Hardwood floors are beautiful and tough but not tough enough to escape wear and tear. As the floor ages the finish will wear down due to spills, dirt and other debris that will be tracked in on shoes. Furniture that is moved and those beloved family pets with their claws can all do a number on hardwood floors! You can rest easy knowing that almost any damage your hardwood floors will go through isn’t permanent. Almost any wood floor can be refinished and look just like new again. When wood floors are refinished, the thin layer on top of it is sanded off and then three coats of clear polyurethane finish is applied. So how can you get the best job for the money you spend?
Factors to Consider When Refinishing Hardwood Floors
1. Be careful when you choose your hardwood floor refinisher. Make sure you hire a company with experience. This will ensure they’re not learning how to do the job using your floor. The sander that is used is very powerful and needs to be constantly moving and in the right pattern to prevent damaging the floor. The floor can become uneven is it’s not done right and will bring down the number of times it can be sanded in the future. It can also make the floor weaker.
2. Find out if you need a total hardwood floor refinishing. If the finish on your wood floors hasn’t worn down completely you may be able to get away with a lighter sanding before the polyurethane is applied. This can bring the cost of the job down as much as 50% and if they don’t need to take any of the wood finish off your floor will last longer too.
3. Think about the hardwood floor color. If the color of your floors is very dark, then chances are a stain was applied during installation or a previous refinishing job. This color will go away during the refinishing job and your floor will be lighter. You can always have it stained again or go with another color. It can increase the cost of the job by about 50% to add stain.
4. Plan to move out during the process. You will not be able to stay in the home during the refinishing process. Plan in vacating your home for at least a week because you can’t walk on the floor until it’s completely dry. The sanding will take about two days and each layer of polyurethane and stain, if you’re staining, will need at least eight hours to dry but can be longer depending on the weather conditions.
5. Baseboard damage. Unfortunately, your baseboards will not escape damage during the process. The sander may nick them, or you may find stain or polyurethane on them. It’s unavoidable, even with the best guy on the job. You will either need to plan on touching them up yourself or hiring a painter to come in and do it for you.