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Dear Dale:

Glossing Over a Kitchen-Floor Problem

July 12, 1987|DALE BALDWIN

Question: I have what I presume is a no-wax floor in my kitchen, but it has lost so much of its shine that I can't stand it any longer. We've lived in the house for six years, and the flooring was already installed when we bought the house; therefore, I don't know what brand it is or its composition or what a manufacturer would recommend. If I go ahead and wax it, will it turn into a continual maintenance job like needing wax every two weeks or so?

Answer: It is possible that heavy foot traffic has worn through the polyurethane, and in that event, yes, you will have to continue to put wax on the floor in the years to come if you keep a shine.

On the other hand, polyurethane is tough.

I don't mean to wax Pollyanna about polyurethane, but your kitchen flooring could have a lot of good years left and may even have years to shine.

It's possible that cleaners you've used in the past have built up a dull residue on the floor. This residue not only can dull the finish, but it can serve as a trap for dust and dirt that will further dull the shine.

All of those tiny dimples and crevices in most kitchen floor coverings serve to create the sparkle on the floor as they reflect the light. Before cleaning the floor in your customary way and then applying a wax, I'd buy a product that's designed to clean no-wax floors. Be sure it's fluid enough to get into the crevices, and give the product time to work. In other words, don't just use a quick wipe-off procedure.

There are several products designed as cleaners and brighteners. Among them, Brite from Johnson & Son.

Q: I'm a semi-invalid and live about 50 miles northeast of Los Angeles, where there aren't a lot of stores. My husband and I want to redecorate our house, and he plans to do the work. I want very much to be a part of choices made in the redecorating, but I have great difficulty getting out and around.

It's easy for my husband to bring home paint samples, but we've had some difficulty persuading wallpaper stores to let us borrow their sample books for as much as a week at a time. Do you know any places that have a lending library for wallpaper samples?

A: Off the top of my head, I don't know of a store that offers such a service, but there are mail-order wallpaper companies. If you look through home remodeling and decorating magazines, there are frequently advertisements for such places.

Among them is Mutual Wallpaper, 812 W. Main St., Louisville, Ky. 40202. You can get their toll-free number from information to inquire about their catalogue and procedures for shipping.

Here in California, Shibui Wallcoverings, P.O. Box 1638, Dept. LA, Rohnert Park, Calif. 94928, will send 80 samples of their wallpapers for $2 (refundable with first order). Shibui specializes in natural-texture-type wall coverings--grasscloth, cork, yarn weaves and the like--all from Japan or Korea.

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