Refinishing hardwood floors gives them a much needed facelift and can make the floors look brand new again. The process of refinishing is cheaper than replacing the floor and is better for the environment. Woods natural variations can be highlighted and revealed during a refinishing and the ability to repair and refinish is part of the appeal of having hardwood flooring. Modern manufacturing has come a long way but still cannot replicate the beauty and feel of solid wood flooring. If you have considered refinishing your hardwood floors there are some things you need to know.
#1 – Cleaning and restoring hardwood floors to their original beauty takes a lot of work. While the process may seem simple and straightforward there are factors you may not have considered. Repairs are a big factor that can impact the final outcome of your floor. Repairs often require a contractor to replace a few boards. Wood is a natural project and can be hard to match perfectly. Deep scratches and stains for pet accidents and other factors can be hard to remove without impacting the integrity of the floor. Every floor is unique and each refinishing requires unique steps to tackle the specific needs of your floor.
#2– Preparing the floor takes a lot of work. It may seem that your flooring project is moving slowly in the beginning but preparing the space is labor and time intensive. Everything needs to be removed from the floor and all remaining decor will be exposed to dust and debris related to sanding the floor. Door ways, hall ways, and vents are often covered to cut down on dust in rooms that are not being refinished. The floor itself needs preparation as well, mopping and sweeping the floor are needed to ensure the floor is ready for sanding.
#3– Gaps are not repaired during refinishing. Sanding your floor will not fill existing gaps, it can improve them some but these are part of the structure of the floor and cannot be fixed with refinishing alone. Most gaps in a floor are seasonal and filling them can cause issues when the seasonal gapping disappears. Gapping is not always a bad thing and is often just a part of normal seasonal shifts in humidity.
#4– Refinishies are a great time to change the color of your floor. When your floor has been sanded down to raw wood you can stain the floor a new color. Stains are a great way to change the look of your floor without replacing the floors. Stain comes in a variety of different colors which allows you to choose the perfect option for your home. Stain doesn’t mean you have to darken the floor, you can also make the floor lighter during this process.Many homeowners find that they didn’t know the true color of their wood until it was sanded down because of the aged finish on top.
#5– Plan to touch up your base after a refinish. Sanding and refinishing hardwood required heavy duty machines and even the most careful customer is likely to ding a baseboard or get a spot of stain or finish on the base. Contractors should be cautious in your home but it’s a good idea to have your base painted after refinishing. If you are planning to replace your base let your contractor know, they can remove the base during the sanding to allow them to work closer to the walls. Many homeowners find that their base looks dingy after a refinish because it no longer matches the refinished floors.
#6 Finish makes a huge difference. Choosing a finish for your floor is an important part of the process and different finishes can create a different look. Oil based finish often looks more traditional but can amber and cause your floor to look dated over time. Water based may look thin to many home owners because it doesn’t have the thick look oil based finishes do but still offers the same protection. The sheen level also makes a huge impact on the look of your floor. Contractors are a wealth of knowledge on flooring finishes and can help choose the right finish for your floor.
Refinishing hardwood floors is a great way to make your floors look beautiful again without breaking the bank. Colorado Hardwood would love to meet with you and discuss refinishing your floor. Call us today to set up a free in-home consultation.