Tips for Refinishing Your Hardwood Floors

One of the more popular types of flooring available for your home is hardwoods. They come in many different styles, colors and types. The homes that have hardwoods are more desired than homes with carpet at this particular time. You will find many older homes were built with hardwoods, but they may look worn and dingy. With some effort and TLC you can have these floors looking like the day that they were installed. Hardwood floors were meant to last a lifetime, but they will need refinished occasionally.

To begin refinishing your hardwood floors you will need to remove any furniture or rugs. If your floors have any thing sharp sticking up above the surface of the wood you will want to make sure that you remove it or pound it below the surface of the wood. Doing this will prevent your sandpaper from tearing.

Your next step will be to rent a sander. It is important to realize that you must keep your sander moving at all times to avoid damage to the floor (deep grooves). It will take a few minutes to get used to the feel of the sander. Drum sanders will work, but orbital sanders will be easier. Ask for a demonstration before leaving with the sander. You will need a supply of sandpaper in a variety of sizes (36, 60, 80 and 100).

Once you begin sanding you will want to where a dust mask. Start with the heaviest grade of sandpaper first. Move the sander evenly by pushing or pulling with the grain of the wood. It is important not to sand across the grain. Remember to keep the sander moving at all times while it is turned on. You can even out gouges by going over them with long even strokes. You will want to repeat this process using the next finer grade of sandpaper each time. Going through each grade of sandpaper will help eliminate all scratches from the floor and give it a smooth finish. You may need to repeat this complete process with an edging machine if your sander does not reach the edges.

Now, you can leave your floor a natural color or you can stain it. If you choose to stain it, you will need to make a color choice. Sweep all the dust from the floor. Use either a tack cloth or a shop vacuum to get up as much dust as possible. From this point forward you will want the area to be well ventilated with no smoking. With a rag, apply a small amount of stain in an inconspicuous spot. Allow it to dry and make sure the color is to your liking. If you want the stain to be light, applying it with a rag is best. If you want a heavier stain, use a brush. Apply your stain in the direction of the wood grain with long even strokes.

To seal the floor, stir a can of polyurethane. Make sure it is well stirred and there are no bubbles. Apply the polyurethane with long, even strokes with either a brush or a roller. Before applying a second coat of polyurethane, allow the first coat to dry for at least 3 hours. Drying time for the second coat is 8-12 hours and you should allow 3 days of drying time before moving furniture unto your refinished floor.

You will find the process of refinishing your hardwood floors to take time and effort, but in the end you will have floors that shine and look like new. In the end, the results will be worth the time and effort that was put into refinishing your hardwood floors.

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