Hardwood Floors done by Classic Floors & Design Center
Deciding to Refinish Your Floor
First, decide whether the floor needs a total refinishing job:
If a drop of water beads or soaks in slowly, you may get by with a good cleaning and polishing.
If a drop of water soaks in immediately, the wood fibers may already be exposed and the floor needs refinishing.
If the floor is warped, deeply stained, squeaky or otherwise damaged, you'll need to make repairs first, then refinish.
If you choose to refinish, keep these things in mind:
Since the sanding process can remove a lot of surface, your floor needs to be at least 3/4" thick.
If your floor is thinner than 3/4", you may want hire a pro to avoid accidentally sanding down to the subfloor.
A tongue and groove floor cannot be sanded as many times as a plank floor.
Some newer floors are as thin as 1/4" and cannot be refinished.
If your hardwood floor is underneath another floor covering, the old floor has to be removed.
Preparing to Refinish Your Floors
The key to most successful home improvement projects is preparation and this job is certainly no exception. Take the time to get the surface cleaned and sanded properly.
Step 1: Remove everything from the room. Furniture, window treatments and wall hangings all have to go. If the floor extends into a closet, remove all the closet contents.
Step 2: Cover the light fixture(s). A trash bag over the fixture works fine. Secure it with masking tape.
Step 3: Remove shoe moulding. It's not necessary to remove baseboards unless you plan to replace them. To remove shoe moulding, wedge a pry bar between the moulding and wall. Insert a small block of wood behind the bar to prevent damage and provide leverage.
Step 4: Tape every opening - electrical outlets, light switches and vent ducts especially. Close off the room from the rest of the house by sealing the door with masking tape or hanging plastic sheeting over the door opening.
Step 5: Vacuum the floor before sanding to remove dirt and debris.
Sanding Your Floor
Proper sanding levels the floor and brings back the grain, one of the desirable attributes of a hardwood floor. Several passes with the sanding tools will be required to achieve a smooth finish. Provide ventilation while sanding and staining. An open window with a fan is a good idea, especially since the door is sealed.
The drum sander is the first tool we will use. It's not a part of most homeowners' tool collections. It's large and rather noisy. It's also very efficient. Drum sanders remove a lot of material very quickly.
We will be removing dirt and old stain and creating a new level surface, so choose the initial sandpaper accordingly. Remember the smaller the grit number, the rougher the sandpaper and the more material it will remove. Start with a coarse grit and move to finer grits as the floor begins to get smoother with each sanding.
Sanding grit estimates vary according to the condition of your floor. In general, we begin with a 20 to 60 grit and end with 120.
Step 1: Begin sanding in the center of the room. Sand with the grain from one end of the room to the other, overlapping passes by an inch or two. Repeat the procedure on the other half of the room. Sand the entire center portion of the floor.
Step 2: After the main portion of the floor has been sanded with the drum sander, hand-sand or use an edge sander to sand areas where the drum sander did not reach. Use the same grit sandpaper you used with the drum sander. You may need to hand-sand or use a detail sander to reach the corners.
Step 3: When the entire floor is finished, we vacuum and repeat the entire process using smaller grit (larger number) sandpaper with each pass.
Step 4: Finish by sanding the entire floor with 120 grit sandpaper.
Step 5: After the last sanding, vacuum once more and wipe with a dry cloth or tack cloth.
Staining Your Floor
We can apply a clear sealer to your newly refinished floor or apply a stain, water- or oil-based. Like paint, a stain often looks different at the store than it does in your home, so try a small test area before doing the whole floor.
Some stains require more than one coat with a sanding between. It's important not to begin moving furniture back in before the floor is completely dry. After the floor is dry, we can reinstall the shoe moulding.