Hardwood floors add beauty to a home but can become worn and damaged over time. When this happens, refinishing the floors can make them look brand new again.
Refinishing like Soen Hardwood Denver hardwood refinishing is a messy process, and it’s important to prepare the room in advance to minimize the mess and protect furnishings from dust and fumes. This will include removing any furniture, curtains, or rugs from the room.
When you sand, the wood is exposed and can be damaged by abrasive particles. To prevent this from happening, wet the surface with water or mineral spirits — depending on the type of stain or finish you’re using.
Wetting the wood also makes it easier to see any flaws — including scratches that are difficult to spot without wetting the surface. You can use a damp towel or a spray bottle filled with water to wet the wood.
It’s important to sand with the grain for most of the process, but you may need to angle your drum sander or belt sander at certain times to remove stubborn stains, deep gouges, and other damage. When sanding with a higher grit, replace the sandpaper regularly to avoid clogging up the machine. Scraps of rigid foam insulation (extruded polystyrene) can make a great sanding block. Spray-stick a piece to the molding and glue three blocks of progressively finer sandpaper.
Staining is typically one of the final steps when installing new, unfinished hardwood floors. It can also be used to change the color of an existing floor. Whether you’re staining bare wood or over an existing finish, applying the stain evenly is important. Forget about pad applicators and paint brushes–the best way to apply stain is with a clean rag. Start in an inconspicuous corner and rub the stain into the grain, then use a rag to wipe off any excess after most of the color has penetrated.
Choose a stain that suits your taste and matches the rest of your home’s decor. Water-based stains are a good choice for softwoods, such as cedar and pine, that show a little grain detail. They are quick-drying, low odor, and easy to clean up. Oil-based stains are better suited for oak and other hardwoods, as they bring out the intricacies of the grain.
A well-maintained hardwood floor adds beauty and value to a home, and refinishing or resurfacing can extend its life significantly. However, refinishing can be expensive and takes time to complete. Fortunately, with a little know-how and some elbow grease, you can do it yourself.
Whether you refinish or resurface, the next step is to apply your chosen finish. A water-based polyurethane is ideal, as it dries quickly. Oil-based finishes require more coats and can take longer to dry.
If you have engineered wood flooring, it’s important not to sand down through the veneer to expose plywood. This mistake could be irreparable and would mean replacing the entire floor. It’s also essential to remember that a damaged hardwood floor may attract unwanted pests, such as termites, ants, and bees. Refinishing a wood floor will help protect it from these unwanted guests. This will protect your health and safety and that of your family.
A good cleaning routine can keep hardwood floors looking great. Sweeping or vacuuming regularly keeps dirt and debris from scratching surfaces. A broom with firm but soft poly fiber bristles is best for wood floors. For spills, a damp mop with a floor cleaner formulated for wood can usually remove them without damaging the surface. Dry spots like candle wax, crayon marks, and chewing gum can be removed with ice: freeze a bag of ice cubes over the buildup until it becomes brittle, then scrape it off with a plastic spatula.
Hardwood floors with a matte finish are generally easier to maintain than those with a glossy finish. Consider your lifestyle, the amount of traffic, and room decor before deciding whether a gloss or matte finish is right for you.
Refinishing or resurfacing your hardwood floors is not a DIY job. Before refinishing your hardwood, hire a professional with experience with this task and who understands the process well.