March 9, 2012 4:12 am
Step 1 - Determine if Your Floor Needs Refinishing
Refinishing hardwood floors is often a better choice than simply replacing the flooring, because it costs less and takes less time. In some cases though, a floor might be damaged beyond repair. Consult a professional to determine whether to opt for a hardwood floor refinishing technique or new flooring.
Step 2 - Determine if Some of the Floor Planks Need Replacing
Sometimes 90 percent of the floor might be in good shape and only a few planks are in need of repair. Be sure to replace those boards before beginning the refinishing process. Since most planks will be connected using a groove-tongue joint, it will be slightly difficult to get one out, 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. Unless the gap is big enough that you think it might create problems during the hardwood floor refinishing process, feel free to skip it and save some time and energy.
Step 4 - Getting the Right Equipment
Some of the equipment you'll need for refinishing your floor will need to be bought or rented: sand paper (different weights); a drum sander; a palm sander; an edge sander; claw hammer; a vacuum cleaner; a buffer; a scraper; a brush; safety goggles; a dust mask; protection gloves; and knee pads.
Step 5 - Preparation
Since it usually gets quite messy when you refinish hardwood floors, a little preparation goes a long way. 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.
Step 7 - Cleaning
Use a broom and the vacuum to pick up the dust from the floor; never use any moisture to clean the floor. You'll also have to clean the walls and ceiling.
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.
Step 9 - Staining
Staining is one of the last steps you'll have to take, but it's also the step where many make mistakes. Take extra care and time for this part of the process.
Step 10 - Finishing
If you're sloppy with finishing, all your work thus far is for naught. Take your time with this final step to achieve the best results for your floor.
Published with permission from RISMedia.