Home Improvement Refinishing Wood Floors
Home Improvement Considerations for Refinishing Wood Floors
Refinishing wood floors can be a difficult and time-consuming home improvement project depending on the number and location of the floors to be refinished. However, it is also one of the most rewarding when done right and the refinishing can help to increase the value of your home especially if you are considering putting the home on the market. It is a big decision and to help you decide if this is the kind of home renovation project you want to undertake in the near future, here is what wood floor refinishing entails.
- Depending on the number of rooms to be done, the refinishing process itself can take a week or more to complete. You will typically need to wait at least two weeks so the wood can fully cure before putting furniture and rugs back on the completed floor.
- If your entire house is wood flooring and you are doing the entire house at one time, you will need to find a place to store the furniture for the duration of the work and it will probably be best if you and the family are away for the entire refinishing process.
- If you only have a room or two with wood flooring, you will need to move the furniture into another room and be able to stay out of the rooms for the duration of the refinishing process. You should be able to stay in the home with good ventilation but be careful of the fumes and know whether or not you, the family, and the pets are sensitive or affected by the fumes and dust.
- Let a professional determine if there is enough wood for sanding. If the floor has been refinished before, the wood may be down to the grooves or not thick enough, in which case refinishing is not an option.
- After all removable objects and furniture are out of the room; dust protection is used to ensure dust stays in the work area. Make sure if you are doing the work or if you have a professional, that you or the professional uses a dustless sander which collects the dust as it’s being sanded and keeps the ambient dust to a minimum.
- The floor is sanded to the bare wood with fine grit sand paper and all stain should be removed.
- Next, the floor is stained if desired and protected. Depending on the type of wood, leaving it natural can be more beautiful than staining. Oil based staining is cheaper, but slower drying. Water based polyurethane costs twice as much, but dries twice as fast.
- Typically the process of repeating the sanding, staining, and protecting the floors is done three to four times and you will have to wait a minimum of 24 hours before you can walk on the floors in between each iteration.
- Once all coats of stain / protection are completed, wait a couple of weeks to let the newly finished floors cure before walking with shoes or returning the furniture.
In terms of home renovation projects, refinishing wood floors is one of the most time-consuming and depending on the purpose of the rooms, can be disruptive. You need to carefully plan for the loss of use of a room or area for a week or two while it is being done. In the end, though, it can make your home look beautiful and increase the value.