While authentic hardwood flooring is extremely durable, after years of accidental spills, children tracking in dirt and grime, and claw marks from Mr. Whiskers, your once pristine wood floor will begin to show signs of wearing. Unlike certain types of appliances or furniture that need to be replaced once damaged, hardwood floors can be rejuvenated by refinishing the surface.
The majority of hardwood floors can be refurbished by sanding a fine layer off of the surface and coating the exposed wood with a polyurethane finish. If you decide to take the plunge, there are some important things to keep in mind as you embark on your journey to refinish your hardwood flooring.
Work with a Professional
In our digital age, you can find how-to’s on almost every subject via the World Wide Web. There are a myriad of sites that explore DIY opportunities related to refinish your hardwood floors. Authentic hardwood flooring is a genuine investment that requires proper care and maintenance. Don’t let a small blunder that arises while attempting to perform the work yourself ruin your beautiful flooring.
Enlisting the help of an experienced professional who knows how to properly operate machinery like an industrial-grade sander will ensure your flooring is in safe hands. When traversing down the home improvement path, you always want to work with a contractor who has been referred to you by a tradesman or close friend. Check references, read online reviews, and browse through their portfolio of work to verify their credentials.
What Level of Attention Does Your Floor Need?
Ask your contractor if a full refinishing job is warranted. In some instances, the finish may not be entirely depleted and the scrape marks are shallow enough for the floor to be lightly sanded with a new finish placed right on top. Often referred to as a ‘maintenance coat,’ a partial refinishing, when applicable, will save you almost have the cost of a full refinishing.
Whether you live in a mid-century modern abode or a Mediterranean-style oasis, you’ll want to select a color that exemplifies your design aesthetic. Vibrantly-rich colored hardwood floors use a stain and can be customized to satisfy your particular taste. Full refinishing jobs will remove the stain currently on your floors, meaning if you have anything other than a clear coating on top, your floor will appear much lighter. You can choose to have the stain mirror the original pigment or you can opt for a new shade like gray or cherry-brown.
Vacate the Premises
Because the finish will need time to dry, you should plan to take a mini vacation away from your home while the work is being performed. While sanding is typically a quick process (one or two days), the stain, if applicable, and the multiple coats of finish must be left to dry in between each new coat. The exact time-frame is circumstantial and will be contingent upon the types of products used and weather conditions. With these varying elements, each individual coat may only require several hours, or they could require multiple days for completion.