Hardwood floors can make your home feel warm and inviting. However, they can also show signs of age or damage over time.
Hardwood Floor Refinishing Bergen County NJ involves sanding the boards and applying a new finish. It can be messy, requiring safety equipment and plenty of space.
While it may seem like a no-brainer, before you even refinish your hardwood floors, you should thoroughly clean them. This is because the process of sanding wood produces quite a bit of dust. Vacuum, mop and wipe the floors thoroughly, removing all dirt and residues to ensure the final product will adhere properly. Afterwards, it’s important to vacuum and dry tack the floor once again before moving on to the next step of refinishing.
It’s also important to know what kind of flooring you have. It’s relatively simple to refinish solid, true hardwood floors, but this can be more difficult with engineered and pre-finished wood floors that contain aluminum oxide coating. Typically, these types of floors are only able to be refinished two times before they need to be replaced.
The first thing to do when refinishing hardwood is to determine whether it requires a full sand or a screen and recoat. A full sanding involves removing the current finish, beginning with coarse-grit sandpaper and gradually working your way through finer grits until you have a completely smooth surface. During this process you will need to move out of the room and close all doors and windows to prevent the dust from blowing around your home.
A screen and recoat, on the other hand, only roughs up the existing finish to make it more compatible with a new coat of polyurethane. This is the most common type of topcoat for hardwood floors, and it provides good protection while still allowing the natural beauty of the hardwood to shine through. It’s important to use low VOC (volatile organic compound) oil-based or water based polyurethane, as these provide better durability and are easier to work with than traditional solvent-based versions.
If your hardwood floors have a worn-out surface, you may want to consider refinishing them. It’s a fairly easy DIY project, and it can dramatically increase the value of your home. Before refinishing, be sure to completely clean the floor with a vacuum or a brush attachment. It should be free of dust, grit and dirt. It’s also a good idea to mark landmarks on the floor and walls using painter’s tape to prevent mistakes when moving furniture back into place. It’s also a good time to check for protruding nails that can ruin sanding belts and pads. If you find any, pound them down using a hammer and nail set.
Before sanding, determine if a full refinish is necessary. A simple screen and recoat, which involves roughing up the surface with a sanding screen and applying a new protective coat, is considerably cheaper and less labor intensive than a total refinish. However, it cannot fix deep scratches or gouges that have gone through the surface and into the wood.
Sanding removes the old finish and major scratches, preparing the floor for staining. Use a 40-grit belt to get rid of any remaining scratches, then move up to 60 and 100 grit. Once you’re done, the surface should be smooth and ready for staining.
While sanding, it’s important to wear a mask or HEPA-level N95 respirator to avoid inhaling the fine dust. Also, open windows to help with ventilation. Finally, be prepared for an odor that can last for several days while the polyurethane finishes cure. To speed up the process, apply an odor-neutralizing product like Odoban.
Hardwood floors look beautiful, but they require a lot of care. Regular sweeping, vacuuming and mopping with a hardwood floor cleaner are important to keep your floors looking good. Vacuuming catches abrasive dirt and debris that can scratch and dull the finish. Sweeping helps remove dirt trapped in cracks between floorboards. To revive dull and scratched wood floors, try a wood floor polish or wood floor restorer that can diminish scratches and give new life to the finish.
Cleaning a wood floor requires a special solution, a microfiber cloth or mop and water. Always use a non-toxic hardwood cleaner, such as Method Squirt and Mop or Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner, to avoid damaging the surface of the wood or the finish. Be sure to test the cleaner in a small area before you apply it to your entire floor. Then, dampen a clean micro cloth or mop and work in 3-foot square sections to avoid overwetting the surface of the floor. Always dry the floor promptly before moving on to a new area, as too much moisture can damage hardwood floors.
Hardwood floors can last a century or more with proper care and maintenance. Keep your floors looking their best by leaving your shoes at the door, sweeping regularly, vacuuming with a vacuum with a soft brush attachment or setting (to avoid scratching) and dust mopping on a daily basis. If you notice a stain, clean it as soon as possible to prevent it from drying and permanently damaging the wood or finish. If necessary, rub the spot with No. 000 steel wool and floor wax. If you need to remove grease stains, try washing the spot with a mild cleanser and scrubbing with a wire scrub brush.
Staining is a major step in refinishing hardwood floors. It changes the color of the wood and enhances or hides blemishes. The staining process can be time-consuming and labor intensive. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s directions for applying the stain. It is also a good idea to work with an applicator pad attached to a pole, as it makes the job much easier and faster. When working, be sure to apply the stain evenly and to not let it dry on the leading edge of your work. This will prevent lap marks from forming.
Choosing the right color of stain is a huge decision. You can choose a classic color like espresso or dark walnut that will always look classy and elegant, or you can go with a more modern tone in a lighter shade. Lighter colors are growing in popularity and can make a room feel bigger and more open. Darker shades can be more traditional and offer a warm, rich look to any space.
If you are planning on selling your home in the future, you may want to stick with a more neutral color that will be more flexible for potential buyers’ decorating tastes. It is also a good idea to choose a stain that will hold up well under sunlight, as darker stains tend to fade more quickly than lighter stains.
Once you have chosen the stain for your new floor, it is a good idea to test it out in different rooms and lighting conditions. This will help you see how it looks under different lighting and in different furniture, and will allow you to get a better sense of the color in the space.
The refinishing process will cover the hardwood planks with an even, clear coating that protects them from damage. This finish can be a simple sealant or something more substantial, like polyurethane. The type of finish you choose depends on the color and grain of the wood, as well as how much wear and tear your floors get.
To refinish your floors, first remove all furniture. Then, vacuum and sweep the flooring thoroughly to remove all dirt, dust, and hair from the floorboards. Then, close the windows and doors to keep the dust contained. You’ll also want to turn off your furnace so that the sanding process doesn’t blow dust all over the room.
Once the sanding is finished, vacuum and sweep the floor again, then mop with a hardwood cleaning solution or your own mix of 10 parts water to 1 part white vinegar. Allow the floor to dry completely before you use it again.
Next, stain the floorboards. Choose a color that suits the style of your home, then apply the stain with a foam applicator pad in small sections at a time. It’s important to follow the directions on the stain package, as it may require a few hours or more to dry completely.
Finally, apply the topcoat of polyurethane. This clear, plastic-like substance can come in a variety of finishes, from matte to glossy. Choose a water-based version that dries quickly and is easy to clean, or opt for an oil-based polyurethane that’s slower to dry but produces a smoother, more elegant finish. If you choose the latter option, test a sample area of your floor by brushing on a thin stripe along the baseboards.