The lost shine and beauty of your wood floor can be regained by refinishing hardwood floors. Refinishing your wood floors is the process of removing any scratches or dents from your floor and making them look new again. You can buy all the materials needed at your local home improvement store, and you may need to rent a sander at a specialized rental center. You can do the refinishing yourself if your floor is solid hardwood floor.
If your floor is engineered hardwood floor, it will be better to hire a professional. This is because you may accidentally sand through the top layer of the floor, destroying the flooring. Solid hardwood can be refinished many times in its lifetime, while engineered hardwood floors can only be refinished two to three times. Refinishing wood floors involves three important steps.
Sanding is the first step involved in floor refinishing. The sanding is done using a sander, which can usually be rented from a local hardware store or rental center. Two types of sanders are available to rent, the drum sander and orbital sander. Basically, a drum sander is a heavy piece of equipment and it needs some previous experience to handle it. If you are not used to sanders, rent an orbital sander, which is convenient use. Along with the sanders, you will also need sandpaper in various grits which are available in 36, 60, 80, 100 grits. Thirty-six is considered the heaviest among available grit sizes. Before starting the sanding process, remove all the furniture and rugs. Also, check for any nails or tacks on the floor which can damage the sander.
Attach the sandpaper on to the sander. Usually, the sandpaper with the heaviest grit (36) is used first when refinishing. Now, start the sander and move it on the floor surface. Start from one end of the room. Remember sander is never still, when on a working mode. If this happens, the sander will sand the area continuously resulting in the formation of a groove on the floor. So, when refinishing wood floors always keep moving and always sand in the direction of the grain. Do not sand across the grain.
When sanding, all the sanding dust gets accumulated in the sander, so, clean the sander in between sanding using a vacuum cleaner. When the sanding is finished using the 36 grit, continue sanding with the other grits and repeat the process until all the grits of sand paper is used. Sand on scratches and dents as needed to remove them.
This step is optional, although most people opt for some type of stain, even if light, to help even out color inconsistencies in the floor material. Before staining, vacuum the floor thoroughly. Make sure you remove all the dust from the floor. Before staining the entire area, apply some stain in one corner using a rag and see how it looks. If you like the color and finish, apply stain on the entire floor and leave it to dry completely. When you are applying stain, make sure there is enough ventilation.
3. Applying a Finish
Lastly, you will want to apply the finish, which is typically polyurethane-based. For a more natural finish, you can opt for tung oil or similar materials, although it may require more coats to get the protection you want. Most home improvement stores will recommend the appropriate roller or other supplies to get a great finish. When the first coat dries, you will usually want to apply at least one more coat. This is the third and final step of floor refinishing.