Best Way to Rebuild a Real Wood Floor
If you have a good base to work on you can rebuild a tired and dull wood floor if you are physically fit, enthusiastic and enjoy a challenge. The main deciding factor on whether to do it yourself or call in a professional top floor sanding company should be the current condition of the floor. For example, if the floor has missing or damaged planks or has rot in places it may not be cost effective to try to tackle such a big job on your own. But if you are looking at a straight rebuild with little or no replacements or rot then it can be a very satisfying project to rebuild your own real wood floor. The amount of preparation required will depend on the floor and of course the condition of the sub-floor.
How to Start
Any parts of the floor that are unusable will have to be removed with repairs and replacement planks added in as you go. If the sub-floor is in really bad condition it would not be advisable for even a gifted amateur to go ahead without at least some expert advice or a helping hand.
Never rebuild a floor on top of a sub-floor which needs attention. The floor can only ever be as strong as the sub-floor upon which it rests, so don’t be tempted to forge ahead with plans that are doomed to failure by ignoring any sub-floor problems.
Assuming that the sub-floor and the floor itself have been secured and repaired the rebuild can continue with a sanding technique to remove existing residual stain or varnish and get down to the smooth bare boards upon which you can build up a new veneer.
If the floor is old, and the chances are it will be if it requires a rebuild, you have the option of using pre-used wood planks for repair work and filling in. If you can gauge it correctly and source the exact wood type already on the floor then the work is so much easier with little or no additional blending techniques required at the finishing stage.
Sanding the floor can be carried out manually using an orbital sander. If the room is small or you are rebuilding a staircase then this will be the best way to work. For rooms which are larger than box room size this method will be both arduous and time consuming. Medium to large rooms are best sanded using a belt or drum sanding machine which are available in plant hire shops and DIY premises.
If you have never used such a machine before then read up on the process and ask questions of the counter staff so that you feel able to successfully handle the machine. Although not unduly heavy to operate, these walk-through sanders do require technique and a reasonable amount of physical strength to operate successfully.
When the floor is sanded down to a level and smooth feel a trim or skirting can be added for a final finishing flourish. If you are unable to use the same age of wood for the trim you can simply use new or recycled wood strips, which can be stained down to match the existing floor.
With the floor sanded and the trim in place the rebuild is now complete. All that remains is to apply a protective finishing product, which can either be oil, varnish, stain (clear or coloured) or lacquer.
Always apply finishing carefully and over small areas, wiping on and wiping off with a lint-free cloth taking care not to back yourself into a corner as you work. A floor which has been rebuilt is likely to require two or perhaps three coats of finishing. Allow 24 hours for each coat to dry for best results.