Instead of removing your hardwood floor, think about refinishing it to make it look as good as new. The process involves multiple phases including preparing the wood floor, but it’s worth it because the outcome is a flawless surface.
Refinishing solid ¾ inch floor, that is not layered is possible to do it yourself if you have all the necessary tools. However, in the case of engineered wood, which has a very thin top layer, refinishing should be left to the pros.
If you’re unsure if your floor needs to be refinished in the first place, do a test by placing a few drops of water on it. If the wood absorbs water slowly over several minutes, it is probably enough just to clean and polish, but if the water is absorbed instantly, the floor needs to be refinished.
To start refinishing hardwood, the wood needs to be bare. If the floor is damaged, has a wax finish, or is stained, it needs to be sanded. Even if it’s an unfinished brand-new floor, it still requires sanding, which is one of the phases in preparation.
Floor Refinishing Checklist
Required Time – 2 days (approximately)
Based on the floor condition, dimensions, your knowledge, and experience
Necessary Tools – wrecking bar, putty knife, random orbit sander, sanding pad, vacuum cleaner, finish applicator pad, paintbrush
Materials – wood filler, sandpaper, varnish/finisher, wood stain
Tasks – floor preparation, sanding, cleaning, and finishing
How to Refinish a Hardwood Floor
- Begin with clearing the area. Remove shoe moldings, drive in-floor nail heads and pull carpet staples (if there are any) because they will rip up sandpaper. Sanding produces a lot of dust, so protect important things in the room.
- With the space primed, start sanding the floor with a heavy-grit (30-40 grit) paper using a random orbital sander along the length of one wall, pulling the sander toward you. Then drive the sander forward and slightly overlap its next line. Move it instantly, allowing the machine to run at one position will harm the surface.
- Even out the floor edges with the same grit paper to bring the floor to the same level. Vacuum well before sanding again with the next grit and fill the gaps with a wood filler.
- When the wood filler is dry, use a medium grit (100-grit) sandpaper for the second pass. Turn around the sander, and repeat the cycle. Sweep the mess with a cloth and vacuum again.
- Staining is required if there is a need to adjust the wood’s color. Stain the floor with the suggested applicator and allow the stain to dry. Using a floor finishing pad, start putting the finishing coats, allowing each coat to dry. Scuff sand and vacuum the floor before adding the next one.