Ask for a quick tutorial and pointers when you rent the equipment. Other than that, yes you can definitely sand and seal your engineered wood flooring. Sweep the floors as often as needed to remove dust and dirt, which will scratch the floor's surface. Once you know whether the whole patch needs stain, or the floor can be polyurethaned without staining, it's time to choose polyurethane to match the surrounding flooring. Once the entire floor is stained, let it dry completely (usually at least 24 hours). Apply stain in the same direction as the grain in 3- to 4-foot sections at a time. After you sand and vacuum the floor, it is ready for restaining. GL. our dogs damaged our hardwood flooring. The experts show how to install fold and lock hardwood flooring material. Fortunately, the typical ¾-inch-thick hardwood floor can be sanded about six to eight times during its lifetime. You will apply this with a large putty knife. That's because unlocking a sad floor's hidden beauty doesn't always involve messy … For a 2,000-square-foot house, that can mean a bill as high as $8,000. If your floors are heavily damaged, it is best to use a trowel filler, a thinner wood filler that spreads and covers large areas. Use a sticky tack cloth to remove any particles on the wood floor. For these reasons, it is important to have the sanding done by a professional. But if your floors are less damaged, use a wood patch filler on individual spots (Image 2). You may have a different species, but usually they are solid and you can refinish them. How to Install Hardwood Flooring in a Kitchen, How to Remove Candle Wax From Hardwood Floors, How To: Installing Floating Wooden Floors, 100 Beautiful Kitchen Island Inspiration Ideas, 5 Best Portable Air Conditioners Under $700, drum or belt floor sander (rent from a home improvement store), edger sander (rent a home improvement store), wood filler - either a full trowel filler or wood patch, 40, 60, 80 and 120-grit sandpaper to fit each sander. Prefinished hardwood floors can be refinished. Because the drum sander is large and cumbersome, you will need to use a different sander for the edges of the room. If your floors are heavily damaged, it is best to use a trowel filler, a thinner wood filler that spreads and covers large areas (Image 1). Learn how to install a "floating" hardwood floor. Check it regularly and change the sandpaper as soon as it looks worn. That can vary based on the species, is it red oak or white oak, what grade as well as how old the floors how much have they aged as well as the lighting. Sealing protects the floor from water damage, dings and scratches and adds luster and shine to bring out the beauty of the wood. Most are pleasantly surprised it doesn’t matter if you are going light to dark or vice versa. If you have the solid wood type, you can absolutely refinish it, usually between four and seven times before the floor would need to be completely replaced. Many homeowners don’t realize that you can change the color of hardwood flooring when you refinish your floors. You may need to apply a second coat in the same manner to achieve the desired color. Pay extra attention to where each section meets the next and use your sponge to blend these lines together. Mix a solution of one part denatured alcohol to two parts water. How to Use Semigloss Polyurethane to Refinish a Pine Floor, How to Refinish Water-Stained Oak Flooring, How to Stain Pine Tongue & Groove Wood Floors, This Old House: How to Refinish Wood Floors, The Tools Used for Applying a Water Based Floor Finish. Experts say you can refinish traditional hardwood floors up to 10 times, so with a bit of care, your floors should last (and remain beautiful) for a lifetime. Polyurethane requires multiple coats. More sanding with higher grits can be done if you want a smoother finish. This causes the wood grains to rise and better accept the stain. Use heat or ice to effectively remove those accidental wax drippings from your wood floors. You … Work from the far corner of your room toward the door so you don't step on the fresh stain. Wear a respiratory mask and eye protection. Yes, it’s true…you can go light or dark or red tones or anywhere in between. Allow the sealer to dry for a full 24 hours before walking on the floor and at least 72 hours before replacing rugs or furniture. Each piece of sandpaper will be good for about 20 square feet. Hardwood floors are tough, beautiful and can work in most rooms in your home. Use needle-nosed pliers to remove any nails or staples. This involves scuffing up the finish with a floor buffer and applying a refresher coat. it now looks all discolored and old. Go over the floor again with a higher-grit pad (80 if you started with 60; 100 if you started with 80), then make a final pass with yet another higher-grit pad to finish the smoothing. or is it too late for that? Avoid a mismatched look with the successful blending of new wood floors with preexisting sections. Follow these steps to refinish hardwood floors with a professional quality result. Sometimes, the floors are just worn and it’s time to refinish them, or the pre-finished floors just don’t match the rest of the home. Check the floor for nail heads sticking up or other protrusions that may damage the sanding machines. Vacuum and wipe dust from the floor between each step. Place area rugs in high traffic areas or in areas where the floors may be exposed to water. You can choose from a variety of colors and finishes to fit your needs. Pick an oil-based stain in the color of your choice. Changing the Color of Your Hardwood. But since the introduction of prefinished solid hardwood during the 1940s, this newer form of flooring has become increasingly popular, and today you may find that it's easier to find than traditional unfinished hardwood planks. Floors need to dry for at least 24 hours before any type of finish protection is applied, but the same rules apply for the finish coats as for the application of the stain: always follow manufacturer guidelines for number of coats and application methods. Start with a 60- to 80-grit paper and make sure you don’t let the belt or pads of the machines sit in one place for too long or they will eat into the wood. and get to work, because your tatty old floors could be lookin’ brand new in no time. Sand using the 40-grit sandpaper until the floor color is completely uniform. Wipe down walls to prevent dust from falling to the floor as your finish is drying. Assess the damage to your floors. Lv 6. Answer: Dear David. A belt sander is best used around the perimeter, while a disc sander is used for the wide-open spaces. If you are happy with your flooring and just want to refinish your flooring to give them a new life, hardwood flooring usually only needs to be refinished once every 7- 10 years. When you refinish your floors, you can change the color of your flooring. 0 0. arizonakal. Wipe down the floor with a damp rag to remove all debris and dust. Keep the machines moving and lightly sand the surface to expose the wood under the top layer of stain. Apply the stain in even coats, let it sit and then wipe it up. You can find hardwood floor cleaner at most home improvement stores. While installing engineered hardwood floors is a good do-it-yourself project, re-staining may not be a job you want to tackle. Because polyurethane sits on top of the hardwood (it doesn’t soak in), it offers excellent protection from water and scratches and it requires minimal upkeep. Between each coat, let the product dry completely (refer to manufacturer’s instructions for drying times) and buff the floor between each coat. The heat generated naturally from wood oils on rags can be a fire hazard, … Staining and sealing hardwood floors the right way — whether you’re refinishing, refurbishing, or stripping the wood floor — results in years of enjoyment. He spent more than 15 years as a third-generation tile and stone contractor before transitioning into freelance writing. Think of the way you would plywood. This how-to refinish wood floors article will show you how to do just that. Engage the sander as you are moving and disengage before you stop. Mix a solution of one part denatured alcohol to two parts water. If the floor is reasonably flat you MIGHT find a professional willing to chance this sanding. Because you removed the molding in the first step, you won't have to worry about cutting in around the edges of the floor. The best way to refinish wood floors without sanding is to use a technique called screen and recoat. Don't allow stain to pool on the floor. Safety Tip: Store and dispose of oil-soaked rags properly. Over time, however, all wood will see its colors fade and suffer wear and tear. If your floors are lightly damaged, use a wood patch filler on individual spots. Overlap rows by one board. In order for the stain to penetrate the wood evenly, use a technique called "water popping." Allow the floor to dry for at least 30 minutes. But as long as the damage is shallow—in the coating and not in the wood itself—you can renew the hardwood floor by adding a new coat of polyurethane right over the old finish. There are two basic methods: buffing or abrading the existing coat before refinishing, or, alternatively, applying a chemical “etching” kit. Here are a few of the most popular. DIY experts give step-by-step instructions on how to install hardwood floors in any room. Use a pry bar to gently remove base molding (Image 2). Hardwood floors are classic, timeless and durable. 1 decade ago. Fortunately, you can refinish hardwood floors without sanding by buffing or mopping first instead. Installing hardwood flooring in a kitchen is a great option because it lasts a long time. Working with a drum sander can be challenging — it can be hard to control and using it incorrectly can damage your floors. Check the floor for larger holes or cracks and repair using wood filler and a spackle knife. The bare floor is now ready for either stain or sealer. Pick an oil-based stain in the color of your choice. If it was a wax-based, clear, protective finish, this first has to be cleaned off of the surface with mineral spirits or a wax-removal product according to the manufacturer's instructions. Engineered hardwood you can think of like a cake, which has different layers. If you only have some minor scratches and dings or a dull finish, you might be able to simply buff and add a new coat of varnish. Ultimately, the manufacturer's guidelines are the deciding factor, because while installer preference may vary from professional to professional, warranties are voided if manufacturer recommendations aren’t followed. It will perform better if you keep it less than half full. The answer is usually YES! You have a top layer that is a hardwood veneer and then right below that small top layer, you have different plies, or layers of wood. Engage the sander as you are moving and disengage before you stop (Image 1). Method 1: Buffing Vacuum the floor to get up any dirt or debris that might be there. Spray the floor using a pump sprayer, covering the floor completely. If you can’t find any, you can mix your own with 10 parts water to … The answer is generally “yes,” as long as the pre-finished (or site finished) floors are solid hardwood. Typically, you’ll find for a professional to come in and do refinishing work, the cost can be anywhere from $3 – $4 per square foot . Using a pole sander is a bit more time consuming, but also easier to use than a buffer and more affordable. This is a very coarse paper that will do the heavy-duty work of removing scratches, dings and the old finish, but will leave a rough surface. Now that you have a home full of beautiful floors, keep them looking new by sweeping and mopping regularly, using furniture pads, and exercising caution with hard-soled shoes. Use a shop vacuum with a brush head to clean the floor thoroughly and then follow with a sticky tack cloth to remove any remaining particles (Image 1). Answer Save. Use a lambswool applicator or staining sponge. You can opt to remove the baseboard trim after cleaning, since the sanding machines may damage the baseboard. Each round of sanding will reveal a smoother surface with all repaired holes or cracks flush with the floor surface. Cover vents and electrical boxes with painter's tape to prevent dust from getting into ducts (Image 1) and electrical work. Relevance. Work in small sections with the grain of the wood. Keep moving across the floor at a slow, steady pace; stopping can create permanent marks in your floors. Are they “real” wood floors or the recently modern “engineered” wood floors ? Using the fine-grit paper will result in that professional-quality finish you want. Moving with the grain of the wood, work in 3- to 4-foot sections. Chances are, your stained floor was also covered with a sealer to protect it over the years. Where engineered hardwood floors are made of 2 or more layers, the top layer's thickness, meaning the exposed flooring, is thin. Prep the room by covering vents and electrical boxes with painter's tape to prevent dust from getting into ducts and electrical work. Learn how to care for hardwood floors by using these natural cleaners and following these simple tips. There are numerous ways to apply stain, ranging from a lint-free cloth to paintbrushes and foam pads. At this point, you'll want to be sure your floor and room are completely clean. Refinishing hardwood floors will add charm to any room and is a great way to make a space feel new. So, we naturally get the question, “Can you refinish pre-finished floors?”. There are finishing options in addition to polyurethane. Run a rag or mop over the floor to evenly distribute the solution. Over time, the flooring may also get some slight warping. Staining on top of old stain can leave a blotchy, different-colored floor. You can remove the small piece of quarter-round and leave the rest of the baseboards in place. After the stain is dry or if you are skipping stain, finish by sealing the floor. Work from the far corner of the room toward the door, so you don’t "trap" yourself in the room. Run a rag or mop over the floor to evenly distribute the solution (Image 3). Spray the floor using a pump sprayer, covering the floor completely (Image 2). As a general rule, you should avoid letting stain sit on the surface of wood for more than 3 to 5 minutes. rob s. Lv 7. The goal of refinishing, or restaining, a wood floor is to bring it back to its original luster. It takes some elbow grease to refinish hardwood floors, but it's worth it. Water-based polyurethane is the easiest to work with and dries the quickest — within 3 to 4 hours in optimal conditions. A single coat may be sufficient for your floor, but additional coats allow for more protection against foot traffic and damage. Absolutely! Let it dry fully before sanding (Image 3). Now repeat the process using 60, 80 and then the 120-grit paper on both the drum sander and the edge sander. Buffing the floor will remove tiny sanding marks and give a completely smooth finish. This involves sanding down the top layer of stain so you can achieve a seamless look. Hardwood floors add value to your home and provide a classic look that goes with any style. If you want to change the color of the wood, add a stain. You may need to use a paintbrush around the edges of the room. Nail down any boards that are loose. If your hardwood floor is only lightly worn, damaged, or scratched, you may be able to refinish it without sanding. Refinishing hardwood floors will add charm to any room and is a great way to make a space feel new. Allow approximately 30 minutes drying time before staining. Refinishing, or restaining, a wood floor to bring it back to its original glory is a common part of being a hardwood-floor owner and ensures that your floor remains looking as colorful as the day it was installed. Because the drum sander is large and cumbersome, you will need to use a different sander for the edges of the room. Use of a drum sander to take it to the bare wood you can restain it. Allowing for plenty of drying time will assure beautiful and durable floors. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Alternatively, cover the baseboard with a layer of foam padding taped in place to keep from scratching the trim. Most hardwood floors can be made darker, lighter, redder, or anywhere in between. Then, practice sanding on a large sheet of plywood until you are comfortable. All rights reserved. You see, he has to sand off the beveled edges as well as flattening the floor for the first … More coats typically equal more protection. Some pros refer to this as sandless refinishing, but that can also refer to a different method that substitutes a chemical etcher for the buffer. Whether renovating an old home or just looking for a way to spruce up your current abode, refinishing hardwood floors is a great way to make a space feel brand new. Make sure your space is well-ventilated and that you are wearing a respirator mask when using polyurethane, especially oil-based polyurethane. If you live in Westchester County and need to refinish your hardwood floors, feel free to give The Flooring Girl a call at 914-937-2950 or visit our website. Use a pry bar to gently remove base molding. Let it dry fully before sanding. is it possible to sand the flooring down and restain it? Tim Anderson has been freelance writing since 2007. It is possible to complete an entire 2,000-square-foot home in as little as four days for about $700. Pull on your big boy pants (or big girl!) Make sure your area is properly ventilated and wear a respirator mask. Any sand, hair or small debris will affect your finish. Can you restain a light hardwood floor a darker color? Use a method called “water popping” in which you run a wet mop or cloth over the newly-sanded floor to raise the grain; this will cause the wood to better accept the stain. As with any wood floor refinishing project, 90 percent of this job is preparation. Wipe away excess stain from the floor before moving to the next area. Through decades of use, old wood floors can develop foot-traffic paths or suffer discoloration and fading from bright sunshine coming through windows. Between coats of polyurethane, let the product dry completely (refer to manufacturer’s instructions for drying times) and buff the floor between each coat with a machine buffer or by hand with a #2 fine steel wool pad. Just like refinishing a piece of furniture. Before you start,make sure that you have read my articles on using a … Some people rent an industrial floor buffer for this step, but a pole sander, pictured, is another great option. If you want to change the color of the wood, add a stain. Deep scratches or stains in the wood might require removing more of the wear layer Traditionally, hardwood flooring was always installed as unfinished planks that were then stained and finished with a protective surface layer, right on the worksite. If your flooring is solid hardwood, it can be sanded and refinished in a different stain for a different appearance. You may need to use a paintbrush around the edges of the room. Wood is a common building product used as a finish material for floors, and it is usually stained and sealed to protect the surface from damage. It’s tedious and will create a lot of dust. Source(s): 20 years in flooring as a store owner/installer. This can be accomplished with a machine buffer or done by hand with a #2 fine steel wool pad (Image 2). Typically, a professional will charge anywhere from $3 to $4 per square foot to refinish floors. a lot depends on its condition and product. Using simple division for common flooring thicknesses, we can determine how many times the engineered hardwood can be refinished: There are factors that reduce the number of times any engineered hardwood floor can be refinished. Dip your sponge or rag in the stain and then wring out any excess liquid. Situations differ, but you may not be able to refinish your hardwood floor more than 10 times. Keep it quiet with these troubleshooting tips. Hardwood floor refinishing can help you get rid of those unsightly scratches and marks. Flooring experts estimate that hardwood floors can be sanded for refinishing up to 10 times, depending on the thoroughness of the sanding and the level of wear and tear on the floor. These are typically laminated together. If and only if the floor has at least a 1/8″ top veneer layer can you POSSIBLY sand it once. After sanding yes you can. Typically, a professional will charge anywhere from $3 to $4 per square foot to refinish floors. Try to avoid letting the edges dry. You must mean laminated or engineered wood floor, laminates are vinyl. With the wonderful variety available in hardwood, you may find that laying a contrasting floor with serve your purposes just as well as trying to extend your existing flooring. A variety of finishes from glossy to matte store owner/installer sponge or rag in the direction! Floor buffer for this step, but a pole sander is used for edges... 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