If your wood floors are starting to show their age, you will be pleased with the following tips for refinishing hardwood floors. The process can be handled by any experienced do-it-yourselfer with a little time, effort, and money, and the restoration will provide aesthetic appeal as well as add to the resale value of your home. Have the right tools on hand, and prepare to rent any expensive equipment needed to make the refinishing job easier and more affordable.
Refinishing Hardwood Floors Begins With Repair Work
1 Check for damaged boards that have been burned, cut, gouged, cracked, or warped and prepare to replace them. If you don’t know what kind of wood you have take a sample with you when you shop.
2. Use a good retractable tape measure to calculate the amount of board feet you need to install. Measure both the width and length of the boards.
3. A good table saw is great for cutting boards to the right size and a compound miter saw ensures perfect corners where needed and for any baseboards you might be replacing at the same time.
4. A cordless drill will save you time when drilling holes to secure the new boards, and a nailer can make life easier, too. As well, nail down loose boards and drive down protruding nails. Check for squeaks and nail them silent with two-inch finishing nails.
5. To repair any holes and separations between boards, fill long, thin gaps with wood strip and use wood putty to fill holes.
Remove the Old Finish
1. Sanding is the next job in hardwood flooring refinishing and it’s a dirty one – very dirty. Remove all the furniture, draperies, and wall coverings from the room. Seal registers and vents with plastic, and wedge something under and around doors leading to the rest of the house, or you’ll find dust everywhere, even in the attic. If the room is open, hang plastic sheets around the area to close it in.
2. Rent a good drum sander and an edging machine, as well as a floor polisher or buffer.
* With the sander, expect to make three passes over the floor with progressively finer sandpaper in order to strip away old finishes and to remove stains.
* Use the edging machine to get into corners and the floor polisher to finish off any rough spots.
3. Clean the floor thoroughly by using a vacuum cleaner and tacking cloths.
Refinishing Hardwood Floors Concludes with Staining and/or Sealing
1. Get out your tape measure again to accurately measure the floor and calculate the amount of finishing materials you need (stain, sealer, etc.).
2. Stain next, or go ahead with sealing if you prefer to leave the natural colors and designs of the wood.
* A dark stain makes the room appear smaller; light makes it look bigger.
* A dark stain will show more dust but conceal more dirt than light.
3. After staining, polish (buff) again and clean away dust and dirt with tacking cloths.
4. Apply a sealer to preserve the wood:
* Polyurethane, a water-based sealer, produces a smooth, glossy finish.
* Oil and wax penetrates the wood for a matte finish (less durable).
Provide Ongoing Protection and Care
1. Dust, sweep, and vacuum regularly.
2. Wipe up spills immediately and use only hardwood cleaners on your floors.
3. Use an area carpet or small mats in heavy traffic areas.
4. Draw drapes or use sheers or close blinds to protect the wood from direct sun.
5. Avoid wearing stiletto heels and trim your pet’s nails.
6. Use protectors under furniture legs.
A hardwood floor continues to be the most preferred floor fashion choice for homeowners. It is aesthetically pleasing and durable, it can be restored to its original beauty when it becomes worn, and it is the preference for families with allergies.
About the Author:
Scott Gray is currently a home improvement enthusiast and freelance writer who enjoys providing tips to consumers who are looking for the best cordless drills and all types of table saws.