Hardwood Floor Perfection In Every Step
Hardwood floors are protected by clear coating that eventually over time becomes scratched,scuffed and dull. But when do we decide if our Hardwood floors are only meant for recoating, refinishing or total repair? You can do a “drop test” using water on your hardwood floor to help you decide if your floors are meant for recoating, refinishing or total repair.If a drop of water soaks in slowly to your floors then you may get by just cleaning and polishing your hardwood floor. If a drop of water soaks in immediately, then your floor wood fibers may already be exposed which means you are in need of hardwood floor refinishing. If the floor is squeaky, and is highly damaged, then you may need hardwood floor repairs, before refinishing.
Hardwood floors which are in need of cleaning and polishing are those floors that shows minor scratches or superficial damages to its protective clear coating. Most experts suggest weekly cleaning of your floor and polishing it every two to four months will help maintain and protect your hardwood floors. Wood polish also helps fill minor scratches and protect the soft and hard finish or your floors against future damage. It is important that we know the difference between hardwood floor polishing and floor refinishing. Both task as are somehow similar, but when you polish a hardwood floor, you are keeping the same floor finish the floor had when it was installed. Polishing a hardwood floor only restores a floor existing finish, fills up minor scratches and even out the look of the floor. On the other hand, when you refinish a hardwood floor, you are completely removing the existing floor finish and completely replacing it.
Hardwood floor refinishing have one’s hand full when you try doing it by yourself. You need to dedicate a lot of your time to be able to successfully do floor refinishing. Of course with this kind of work, one should also keep in mind some points if you choose to refinish your hardwood floors.
1. Sanding process removes a lot of wood surface to your hardwood floor. It is advised that your floors should be at least ¾” thick before doing sanding. Hiring a professional is highly recommended if floor is thinner than ¾” to avoid accidentally sanding down the subfloor.
2. Groove floors cannot be sanded as many times as a plank floor.
3. Floors which are ¼” in thickness cannot be sanded and refinished.
4. If your hardwood floor is beneath another floor covering it is highly suggested that the old. This are do-it-yourself steps on how you can do hardwood floor refinishing:
Step 1: Clear/remove as much furniture as possible. This step will help you expose the entire flooring of your room. If you are doing this alone, you may use furniture pads to help you drag your furniture without damaging your floor.
Step 2: Make your hardwood floors as dust free as possible before moving to sanding it. Hardwood floor can be either polyurethane floors or shellac or lacquered floor. If you have polyurethane floors, then you can use water in cleaning it. But if you have shellac or lacquered floors, then you can’t use water for cleaning but instead what you need is floor waxing flooring should be removed.
Step 3: Sanding. If you are done with cleaning the floor surface, then you can proceed to floor sanding. For floor sanding you can either use a liquid etcher for hardwood floors or the conventional sanding machines. Just make sure that you evenly cover the entire floor. If you are using a liquid etcher, it is recommended that you have ample amount of ventilation during the time of use for this may cause certain reaction to people when inhaled in large amount. You may also want to cover small areas first before doing the entire flooring because if the liquid etcher is left in the floor for a long period of time, the liquid may sip to floor cracks and edges which may damage the core of laminated flooring. To prevent this, you may want to apply the liquid etcher on the small area of the flooring then leave it for 5 minutes after which you can wipe up the etcher with an old towel if you’re done scrubbing. Let the liquid etcher dry for 30mins. When using conventional sanding machine for hardwood floors it is essential that you use personal protective equipment such as mask and goggles to avoid irritations.
Step 4: (When using liquid etcher) Damp-mop the floor after the liquid etcher dries up. (When using conventional sanding machine) Vacuum debris of floor sanding. You may also use broom to sweep total sweep the debris on the floor. After clearing the debris, you may damp-mop the floor for preparation in applying the new floor finish.
Step 5: Apply the new floor finish. Polyurethane finish today are better, safer, and dries up quicker. Since the new polyurethane finish dries up faster it just means a shorter open time and you have to work faster. You have to work smarter as well which means you have to do everything within one try which means doing this in one back and forth brush stroke in applying the polyurethane floor finish. Stir the polyurethane, and don’t shake it. Shaking it may cause formation of bubbles which we do not like in applying the finish. The best brush stroke in applying the polyurethane finish is the zigzag brush method. When applying your finish, keep an eye out for splashes, ridges, puddles and missed out spots. We don’t want to ruin what you have started. Key thing is to keep the edges wet by brushing the wood finish only once, and moving
on taking any leftover polyurethane finish with you to the next area. Always inspect your finish for flaws after each coat has dried up, make necessary adjustments to your brushing method or reduce the amount of area you coat to resolve the problem. Continue doing this until the final coat.