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Refinishing is a great way to bring life back into your hardwood floors. A good refinishing contractor like Hardwood Floor Refinishing Bergen County NJ is experienced in the process of applying a new finish.
Follow the manufacturer’s directions for drying times between coats. It is important that you are off your hardwood floors throughout the coating process.
A thorough sanding is the first step in refinishing hardwood floors. This removes the top layer of wood, eradicating scratches, dents, and other imperfections, and also prepares the floor for staining or varnishing. It’s important to use the right equipment and take proper safety precautions when sanding. A large drum sander is an ideal choice, but it’s crucial to wear the appropriate safety gear: dust masks, earplugs and, for oil-based polyurethane finishes, NIOSH-approved organic vapor respirators and neoprene or vinyl gloves. You’ll also want to use painters tape to cover outlets and other areas where dust might escape.
It’s important to vacuum or sweep the area thoroughly before sanding to remove any dirt, grit or other debris that could damage the sanding machine or scratch the floor. It’s also a good idea to clear the room of furniture and other items so that you can work in an empty space. If you’re working on stairs, be sure to have a helper to assist with the heavy lifting of sanders.
Once sanding is complete, the floor must be thoroughly vacuumed again and inspected for missed spots or imperfections. Any that are found can be spot-sanded to fix them. If you’re going to be staining the floor, now is the time to choose a colour for it. Different woods react differently to stains, so it’s best to test the colour on an inconspicuous area of the floor before applying it to the entire surface.
Once the stain is completely dry, it’s time to seal the floor again. This will protect it and make the finish look glossy. You’ll have the option of using either a water-based or an oil-based polyurethane finish, both of which are available in low or no VOC formulas, so you can avoid airborne chemicals that may be harmful to your family’s health. When choosing the finish, it’s a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for application. They’ll give you specific instructions on how long to wait between coats and what level of sheen to expect.
When refinishing hardwood floors, it is important to have a clear understanding of the process and your expectations. Unless you’re an experienced floor professional, you will likely encounter unforeseen problems like water spots and other damage that may require additional sanding or a different refinishing process altogether. The right hardwood flooring contractor will have the tools and training to handle all aspects of a refinishing job.
After the sanding process is complete, it’s time to stain. The type of stain you choose will determine the color and finish of your wood. It’s best to use a low-VOC or no-VOC stain, as these are less harmful to the environment and your health.
It is important to apply the stain evenly, and test for color consistency before moving furniture back into place. This will prevent “holidays” or skips from showing after the finish is applied.
Using a paintbrush, foam carpet pad or other applicator, work in small sections at a time. Begin in the center of the room and work your way outward to avoid overlapping areas. Remember to work with the grain of the wood and wipe away any excess stain before it dries.
After applying the stain, let it dry for about 24 hours and then re-vacuum the room. For a smooth finish, it is recommended that you lightly sand with a pole sander and 100-grit sandpaper between each coat of finish. It’s also a good idea to apply a sealer coat after the sanding, which will help protect the floor and keep it looking shiny for a long time.
Choosing a refinisher that is Bona certified means you’re choosing an expert who has been trained in all aspects of the refinishing process, including dust-free sanding. A professional with a certification from the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has passed a comprehensive exam and is fully supported by Bona’s full line of products for every step in the hardwood refinishing process. Whether it is sanding, finishing or repairing your existing hardwood floors, a Bona Certified Craftsman will get you all the way to a new, beautiful look with minimal disruption to your daily routine.
Applying the Finish
Whether the wood floors have been painted or stained, the final step of refinishing is to apply a coat or two of protective polyurethane. This step is relatively quick, inexpensive and easy for a professional to complete. However, it is not a task that a homeowner should undertake on his or her own unless they have some experience and know what they are doing.
The floor should be completely clean before the finish is applied. Use a vacuum cleaner to get up any lingering dust, and be sure to use a special water-based wood floor cleaner that is safe for your hardwood flooring. Also, be sure to cover any vents or doorways with plastic sheeting in order to keep sanding dust from entering other rooms in your home.
When you are ready to apply the polyurethane, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for application. Usually, the first coat will require two to three hours to dry. It is a good idea to do this in sections of three to four feet at a time. It is also a good idea to wait about a week before moving the furniture back on the floors again.
Refinishing your hardwood floors can restore them to their original beauty and help prevent future damage. It is a worthwhile project that can save you money in the long run by preventing the need to replace your floors. If you are unsure of when it is time to refinish your hardwood floors, consult a local hardwood floor contractor. They can evaluate your floors and determine if you need to fully refinish them down to the bare wood or if a maintenance coating will suffice. They can also provide advice regarding color and stain selection. If the flooring has been damaged by water, they can also recommend repair or replacement of the affected boards. If the damage is extensive, they may suggest refinishing down to the bare wood. This is the only way to ensure the integrity of the wood and prevent future problems. However, if the staining is just on the surface of the boards, refinishing will likely not be necessary.
Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any home, but they’re not indestructible. Over time, spills, drops, the grit tracked in on shoes and the scrabbling claws of family pets can all wear down the finish. When a floor starts looking dull or scratched, it’s time to screen and recoat. This involves sanding away a paper-thin layer and mopping on three coats of clear polyurethane. The process is messy, and it can cost $3 to $7 per square foot, but it’s worth it to bring back the luster of a wood floor.
Before refinishing, make sure that all furniture and other items are moved out of the room. It’s also a good idea to cover vents and other openings with plastic sheeting. This will help reduce the amount of dust that drifts into other parts of the house. Once the work begins, you’ll need to clear the room of abrasive debris, vacuum the entire floor and sand it with a drum or random orbital sander. It’s best to rent a sanding machine if you don’t have one.
After sanding, clean the floor thoroughly with mineral spirits or a substitute for TSP (trisodium phosphate). Then vacuum again and wipe down the floor to remove any residue that might interfere with adhesion of the final coat.
The next step is to stain the floor, either with oil-based or water-based varnish. Stain gives the wood its color and can be tinted to achieve a particular look. Varnish protects the floor and keeps it shiny, but it’s not as durable as an oil-based finish.
It is not possible to refinish a hardwood floor that has laminate over it, as the synthetic material will not accept a new finish. If the underlying wood is in good condition, however, the floor can be rescreened and recoated.
If you’re not sure whether a floor needs to be refinished, try running a test. Tape off a 6 by 6-inch square on a floor that represents the worst damage to a hardwood floor, such as deep gouges or major scratches. Use a 60- to 120-grit sandpaper to sand the area, then spot-recoat it with polyurethane matched to the gloss of the existing finish.