Hardwood Floor Refinishing: How To Do It Right

Hardwood Floor Refinishing

Hardwood Floor Refinishing is fairly unforgiving work. Make a single mistake, and it’ll reveal itself immediately. But a¬†Hardwood Floor Refinishing Northern Virginia¬†can add tremendous beauty to even a drab room such as a bedroom or office. To save money on refinishing hardwood floors, try using a hardwood floor refinishing kit. To save time, and reduce the risk of injury, use only a sealer designed for hardwood floors.

Sanding. Although some people think they need to scrape off years of dirt and dust before sanding, this isn’t true. Just remove the existing finish and use a sander. Do take note, though, that in general, larger hardwood floors take longer to sand than small ones. It’s also important not to miss any scratches while sanding; otherwise, the refinished wood will not have the same “old” look that it had prior to cleaning.

Sealer. There are two types of sealers to choose from when doing hardwood floor refinishing: an oil-based and a water-based. The difference is quite noticeable with the first one. An oil-based product dries quickly, leaving little or no effect on existing finishes; however, it leaves a musty odor.

Water-based products are much gentler. They dry in a shorter amount of time and leave virtually no odor. If you don’t want to get a musty odor from your refinished hardwood flooring, you can use an oil-free liquid cleaner instead. There are different products for each type of finish (coated and oiled); however, if you’re unsure which to use, consult with professional hardwood floor refinishing specialists.

Vacuum. Hardwood floors can get extremely dusty, especially if they’re located in areas that are not regularly mopped or swept. If you do not have a vacuum, simply take advantage of your sweeping duties. You can also purchase a dust extractor, which will extract the dust before it is allowed to build up. If you have already purchased a sander, be sure to close all windows and doors while using the sander, as the exhaust port and suction pipes can get dirty and clogged with dust.

Sealant. After the sander is finished, you should apply an acid based polyurethane coating. The most common type of polyurethane is a VOC compliant type that is safe for indoor use, but there are other options available. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions when selecting the right finish for your home.

Recoat. Do not skip this step. Most experts recommend that you apply a small amount of latex or petroleum based sealer immediately after finishing the floors with a recoat. This will seal and protect the surface, stopping water, wind, stains, and scratches from building up. Make sure that you allow the first coat to cure completely before applying another.

Sanding. Once the refinished hardwood floors have been cleaned and the protective coat has had time to set, it’s time to start sanding. Depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations, you might need to use a power sander to achieve the best results. Either way, ensure that you use a soft, dry cloth to avoid scratching the surface during the process. Depending on the existing finish, you may need to repeat the sanding several times to make sure that all of the dust has been removed. Once the sanded surface is smooth and clean, you can apply the final finish and begin polishing.

Oil-Based Polyurethane Finishes. If your floors have sustained less damage than the previous steps, you can opt for an oil-based polyurethane finish. Although it is slower to work, the finish is more resistant to water, and the dust will be blown away. Unlike with the previous refinishing steps, you should wait three to five minutes between sanding and finishing the floors. This will allow the polyurethane to sink into the surface, creating a barrier against moisture and slowing the accumulation of dust.

Coatings. Although coatings will slow down the process of refinishing hardwood floors, it will make them much easier to maintain. This type of coating contains thicker and more durable particles that make it harder for any liquid to penetrate. It also creates a finished look with a textured surface that makes it appear as though you have never refinished the floors at all.

Although a lot of people think that sanding is the step in refinishing hardwood floor that needs to be done, in fact, it is not. A sander can actually ruin the finish of the floor, leaving it with a bumpy surface and dull spots. Instead, use a wet or dry sander to achieve the best result. The rough finish will also help the floor dry faster and prevent it from becoming too saturated with dust.