them from cracking. Now, you would like to check the basic difference between floor wax and floor polish. 

Floor Wax

Wax is important to make the floor last longer and look more appealing. This floor wax is a liquid that is used to coat the floor with an extra layer for more safety. Floor wax acts to fill the holes or grooves without any hassle. Even it is competent to ensure the floors against frictions and spots. 

For this reason, your hardwood floor keeps up shiny and beautiful. Whether your child can wear and tear on the floor or not, this floor wax always struggles due to its additional layers. Yes, it sealed your surfaces. Just apply the floor wax to get a dry and comfortable floor on walking. 

Of course, you have to go through the popular floor wax brands to enjoy the overall benefits. Floorwax provides the details. 

Floor Polish

Want to restore the glow of your floors? Floor polish is the best option to keep and restore the hardwood floor nice, shiny, and texture. Just choose the quality brands to keep floors good and clean. 

Polishing the floor is easy to do. It helps to rebuild the luster like a previous new one. Besides, protect the home surface from breaking down and drying out. Remember that some floor polishes contain bad oils. Before selecting the product, you have to check the making elements. Natural oils are good and safe for your floor.

Comparison Table: Floor Wax Vs. Floor Polish 

If you are in a with, you just see the comparison table to understand the full topic within a short time. 

Definition Floor WaxFloor Polish 
Long-lasting Waxes are longer-lasting than polishes and more economical. Polish requires frequeless intention for the wood floors. 
Made of Floor wax is formulated with organic or natural oils. So, it is environmentally friendly. Floor polish is formulated with strong chemical elements. It can be harmful in some situations. 
Layer Type Waxing provides a thin layer or coat of protection. It is less intense than the polish. But, waxes seal the surface. Floor polish is a more-intense cleaning product. Its layer is quite thicker than wax so good for rebuilding the shine on floors. But, it does not seal the surface. 
Duration / Time  It requires buffing the surface frequently. You have to invest too much time to do this process repeatedly creating shine. This process is not time-consuming. But, the polish also needs to be applied until the floor is smooth. 
Suitable For Waxing is better suited for commercial areas where there is a lot of foot traffic. Polish is suitable for residential areas where there is less foot traffic.

Related post: Best Rubber Mallet for Flooring. 

Head-to-Head Comparison of Floor Wax and Floor Polish

head-to-head comparison of floor wax and floor polish

A short comparison chart is not enough to realize the depth of knowledge about floor wax and floor polish. Turn through the comprehensive guide.


Floor waxes are made from natural or organic oils. These oils support protecting your hardwood floors from damage. Establish an obstacle against the floor’s water or moisture. Not only hardwood, but is also suitable for use in laminate, tile, linoleum, and concrete floors as well. Sometimes it includes a softening agent & solvent together which means oil and fatty acids to stick the grounds perfectly.

Contrary, floor polish is made of stronger chemical elements than floor wax. It contains solvents to vanish dirt from the original hardwood floors. Solvents make a protective coating to resist scratches or water damage. Generally, floor polishes are liquid and easy to apply. If you want, you can buff the polish by using a specific machine. Floor polishes can be of different types such as concrete, linoleum, and urethane-based polishes. 

Suited For 

Wax is better for tough surfaces or hardwood floors. Most of the time, it is used in commercial spaces where a lot of people spend time walking. Waxing is suitable for coating long term. It doesn’t matter what number of customers traverse or cross these coating floors throughout the day. 

On the other hand, polishing is not used in commercial areas. It doesn’t tolerate the effect on a lot of people. But, you can only use these residential spaces. In the home or bedroom area, people spend more time sitting on the bed and less time walking around the home. 

Used For

Waxing is ideal for using all types of floors. But, it is usually better to protect and seal the hardwood floors. The floor will glow as soon as possible when you use this coating. Make your floor protective.  

The wax is long-lasting and requires less frequent application. That means you don’t need to apply this coat repeatedly. It saves you money and time. Waxing is more inexpensive than polishing. 

Alternatively, polish is used for many purposes. The most important thing is to restore the dull floors that can happen due to daily wear and tear. It also acts to fill the crevices or cracks. You get the new and beautiful floor again after polishing the hardwood floors. 

Another aspect of the polish works well for other types of home floors. No worries, what are the floor types? You can easily clean up the concrete floor or wood floor, or others without any pressure. But, if you use polishing the small surface like the bedroom, you will get a perfect outlook. 

How To Apply 

It is the most important time when you are ready to apply the floor polish. Collect the right product according to your floor’s category. If you don’t understand, you can check out some reviews. Ohsospotless described some popular floor polishes. 

Now, first, you need to prepare the floor before polishing it. Use any wood-deglaze reducing previous wax or oil, or other traces. 

After finishing, start floor polishing. You can use your hand or buffer to do this job. When you feel tired, you avoid your hands and use a buffer for this process. Some users like to use the sander for their hardwood floors. 

Once buffing up the hardwood floors, utilize a cloth or towel to clean them. Then, apply polish to get a gorgeous floor. 

Unlike, waxing any hardwood floor is an easy & quick task. Collect industrial cleaning equipment or deglaze to remove or strip previous wax and other dirt completely. Make sure all corners, behind radiators, and furniture legs are sufficiently clean.

The common tool is a buffer that allows cleaning professionally. Once cleaning the floor, apply the coat thoroughly. If you desire to get more shine, you can apply the coat again after 24 hours. 

Different floors require several waxes. For the floor of polyurethane or poly-acrylic finish, you will opt for ail-based floor wax. For example, liquid paraffin. Alternatively, turn on the alcohol base floor waxes if you have unfinished floors. 

Advantages of Using Floor Wax and Floor Polish

1. Floor Wax and Floor Polish create an aesthetically pleasing finish by enhancing the natural beauty and color of the floor.

2. Floor Wax and Floor Polish provide a protective layer to the floor that helps protect against dirt, dust, and scuffs.

3. Floor Wax and Floor Polish make the floor easier to clean and maintain, as dirt and debris can be wiped away easily.

4. Floor Wax and Floor Polish also make the floor more slip-resistant, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

5. Lastly, Floor Wax and Floor Polish can help increase the longevity of the floor, making it last longer and saving you money in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What’s the Difference Between Floor Finishing and Floor Waxing? 

Floor finishing and floor waxing are quite similar in terms of keeping floors gorgeous. The only difference between them is that floor waxing is a natural carnauba, and the finishing is synthetic. But, both have done a great job. 

2. Why You Should (or Shouldn’t) Wax the Floors in Your Home

Wax is used for a century or more. Whether you have a new or recycled wood floor or a vintage floor, you will need to wax periodically. Waxes not only shine on your floor, but protect it from scratches, stains, dents, or dullness. 

3. Should I Wax or Polish My Wood Floors?

Wax or polish is important for your high-traffic areas, especially in the anteroom and kitchen floors. To use daily, your hardwood floors become dull. Wax or polish works to restore shine and gloss quickly. 

4. What does Floor Polish Do?

When your floor becomes dull or dirty, floor polish restores the floor and makes it beautiful. It is one kind of coat that protects against damage. It is bad to polish the floor frequently. You can do it from one to three months later. 

In A Nutshell 

Floor wax and floor polish are encouraged to stay on the shiny and luxurious floors without spending a ton of time. Both are relatively similar and interchangeable sometimes. But, waxes seal the commercial surfaces whereas polishes don’t seal the floors. Other differences have been already illustrated in the article on floor wax vs. floor polish. 

Always stay with a gorgeous floor! 

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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