If your wooden floors have been covered by your carpet for quite some time or it’s been a long time since you’ve had those wood floors installed, they probably don’t look so good anymore. Waxing or buffing can make your floors shine, but if you really want your floors to look great, refinishing is needed. Refinishing can be messy but it’s a rewarding job.
To refinish floors, you need the following: a drum, floor or orbital sander, floor edger, buffer, putty knife and scraper, shop vacuum, lamb’s wool and a natural bristle brush or foam applicators, and tack cloths. Always use safety goggles, ear protection and a dust mask because sanding floors can be noisy and dusty.
Start by taking out furniture and rugs from the room. Use a pair of pliers to easily remove leftover carpet staples or tacks. Then hammer away exposed nails that can break the sanding machine. To contain dust and keep it from spreading elsewhere, hang plastic over the doorways and place rags or towels under doors. Sweep the floor clean afterwards. A drum sander can be frightening at first since it is big and noisy. It works quickly but if you’re not careful it can put an ugly groove in the floor that’s difficult to remove. If you’re not comfortable with one, switch to a floor sander. The newer orbital sanders are easier to use.
Use heavy grit sandpaper (30 grit) that will fit the machine. Then, sand in the direction of the wood grain using straight, even strokes. Never sand across the grain. When you’re finished, replace the heavy-grit sandpaper with a lighter grain sandpaper (60 grit) to eliminate sand scratches and lines in the floor. Repeat these steps with 80 grit and then 100 grit sandpaper for smooth, even floors. Clean the floors between sanding using a vacuum.
Apply polyurethane with a brush or roller. Use smooth, even strokes. Wait for the floor to dry in about 3 hours before giving it a second coat. Allow the final coat to dry overnight and return furniture and rugs in three days.
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Wood flooring has certainly advanced since the floors we had in our homes when we were children. The technology used in today’s flooring manufacturing eliminates the required waxing. Neither do we always need the expertise of floor installation professionals. Pre-finished products we have today also eliminate the old process of labor intensive sanding and finishing so DIY flooring projects are not out of the ordinary.
Back in the day, red oak was the typical selection for interior flooring. Present day flooring shoppers have many options for texture and color. It can be a difficult task selecting the right floor match that will mesh with the interior of your home. You should spend plenty of time researching the types and colors with online vendors or by visiting a local home improvement or supply store.
Once you have purchased your flooring you should always allow it time to get used to the room’s humidity by leaving it stacked in the room for a few days.
The wood will expand when it is exposed to the moisture. The edges of the room needs room for the wood to expand so you should leave a half inch gap when laying the floor. You can always cover the gap with some type of molding.
DIY doesn’t mean without direction so you should always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Your floors may not look professional if you fail to properly install. Today’s flooring is micro-beveled in the factory so spacing isn’t an issue for summertime expansion.
Due to scratches or traffic wear you may be considering new wood flooring. If this is the case, you may want to consider refinishing the floors you have now, which will be an economical solution.
Start by removing all contents in the room that touch the floor. By keeping windows and doors shut you will reduce excessive dust. You should allow 3-5 days for sanding and refinishing before moving furniture and other items back into the room.
If you’re simply looking to enhance the appearance of the floors in your home, you should take a look at laminate flooring. The appearance looks like wood and requires minimal maintenance.Laminate is also resistant to stains and scratches caused by children and pets. It’s a snap to lay with a tongue and groove interlocking system.
Technology is widely used today in producing refinishing and flooring products. Allow yourself plenty of time to explore all options before purchasing.Floor products are substantially easier to use now. By properly researching your options and following directions, your final product will be something you can truly be proud of.
Visit World Floors Direct for more information on new flooring products and tips on installing bamboo, wood and cork flooring.
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