Few things make a house feel like a home as much as rich hardwood floors. The solid structure and warm coloring has universal appeal. Fortunately, hardwood flooring also provides a lot of value to a home from an economic sense. This means that investing in a hardwood floor may well be the best benefit to a home long-term.
Getting existing hardwood fixed can seem a daunting task. Fortunately, refinishing old hardwood floors can be an enriching experience, not a headache. And, with the lifecycle of hardwood flooring exceeding 25 years, you may only need to go through the process once or twice in a lifetime.
Refinishing Old Hardwood Floors
At the outset, it can seem daunting to get started refinishing stained wood. Fortunately, we have had a lot of practice in the field and have a knowledge base with some of the more common information.
Consider these five points when you embark to refinish a wood floor.
1. It’s a Process
Unlike a fresh flooring install, refinishing stained wood takes more steps. The efforts put in have to preserve as much of the original material as possible. Treatments then preserve those materials, so they last.
Generally, steps include removing any previous finish or stain, mixing and matching new stain, and sealing the wood. Repairs to damaged areas or closing up gaps that may have formed from settling will also need to be done.
Then the drying time comes into play. Many people ask, “How long does it take to refinish hardwood floors?” All in all, areas being refinished may be unusable for at least six days.
2. Price out Everything
Knowing the timeframe and efforts involved are a good first step. Knowing how much it will cost is the next step.
Going through the cost of labor, equipment, and materials will help you to see the full scope of what is occurring. This is because the reality of the task doesn’t sink in until the prices are tabulated. No amount of considering the time and effort involved seems to impact like looking at that bottom line.
3. Buffing and Sanding
Understand that several processes may be engaged to remove the old finish. Buffing discs called screens are used to remove non-waxed finishes. Coarser sanding is used to remove damage or wax finishes.
All of this puts particles in the air and into vents. Vents can quickly move particles to other areas of the house. Check the current recommended information on air safety for an idea of what prophylactic tactics to employ.
Good indicators of when to refinish wood floors include a dull luster and visible abrasions.
New installs of contemporary wood may also require an update to other areas. Updating colors ensures that the tone of the home matches better. Also, always be prepared for some stain testing to ensure a good match.
5. Poly Seals
Finally, know how many coats of polyurethane will be applied to complete a floor. Each coat has to dry before the next can be added, and this will change up your timetable.
You will also want to know the general health impact of different poly seals. If you have animals or small children, you will want something that can handle some damage. If you expect the floors to heat near vents or a fireplace, you will also want to know the heat rating and smoke points.
Scope It Out
Refinishing old hardwood floors may be an involved process, but it is rather straightforward when you get down to it. It does, however, take considerable skill and time. Thankfully, the results more than make up for the time and effort put in.
Remember that it’s always best to leave any hardwood refinishing project to a professional, especially if you don’t have any experience or the right tools. If it’s time to have your floors redone, contact us today for a free estimate.