Five benefits of refinishing your hardwood floors

It’s an established fact that each and every component of a house lends a unique character to the house. Each of the walls, doors, windows, floors and stairs etc. has a great role in creating the overall ambience of your house. It’s to create this magic that you go all-out to choose the right kind of material, design, colour and texture etc. of these components at the time of constructing your house, isn’t it?

With constant usage, it’s but natural that these components start showing signs of wear-and-tear. It’s particularly so, if you’ve chosen hardwood floor for your house. The warmth and grandeur that hardwood floors radiate is something unparalleled. But, it’s also true that they’re that component of a house, which needs regular upkeep. This shouldn’t keep you away from choosing one for your house, though! Giving your hardwood floor a makeover / refinishing once in a while isn’t really a major deal, in terms of money. It’s only a small price you pay, when compared with the elegance and grace refinishing endows your hardwood floors with. The following paragraphs will elaborate on the five benefits that you can derive out of refinishing your old hardwood floors.

1. Hardwood floors last a lifetime

Hardwood floors last a lifetime, if maintained properly. Refinishing and restoration (if and wherever necessary) are the only things required to extend the life of any hardwood floor. On an average, hardwood floors withstand refinishing for about 6-7 times, done once in 15-20 years. This means that they have an approximate lifespan of around 100 years. It’d be extremely heartening to realize that the original hardwood floor will still be a part of your house, years after most other components get their replacements. Durability is one factor that gives hardwood floors a clear thumbs-up over its competitors!

2. Refinishing helps in recovering damages

Wear-and-tear of hardwood floors occur not just due to the constant movement of people and other heavy items on them; but also due to the action of elements: Water (moisture), dust, sunlight and chemicals etc. Refinishing is a wonderful solution to overcome problems caused by these factors. Refinishing helps in removing scratches, stains and minor imperfections in wood as well.

3. Well-kept hardwood floors increase the value of your property

Whether you’re planning to let out your house on rent/lease or sell it in the near future, by getting your hardwood floor refinished, you’re sure to reap rich dividends. Well-kept hardwood floors tremendously enhance the value of your property.

4. Hardwood floors score on the cost-saving front, in the long run

Restoration of hardwood floors costs much less than what it costs to restore stone/marble floor.

5. Refinishing makes hardwood floors look as good as new

Refinishing restores the beauty of hardwood floor to such an extent that the floor acquires an all-new look. You can choose to go in for a new shade as well, when you decide to refinish your hardwood floor.

Refinishing hardwood floors is an easy job. You can in fact, “Do It Yourself”! But, if you aren’t inclined to take it up yourself, there are contractors to whom you can outsource the job. If your hardwood floor has lost its sheen, then it’s time you give it a makeover. Refinish your hardwood floor to simply fall in love with it, all over again!

How To Install Hardwood Floors ?

Who won’t get attracted by the elegance of hardwood floors? They present a visual treat, wherever they’re present! And if you don’t have hardwood floor in your house, probably you’ll vow to endow your house with its elegance, every time you get bowled over by beautiful hardwood floors.

Well, let’s suppose the moment has arrived. You have your own house; you’ve made up your mind to go in for hardwood flooring right away; how will you proceed further from that point? Learn how to install hardwood floors! It’s as simple as that! Yes, there are lots of resources available on the net, including videos, that’ll give you step by step instructions on how to install hardwood floors! They happen to be very valuable resources when you set out to do the job yourself.

Once you understand how to install hardwood floors, it’s time to be on the job. Here’s how your job proceeds:

1. Measure the size of the room in which you’ve decided to install hardwood floor, to estimate the quantity of hardwood boards you require to cover the area. It always makes sense to buy around 10-15% more than what you actually require, as there are bound to be wastages.

2. Make a checklist of items and tools you require to carry out the job. Segregate the items that you need to buy and the items that can be hired.

3. Some of the must-need items on the list are: hardwood board of your choice, minimum ¾” ply for preparing the sub-floor to cover the entire floor area, vapour barrier paper (tar paper or felt), a wealth of nails to fix the boards. Once you have all these ready, go through the resource that taught you how to install hardwood floors again, to brush up your knowledge and get going.

4. Clear the area and clean it thoroughly. Spread out the ply to prepare the subfloor. Check for squeakiness and fix it by nailing it onto the base wherever required.

5. Roll out vapour barrier paper on the subfloor and secure it by stapling it onto the subfloor. See to it that there’s an overlap of at least 4” between two adjacent rows of this paper.

6. Start laying out hardwood boards from that side of the room, which has the longest unobstructed wall.

a. Please note that hardwood boards are end-matched, i.e. one end of the board has a ‘tongue’ and the other has a ‘groove’. So, whenever you need to cut hardwood boards, take care that you don’t cut off the grooves/tongues.

b. When you lay the first row of hardwood boards, allow a gap of around 3/8” between the board the wall to allow for seasonal expansion and contraction. This is one of the most important instructions to follow.

7. Nail these boards onto the subfloor, one by one, using a pneumatic nail gun. Wherever there’s no clearance to use the nail gun, hand-nail the boards. See to it that there are at least two nails on each board and preferably place them 10-12 inches apart.

8. When you’ve to lay the last row of hardwood boards, you may have to cut the boards lengthwise to squeeze them into available space. Don’t forget to allow a gap of 3/8” on this side as well.

9. Use the same boards to install shoe molding on all sides of the room.

10. Use putty to fill the holes.

Ten simple steps that’ll give your house, a grand new look! By the time you finish working on one of your rooms, you would have mastered the craft so much that it wouldn’t be difficult for you to guide ‘novices’ (!!!) on how to install hardwood floors. Who knows, I may even come across an article, “How to install hardwood floors?” written by you, sometime down the line!

Informative Refinishing Hardwood Floors Guide

Hardwood floors have an elegant look compared to other flooring; also unlike others they lose their charm over time and with use. It would need to be refinished to be restored to its earlier splendor and there are a couple of ways of going about it.

Since it is physically intensive, some of you would like to pass the job and seek the help of experienced contractors who can get it done for you. If you fancy a go at it, this is a pretty straightforward work of getting some equipment and working on it, as detailed by the refinishing hardwood floors guide, all the way to a shiny ‘new’ hardwood floor.

Preparation

Get to the nearest rental place or hardware store and all the necessary equipment ready for the task at hand. You will need sanders, mouth, ear, and eye protection, a buffer, vacuum cleaner, selected stains, clothes to clean, wipe; and sandpapers of various differing grits. Stretch your budget to accommodate the best stains possible as this will finish quicker and better, will sustain and last longer and require lesser maintenance.

With tools in hand, you can start preparing the room by stuffing clothes as well as plastic on doors, vents and windows as this is a dusty job, which will send thick dust clouds flying all over the house. The refinishing hardwood floors guide points the necessity of going over the hardwood floor thoroughly to find squeaking or loosened boards, cracks, & jutting nails. Fill up the big cracks with putty and hammer the nail heads in place and fix the loosened boards by driving the nails at an angle to firm them up.

Sanding

Practice a bit on the sanders as they can be intimidating at first, acting as though they have a life of their own. Also, refinishing hardwood floors guide warns that, if the sander stays in a place for long, it will cause a gouge in the floor, requiring further sanding to level the area.

Begin from one corner of the room and walking the drum sander in a straight line and then coming back in the same manner till you finish the entire floor. As it will be difficult to get to the edges of the floor where it meets the walls with a drum sander, you will have to use an edge sander or your hands.

Start with a coarse paper for sanding and the next round should be with a less coarse one and the last one with a smooth buffer for feathering it. After sanding, vacuum the whole room free of dust and debris, taking special care to clear the gaps in the floor and edges where the floor meets the walls and corners. This part of the refinishing hardwood fl1oors guide needs care and patience.

Finishing

The refinishing hardwood floors guide wants to ensure that you have the room airy and well ventilated as the stains can give out harmful vapors. Test the stain on a separate area before applying on the floor.

Apply a coat from one end of the room evenly and without overlapping and check for the shade. If there are differences in shade, use the stain and a cloth to bring out the perfect match with the rest of the floor. After the first coat dries out, apply another and if necessary go for a third one.

Work with the grain of your wood flooring and do not use any wet cloth to wipe the floor as this can cause the grain to be raised and affect the look adversely. This informative refinishing hardwood floors guide will definitely help you with your every need. Good Luck!

Refinishing Hardwood Floors Guide: All the information you need!

It is that time of year yet again when you feel the need to take a deep look at your existing hardwood floor, if that’s your thing. If it has lost its sheen, it would turn it into a very unattractive and boring feature of an otherwise refreshing house. Get set and ready to get an insight into the refinishing guide.

Assessment of your floors

If your hardwood floors need to be worked on, you need to evaluate and find out whether you can source it out to flooring professionals or can do it yourself. If you think it is economical or just want a hands-on experience, and want to do it by yourself, then you must go through the steps in this refinishing hardwood floors guide to a shiny new hardwood floor.

Groundwork

To get rolling with the refinishing work, go through the entire floor examining and assessing it for any hot spots such as protruding nails, squeaky boards or ones that have come off. Hammer such nails back in place. Then nail down the boards that tend to squeak or are out of their positions. While hammering, remember to always hit the nail at an angle to make sure that the board gets flattened and holds its position for long.

Make a list of all the necessary equipment as required in the refinishing hardwood floors guide and get them in place, as once you begin it will not be easy to run for it, especially if the rental place or the hardware store is not close by.

Make sure you close all vents, windows, and the doors by lining the corners and edges with paper, cloth, or rags so that the dust does not get all over the house. Look out for cracks and breaks in the hardwood floor and fill them up diligently with putty. But here you need to be judgmental and use discretion as some of the cracks develop to compensate for the expansion of wood due to cold or the hot climate; and others will just grow bigger in time.

Equipment for your project

Refinishing a hardwood floor calls for materials that can be found easily at any local hardware or nearby rental centers in your area. A refinishing project will require an edge sander, hand sander, drum sander, a buffer, scraper, a putty knife, dust masks, shop vacuum, safety goggles and much needed ear protection gear. The equipment is the vital ingredient or essential component for any refinishing hardwood floors guide.

If there is no chance or possibility of using the mentioned tools on any similar projects anytime soon, it would not make any sense to buy and keep them. There are lots of rental places where you can get these tools and it will make good sense.

Also, you can get instructions and guidance material for the proper use of these materials, devices or tools from the salesperson at these shops. Also ensure than you have papers for the sanders a little more than necessary, as any corrections you might need to make will see you use extra. Again, if the floor has been painted before, you will need a lot more of it.

Sanding

Before you begin the sanding of the hardwood floor, make sure to vacuum the whole room. As for the sanding process, refinishing hardwood floors guide would want you to take necessary precautions.

As it is noisy and intensely dusty work, please make sure that you wear goggles and effective ear protection gear, dust mask. Be careful when using the drum sander as it can cause damage to your wood, making swift swirls which will necessitate extra work to set it right.

Do not place the drum sander in the same place for long, but move it along the surface of the hardwood floor in a line till you reach the end and walk back in the same manner covering the whole room. It will be difficult in the beginning as it will be quite a handful, though you will slowly get the hang of it.

Start using it in an easy and ‘safe’ place before you actually go full-on with it. It will be difficult to work the edges with the drum sander, so the refinishing hardwood floors guide stipulates and suggests the use of an able edge sander to bring it at even with the rest of the wooden surface.

Start by using the coarse grit, moving on to less coarser one before you finish with a smoother buffer.

Cleaning

Vacuum the whole place and wipe the whole hardwood floor clean of all sanded dust and shavings. Make sure you vacuum the edges where they meet the walls and the in between gaps in the hardwood floor.

Look for any new peeking, popping nails and get them hammered fast. Be sure not to use a wet cloth for the cleaning process as the dampness will cause the finish to bubble and it will tend to spoil the whole process.

Finishing

This is one of the crucial stages of the refinishing hardwood floors guide. Apply hardwood floor sealer all over to the cracks and cover splits. Remember to wait for it to dry. Use the buffer to tighten the grains of the wood and ensure that the stain finds a nice resting place. Vacuum again well to rid of any residual dust and debris.

Chose the right shade of the stain for your floor and you can make a good choice from a shade card that has plenty different options. Before you apply the stain, apply it on to a test region and make sure you have got it right as surface and the printing applications tend to differ.

While applying the stain, be sure to follow the instructions that come printed on the containers. Exercise necessary caution when handling the stains as they are volatile and can emit harmful vapors. See that ventilation is kept to optimal level while working on this section of the refinishing hardwood floors guide.

While applying the very first coat, ensure that you do not leave any drips or end up with a thick overlapping coat of it on the hardwood flooring. Coat the wood surface evenly and use even strokes and wipe it using a piece of cloth. Apply the stain beginning at the corners and work with the wood grain. Always remember to clean off excesses and change the cloth pieces frequently.

Wait for an hour or more before you apply a second coat and ensure the colour evens out across the floor, reworking on spots that differ with the stain and cloth, just when the stain is wet, till you get it up to your satisfaction. These simple and minute steps and precautions play an important role in any refinishing hardwood floors guide.

Notes

Different types of wood need differing kinds of treatment in refinishing, so be sure to know the task hand at the planning stage to save unnecessary exertion. Also, once refinished, be sure to take precautions and care to see that the floor is not unduly damaged in the process of daily placing, moving and cleaning of furniture. Discretion should be used on the application of cleaning solvents and chemicals as this could wear out the coats very easily.

The refinishing hardwood floors guide wishes you a successful project and a shiny new hardwood floor.