The How-Tos of Hardwood Floor Refinishing

By: Lee Dobbins

Many of the old houses employ hardwood flooring. The use of hardwood for floors was popularized in the circa 1960s. Today, there is a resurgence of hardwood floors because people find these floors to be very relaxing to the eye. Hardwood floors are very attractive because of their natural look.

For people who purchased an old house with withered hardwood flooring, they would probably want to look into refinishing the flooring. Carpets cannot hide the hideous truth forever, and at some point, these homeowners need to refinish the flooring. A bad hardwood floor can literally ruin the whole theme of the house therefore lowering its value.

Refinishing a hardwood flooring is a great idea. Yes, it is a great idea indeed and that is why professional refinishers of hardwood floors charge exorbitant fees to their clients. These clients can't do anything but to succumb to the demands of the contractors because they don't have the know-how of proper hardwood refinishing.

Given the proper know-how and techniques for hardwood refinishing, homeowners can be liberated from the financial burden of paying professional contractors to refinish their hardwood flooring. If one is able-bodied and can follow simple instructions, then there would be no reason at all why he can't refinish the flooring himself.

Let's take a look at the pertinent steps that one needs to do to be able to successfully refinish his hardwood flooring.

1) Do the preparatory stuff

Before engaging into sanding the floor or being too excited and buying all the necessary equipment and tools for the refinishing process, one needs to lay down the foundations and do the preparatory steps in the process.

First, one needs to decide what look he would want to give his hardwood floor. There should be a design and color scheme plan that should be laid out before one starts to sand. Knowing what one really wants is as important as doing the process properly. This is to ensure that he knows what he would want to do so that he knows how he can achieve his desired look.

After the plans have been laid out, make sure that all the furniture and other things in the room are taken out and stored properly.

2) Take out the nails

Sanding is perhaps one of the most important steps in the whole process of refinishing a hardwood floor, but don't get too excited yet. Before sanding, make sure that all the nails in the hardwood. The nails need to be taken out because they will eventually damage the sand paper or the sanding discs and perhaps one's hands if they are not taken out. The holes that are left by the nails should be filled with wood fillers that are of the same color as that of the wood.

3) Sand, sand, sand!

If the area of the flooring is not too big, then one can actually sand the floor manually (by hand). But if one deems that there is a need to use an electric sander, then he has two options: one is to buy a new one, the other is to rent. One can buy a pretty decent hardwood floor sander for under 100 US dollars. This can be seen as a good investment, but it really depends on how frequently it will be used. One can also choose to rent a sander from the local home depot or borrow from his neighbor.

One should sand the floor at least 3 times. The first should be made with a heavier grit and the grit level goes down each time. This will ensure that the wax and the coating will be removed thoroughly.

4) Stain the floor

Try to get the correct color that you would want to apply to your hardwood floor and test it in a small wood plank that is similar to the wood that is used in the flooring. Make sure that the stain is applied equally to the floor.

5) Refinish

Refinish with a polyurethane finish. Make sure that the container is stirred and not shaken to prevent bubbles from forming. Apply the solution equally throughout the flooring and wait for it to dry. It usually takes about 3 hours for the solution to dry.

Refinishing your own hardwood flooring is not an impossible task. One only needs the right materials and the right implementation of his plans to be able to successfully refinish such floors.

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