Refinishing Hardwood Floors Tutorial
A cursory search of the internet will tell you that hardwood flooring is a major asset to any home renovation. More and more homeowners are foregoing paying a professional to do the work for them and undertaking it themselves. But where do you start?
Is refinishing the right option for me?
The first, and arguably most important decision involved with the refinishing process is whether it is the right option. Ascertaining whether there are hardwood floors that can actually be re-finished and whether they are thick enough to survive having a layer removed from them is a must before even contemplating starting any work. If the wood is too thin sanding will only exacerbate this, causing more damage to the wood and a possibly causing the boards to crack at a later date. Along the same lines, it is worth making sure none of the boards are showing signs of rot, as these will also need to be replaced before refinishing the floor.
Consult the hire shop
It is of paramount importance that before preparing the space you are planning to work on, that you contact the hire shop and enquire to the availability of the equipment you will need. In general terms this will include the drum sander, and an edge sander as a minimum. There are other available alternatives, but these are the most often used and most suited machines for this type of work. Most hire shops will only have a limited supply of these machines, so find out when they are available before committing to a firm date to sand the floors. It is also worth noting that when you collect the machines on your chosen day, you will want to bring help, as the drum sander in particular is very heavy.
Clearing the room
On the day you plan to sand the floor, you will want the room to be as clear as possible, so it is worth removing all furniture, as well as any curtains as there will be excess dust. On this subject it is also worth having a dust mask and eye protection to keep yourself protected from dust particles.
Sanding the floor
The process of actually sanding the floor is relatively simple. You will want to test the sander out on an area of the floor that is less often seen, or is hidden by furniture. Sanding is the permanent removal of a layer from the wood, so it is not something you want to get wrong. Use fluid motions and go against the movement of the sander, and take your time. Patience will be rewarded with results. Ensure also that you get a good variation of sandpaper from coarse to fine to work through. If in doubt, consult the hire shop or a floor sanding professional for advice.
The finish of a floor is often something that people overlook, but it can make all the difference. Options are plentiful, but the most commonly used solution is a polyurethane varnished finish. This can be applied easily with a brush (although it is advisable to get a specific floor varnishing brush rather than use a normal paintbrush), and can be used in conjunction with some stains, or on its own. Either way it will add a polished, durable finish to your floor, and make it the envy of your friends and family for years to come.
If you’d like to read our recent post on safety tips for laying wood flooring click here.