Hardwood flooring gives a home warmth and elegance that is hard to beat. It is flooring that requires constant attention and maintenance, and one that can be sanded and refinished if it shows signs of the distress that it has to constantly undergo through its use.
Hardwood flooring that is made of solid wood is best suited to any sanding and refinishing, though engineered hardwood floors that are made up of thin layers of wood can also be finished, probably once or twice in a lifetime, but is work that needs to be done by professionals. Your hardwood flooring needs to be sanded and refinished if any water dropped on it is absorbed immediately. If this absorption takes a few minutes, then you can afford to wait for a few more years before you arrange this. You can also undertake this exercise if your hardwood flooring has lost its luster and sanding it down to the raw wood will allow you to give it a new coat of finish.
Most wooden floors will have clear coatings for protection and these can get scratched, and scuffed and turn dull. the refinishing can help in getting rid of all the ugly and unsightly makrks and scratches. If, however, it is just the coating that is damaged, a better solution may be to give it a new coat of polyrethane finish, that will postpone any need for sanding and refinshing the floor.
Most projects for this redoing your hardwood floor require a lot of preparation, as is the case in of most wood finishing projects, and can make up to 90 percent of the work involved. Start with completely cleaning the floor and exposing all the scratches and defects that it has acquired and which have led to the need for the project. Look for loose nails or fixtures, deep scratches and other defects, and spend the time to go over the floor and correct all these defects.
It can always help if you pick two test areas, one in a zone of high traffic and other that is sheltered near the walls or other fixtures. Clean up each of these areas and roughen the area completely with through sanding with machines or by hand. Remove the residue that results from this sanding. Apply the refinishing coat, generally a coat of polyurethane, and allow it to dry for a day. If this coat cracks or has the look of an orange peel, your entire floor needs to be sanded.
You will require sanders that you can hire from local hardware shops. You will also need a hand operated sander for reaching places that your sander may find difficult to access. You must also arrange for three different levels of sandpaper for the sanding job. This must go from the rougher 30 to 40 grit to the finer 80 to 100 grit. Three passes may be needed for the proper sandijg of your hardwood floor, and each pass must be made with progressively finer grit sandpaper. While sanding, go with the grain of the wood. Overlap passes to a sight extent, and change any sandpaper that wears out. Use the hand sander to work on areas close to the walls and which the sander does not reach.
Your floor should now be smooth and needs to be cleaned of all the sawdust that your sanding has created. Mop the floor to ensure that no dust is left behind. Clean with mineral spirits if necessary. Now allow it to dry, before you start the final finshing work.
The floor can now be coated with the selected coating. You can also stain the floor, before applying the coating, if you want a particular color on the floor.