You might feel both excited and overwhelmed once you decide to refinish your once-beautiful hardwood floors. Hardwood is an excellent choice for flooring because it looks elegant and refined, and yet is one of the easiest types of flooring to maintain and even alter.
This article will address some of the questions that may occur as you ready yourself for the rewarding task of refinishing your hardwood floors.
Can I really change the color?
Yes! You actually have the option to make your floors redder, darker, and more gold and choose from a variety of colors in these ranges. First, the floors are sanded until they look new and raw, ready to absorb the applied stains properly.
Then, the stain you’ve chosen is applied. You can choose stains that are rich mahoganies, deep ebonies, medium walnuts and chestnuts, and light golds. Be sure to check the full range available and keep in mind that different wood types will accept stains differently, depending on the species, the grade of your wood, and how old your wood is.
It helps to test the stain on a section of your floor across a few boards, so that you can see how it would look once your hardwood floors are redone and make the most informed decision prior to settling on a new color.
Should I sand or screen?
If you’re changing the color, then you should sand. Don’t look for shortcuts to avoid sanding because it will definitely look unnatural if you attempt stains without standing. But if the damage on your hardwood floors is only shallow, there’s no need to sand it all the way down.
If the hardwood has only lost some of itsluster, all you really need to do is recoat. This is true especially if you have a laminated floor. Solid wood can be sanded over and over again, but laminated floors have only a thin layer of wood that you definitely don’t want to chip away. In either case, if you only have a few scratches, recoating instead of sanding will be less time consuming and more cost-effective.
How do I prevent my gloss or sheen from becoming uneven?
When restoring the hardwood floor, you may notice that your gloss or sheen is uneven and want to correct it. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to preventing unevenness with gloss or shine, but here are two options.
To avoid unevenness with the sheen, make sure that there is proper ventilation in the room, as too much humidity can trap water between the finish and the floor, which prevents it from drying properly. Apply the sheen during a day that is not too humid, and, to facilitate this process, open the windows and turn on your fans to circulate the air. To ensure an even coating on the gloss, all you have to do is make sure that the wood is sanded properly, and the problem is avoided entirely.
How do I fix the scratches in the floor?
Scratches are inevitable for hardwood floors over the years due to furniture being moved around, objects accidentally falling, or simply from walking. No matter how careful you are about taking care of your flooring scratches are bound to happen. To fix this there are three solutions: cover them by rearranging the furniture, sand the floor lightly and using an iota of finish, or for deep scratches, a wax filler stick can solve it. This can be found in any hardware store.
How do I fix my warped or cupped wood?
One of the biggest threats to wood is moisture. Excess moisture can cause wood to curl up, or what is known as warping or cupping. Spotting this can be difficult, and often it is recommended to call in a professional to examine the wood. Some stuff you can do to fix this on your own is to find the source of the moisture. See if there are any leaks in your home that are around the warping wood or if the weather caused it. If you have poor window seals, it is possible that humid air is cupping the wood. Often, fixing the source of the problem is enough to cause the wood to revert to its natural state; this usually works for small instances of warpage. For larger warps, you must replace it with flooring that is the exact size and length as the wood around it. Do this quickly, since if this gets ignored for too long you will need to call in a professional to fix the problem rather than fixing it yourself.
What are these black stains? Where did they originate? How do I fix it?
Take three guesses. That’s right, it’s moisture again, a very common culprit for damage on hardwood floors. The black stains you are seeing are actually “black mold” which thrives in environments with excess moisture. Once it makes an appearance, it can spread across your floors, damaging them all in the process. To stop it from spreading, open your windows and circulate the air in the room to remove any excess moisture. The next step would be to apply bleach to the source, which will kill any mold spores and stop the mold from multiplying. Lastly, add baking soda to it to neutralize any remaining organisms in the area. Once this is done, restoration is simple, as all you would need to do is use 120-grain sandpaper and sand it down, then apply the stain to the wood and voila; the problem is gone.
Hopefully, that answers some of the questions and enlightens the situations that may arise when you are restoring your hardwood floor. This is not a comprehensive list, so when in doubt, consult with a professional who can provide you with some personalized suggestions for wood restoration and some general solutions to the problems that customers frequently encounter. They’ll help you with the confidence and peace-of-mind to tackle nearly any problem that comes your way!