How to Refinish Hardwood Floors in 10 Easy Steps
Inside this Article:
Step 1 – Determine if Your Floor Needs Refinishing
Refinishing hardwood floors is often a better choice than simply replacing the entire flooring, because it costs less, it doesn’t make that much mess and it takes less time.
Step 2 – Determine if Some of the Floor Planks Need Replacing
Sometimes, 90% of the floor might be in good state and would only need minor hardwood floor refinishing and just a few planks could be damaged beyond repair. In this case, you will need to replace those boards before applying the refinishing process. Since most planks will be connected using a groove-tongue joint, it will be slightly difficult to get one out, especially if it’s not around the edges, but it’s not impossible.
Step 3 – Filling the Gaps
It’s considered good practice to fill in the gaps at the ends of the floor planks before sanding, but you shouldn’t waste time with every little crack. They’re unavoidable, as wood tends to expand and contract due to humidity and unless the gap is big enough that you think it might cause you trouble during the hardwood floor refinishing process, feel free to skip it and save some time and energy.
Step 4 – Getting the Right Equipment
Unfortunately, some of the equipment you’ll need while refinishing your floor are specific for this situation, so you’ll either have to buy them or rent them out:
Step 5 – Preparation
Since it usually gets quite messy when you refinish hardwood floors, a little preparation is advised. Make sure you turn off all vents that might take dust and sand particles across the house and only use ventilation that connects the room to the outside. It’s also a good idea to use some wet sheets across entrances to the room you’re working on for the same reasons.
Step 6 – Sanding
Sanding is probably the most important part of the process and you need to put all focus into it if you want your floor to look great at the end. Because it’s such an important subject, we’ve treated it separately here...
Step 7 – Cleaning
If sanding was the most important part of the refinishing process, cleaning up the room after your done is probably the most annoying. Use a broom and the vacuum to pick up the dust from the floor and whatever you do, never use any moisture to clean the floor. But it’s not only the floor that will need cleaning, you’ll also have to tend to the walls and ceiling…good luck.
Step 8 – Buffing
Make sure the floor is clean before you start buffing it. You’ll want to choose a screen for the buffer at the rental or hardware store that’s around 100 grit, then carefully sweep it across the entire floor. You can find more information on this part of the hardwood floor refinishing process here...
Step 9 – Staining
Staining gives your floor the last polish and it’s one of the last steps you’ll have to take, but it’s also the step that many people mess up. Again, we treated staining with some extra focus and you can find the detailed article here...
Step 10 – Finishing
almost done! But don’t get
too enthusiastic, you still have one more important step to go through:
finishing. If you’re sloppy with finishing, all your work so
far might be
ruined. Well ok not completely ruined, but your floor won’t
look its best
either. For a more detailed view on hardwood floor finishing, check
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