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What are the Best Options for Finishing a Wooden Floor?

Posted on March 12th, 2014 In: Wood Floor Renovations Articles

wood floor finishingWooden floors are an increasingly popular feature in homes all over the world. Although engineered parquet flooring is common, more and more people are choosing to renovate their existing floorboards, utilising a unique feature of their homes. However, what do you do when your existing wooden floor starts to look a bit worn, and in need of a boost? Re-finishing may be the answer.

Sanding or screening

Sanding your floor involves taking the a layer off the wood and stripping it back to its natural state, prior to any finish or stain being applied using industrial machinery. This is a fairly labour-intensive option, but it does allow for a complete refresh, and for the floor to appear as though new, ready to be finished. A second option, which is perhaps more suitable if your floor is not quite as far gone, is screening. Using a rotary buffer, which is often used for polishing floors, and the correct grit of sandpaper, the finish can be removed without taking quite as much off the floor. This helps to minimise the potential damage, including divots and gouges that can be caused by larger machines such as drum sanders while still achieving the desired effect.

Finishing school

Once you have removed the previous finish, it’s time to think about what your options are. Polyurethane is perhaps the most commonly used finish, providing a sheen and excellent protection against stains and spillages, which will help prolong the condition of the surface. However, there is still the decision to make over whether to use an oil or water based polyurethane finish; both of which are perfectly acceptable and viable options. The oil based finish will create a light brown colouring for the wood, while the water based version will remain clear. As such the decision will depend on how you want to wood to look when the polyurethane has dried. Some types of wood, such as maple, will be more suited to a water based finish to maintain its clearly defined colour, while an oak floor might be more suited to an oil based finish in order to bring a warmer feel to the wood. Between coats it is also worth considering sanding the floor by hand to even out any rough patches or inconsistencies that may appear in order to maintain the condition across the surface prior to the second and final coat.

Re-finishing your floor is an excellent way to breathe new life into a timeless feature, without having to spend a fortune. By undertaking this work in the short term, you can add significant value to your property in the long term.

If you want to learn more about the best ways to clean a wooden floor, read our recent post here.

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