Imagine this scene: You’re ready to take on a “new to you” project home. The first thing you do upon stepping inside is peel back a section of carpet in the living room. And there it is: original hardwood flooring.
Whether you’re living the reality of the fixer upper fairytale above or the hardwood floors in your current home could use some love, a classic wood floor refinishing job could be in order.
So, how hard could it be? Today we’re exploring everything you need to know about wood floor refinishing projects.
CAN I DIY THIS PROJECT?
Yes, wood floor refinishing is a project that you can, in theory, do yourself. However, we wouldn’t recommend it. When it comes down to it, the cons far outweigh the pros. For starters, it takes your full time and attention. Once you begin, there is no rushing through the process to “just be done already.”
Here at Carpet Tech, our wood floor technicians handle refinishing jobs daily. We have the proper training and specialized equipment to get the job done right. Our equipment is more powerful than any available for rent at the hardware store. These tools, coupled with our years of experience, mean we’ll finish the job much faster than you will if you take the DIY route.
COMMON DIY MISTAKES
Here are some of the most common DIY mistakes we hear about.
The first step in refinishing hardwoods is to sand down the surface to remove years of damage and expose the new surface underneath. This job requires a drum sander, which is much larger and much more powerful than the power sander you have sitting out in the garage. If you leave the drum sander in one place for too long, you risk gouging or creating a permanent dip in your hardwood flooring.
It’s also extremely important to properly manage the amount of sawdust you create during the sanding process. First, you must allow time for the dust to settle—a step that is often skipped to speed the job along. Then, you have to thoroughly vacuum every last speck of dust. If not, sawdust will settle into your new finish.
At Carpet Tech, our sanding equipment is fitted with industrial vacuums that completely contain dust during the process. This helps us achieve an exceptional, even finish and eliminate sawdust that would otherwise settle onto the floor. You can also have peace of mind that your electronics and your allergies will be protected from dangerous airborne dust.
Once the sanding and cleaning is done, many DIYers move on to applying the new finish, leaving hidden blemishes and scratches behind. These will show themselves once a fresh finish is applied. Before we apply finish, we use a hand edger and buffer to achieve maximum smoothness and shine.
While it may appear cheaper to tackle wood floor refinishing on your own, hiring a professional from the start may be the smart way to go.
WOOD FLOOR REPAIR
At times, homeowners discover that the damage to their floors goes beyond scratches caused by normal wear and tear. Threats like mold, water, or termites can cause significant damage to flooring. The experienced craftsmen at Carpet Tech can inspect this type of damage and repair the problem.
CHOOSING A FINISH
When your wood floors are sanded and repaired, it’s time to choose a new finish. The fun part begins! Whether you want to go lighter or darker, our craftsmen can help you choose the perfect color.
For most homeowners, we recommend a waterborne stain that is free from toxic fumes. Our Greenguard-certified products do not harm indoor air quality, meaning you can usually stay in your home during the process. With your perfect shade chosen, we’ll apply the stain and top it off with a protective seal.
If you want to give your home a brand new hardwood look that will last for years to come, skip the DIY route. Get a free quote from Carpet Tech for your next wood floor refinishing project. You won’t regret it!