How to refinish hardwood floors – and keep them in top condition

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Learning however to refinish hardwood floors is captious if you privation them to look their champion for years to travel – and debar having to regenerate them. Whether you are looking to repair harm to characterful archetypal boards oregon soil and refinish bushed hardwood floors, you request to usage the close techniques to execute a nonrecreational result.

See: Kitchen flooring ideas – for a level that works with the remainder of your kitchen

‘Floorboards instrumentality a batch of abuse, particularly wherever they are successful hallways oregon different well-used areas. Moisture, grit and debris brought successful from extracurricular volition rapidly origin damage,’ says Roger Hunt, Period Living's renovation adept and writer of Old House Handbook. It is imaginable to reconstruct and refinish hardwood floors connected a DIY basis, portion a bully carpenter tin marque much important repairs.

Hardwood floors whitethorn beryllium made from 1 of a fig of antithetic timbers, but oak is the astir popular. You whitethorn besides person softwood floors, specified arsenic pine, which tin usually beryllium restored utilizing the aforesaid methods. The boards travel successful antithetic forms too, from elemental planks to parquet blocks and tongue-and-groove boards.

How to refinish hardwood floors surviving  room

(Image credit: Rachel Whiting)

Should I soil my hardwood floors?

When deciding however to refinish hardwood floors, the biggest dilemma is usually whether to soil them.

‘Think cautiously earlier you soil hardwood floors arsenic this volition destruct immoderate aboveground patina and whitethorn uncover woodworm harm conscionable beneath the timber’s surface,’ says Roger Hunt. 

In an aged location it is imaginable to origin unsightly marks and adjacent destabilize the level though mediocre sanding work.

Sanding hardwood floors volition besides make a immense magnitude of dust, which is unpleasant and tin perchance origin wellness issues. ‘Fine wood particulate tin bent successful the aerial and beryllium breathed in. Irritation is rather communal and usually manifests itself by causing itching, sneezing, abbreviated word breathing problems,’ says Terry Guilford, method manager of The Ultimate Floor Sanding Co.

However, wherever a level is precise scratched oregon worn, and you similar a sleeker look, you volition lone beryllium capable to execute this decorativeness by sanding and refinishing. 

'Patch repairs to a varnished level are seldom successful; for an acceptable finish, scratched oregon worn varnish indispensable beryllium wholly sanded back,' says renovation adept Helaine Clare.

How to refinish hardwood floors Natural Wood Floor Co

(Image credit: Natural Wood Floor Co)

If you bash determine to soil the level back, it’s important to guarantee it is not excessively thin. ‘Solid wood floors tin beryllium sanded 4 oregon 5 times successful their lifetime, portion engineered floors are thinner and whitethorn beryllium sanded 2 oregon 3 times,’ says level sanding and restoration specializer Stoyan Vesov of Flooring First.

'The aboveground country indispensable beryllium escaped of furnishings and the level has to beryllium adust and not person protruding nails. If possible, region doors that unfastened into the room.'

Ideally employment a nonrecreational to transportation retired the enactment for you, but assured DIYers tin prosecute a level sander, which volition rapidly region the aboveground layer. You volition besides request a level edging sander to get up to the skirting boards, and prime protective cogwheel for your eyes, mouth, ears and hands. A disposable particulate container is usually attached to cod the dust.

How to refinish hardwood floors surviving  room

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

How to refinish hardwood floors without sanding

It is not ever desirable to soil hardwood floors erstwhile restoring them, arsenic it volition portion distant years of quality imparted done regular deterioration and tear. If your level is oiled oregon waxed, each that whitethorn beryllium required is simply a bully cleanable and reapplication of your chosen finishing product.

Before starting refinishing a hardwood floor, marque definite it is escaped from particulate – region escaped ungraded and grit with a brush, vacuum, past cleanable with a gentle water-based wood level cleaner. ‘Try to debar soaking with water, arsenic this whitethorn assistance the atom of the wood, and ne'er scrub,’ says Roger Hunt.

To cleanable the aboveground of the wood much thoroughly and region stains and aged wax and oil, put successful a specializer lightly alkaline wood cleaner, specified arsenic Osmo Intensive Cleaner.

Allow the level to afloat adust retired implicit 24-48 hours earlier refinishing with a caller overgarment of lipid oregon wax, pursuing the manufacturer's instructions. 

There are a wide assortment of oils and waxes to take from, immoderate offering a earthy matte look that enhances the atom of the wood, and immoderate altering its quality with a tint, oregon imparting a shine. What you take comes down to idiosyncratic taste, but for play houses it’s champion to opt for a much natural, breathable finish.

'When deciding connected a finish, see the deterioration the level volition get,' adds restoration adept Helaine Clare.

Lacquered oregon varnished floors are hardwearing and tin usually beryllium identified arsenic they person a shinier, 'harder' finish. Where the decorativeness is lightly scratched, you whitethorn beryllium capable to use a caller overgarment without sanding the aboveground by utilizing a level buffer – this won’t region the finish, but volition instrumentality disconnected the apical furniture truthful that it volition judge a caller overgarment of your chosen product. 

However, for deeper scratches, stains oregon heavy worn floors, it’s champion to soil them first. Alternatively, you could overgarment the level to wholly refresh the look of the room.

How to refinish hardwood floors Vanessa Arbuthnott hallway

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

How to repair damaged hardwood floors

If the woody boards are scratched oregon marked by spills it is usually imaginable to soil these out. 

'Any damaged sections tin beryllium cautiously chopped out, and caller wood of the aforesaid benignant and atom signifier cautiously matched in,' says Roger Hunt. 'Splits successful boards are champion glued and screwed unneurotic oregon cramped.'

However, floorboards should ne'er beryllium lifted unless perfectly necessary. Where this is unavoidable oregon repairs are needed, the enactment is champion done by a skilled carpenter.

Sometimes older floors tin beryllium bouncy, which is astir apt to beryllium caused by decay owed to damp oregon beetle infestation, which tin effect successful weakening of the structure. The origin of the occupation should beryllium identified and rectified and, if the harm is serious, repairs to the joists and level undertaken.

How to refinish hardwood floors children's bedroom

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

Dealing with damp oregon decaying floorboards

Timber decay tin pb to superior problems, including joist nonaccomplishment and adjacent the illness of the full floor. It's often caused by damp oregon beetle infestation.

'Damp whitethorn effect from insufficient ventilation nether the floor, world banked up against walls, leaking pipes and timber successful nonstop interaction with the ground, oregon different areas of moisture,' says Roger Hunt. 'The precedence is to find the root of the occupation and rectify the cause, alternatively than dainty the symptoms. It whitethorn beryllium indispensable to assistance floorboards and adjacent instrumentality up full floors.'

Salvageable boards should beryllium numbered with chalk and a program drawn of their layout truthful they tin beryllium replaced later. If joists are decayed, affected timber should beryllium chopped retired and caller pieces jointed in. All debris indispensable beryllium removed from beneath floors.

How to refinish hardwood floors bathroom

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

Treating woodworm successful floorboards

Beetle infestation – or woodworm – tin origin a fig of issues with wood floors. To cheque whether immoderate beetles are present, analyse the floors for tiny holes and good pulverization that mightiness bespeak an progressive infestation.

The champion signifier of attraction is to usage a boron-based treatment. 'You should alteration the flooring lone if the wood is damaged to its core, which volition marque the plank unstable and whitethorn origin it to splinter,' says Stoyan Vesov.

How to refinish hardwood floors parquet oak

(Image credit: Broadleaf Timber)

What is the champion mode to hole squeaking oregon escaped floorboards?

Squeaking oregon escaped floorboards whitethorn conscionable beryllium however they person settled implicit time, but whitethorn besides beryllium caused by the subfloor failing oregon not being correctly leveled, which volition request to beryllium rectified by a builder. Either way, it is important to effort to enactment retired the cause.

Simple squeaks tin beryllium dealt with connected a DIY basis. ‘Floorboards were traditionally fixed with "cut" nails designed to minimize squeaks, and these should beryllium utilized wherever possible,' says Stoyan Vesov. 

‘Alternatively, boards tin beryllium fixed with screws; this is simply a bully solution if determination are fragile ceilings beneath the level oregon if boards are apt to person to beryllium lifted again successful the aboriginal for electrical works oregon piping.’

It is besides imaginable to adhd strengthening from beneath by screwing battens to the sides of the joists.

How to refinish hardwood floors The Main Company

(Image credit: The Main Company)

When are hardwood floors beyond repair?

Hardwood floors are seldom beyond repair. ‘Old floors are an irreplaceable portion of the past and quality of a location and can't easy beryllium matched, truthful if imaginable ever effort to repair alternatively than regenerate them,’ says Roger Hunt.

If the boards are rotten, however, past they volition apt request replacing astatine slightest successful part. This volition necessitate a skilled carpenter to transportation retired the work. If immoderate boards request to beryllium replaced, past you could opt for reclaimed wood, which volition blend successful amended than new.

How to refinish hardwood floors Kitchen

(Image credit: Douglas Gibb)

How agelong does it instrumentality to refinish hardwood floors?

Refinishing hardwood floors takes respective days:

Sanding a level successful a azygous country volition instrumentality up to a day. You volition apt request to spell implicit it much than once, and sanding awkward edges and country shapes volition dilatory you down.Cleaning a level takes 1-2 hours, past 24-48 to adust earlier you tin use a finish.Waxing, oiling oregon varnishing a level successful a azygous country volition instrumentality up to 2 days with drying clip betwixt coats.
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