Whether you have just discovered original wood flooring in your home or you have had it for a long time, the thought of refinishing it has probably crossed your mind. Refinished wood floors will add a striking appearance to your living space. You need to weigh your options because it is a very time-consuming, patience testing and sometimes messy home remodeling project. Before you dive right in unprepared, we will discuss the steps involved and then you can decide whether this is a do-it-yourself project and you are up for the challenge or something better left to the professionals.
Signs your floor needs to be refinished
Scratches, dents, cracks and stains in your wood flooring are signs that you need to refinish it. Also, if some of the higher traffic areas appear dull and worn out this is a tell-tale sign. Most hardwood flooring needs to be refinished every three to four years depending on where the flooring exists in your home. If your flooring exists in a part of your home where there is very little traffic, you can go many years longer without having to refinish it. If you have a lot of pets or a larger family most likely you will have to refinish your floors more frequently.
There are 4 basic steps in refinishing your wood flooring: prep, sand, stain and seal. The prep stage consists of making sure you have the correct tools on the job to complete your project efficiently and effectively. Here are some of the basic prep items that you will need to start your project:
Drum Sander – This sander will do the majority of the sanding on your floor
Edge or Orbital Sander – These handheld power tools will help with tough spots and tight corners
Buffer – To smooth out your wood floor surface after sanding
Putty Knife & Scrapper – To fill gaps and cracks in the floor
Shop Vac – This little gem will be a life saver when trying to clean up all of the dust from sanding
Ear protection, Dust Masks & Safety Goggles – Safety is first, so don’t overlook these items
Paint Rollers & Extension Pole – This will save on the backbreaking work involved in staining and sealing your floor
Water–based Polyurethane & Stain – You are going to need one or the other or both to seal your floor to protect it from the elements
The sanding process of refinishing your floors is the process of removing the finish that is currently on your floors and to smooth out your surface. If you had carpet covering your original hardwood flooring you will most likely have glue and scratches that you need to work out. Sanding your floor is essential because it helps the surface of the wood be receptive for the coat of stain and finish you will apply. The sanding step of finishing your floor is probably the most cumbersome and labor intensive, but don’t skimp on it because it will only cause you problems when it comes to staining and sealing your floor.
Staining & Sealing
Before you apply any stain or sealer you must clean the floor of any dust from sanding as well as thoroughly wipe down the floor with a cloth. When applying the stain to your newly sanded floor you are going to want to apply it in the direction of the grain in the wood. Try to apply it as evenly as possible. You can use a brush or a roller to apply the polyurethane. Make sure to let this coat dry for at least 6-8 hours. Adding a sealer if imperative to the sustainability of your new floor. It will protect your floor and if anything is spilled it will bead up and is easily cleaned. Floor finishes emit harmful vapors so make sure to have plenty of ventilation in the area you are working in during this process.
Homewyse.com states to refinish your hardwood floors in 2012 ranges from an average of $0.64 to $0.84 per square foot. Your cost will depend on your local labor, materials costs, job complexity, level of preparation and finish quality. You can go to their website at www.homewyse.com and enter in your zip code to estimate your project cost more accurately for the area that you live in. Their estimates in your specific zip code are accurate to within +/-10%. You should expect to pay in the higher end of the range for work completed by a reputable, licensed, bonded and insured contractor. When hiring a contractor expect a high quality of work to be completed and check out the Better Business Bureau to find the best in your area. Our advice would be to leave it up to the professionals, such as Lindus Construction, when it comes to highly skilled remodeling projects so you will get the outcome that you desire.
Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard is a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at http://lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.