Should You Refinish Your Own Floors?
Hardwood floors just have a way of adding an elegant touch of nature to space – everybody loves the look. Whether they’re for a kitchen, living room, or bedroom, hardwood floors have a way of elevating the area. However, if you have original flooring in an older home, it is likely that your floors are scratched, scuffed, and dinged – not exactly the look of a sophisticated floor.
Even if your house has floors that have been under the protection of carpeting for years, there is still a pretty high chance that they need some work! After years of wear and tear, refinishing a floor is usually a necessary option. While refinishing can be perceived as an expensive fix, it is a very involved process that required a great deal of skill and technique.
Refinishing a hardwood floor, in theory, is a simple process. You buy the supplies, sand the floor, apply the stain, and let it dry – if only it were that easy. It is essential to get the proper supplies for sanding the floor, including a drum sander and a belt sander. If you are going to try and tackle this project on your own, you can purchase these tools from most home improvement stores. Be warned, sanding the floor will create tiny dust particles that fly up into the air and get on everything. Anyone refinishing a floor needs to wear a mask and use drop cloths to protect furniture.
The first thing you need to do if you are refinishing your floor is learning how to properly use the sander. The key to getting even and accurate sand is to learn how to get the sander to function smoothly. While the sanders are relatively easy to learn how to use, they are incredibly loud. The most critical thing to remember is that you can’t keep the sander in one spot for too long; otherwise, you run the risk of burning or denting the floor.
After removing the old finish, it is time to apply the stain and the fresh finish. This is similar to painting your nails – first, you take off the old polish, then apply your basecoat, followed by the color, and finally the topcoat. Much like your nails, if you prefer the natural look of the floor, you can skip the stain. The finish is essential to protecting the floor.
After you’ve finished everything else and it is time to apply the finish, you ultimately have two choices. You can get an oil-based finished or a water-based finish. Oils are available in satin, gloss, or semi-gloss finishes. They bring a natural glow to the floor without giving off too much shine. Water-based finishes dry more quickly, dry clearer, and are more resistant to yellowing.
Whichever you choose, it is essential to let each coat dry before applying the next. You can follow the manufacturer’s instructions or use an instructional video. If you’d rather not worry about learning the techniques, your best option may be to hire a professional.