Some people shy away from installing hardwood floors because they fear they won’t be able to handle the maintenance required to keep the floors looking beautiful and shiny. The truth is floor refinishing is not as cumbersome or expensive as many people think. Once you have the proper items and learn the process of refinishing wooden floors, your hardwood floors will always look brand new. We have a guide for you to choose the right flooring and its refinishing, click here.
Refinishing hardwood floors is a simple project you can take on yourself. Hiring a professional to do the job may cost you approximately $3 to $4 dollars per square foot. For example, hardwood floor restoration for a home of 2,000 ft.² would cost about $8,000. However, doing the refinishing yourself can be done in under a week for a fraction of the cost. In this article, we’re going to look at whether replacing or refinishing hardwood floors is the right choice for you and how to refinish hardwood floors.
Should you refinish or replace hardwood floors?
If your hardwood floors are looking dull and old, your first thought may be that you need to replace your wooden floors. But refinishing can revitalize your hardwood floors and get them looking brand new again. The benefit of refinishing vs. replacing your floors is that hardwood finishing is cheaper.
Replacing hardwood floors requires you to buy new wood and pay for the removal of the old flooring and the installation of the new one. Yet, with a little work, refinishing your hardwood floors can give you the look you want without the hefty bill.
Steps to refinish hardwood floors
1. Use hardwood floor cleaner to clean floors
The first thing you’ll need to do before beginning the process is to remove all the furniture from the room. Then use a hardwood floor cleaner to spray the floor. You can use hardwood floor cleaner purchased from a store or make your own cleaner by mixing water and white vinegar, following the ratio of 1-part white vinegar to 10-part water.
Once you have your mixture, use a terry cloth or old towel wrapped around the mop head and gently wipe the floors. You’ll need to prevent any dust or debris from entering the room, so close your windows and doors. Also, make sure that you cover any vents and electrical boxes with painter’s tape.
2. Perimeter must be prepped
Once you have sealed off the area, you’ll need 180-grit sandpaper to hand sand the perimeter of the room, going over all the areas that your buffer may not be able to reach. To do this, rub the areas in the direction of the grain about 4 to 6 inches away from the baseboard and sand down each board until it appears powdery and dull.
Be sure not to use a sanding block because doing so may result in uneven spots on the floor. Look over your floor for any areas that need repair. This could be holes or cracks in the floor. Use a wood filler to fill in these holes using a spackle knife.
3. Scuff-sand floor finishing
Before you begin this process, it’s important to wear a dust mask. Buffing the floor is a critical step because this will eliminate any tiny sanding marks and result in a stunningly smooth finish. To buff your floors, you may rent an industrial floor buffer or use a pole sander instead. It’s important to note that using a pole sander will take more time but is easier to use than a buffer and cheaper.
Use a 120-grit sanding screen and buff the floor going over each board in a back-and-forth motion in the direction of the grain. Do this across the entire floor overlapping each section by 6 inches. You’ll be able to tell the places that you’ve covered because they’ll turn powdery. Keep the buffer moving, but every 5 minutes, stop to vacuum the pad.
4. Vacuum and tack
Allow the powder to settle by giving the powder time to settle for about 10 to 15 minutes before returning to the room to go to the next step. Then, insert a clean filter into the vacuum and sweep the floor with a felt bottom attached.
Next, sweep the floor to remove any powder that may have settled in between the boards. Once you have done this, use a microfiber cloth to dry-tack the floor going in the direction of the grain.
5. Cut along the edges
You’ll need to cover your shoes with booties for this step. Using a cone filter, strain the finish into a clean plastic watering can. Be sure to remove the sprinkler head. Once you’ve done this, put a small amount of this strain into a plastic container.
Beginning from the area furthest from the door, use a brush to apply the finish beside the baseboard. Work your way quickly through the room. If this stripe begins to dry, it will leave lap marks on the floor, so work 10 minutes at a time. After 10 minutes, you can move on to step six.
6. Roll out the poly
Pour out a 1-inch wide stripe of finish going in the direction of the grain. You only want to pour out the amount you can spread within 10 minutes. Then, with a long-handled roller that has a 1/4-inch nap cover, begin to roll out the finish in the direction of the grain and then across it. Work quickly so that you can keep the edge of each strip wet as you overlap each stripe.
Once 10 minutes is up, move to another section and brush to finish along the edges next to the baseboard. Pour out another 1-inch stripe and repeat steps five and six until the entire floor has been done. Recoat the floor after three hours and wait a week before placing the furniture back into the room.
Zelta is an expert in hardwood floor restoration in Toronto and across the GTA. We give you the tools to take the hard work out of the process.
Reach out to our team today for more details about hardwood refinishing.