Getting your hardwood floors refinished is like a home makeover. Your floors will look fresh and new, breathing new life into your living space. The cost involved with refinishing your floors, compared to replacing them, will give you another reason to smile. Wood is a natural product, and its unique grains and knots form part of its appeal. When you refinish your floors, these unique characteristics become more visible once again. Wood brings with it a natural warmth and coziness that can simply not be replicated by any modern manufacturing technique. Modern replicas may resemble wood, but never quite succeed in creating the same character that only natural wood can achieve. Maybe you are considering refinishing your existing hardwood floors if they are starting to look a little worn. Some folks may think it’s time to rip up the old carpets to reveal a beautiful natural wood floor that has been covered up for far too long. Whatever the reason, we would like to share six important steps and general information regarding the hardwood floor refinishing process.

1. Cleaning Your Hardwood Floor
Sometimes a hardwood floor can be revitalized by undergoing a thorough deep cleaning process. This would involve sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping with suitable concentrated cleaning agents. This may have to be repeated several times to work your way through any residue buildup that may be the cause of your dull floor. You can keep your floor in great shape by regularly deep cleaning your floors.
Maybe you have tried this, but it has not helped. In this case you could try a refinishing process that does not involve sanding but requires very specific wood floor products.
Sometimes the only answer to attain the floor’s former glory is to have your floors sanded down, stained, and re-sealed. It’s a laborious process, but often well worth the effort and inconvenience.

2. Preparing Your Floor and Home for the Floor Refinishing Process
This process will involve sanding down the entire floor and will create an excessive amount of dust. It is important to prepare for this by removing as much as you can from the room or area. Anything that is left behind, will be covered in dust in a heartbeat.
Seal the room or area off as best as you can to prevent too much dust from spreading throughout your home.
Seal doorways, vents, and electrical outlets.
It is advisable to sweep and mop your floor before the refinishing process commences.

3. Hardwood Floor Refinishing Does Not Resolve Floor Gap Issues
Hardwood floors are often considered an investment, with good reason. Solid wood floors can be sanded down and refinished as much as ten times during its lifespan, making it extremely long lasting.
There are ways to refinish a floor without sanding, but it will likely not be as effective. To re-stain your floors a sanding process has to be done for the stain to penetrate the wood. Applying polyurethane will also only be effective if the floors have been sanded down properly.
Floors that have deep scratches or dents may need specialized sanding tools to smooth out the floor.

Gaps that were present before the sanding process, will still be there afterwards. Some minor gaps or imperfection may see some improvement though.
You can expect some disparity in the color of the floorboards or the wood knots, which may only become visible after the sealant is applied. This is only to be expected as the wood’s natural characteristics will be highlighted once the refinishing process is complete.
Once the sanding portion of the project is completed, the dust in the air will be given time to settle. Thereafter it will be vacuumed, and the floor will be cleaned with microfiber cloths.

4. Applying a Fresh Stain to Your Hardwood Floors
After some time, your hardwood floors will start to show signs of wear and tear. At this point you can consider refinishing them to recover its former sheen. A refinishing process does take a considerable amount of time and effort; therefore, you will want to make sure to get the best possible results. It is highly recommended to let the professionals take care of the process as they have the required tools, knowledge, and experience for the job.
Once the floor is sanded down to the raw wood, you can take this opportunity to make some changes by applying a different color stain. You can update your home with a stain that is either lighter or darker to create the illusion of a brand-new floor installation. Some folks prefer to go with a natural wood stain and others want to use a bolder stain. Whether you want to go with a darker or lighter stain, make sure to discuss the best option for your floor with a flooring expert. Keep in mind that your floors will darken over time.

Some cleaning agents can influence the color of the floor. The same color stain that was applied 5-10 years ago in a different area of the house, will differ somewhat from a brand-new stain application. It will be close enough to match, but the difference may still be visible.
When it comes to hardwood floor repairs, any new floorboard that was installed to fix any damaged areas, may differ slightly in color when staining the entire floor. This is due to the natural aging process of wood, which the new boards have not been able to catch up with.

5. Baseboard Repainting Required
During the hardwood floor refinishing process, it is inevitable that the baseboards will be scuffed and probably get some of the stain or poly on them. It is best to be prepared to paint them afterwards. The same could apply to steps, stair risers, spindles, and stringers.
In the case of floors where carpet was removed you may find some paint gaps on the baseboards. There is also a possibility that the edgers may cause some scuffing on the walls, when getting to the floor edges.

It is best to plan for a paint job after the floor has been refinished. If you are planning to replace your baseboards, remove them before the floor is refinished. You can proceed with the new baseboard installation after the floors are done. Professional flooring experts will be able to guide through the various steps required.

6. Polyurethane Application Process
One of the last steps is the application of a polyurethane finish.
The removal of old finishing layers from a floor with the use of a polyurethane stripper can be hazardous due to the toxic nature of the chemicals. Extra safety precautions must be taken. Applying a polyurethane finishing coat on your wood floors is not any easy process, but this option does have several benefits. Polyurethane is the better choice for a long-lasting finish, it is also safer, and it dries faster compared to other finishing products on the market. The fact that it is a fast-drying application also comes with challenges, as the application window period is much shorter. This is another reason why you should let a professional flooring company take care of your hardwood floor refinishing. Jerry’s Hardwood Flooring is one such company you can trust to renew and revive your beautiful hardwood floors.

The question now becomes whether to make use of an oil-based or a water-based polyurethane finish. The visual difference between these two options is that a water-based solution will create more of a matte finish. The oil-based version is sometimes preferred as it presents a shinier finish and adds more depth to the floor color.

When it comes to a DIY hardwood flooring refinish, it is important to not underestimate the
amount of work involved. For those that do not have the relevant experience and are not in touch with the latest trends and techniques in hardwood flooring, we strongly recommend bringing in the professionals. The last thing you want is to end up with a blotchy floor that will need to be redone by the professionals anyway. A professionally done refinishing job will uplift your home and even increase your property’s market value.

Contact the friendly team at Jerry’s Hardwood Flooring for professional advice and guidance on all hardwood flooring related topics.

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