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Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Of all flooring materials, hardwood flooring is perhaps the most practical. Once it is installed and treated, it will hold up for a long time and only require cleaning here and there. However, depending on the amount of wear and tear it receives, eventually the protective finish will wear off. Once this protective finish starts to fade away, it becomes time to refinish the flooring. Refinishing your hardwood floors will restore the floors shine, make maintenance easier and keep your floor protected.

Refinishing a hardwood floor is a messy job. In fact, unless you have the proper equipment and experience, refinishing a hardwood floor is best left to the hardwood flooring professionals. Professionals have the knowledge and experience to give your wood floors a quality new finish. Not to mention, they have the proper equipment, such as power sanders, to handle the job efficiently.

If you are unsure whether or not your wood flooring needs to be refinished, try giving it a self refinish test to determine whether your hardwood flooring's finish is shot or simply dirty. First you should find an area of your flooring that receives heavy traffic. Take a table spoon of water and pour it onto the floor. Look to see what happens to the water.

  • If you notice the water forming beads then your floor is properly sealed.
  • If the water slowly seeps in and slightly darkens the floor then the finish is partially worn.
  • If the water quickly soaks into the floor and leaves a dark spot then it definitely needs to be refinished.

Staining Your Hardwood Floors

If you come to find out that your floor does indeed need to be refinished, you will then have to pick out a shade of stain for your floor. There are many different stain shades available. You can use the stain shade chart to help you decide, but it’s better to test the stain out on the actual floor that you will be staining. It is recommended to do this because what looks right printed on paper will always look different on its intended surface. Not only will a stain look different on paper, it will also look different on varying species.

In addition, a stain will look a little different on refinished flooring than on newly installed wood. If you properly sand your old floors, it will help it accept the stain better. The best way to find out what your stain will look like is to test out several different stain colors on a sample of the same kind of wood. Try using a sample from inside a closet so that the stain will remain hidden if you do not like it.

The most popular stain options include:

  • Natural: This stain looks like bare wood, hence “natural.”
  • Light: This stain darkens the grain and adds a subtle tone to the wood, usually a tan hue.
  • Medium: This stain is darker than the light, giving it a medium-brown hue.
  • Dark: This stain is typically a very dark brown and has a very rich feel.
  • Custom: A custom stain allows you to branch away from tan, brown, and sandy colors. You can pick a variety of custom colors such as bright red or even deep green. Vibrant custom stains are best used in smaller rooms.

Keep in mind; you will need to wait until the stain is dry before you know what it’s really going to look like. Also, the stain will start to get lighter as it dries so don’t be alarmed if you notice this happening.

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Of all flooring materials, hardwood flooring is perhaps the most practical. Once it is installed and treated, it will hold up for a long time and only require cleaning here and there. However, depending on the amount of wear and tear it receives, eventually the protective finish will wear off. Once this protective finish starts to fade away, it becomes time to refinish the flooring.

read entire article

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