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The Basics of Hardwood Floor Refinishing

floorHardwood Floor Refinishing Bergen County NJ is a great way to add value and beauty to your home. It involves sanding, staining, and applying a protective sealant to your hardwood floors.

First, you must remove all furniture and other fixtures from the room where sanding occurs. You must also cover outlets with plastic tarps and tape to prevent dust from escaping.

If your floors are old and have a worn-down finish, it is necessary to sand them before you can apply a new coat of stain. This can be done by hand but is usually done with a pole or palm sander and medium-grade sandpaper (36, 40, 60, 80, 120). It is important to vacuum and wipe down your floors after each sanding round, especially before applying a finishing agent. This ensures that no dust or dirt is left behind on the floor, which could mar the final product.

When sanding your wood floors, it is crucial that you follow the grain of the wood. This will help keep your hardwood floor as even as possible and allow you to eliminate any scratches or dents on the surface. Wearing a respirator when sanding is also important to protect yourself from the dust.

After sanding your floor, it is a good idea to vacuum once again and wipe down the entire surface with a microfiber or tack cloth. This will ensure that there is no dust or dirt on the floor, which can cause the finish to dull or flake. It is also a good time to take this opportunity to fill in any nail holes or gouges with a wood putty that matches your floors.

Once you have sanded your floor, leaving the room for about an hour or two is a good idea to let the sanding process settle. Once you return, you can resume moving your furniture back into the room and you should vacuum once again to remove any dust that has settled.

You will need to sand again, this time with a finer grade of sandpaper (80 or 120). This will smooth out the grit marks that were created by the coarse paper and prepare your floor for the application of a new finish.

You will want to use a low-VOC finish for your floor. This will minimize indoor air pollutants and keep your family healthy. When you are finished, you should allow the finish to dry for 24 hours before you return to your home.

Staining

Staining is the next step of the refinishing process, and it allows homeowners to change the overall look of their wood floors. When done properly, staining is a great way to highlight the natural beauty of hardwood floors, while also adding a warm and cozy feel to the home. However, staining comes with some distinct drawbacks that should be understood before deciding to go through with this process.

One of the biggest issues with staining is that it can be extremely time consuming. Not only does the initial prep work have to be completed – including cleaning, sanding, and vacuuming the floor – but then there is a waiting period while the stain dries. The stain must dry completely before the protective hardwood floor coating can be applied, and if the weather is not cooperating then this wait can easily extend for up to a week or more.

Another issue with staining is that it can be difficult to get the exact color that a customer wants. While the little swatches provided by stain manufacturers provide an excellent general guide to the colors that will appear on the floor, they can vary slightly when actually applied. This can lead to frustration for the homeowner, as well as delays in the finishing process.

Finally, there is the possibility that the stain will not stay put and may start to peel. This can be caused by a number of factors, including the type of stain, the sanding sequence, humidity, and even the amount of air movement in the room. This can be very frustrating and require the floors to be re-stained, potentially adding more time and expense to the project.

If you’re thinking of staining your wood flooring, we recommend having the refinishing process completed by professionals who have experience with this process. They will be able to help you choose the perfect color and finish for your floors, and they can ensure that the stain is applied evenly and will last for years to come. They’ll also be able to advise you on any other steps that will need to be taken, such as prepping the floor for the stain and applying the protective hardwood flooring coating.

Sealing

Hardwood floors are a timeless and beautiful addition to any home. But even the most stunning hardwood floors need a protective finish to keep them looking great for years. Whether your hardwood floor is made of rich walnut, warm cherry wood, or rustic oak, the best way to protect your investment is by applying a quality sealant. But before you can apply a new coat of sealant, you’ll need to sand the floor and stain it first.

This is a labor-intensive process, but it can completely revitalize your hardwood floors. It can also get rid of deep scratches, gouges, and discoloration that cannot be fixed with resealing alone. This process should only be done if you are happy with your existing color and want to refresh your hardwood floor’s shine and add an extra layer of protection.

During this step, it is important to make sure the room is well-ventilated. This is because the sanding process releases a lot of dust and other debris that can be harmful to your health. It is also recommended that you wear breathing protection during this stage to avoid respiratory irritation.

After you have vacuumed and blown away any remaining dust from the sanding process, you can start the sealing process. This should be done after the floors are completely dry from the sanding process, which should take about 48 hours. Before you begin, it is also a good idea to remove any furniture or drapes that are in the way of the work area. Once the sealant has been applied, it is important to let it dry completely before using your hardwood floors.

To ensure your sealant stays fresh and protected, you’ll need to reapply it once every five to seven years. This will help to extend the life of your hardwood floors and save you money in the long run by preventing costly repairs and replacements.

Depending on your lifestyle and the number of people living in your home, you may need to reseal more or less often than this. It is also a good idea to have your hardwood floors buffed and recoated or have an oil coat applied occasionally to prevent fading and maintain their sheen.

Buffing

Buffing, also known as screening, is a floor finish process that is less extensive than sanding. It involves using a circular buffing machine to remove the top layer of polyurethane and bring it back up to a shine. A new coat of polyurethane is then applied to the surface, creating a smooth, shiny surface. While it won’t get rid of all scratches and scuffs, it will help reduce the appearance of them, making your hardwood floors look new again.

Before you start buffing, it is important to make sure that your flooring is completely clean and free of dust, debris, dirt, pet hair, or lint. If any of these particles are left behind, they could contaminate the final finish and cause it to flake or peel. You will want to thoroughly vacuum your floors and use a dust mop to get rid of any lingering particles.

It is possible to buff a stain-finished floor, but it’s best to do so before you apply the new coat of polyurethane. The buffed floor will need to be dry before you can apply the stain and will not take the color very well unless you “pop” the grain (applying a higher grit than what was used for the initial sanding).

In general, buffing is more common on urethane finished wood floors because it only addresses the top layer of polyurethane and protects the wood underneath it. The protective layer wears down over time and can become scratched and scuffed just like the rest of your floor, but it will be protected from further damage as long as you keep up with regular buffing.

It’s a good idea to have your urethane floors buffed and re-coated about every 3 years to extend their life. It’s kind of like putting on sunblock, you can still get a sunburn even when you’ve put on sunscreen, but it will be much less painful if you do it regularly before your skin becomes sun-burnt. Buffing is a lot cheaper and less time consuming than doing a full sand and refinish!