How to Refinish Your Hardwood Floor
Refinishing may be in order if your hardwood floors show signs of wear — scuffing, scratches, and water damage. Hardwood Floor Refinishing Bergen County NJ can also be a way to add a new look to your home.
First, remove the shoe molding (also known as quarter-round) along the baseboard with a pry bar.
If your hardwood flooring is in good shape but needs a fresh coat of finish, refinishing may be an option. Resurfacing is a bit cheaper and less disruptive to your home than replacing, but both options can extend the life of your floors and provide a beautiful look.
The first step of the process is prepping the room for sanding. This includes removing any furniture that will not be moved back in, putting down a drop sheet, and sealing off the area with a tarp or other plastic covering. This will protect the rest of your home from dust and debris that could mar the new finish.
This is also a good time to check for any areas of damage or wear that might require replacement. Minor dents and scratches can often be repaired by buffing with a soft cloth or commercial floor scratch remover, but major gouges and stains will likely need to be sanded, filled, and refinished to look good again. for a professional assessment and estimate before moving forward with any hardwood repair.
Next, the floors will need to be sanded with a large drum sander. This will likely be the most time-consuming and dusty part of the project, so make sure to plan ahead. It is important to sand evenly and thoroughly to avoid an uneven appearance in the finished product.
Once the sanding is done, the floors will need to be cleaned and dried again. Any water-based cleaners that are safe for wood should be used, as these are better for the environment than chemical-based products.
It is possible to refinish the hardwood floors yourself if you are comfortable working with machines and willing to devote a lot of time to the project. However, the process can be difficult and dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. The most common mistakes made by amateurs include not taking off enough of the old finish, not sanding consistently, or using the wrong stain for the type of wood.
If your hardwood floors have a lot of scratches and dents, you’ll need to do some serious sanding. A large drum sander is best, and you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing the proper safety gear. Begin with a 40-grit belt and work your way up to 60 or 100 grit, depending on the condition of your wood flooring.
When you’re sanding, be sure to vacuum often and use a tack rag on corners and edges. This will prevent dust from being drawn into your home’s air ducts.
You’ll also need to pull up heating grates and any old carpet tacks before you start sanding. Once you’ve sanded, vacuum again and use a tack rag. Then, apply your chosen floor finish. For a water-based finish, use a painting pad on the open floor and a china-bristle brush for the edges; for an oil-based finish, use a lamb’s-wool applicator. Apply the finish as per manufacturer’s instructions, and lightly sand between coats for a smooth surface.
Once the final finish has dried, lightly sand with a lamb’s-wool applicator again for an even, professional look. Afterwards, you should sweep your floor regularly and consider placing doormats in the entrance to keep dirt from grinding into your wood. You should also limit direct sunlight, which can drastically change the color of hardwood.
If you’re unsure what type of wood you have in your home, check the Janka hardness scale. A harder species will withstand scuffing better than a softer species. Also, a light-to-mid tone will show marks less than a dark or rich tone. Keep in mind that solid hardwood planks typically can only be refinished four to six times during their lifespan.
Staining is the process of changing or enhancing the color of your hardwood floor. This can be done in a variety of ways, but the most common is by using a colored finish such as a coloured lacquer or wood paint. This is applied to the top of your floor and does not change the color of the underlying wood, but simply adds an element of colour. The other way to change the color of your floor is by using a stain, which actually changes the pigment of the wood. This is generally only done after the floor has been sanded and requires a skilled professional to do correctly.
Before staining the floor, it is important to clear the room of all furniture and rugs and ensure that there is adequate ventilation. It is also important to use the correct type of stain and make sure it has been mixed well. Also, it is helpful to test the stain in an inconspicuous area of the floor. This will help determine if the stain is the right shade and will give an idea of how it will look once it has dried.
During the staining process, it is very important to work in small sections and use a brush or applicator pad. When applying the stain, remember to run the rag or sponge along the grain of the wood to avoid any unevenness or blotching. It is also a good idea to water pop the floor, which helps to open up the pores of the wood and will reduce the chances of blotching.
Once the stain has dried, a second coat can be applied if needed. Then, a polyurethane or other topcoat can be applied. This will protect the floor from damage and provide a beautiful finish to the refinished hardwood floors. This can be either an oil-based or a water-based product, depending on the client’s preference.
Once the staining is complete, a varnish is then applied to protect and beautify the floors. Depending on the type of wood, it is recommended to use either an oil or water-based varnish for best results. It’s also a good idea to choose a satin finish over a gloss, as it is easier to clean and less slippery.
Varnish is a liquid coating material that dries to a hard transparent film. It consists of resin, drying oil, driers, and volatile solvents. As the solvent portion evaporates, the remaining constituents oxidize or polymerize to create a durable protective coating for wooden surfaces. Varnish is used to protect wood flooring, interior wood paneling, furniture, and various decorative items.
If you decide to refinish your hardwoods, it’s best to hire a professional contractor who is experienced and familiar with this type of work. As Pro Floor Tips explains, refinishing is an involved process that requires skill and attention to detail to ensure the best results. Moreover, professional contractors will have the tools and equipment necessary to do the job properly.
When choosing a refinishing contractor, be sure to select one that is licensed and insured. Additionally, be sure to ask about the contractor’s experience and what types of projects they have worked on in the past. This will help to ensure that the project is completed correctly and in a timely manner.
Once you’ve hired a professional, it’s important to make sure that all furniture is removed from the area where refinishing will occur. In addition, it’s a good idea to seal air vents and doors so that dust can’t get into the rest of your home.
After the final sanding and cleaning, it’s time for a topcoat. This protective sealant helps keep your wood floors looking new and protects against spills, moisture, and the effects of the sun. It’s important to find a finish that works with your furniture and decor. You’ll also want to choose between water-based and oil-based polyurethane finishes. Water-based polyurethane dries quickly, but is less durable than oil-based.
When applying the final coat of stain, HGTV recommends working with 3 to 4 feet of flooring at a time for an even application. This allows you to work quickly and keep the stain from dripping down onto areas that aren’t getting it.
Before putting back your furniture and area rugs, you should allow the floor to dry for at least 48 hours. This gives the finish plenty of time to cure and bond with the wood. It’s a good idea to clear out the room for the duration of this process to avoid introducing dust into your home and damaging the finish.
Whether you’re going with an oil or water-based finish, your refinisher will apply several coats for maximum durability. This will add to the total cost of the project, so be sure you’re ready for the investment before hiring a contractor.
When your floors are finished, you’ll be ready to enjoy your refinished hardwoods for years to come. To get the most out of your investment, take good care of them and clean regularly to prevent scratches, dulling, and yellowing.