Refinishing Tips for Damaged Hardwood Floors

While there are many options for flooring, from ceramic tiles and laminate to the deepest of deep pile carpet, few options can match the warm, beauty, and durability of hardwood floors. Hardwood floors have long been recognized for their elegance, charm and beauty, and they continue to be a popular option for homeowners and businesses around the world.

While newly installed hardwood floors are breathtakingly beautiful, hardwood floors that have seen better days can be unsightly or embarrassing. Many hardwood floor owners find themselves in this situation, and are in need of a way to restore their flooring back to their original beauty. Flooring damage is commonly caused by foot traffic, furniture moves and normal wear and tear, these actions can break down the beautiful finish of hardwood floors, but refinishing the surface can restore the floor to its former glory. Refinishing you floor can be done without the need for a professional if you are confident enough, however you can always get in touch with us at Salisbury Hardwood Flooring for a quote if you would prefer a professional.

Before taking the step of refinishing the entire floor, it is important to make sure that their is sufficient damage to warrant refinishing. Some damage to hardwood floors, such as dullness or chips, can be addressed with simple cleaning. Fortunately there is a simple way to determine if the floor needs to be refinished or just cleaned thoroughly.

This test consists of finding the part of the floor that is hardest used, pour on a small glass of water and then observe the results over the next few minutes. If the water beads on the surface, the floor does not need to be refinished, and a thorough cleaning should rectify your issues. If the water breaks down, soaks into the wood and darkens the shade of the floor, then the coating has broken down, and the floor could benefit from a good refinishing.

Some customers will no doubt feel comfortable enough in their abilities to refinish their own floors, while others will prefer to hire one of our professionals to do the job. If you do feel confident in what you are doing, please read on for our top tips to refinishing your hardwood floor.

The first and most important thing to do is to measure the area before getting started. The measurement will help to determine if the floor can be sanded manually or if additional equipment will be needed. If the floor measures less than fifty square feet, whilst laborious it can probably be sanded by hand, using a good quality sandpaper. If the floor area is more than fifty square feet, a power sander is probably in order.

After the area has been measured, the next step is to remove all the furniture from the room. After the furniture has been removed, the old finish should be stripped from the floor, using a lacquer thinner or acetone. When choosing a stripping agent, it is important to follow the recommendations of your flooring manufacturer, if you are unsure of any details, the company who installed your flooring will be able to provide these for you.

Any carpet tacks or nails should be removed from the floor before sanding. These objects can damage both the sandpaper and your hands, so be sure to check the floor carefully before getting started. If removing the tacks and nails leaves holes in the floor, they can be filled using a wood filler.

After all obstructions have been removed, the entire surface area of the floor should be sanded. Once the surface has been sanded, any remaining residue can be removed using a damp floor mop or a clean cloth.

After the floor has been allowed to dry, it is time to start applying a fresh coating of varnish, wax or paint. When applying the new finish, it is important to follow the recommendations of your floor’s manufacturer, and to apply as many coats as necessary to achieve that beautiful hardwood appearance. After the new finish has been applied, be sure to maintain it properly by polishing it regularly with a quality hardwood floor polish or using a wood floor refresher.

Please do not use your refinished floor for 12 – 24 hours, to give the new finish time to dry and apply.