Hardwood floors are great options for your home to make them look warm and beautiful. But to keep its beauty intact, you must ensure regular care and refinish the floors when needed. Every wooden floor needs refinishing time after time; the better you do it, the better it shows.
Signs that Your Floor Needs Refinishing
You want your floor to look good, so you will know by the look of it when it’s time for a refinish. However, there are some obvious and some subtle signs you must not ignore.
- If there are a lot of scratches showing through the stain, then it’s time to refinish. You may ignore them if they are minor scratches or can be kept hidden under rugs.
- If some boards are turning gray, it’s a warning sign; that tells you that refinishing should be done as soon as possible to save them from further damage.
- If some boards are turning black, it’s a sign of water damage, which means it’s almost too late and you may consider replacing those portions. In some cases, you may color your floorboards with a dark stain to make them look even with the rest of the floor.
- Water or moisture damage due to flood or any other form of water leaking can be incurable when it’s severe and causing black boards, popping up boards, or major separation. In such cases, they need to be replaced. However, cupping of boards can be sanded out.
- Normal discolorations or dullness of the floor that is usually due to the sun and can be mended by sanding and refinishing.
Get your floor inspected by a professional if you are not confident whether you should replace or refinish your floor or some part of it. If they find your hardwood in a condition to go for refinishing, you can certainly start doing it.
Once you have made your mind to sand and refinish your home, decide who’s gonna get the sanding done! You can hire a professional, or you can do it yourself. However, if you are looking for a cheaper option, DIY sanding would be a much more convenient option for you.
Choose a Sander
Choosing a suitable sander for you is important when you are doing the sanding yourself. Your options are between a drum sander or a random orbital sander according to your comfort.
Drum sanders are perfect for quick and quality work and easily removes almost every possible spot and splotches from your floor. But since drum sanders are very quick to sand, one must be very conscious not to cause permanent damage to the floor while using it.
There are many types of drum sanders are available on the market. If you are confident enough to operate it yourself, check this review before deciding on one.
After sanding with a drum sander, sand it again with a vibrating sander for a smooth finish. You can also do it using a large orbital sander. But none of the these sanders will sand your edges. For that, you will need to have an edge sander.
Unlike drum or orbital sanders, they are handheld and are able to sand the hard to reach corners. However, they are expensive, so don’t bother buying it. Instead, rent it, which is a cheaper option, and it will also inspire you to get your work done quick.
Random orbital sanders are also a great option for your refinishing work that leaves fewer sanding marks. Therefore, choose your sanding machine with your confidence and comfort level in mind.
Before starting your work, prepare for it. First, remove the furniture from your room to empty the floor and cover the fixed furniture to save them from the wooden dust.
You must protect yourself from the dust and sound you are going to make! A set of dust masks should work well to save from breathing those dusts and also get the ear protection to work for a longer period of time.
Don’t rush while you are sanding your home. Take your time and maintain quality work. Sanding your home is not going to be a one day job, so calculate the possible required time before starting your work and decide on how many hours you would be sanding every day.
Set your goals according to your fitness level.
Before starting your sanding work, decide on where to start and where to end. There is no definite rule about it, and preferences may vary depending on the shape of the rooms and the doorways. You can choose to start from the center, or alternatively, in a pattern of rows.
Usually, professionals start sanding with a hand sander between the boards before getting started with a machine sander on the main floor. It’s an extra job that helps to get the grooves to match the color of the boards when the job is done.
Choose the coarseness of the sandpaper for your machine sander first, when you are about to go with it. You should start with a grain that’s enough to clean the old finish and mild scratches from your floor. Later, slowly adjust it to a finer grain to lower the risk of damaging your floor.
After finishing your sanding, get rid of the dust using a vacuum cleaner, and then clean the room to perfection. Use a buffer to get your floor ready for the sealing.
A mixture of sealer and stain (9:1) is used to give your floor its characteristic color. You may need to apply multiple coats and then let it dry. After that, sand your floor gently and vacuum it again; then, apply the finisher.
You may also apply the urethane finish several times and buffer each time after applying, except the final coat. Urethane finish can be oil-based or water-based. Water-based urethane is rather expensive, but with oil-based urethane, your floor will grow yellowish over time.
Sanding your hardwood floor is certainly hard work. But doing it yourself gives you satisfaction and freedom that you hardly get by getting it done by a professional; it saves a great amount of your money as well!
Hopefully this article will help you to choose and get on with your sanding machine and get your refinished floor in a budget-friendly way.