What You Should Know About Hardwood Floor Refinishing

The thing about hardwood floors is that they NEVER go out of style. This is attributed to their longevity, beauty, and versatility. No other type of flooring can last for generations and still increase the value of a home. But even the most cared for hardwood floors will eventually need a facelift.  The facelift can be in form of a “buff and coat” or a more serious hardwood floor refinishing project. So, if you are wondering about getting your floors refinished, then read on to learn what you should know about hardwood floor refinishing.

What is hardwood floor refinishing exactly?

Hardwood floor refinishing is where sanding tools will strip the top finish off the floor, as well as sand away minor scratches, dirt, and blemishes.  This then provides the opportunity to fill in deeper dents and gaps between the floorboards. At this time you can replace warped planks that are beyond repair, and make any other necessary repairs.  What’s more, if you are looking for a change you now have the opportunity to apply the stain color of your choice for that new look. Once the floor looks as good as it can get fresh coats of top varnish will be applied to protect the wood.

There are some things to consider:

  1. The Sanding Procedure: Hardwood refinishing should be done following the NWFA sanding procedures to ensure the finished product is high quality and well done.
  2. Dust Containment:  As you might imagine, stripping varnish off a floor and sanding the boards can generate a lot of fine dust particles which can be harmful to those with allergies and other lung or breathing problems. The use of a state-of-the-art dust containment sanding equipment is highly recommended.
  3. What About Harmful Finishes: There have been some big improvements in the finishes in the last few years. In addition to polyurethane and other conventional finishes, we now also have water-based finishes that eliminate many of the drawbacks of other finishes while still providing durability. High-quality water-based and UV products have lower V.O.C.’s which reduces smells greatly. V.O.C.s can be harmful to your health and flooring finishes can gas off for 60 days while UV and water-based products generally only gas off for 2-36 hours. The lifespan is also improved.
  4. How long does it take: On average it takes about 2-3 days for the entire process but more drying time may be needed.

Can one re-coat the floor without a total refinish?

Yes, but you must check the condition of the floor before making that decision. If you see only surface scratches and the sheen is gone but no other damages are present, sanding is not needed. You would just simply strip off the old topcoat, do a light buff and then re-coat the entire floor to get its old sheen back. If any part of the wood is severely harmed, then you must consider refinishing the whole floor.

What is the benefit of hardwood floor refinishing?

When hardwood floors are refinished they are restored to their former glory and given a new life. Not only will this process bring back the beauty and charm a hardwood floor adds to your space but it also adds a new layer of protection for many years to come.

You could think of hardwood floor refinishing just like car maintenance. The good news is that unlike any other type of flooring hardwood floors can be refinished rather than replaced. So in the long run you are saving money. A well-maintained floor and home will always attract people and fetch a bigger price when you sell.

How often does a hardwood floor need refinishing?

Well, that depends on the usage and care given. But generally, you should plan for a refinishing every 5 to 8 years with a buff and finish in-between.

Is the process of refinishing stressful?

Again, that depends. Are you trying to do it yourself or hire a contractor? You must allow time for the work to be done and know that the room will need to be cleared and cannot be used until the new topcoat has completely dried. Our recommendation is to hire a hardwood floor refinishing specialist who has the tools and know-how to get the job done right and get it done fast. In addition, a professional will have access to replacement planks and can recommend the appropriate finish for your situation.

What should you budget for hardwood floor refinishing?

You will need a sanding machine, a buffer, sandpaper of various grit, stain, and varnish. You will also want to have protective sheeting. A professional will already have all the tools and supplies needed. If you choose to hire a professional for your hardwood floor refinishing project it is always best to get an on-site estimate because the cost will depend upon the scope of work.

In Closing

All said and done, hardwood floors are one of the best investments you can make in your home or place of business. With that said, I hope you now have an idea of what you should know about hardwood floor finishing and concluded that it should be left to a professional.  West Coast Floor Company, located in Napa, CA is a 2nd generation hardwood flooring company with 40+ years of expertise and is ready to serve all of your hardwood flooring needs.  Just book an appointment when you are ready.