The Education Centre: How to Refinish your Hardwood Floor?

Over time, even the renowned beauty of hardwood floors can suffer from the ordinary wear and tear of daily life. Regular maintenance and cleaning can keep wood floors in good condition, but eventually refinishing the floor will be required if the floors are going to look like new again.

It is recommended that wood floors not be refinished too often, as each time the floorboards are made slightly thinner. At some point, the boards will become too thin to be useful for flooring.

Refinishing a floor is time consuming and can be difficult, so you may prefer to hire a professional, but it is possible to refinish your flooring as a DIY project.

Preparing your floor for refinishing

Begin with a thorough clean of the existing floor, followed by an inspection of its condition. Cracks should be filled, ruined boards should be replaced, and any exposed nails or protrusions should be made flush with the exterior of the flooring. This will prevent you from damaging the equipment that is needed to refinish the floor.

Sanding is the next step, to be accomplished with a large, motor-powered drum sander and a smaller edge sander, both of which can be rented. Beginning with coarse sandpaper and moving progressively to a medium grain and finally fine grain sandpaper, the drum sander should be run over the floor three times.

Make sure that you wear goggles and ear protection. Also, close off the room you are working on from the rest of the house to keep dust in your home to a minimum. You should be careful not to let the sander sit in any one place for too long, as that will make your floor uneven. The edge sander is used for those areas that a drum sander cannot access.

You will want to clean the floor with a vacuum and broom following the sanding process, but do not use any water. It can seep into the flooring and damage the newly sanded boards. Once the cleaning is finished, you will want to buff your floor with a buffer.

Applying Stain and Finish to Hardwood

It is now time to stain the floor, which must be done in a room with sufficient ventilation. There are several colours of stain available, so take your time in choosing the one that is best for your needs. After you are finished applying the stain to the floor, let it dry for twenty-four hours before you put the finish on the floor.

A professional floor finish will seal your floor and keep stains from penetrating into the floorboards. Most people will want to use a water-based finish applied with a clean brush and smoothing tool. Allow the floor to dry for another twenty-four hours after this finish is applied.

Though refinishing a hardwood floor takes several steps, the beauty and cost savings that come with doing it yourself makes all the effort well worth it. With a little care, refinishing a hardwood floor will lengthen the life of your floor and improve the value of your home.