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Staining your hardwood floor

Posted on September 7th, 2012 In: Articles, Hardwood Floors Sanding Articles

Reviving a dull, lifeless wooden floor is usually a straight choice between restoration and replacement. If you’ve got the money and you want to go all out and completely replace your existing floor boards then the possibilities are endless. From olive to commercially grown teak, blonde pine to sustainable bamboo, your choices are endless.

A cheaper option to replacing the entire floor is to install a ‘floating’ floor over the top of your existing boards. This is usually a one-day job and is even something that can be tackled by a confident DIY enthusiast using snap-together boarding that quite literally sits on top of the existing floor. Convenient, cheap and quick, floating floors are a great way of quick-fixing a flooring problem, but don’t add any lasting value to your property.

The third option is a little more convoluted, but ultimately gives you a floor you can be proud of at a fraction of the cost of replacing your entire floor. Staining and polishing allows you to take your boards back to basics, and then create a unique finish to your exact specifications.

However, staining wooden floors is a specialist job – get it wrong and the results can be horrendous and expensive to put right. Get it right, and you end up with a floor that becomes the talking point of any room.

Designs and colours

Today, you don’t just have to put up with a single colour stain across the entire floor. There is as much artistry involved in staining wooden floors as there is in creating a mural for a wall – and the effects can be stunning. From a simple, plain wooden floor you can create a kaleidoscope of patterns that add vibrancy and multi-dimensional beauty to any floor.

Getting the basics right

To ensure your stained floor is perfect, there first has to be a period of preparation. Sanding wooden floors is a specialist job that requires years of experience and the right tools to get perfect results every time. Without good preparation, the final finish will be flawed – and those flaws tend to be very, very obvious too! Drum marks from drum sanders or tears in the wood from belt sanders can all result in a less than perfect finish, and once the staining goes on those imperfections are going to be much more noticeable. Rather than attempting to save a bit of money by sanding the floor yourself, call in the experts and ensure that this crucial stage is done properly.

Disguising imperfections

Sometimes, there are natural flaws in the wood that, if worked with properly, can actually add an extra level of uniqueness rather than becoming an eyesore. But to get the best results, you again need to talk to the experts. They can use a technique known as ‘popping the grain’. In this, the floor is sanded and then dampened to open up or ‘pop’ the grain back up after its final sanding. This will then allow the wood to absorb a greater amount of staining and look darker and more uniform. It’s a simple trick, but if you have a patchy floor that has resisted every effort to sand it to an even finish, popping the grain is a good way of creating a better final result.

Never underestimate the skill involved in achieving a good quality finish when staining wooden floors. Staining tends to be very unforgiving so if it’s done badly the results will be there for everyone to see! Repairing a badly stained floor means taking it back to bare wood, so save your money and make sure it’s done right first time by getting the floor sanding experts in to do it for you.

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