Hardwood floors are some of the most spectacular and magnificent for any setting with the warm and luxurious feel to it. Above all, they outlast most other flooring material options and seem to add to their character with passage of time. Just the same, hardwoods are much more difficult to finish compared to say pine floors. A lot goes into choosing the right finish for your hardwood here is a comprehensive guide for you so you don’t have to fumble with hardwood refinish and make costly mistakes. Whether you would like to finish a hardwood floor without sanding or learn about sanding hardwood floors and refinishing, this is the guide for you
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Hardwood floors are some of the most spectacular and magnificent for any setting with the warm and luxurious feel to it. Above all, they outlast most other flooring material options and seem to add to their character with passage of time. Just the same, hardwoods are much more difficult to finish compared to say pine floors. A lot goes into choosing the right finish for your hardwood here is a comprehensive guide for you so you don’t have to fumble with hardwood refinish and make costly mistakes. Whether you would like to finish a hardwood floor without sanding or learn about sanding hardwood floors and refinishing, this is the guide for you.
Preparations to refinish a hardwood floor diy
Obviously, you need to remove furniture and other obstacles from the room before any work can commence. Moving heavy furniture may require quite a bit of lifting since dragging can leave ugly marks on precious floors.
Sawdust ad stain fumes present a level pain and can be mitigated by sealing all opening with masking tape. Plastic trash bags and sheeting wil also come in handy when it comes to dust proofing light fixtures and vents. You can isolate the room from the rest of the house by means of a plastic sheeting by the door.
In case you have gaps in the hardwood flooring, woody putty will come in handy. Typically, manufacturers will direct that you let it dry for up to six hours so this could be a major snag. Just the same, its prudent to let the filing dry thoroughly before continuing with hardwood finishing.
Dust and debris are something you don’t want in the preceding steps and so a thorough vacuum is a big help.
Sanding hardwood Floor for refinish
If you own an electric drum sander then you are good to go. If not, then a rental facility is your best bet if you don’t know any neighbours who own one either.
Sanding at 180 grits per inch seems to yield the best results when you are refinishing old hardwood floors. The machine should be pretty easy to handle for a power tool if you have done it before. If not, you can practice over an area the remains hidden once you move the furniture back.
Obviously, you can start with sandpaper with 60 grit before changind to 120 grit per inch for a smoother finish.
Sanding patterns vary depending on the size of the room but one of the easiest is to start from the middle of the room and move in concentric circles towards the outer edges. Most importantly, sand along the natural grain flow of the hardwood to ensure better results and avoid ruining the floor’s appearance.
Finally, there might b areas of the floor obstructed especially on the far edges where the drum sander will not reach. For these you might need a small handheld power sander. Remember that with hardwood floors you might have to sand up to four time to achieve the desired curb appeal. After each round, vacuum the dust and wipe the entire floor with a dry cloth.
If you are also staining your hardwood floor, you want to make sure that there are no residual dust and debris to interfere with the staining process.
When there are gaps and cracks in the wood, you need to apply a quality sealant prior to staining.
Staining the Floor
When you are unsure of whether to stain or not to stain, think about how the floor looks now. If you like he natural hue then its best to leave I as is. The next step would be to wax and apply clear finish.
But in case you wish to highlight the natural hue of the hardwood , staining will do wonders provided you choose the stain wisely. Its always better to tag along someone who actually understands colors when you buy. Also, think about he overall look of the floor rather than the small piece sampled at the local hardware. Go for a stain that you can live with even if results are less than pefect. Also, always go for the darker shade since wood soaks in the stain making it to fade a shade lighter.
Typical stain costs vary starting at about $40 per gallon. When doing this for the first time, a water based stain is recommended for an easier finish. Hardwood floors are very durable and you can expect to live with the shade you choose for a long time. So consider this permanent just in case you were thinking about redecorating. Choose a shade that complements the room well. Much of the room décor depends on floor shades and it even influences how large the room appears. Again someone with as a sense of color and design will offer good advice. Alternatively, pictures of actual refinished hardwood floors before and after will give a clearer view than samples at the hardware. Also, a darker shad might come in handy to cover tough stains like pet urine that just won’t come easily even with repeated sanding.
Apply a durable floor sealant to the hardwood prior to staining it. This will prevent uneven coverage. Ask at your local hardware store or flooring specialist; they should be able to direct you to the right product.
To stain a hardwood floor, just as with sanding, first try out the stain in a closet or other part of the floor that will remain hidden. Start by pouring enough stain into a bucket and stir vigorously then use a roller or rug to spread a uniform coat on the floor.
Now wait 15 minutes and remove excess stain from the floor using a rag. A thinner first layer of stain will dry faster and produce an even color. While applying the stain, you want to keep stirring the bucket with a stick to avoid solidification at the top layer.
Repeating the staining process will produce a new shade of a darker tone. If you wish to add additional coats, you will need to wait for the first coat to dry first. Water based stains dry in under six hours while oil-based solutions require up to 10 hrs. Because the shade changes slightly when dry, you will find that you need at least two coats to get the stain you set out to achieve
Keep off steam moping hardwood refinished floors for a least four weeks since the last coat was applied.
Waxing and Buffing hardwood Floor
Waxing the floor beforehand seals the wood. Buffing on the other hand will remove excess wax. This is where you need to fold your sleeves and really earn your keep if you intend to do this yourself. Is manual work and it takes an eternity to finish a medium sized floor but it is worth it. Waxing will ensure your hardwood floors last longer. Before waxing and buffing, you need to take out furniture and wipe the floor with a damp cloth.
You can wax the hardwood floor whether or not you have stained it and also regardless of whether you want to refinish a hardwood floor without sanding. If you decide to stain, do allow ample time for your stain coating to dry before trying to wax. Otherwise, you just might find yourself budgeting for a carpet. Waxing an average sized floor will take at least one day. It is also tough work which needs to be repeated more than once to accumulate more protective layers.
Choosing the righ wax for hardwood flooring
For a hardwood floor that has not been treated yet, there is no strict guidelines for choosing wax. You can go with any choice of wax for hardwood. You can request samples at the hardware since different wax product appear differently when applied on the same wood.
T wax a hardwood floor, fill the wax of choice into a bucket and use a sponge or flat wax applicator to spread a thin uniform layer on the floor. Starting from the far end and finishing at the door, spread the wax on the floor each small segment at a time.
Apply several coats up to four but stop if the wax turns yellow. Now allow for the wax to dry for up to thirty minutes while you clean the tools.
Once the wax is completely dry, it’s time to get on your hands and knees with a clean towel. Buffing involves rubbing the floor until the excess wax comes off an onto the cloth.
Final thoughts on refinishing a hardwood floor
Most people make the rookie mistake of considering only hardwood refinish costs when choosing a contractor to hire. Hardwood sanding and refinishing cost will vary depending on you project square area and contractor. Giving thought to the value added and the durability of results, refinish hardwood price is worth your while.