Six Things to Know Before Refinishing Hardwood Floors

It is time to give your hardwood floors a makeover? Strategy should always come before the sander. Refinishing floors is a strategic process that involves careful planning for good results, personal safety and household health. It’s also important to confirm that refinishing really is the best option for getting floors you love. Going in with the knowledge needed to give floors their shine back can help you to avoid being floored by the process of refinishing your hardwood floors. Take a look at some tips everyone should know!

1. You Should Confirm That Your Wood Floors Aren’t Just Dirty

It’s possible that a floor that has lost its luster is actually just dirty. This can be true even if you regularly clean your floors. In some cases, using the wrong cleaning methods and products can cause film to stay on your wood floors. Foam cleaners are notorious for this. Film left behind by years and years of using the wrong type of wood cleaner can make your floors appear aged and dull when they’re actually in good shape underneath a patina.

Decide to give your wood floors one final try before you whip out the sander. Begin by simply sweeping the floors using a soft-bristle brush. Next, use a microfibre mop with a non-foaming floor cleaner to whip your floors into shape. You can only do a proper evaluation to determine if your floors really need a facelift after you see what they look like when they’re properly cleaned.

2. The Job Might Be Easier If You Get an Expert Opinion About Sanding

The good news is that high-quality wood flooring can be sanded up to 10 times! That means that wood floors can technically last for several lifetimes in a single home! However, it’s not always necessary to think of wood flooring as a cat with “nine lives” just because you want to liven up things.

Some companies actually sell products that allow you to refinish floors without sanding. This is really only something that will work if your floors are still in good shape. Non-sanding refinishing products fill in small scratches and markings on your floor. However, they won’t create great results if your floors are “spent.” How can you decide if sanding is the best option? Have an expert take a look at your floors to let you know just how many lives are left.

3. Refinishing Floors Allows You to Change the Look of Your Home

Refinishing your hardwood flooring isn’t just practical. It can also be a way to give your home a makeover. Choosing a new finish allows you to choose between a satin or glossy look. Satin can be a good fit if:

  • You want slip-free floors.
  • You have children or pets in the house.
  • You prefer the casual aesthetic of satin floors.
  • You prefer the lower maintenance of satin floors.

Satin floors have become more popular in recent years due to the growth of the “country” aesthetic that often utilizes distressed wood. However, a glossy finish might feel like an upgrade in your home if you’ve been living with dull floors. Glossy can be a good fit if:

  • You want to create a fancier look.
  • You have time to maintain high-shine floors.
  • You’re trying to match other glossy floors in the house.
  • Your floors are located in an area with low foot traffic.

It’s always smart to test a sample of any flooring finish you’re intending to use on a single floorboard before tackling the whole project. Finishes can look different when applied to different wood types than they do on sample cards. You should also get a glance at how a finish looks in both natural and artificial light at different times of the day.

4. You Might Only Need a Buffing

Floors that are in decent shape may only require buffing. A buffing tool helps to get your floor ready for a new top coat by smoothing away the grittiness. You can rent a buffer from just about any hardware store if you don’t own one. Buffers are much easier to use than drum sanders. They also create much smaller messes. It’s also important to know that waxed floors can’t be buffed unless you use a wax remover or oil soap to nix the wax layer.

5. The Process of Sanding and Refinishing Floors Requires Lots of Steps

DIY transformations that happen on television shows can make it seem like you’ll wake up to new floors overnight! This idea couldn’t be farther from reality. Refinishing floors is a process that requires preparation, careful work and thorough cleanup. You should also be prepared to protect your home, family and pets from the dust that is going to be kicked up in the air!

Many people prefer to hire professionals to refinish their floors simply because the process requires so much skill, precision and patience. It will be necessary to rent a drum sander with grits of different ranges. A room should be prepped by removing the baseboards. It’s also wise to close off a room or area with plastic to preserve air quality in the rest of the house.

Many people who rent sanders are surprised by just how powerful these machines are! It’s essential to keep the sander moving at all times to prevent the force of the machine from gouging your floor. Unfortunately, handling a sander improperly can destroy a part of your floor beyond repair. While a sander can take care of most of the floor, it will be necessary to go over the edges of the room using a hand-held orbital sander. This may be something that you need to rent if you do not own one already.

Sanding will expose cracks once you’re looking at your floor’s bare wood. You’ll get a better end result if you fill in cracks with wood filler. Finally, it will be time to apply your new stain. A refinished floor typically requires two to three coats of stain for a perfect finish.

6. Safety Needs to Come First

“Refinishing your floor doesn’t sound like a hazardous activity, but it can be,” according to one article. “The procedure presents multiple opportunities for you to sustain injury and damage your floor.”

Yes, losing control of a sander is a real fear! A person must stay focused at all times when handling a sander. Losing a stable grip can cause the machine to spin out of control. This can result in everything from a plug that’s ripped from the socket to a smashed wall.

Sanders have incredible cutting power. They can easily cut through fingers, toes and limbs. That sharpness combined with the sheer power and weight of a drum sander makes them very intimidating.

Finally, caution is needed when handling solvents and sealers that are used to finish your floors. Always wear face and eye protection to avoid inhaling chemicals and wood dust. The high-dust environment that is created also poses respiratory and air-quality hazards. Ensure that your HVAC system is operating properly to keep circulation going during a DIY flooring project.

Contact Atlas Floors

At Atlas Floors, we understand that deciding to refinish your hardwood floors is a significant decision that affects the beauty and functionality of your home. Our team is here to guide you through every step of the process, from initial consultation to the final walk-through. We pride ourselves on our commitment to quality, attention to detail, and dedication to customer satisfaction. By choosing Atlas Floors, you are not just hiring a service; you are partnering with experienced professionals who are passionate about bringing new life to your hardwood floors. Contact us with any questions, concerns, or to schedule a consultation. Our goal is to ensure your refinishing project is seamless, stress-free, and results in floors that you will love for years to come.

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