The Step-by-step Guide to Refinishing your Hardwood Floors

Are you happy with your hardwoods? Hardwood floors are beautiful and timeless, but they can become worn and damaged over time. If yours are looking a little rough, there’s no need to replace them, because unless they are manufactured hardwoods, you can refinish them yourself.

How do you know if they’re the kind of floors you can finish yourself? First, take off a floor vent and look at the thickness of the flooring. If it’s solid wood that’s ¾ of an inch or more, you can go ahead and refinish it. If you can see individual layers of wood, you’ll need to call in a professional to do the job for you.

How do you know if your floors need refinishing? Sometimes you’ll be able to clearly see that they need help, but if you’re not sure if the entire floor needs to be refinished, you can easily determine this with a simple water test. Just drip a little bit of water on the floor to see if it beads. If it beads, it’s fine and doesn’t need to be refinished, but if the water sinks in, refinish it.

Before you get started, make sure you have the right tools. To do the job right, you’ll need:

  • An orbital sander or drum sander
  • A power hand sander
  • Sandpaper of various grits
  • Dust mask, earplugs, and goggles
  • Plastic sheeting, painters tape, putty knife
  • Hardwood floor cleaner, cotton rags, nails, wood filler, mineral spirits
  • A shop vac
  • Stain if you wish to change the color
  • Paintbrushes
  • Polyurethane finish
  • A sanding screen
  • Paint trays
  • A floor polisher

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to prep the room. First, remove all furniture and décor. Then remove the doors and baseboards. Inspect the floor for nails, and repair any existing damage. Clean the floors thoroughly, then protect the doors, vents, windows, and surfaces with plastic sheeting and painters tape. Now you’re ready to begin the process of refinishing.

  1. Sand the floors. First, make sure you’re wearing protective gear. Then, using the coarsest grit of sandpaper first, work with the grain of the wood, moving at a steady, even pace. Change the sandpaper as it wears out, but use the same grit until you’ve covered the entire floor. Use the hand sander to finish the edges, and then vacuum the floor. Repeat this entire process two or three more times, moving to a finer grit of sandpaper each time.
  2. Now it’s time to prep for shine. Buff the floor with a sanding screen if necessary, and once you’ve got it smooth, vacuum and mop. Use a clean cotton rag to wipe the floor and remove any chemicals
  3. Use stain to change the color of your floor if you’d like. Apply stain with paintbrush or cloth, going with the grain and removing the excess stain with a rag. Stir the stain frequently as you go along, then let it dry and apply more coats as needed.
  4. Apply finish. Use polyurethane to seal and protect the floor, as well as giving it some shine. Wearing a face mask, apply the polyurethane by hand or with a floor polisher. You’ll be able to walk on the floor in about 24 hours, but you’ll need to wait a week before moving the furniture back into the room.

If you’re ready to tackle this project, do you have the tools you need? A-1 Equipment Rentals offers the best equipment rental in Redwood City, California, with a great selection of construction equipment as well as an extensive machine and tool inventory. In addition to tools and machinery, we have a varied selection of trucks, dump trucks, and vans available, and we offer pickup and delivery service to save you the trip to our facility. Our experienced maintenance staff fixes our machinery on site, and we extend repair and maintenance services to our clientele as well. Our team members are here to make sure you have what you need to make your job go smoothly, and we’re happy to offer advice on the machinery and tools you need. To learn more about our quality options at affordable prices, contact us through our website or call (650) 369-2992 and we’ll be happy to help.

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