Recently I have been seeing an increase in home owners interested in bringing life back to those weary hardwood floors. At some point those hardwood floors looked amazing and with professional hardwood floor refinishing you can bring the beauty back! Here is some guidance on how to best go about doing that,
Preparing the Floor
Check your flooring carefully for any signs physical damage. You will be doing some sandpapering lat a later point in the process, and
you’ll need to get rid of anything that might interfere with the sanding. Any loose nails you find should be
hammered down completely, and carpet staples or tacks should be removed from the flooring. Once you’ve created a
clear clean surface, begin sanding to remove any wax buildup, previous finish and to smooth away any visible rough patches.
You can rent a sander from most equipment rental shops, but I do recommend always using a professional. Your choice of sander is down to personal tastes and patience. A drum sander will make fast work of your surfaces, but is hard to control due to weight, and if you keepit in one place too long it will quickly sand a groove into the floor. An orbital sander is easier to control, butwill take a little longer to complete the job. Make sure you have different grits of sandpaper, ranging from 36 to
To begin the job use the heavy 36 grit paper, running the sander over the floor along with the grain of the wood
with steady even strokes covering the entire wood surface. After you’ve finished the process with the heavy grit
sandpaper, repeat the process with the lighter grits, you’ll want to do a round with a 60 grit, then 80, then 100
grit paper. By going over the surface with increasingly lighter grained sandpaper you’ll create a very smooth and
even surface to work with. Make sure to remove any sanding dust after each sanding run.
Now Staining the Floor
Ok, now Before you begin the staining step, make sure the area is very well ventilated and with no exposed flames, including any
pilot lights, as the chemicals you’re working with will be flammable. After sanding, you can either stain the floor
or apply a finish. Staining will add color, but some prefer the floor’s natural look. If you do decide to go with a
stain, test the color on the floor in the back of a closet or another area unlikely to be seen. Stains tend to
darken with time so keep this in mind when choosing a color. Apply the stain to the floor along the wood grain. For
darker heavier stains, go over the application with a rag to smooth it evenly.
Ok, Now Finishing the Floor
I recommend using a polyurethane finish for your floor. It’s a hard plastic that will protect your floor. You can choose between
water-based or oil-based finishes. The water-based finish is easier to work with and doesn’t smell as strongly as
the oil-based finish when applying. It also doesn’t yellow over time, but it isn’t quite as strong as the oil-based
alternative, which will mean you’ll be doing the refinishing process again years earlier if you go with the water
based. Apply about three thin coats of your finish using a natural bristle brush or a foam applicator. If there are
brush marks from your work blend them in while the finish is wet using a foam applicator. Allow about three hours,
depending on the brand used for the finish to dry between coats..
After three weeks, you should have a strong beautifully finished floor that will last for years.
Until next time,
Chad Durbin | President | Total Flooring