Sanding and Finishing Your Hardwood Floors

Thursday, 11 May 2017 11:16
Published in News & Specials

Having traditional hardwood floors in your home enhances both its beauty and overall value. That is, as long as you make sure the floors are properly maintained. One easy way is to make sure that everyone takes off their shoes at the door. However, the problem is that no matter how careful you are hardwood flooring will eventually become scratched and scuffed up. Luckily, refinishing your floors is a quick and easy way to improve their look and bring out the natural beauty of the wood.

How Often Should Hardwood Floors Be Refinished?

Determining whether your custom hardwood floors need to be refinished definitely isn't rocket science. Basically, if the floors have lost their luster and are beginning to look a bit dull or scuffed, applying a coat or two of finish will immediately restore the wood to its natural beauty.

Finishing Hardwood Floors

 

In most cases, you will want to refinish your hardwood floors every two to three years. Applying a new coat of finish is a simple way to hide minor scratches and scuffing, while also restoring a healthy, handsome shine to the wood. Unfortunately, no amount of refinishing will ever hide deeper scratches and gouges, and in this case, it is typically necessary to sand the floors down to the bare wood before refinishing.

 

To Sand or Not to Sand

When hardwood floors are properly sealed, the finish itself creates a hard, durable layer that makes the floors much more resistant to damage. Still, the finish will eventually become dull and scratched over time. Nonetheless, making sure to refinish the floors every few years usually helps to ensure that the majority of this damage is superficial, i.e. the scratches are only in the finish and don't penetrate down into the wood.

 

As long as the scratches aren't in the wood itself, the refinishing job is quite simple and shouldn't take more than a few hours. In this case, the floors need to first be fully cleaned. A buffer is then used to rough up the finish, which ensures that the new coat will properly adhere to the flooring. After buffing, the floor is vacuumed and cleaned with a tack cloth to remove all dust, and then the new coat or coats of finish are applied.

 

If the flooring has more than just minor, superficial damage, it will generally be necessary to sand down to the bare wood in order to smooth out any deeper scratches and gouges. In some cases, extremely deep gouges may need to be filled as too much sanding can make the flooring uneven.

 

Obviously, having to fully sand the floors is much more labor intensive and takes much more time than simply buffing and refinishing. Much of this is due to the extra time that the sanding itself takes. However, it is generally also necessary to apply three or four layers of finish to bare wood whereas you can usually get away with just one or two when refinishing.

 

Benefits of Refinishing Your Floors

Custom hardwood floors can greatly increase the value of your home. In fact, even if your floors aren't in the best condition, your house will usually still be worth more than it would if it had laminate flooring. Of course, the better your floors look the more money your house will be worth, which is why it's always a good idea to refinish your floors if you're considering selling your home. Nonetheless, refinishing also provides all of the following benefits that go far beyond simply making your house worth more.

  • Restores shine to dull flooring

  • Hides minor scratches and blemishes

  • Makes floors easier to sweep, vacuum and clean

  • Creates a more hygienic environment as scratches can be ideal spots for bacteria to grow

  • Can be used to lighten, darken or change the color/tone of the floors

 

Hardwood Floor finished

 

Therefore, if your hardwood flooring is starting to look old, dull or scratched, there's no better time than the present to do something about it. Sanding and finishing doesn’t take all that long and doesn't have to be that expensive, especially considering how impressive of results it can provide.

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