Hardwood floor refinishing is a process that restores your old, worn-out floors to their original beauty. It can also be used to change the color of your hardwood floors, if that’s what you want.
Hardwood floor refinishing is different than sanding, which removes the top layer of wood but doesn’t touch the layer below it. Sanding can only be done on solid wood floors; it will ruin engineered wood and laminate floors.
Hardwood floor refinishing involves stripping off old finishes and sealants, sanding down the surface, and then applying new finish layers. In some cases—for example, when you want to change the color of your hardwood floor—it also involves stripping off the existing sealant and stain layers and replacing them with a new set of colored layers that are applied in multiple coats until they reach the desired depth.
The main benefit of hardwood floor refinishing is its ability to give you a brand-new look at a fraction of the cost of replacing your entire floor with new materials. However, not all finishes are created equal: some are more durable than others; some are stain resistant; some are made for indoor use only; some require special care after installation.
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Process Of Hardwood Floor Refinishing
- Cleaning and Sanding the Floor
Before you begin, it’s important to clean and sand the floor. This will ensure that the floor is ready for refinishing and that any damage or wear is repaired.
The first step in cleaning your hardwood floors is to use a damp mop to clean off dirt and dust. Then, use a vacuum to remove any loose material from the surface of the wood. Once that’s done, you can move on to sanding.
Sanding your hardwood floors is an important part of the process because it allows you to remove any damaged areas of the floor so that they can be repaired. You’ll want to use an orbital sander for this step—it removes material evenly across an area with less chance for gouging than other types of sanders (like drum or belt sanders). You’ll also want to use fine-grit sandpaper so that you don’t leave scratches behind when you’re finished with this step.
- Buffing and Grinding
Hardwood floor refinishing is the process of removing the old finish from a hardwood floor, sanding it down and applying a new coat of finish.
The third step in hardwood floor refinishing is buffing and grinding the existing finish off of the floor. This can be done with an orbital sander or by hand with a sanding block. Once this step is complete, you will want to vacuum up any dust that has been created by your sanding process.
The next step in hardwood floor refinishing is to use an electric sander or buffer to smooth out any imperfections left behind by your initial sanding process. You will want to go over the entire area two or three times so that there are no visible scratches on your floor after you have finished this step.
- Staining the Floor
The third step of refinishing a hardwood floor is staining it. You can choose from a variety of stain colors, but it’s best to use a stain that closely matches your existing floor or one that has been used by the manufacturer when your floor was built. You can also choose between oil-based stains and water-based stains. Oil-based stains are more durable and last longer than water-based stains, but they require more prep work such as sanding and cleaning. Water-based stains are easier to apply and clean up afterward, but they don’t last as long as oil-based stains.
- Sealing the Floor
The final step of refinishing your hardwood floor is sealing it. Sealing is a necessary step to protect the wood from moisture and dirt. If you do not seal the floor, it will become dull, stained, and can even peel. To apply the sealant, you will need a paintbrush, a roller, and an applicator pad. The sealant should be applied to the entire surface of your wood floors in one coat using either the brush or roller. When applying the sealant to your floor, ensure that you cover all areas, including corners, edges, and around any obstacles, such as furniture or appliances.
Cost of Refinishing A Hardwood Floor
Refinishing a hardwood floor can cost between $2 and $6 per square foot, depending on the type of wood and whether you do the work yourself or hire a professional. The average cost is about $4 per square foot for high-end materials like oak, maple, and cherry. If you’re installing new hardwood flooring, your home’s location should determine how much you’ll spend on installation. In major cities like New York City or San Francisco, where housing is more expensive than in other areas of the country, expect to pay around $9 per square foot to install new hardwood floors in your home’s living room or dining room.