Hardwood Floor Refinishing Bergen County NJ will not only make your home look amazing, but it will also increase the value of your property. This DIY project can be tricky but is very rewarding when done correctly.
Before starting, you will need to remove all the shoe molding, quarter-round trim, and furniture. Be sure to close all windows and doors. Keep a large fan blowing air into the room to help reduce odors from the polyurethane.
A wood floor that has a worn appearance can be rejuvenated by sanding and staining. However, refinishing or resurfacing must be done properly to ensure the longevity of your hardwood floors. Whether you’re a moderately handy homeowner or a professional contractor, the right steps must be taken to prepare your room and your wood for the job. Otherwise, your refinishing project could turn into a much bigger undertaking than you imagined.
The first thing that needs to be done is a thorough inspection of the area. This is a good time to make sure that all exterior doors are closed and that the sub-flooring and job site environment are dry. It’s also important to determine the level of damage in your hardwood flooring. This includes major scratches, gouges and dents. It’s possible that your hardwood floors aren’t as structurally sound as they should be, and it may be necessary to repair them before you refinish them.
Before you begin the sanding process, it’s important to determine what type of finish you want. If you have children or pets, a matte or semi-gloss finish will hold up better to daily wear and tear. If you prefer a more elegant look, a glossy finish will be more appropriate.
When it’s time to re-sand your floors, be sure to use a drum sander. Start with a coarse sandpaper such as 36-grit, and then move to a finer grit. A vacuum and plenty of dust extraction will help keep the air clean and prevent a buildup of wood grain debris.
Once your floors are sanded, they need to dry completely. Remove all furniture, curtains, and wall hangings to give the refinished surface a chance to finish drying. If you’re using a water-based polyurethane, it will dry quickly, but oil-based coats can take 24 hours or more to cure completely.
Before any stain or polyurethane can be applied, the floors must be sanded. This is a process better left to professionals, as the unevenness of a floor that has been sanded by an amateur will be magnified once the finish goes on and become very noticeable. A professional will be able to sand the floors in stages with progressively finer abrasives, while leaving a minimum amount of wood to ensure that the boards are not warped or bowed.
Before the sanding begins, it is important to remove all furniture from the room and cover sensitive wall items like pictures, curtains, or thermostats with painter’s tape. It is also a good idea to open some windows in the room to improve ventilation, since sanding produces a lot of dust that can cause sinus problems, dizziness and respiratory issues if not properly ventilated.
Once the sanding is completed, the floor will need to be cleaned thoroughly. A cleaning solution that contains a bit of mineral spirits is typically used to clean the boards before the final polish is applied. It is best to choose a water-based polyurethane for the final coat, as it will leave less odor and contain fewer volatile organic compounds (VOC) than an oil-based variety.
A buffing process can be added after sanding, which helps the floor to look its best and give it a smooth finish. While some people skip this step, it is an important one that can help to eliminate marks left behind by the sanding process and provide a smooth surface for the final finish. It is best done using a buffer fitted with a 120-grit screen. A few passes are usually sufficient, but it can be done in three or more if desired.
Before refinishing hardwood floors, the old topcoat must be removed. This is done with a chemical solution that penetrates and disintegrates the old finish. After this step, the floors are buffed with a medium-grade buffing pad attached to a low-speed machine to smooth out the surface. Once the floors are buffed, they’re vacuumed thoroughly to remove any remaining residue and debris from the floor surface.
Hardwood floor finishes come in several styles including glossy, semi-gloss and matte. Which one is right for your home depends on your lifestyle and the amount of foot traffic the floors will see. If you have children and pets, a matte or semi-gloss finish may be a better choice since they are easier to clean and stain resistant. A glossier finish is more reflective and will show off any room decor, but it’s harder to maintain and can be damaged by water spots and scuff marks.
Wax is another popular option for historic homes, and it’s still a popular choice among DIYers who enjoy the low-sheen, natural appearance. It’s also very easy to apply, and dries quickly without emitting many VOCs. However, wax is more vulnerable to water and stain spots and can yellow over time.
Once the floors are sanded and scrubbed, minor scratches and gouges can be filled in with a putty material that blends into the hardwood flooring’s finish. Then, a catalyzed urethane topcoat is applied to the floors. This type of topcoat dries more quickly than an oil-based polyurethane and won’t yellow as it ages. It’s an ideal choice for busy families who want their hardwood floors to look as good as new. This process can usually be completed in a day, so the client’s can re-enter their homes in just a few hours after it’s finished.
When the sanding process is completed and the floors have had time to dry, it’s finally time to stain. This is the fun part, and a great opportunity to change up your floor’s look. Talk to your floor guys about what you want your floors to look like so they know what stains to have on hand. It’s also a good idea to do some research on your own so you can find photos of stained floors that you like the look of.
Before starting to stain, open the windows and make sure the room is well ventilated. You’ll also want to wear a respirator. Staining is messy, and it’s a good idea to work in small areas — for example, one four-foot section of the floor at a time. Make sure to stir the stain regularly so it mixes evenly.
Once you’ve applied the first coat of stain, let it sit for 24 hours before applying another coat. It’s important to allow enough time for the stain to fully absorb and dry before you move your furniture back into place. It’s also a good idea at this point to apply a sealer. This will protect your floors from water and daily wear, and it’s available in a variety of sheens, ranging from matte to high-gloss.
If you choose to use a polyurethane finish, be sure it’s low- or no-VOC. These finishes reduce indoor air pollutants and are safer for your family. You can also choose a natural oil finish, such as tung or linseed, which penetrates the wood and provides resistance to wear in just one coat. These are typically used for a more rustic appearance or to enhance the natural beauty of the hardwood.
Refinishing is not only a cosmetic procedure that restores your hardwood floors to their former glory, but it also protects them from further damage. Refinishing is especially important if you have indoor pets and/or heavy foot traffic, as it minimizes the risk of your hardwood floors becoming damaged or warped in the future. Regular refinishing will also help keep your hardwood floors looking new, as it eliminates the need for costly replacements in the near future.
Before you begin the refinishing process, it is important to clear out the room and move any furniture that may get in the way of your work. You should also close the windows and doors to contain any dust that may be generated during the sanding process.
The first step is to sand down the hardwood flooring. This can be done using a drum sander. If you have old or heavily worn boards, you may need to use a coarser grit sandpaper. Once the sanding is complete, you should clean the floor thoroughly using a solvent-based wood cleaner.
Once the floor is dry, you can begin applying the varnish. It is recommended that you wait 12 hours between each coat of varnish. Oil-based polyurethane is the most popular finish choice, as it is durable and provides a rich look that ambers over time. Water-based polyurethane is also a good option, as it is easy to clean up and does not produce any harmful fumes.
Before you apply the varnish, it is a good idea to stir it thoroughly with a clean stick or spoon. You will also want to add a thinning agent, such as gum turpentine, to the varnish to counteract surface imperfections like bubbles or streaks.