Refinishing Hardwood Floors - Do It Right The First Time

by Adam Jackson

Like most home repair projects, planning is the key to refinishing hardwood floors. Advanced preparation will ensure you do not have a major mess and will help the job go a lot smoother once you have started. Make a list of items you will need before starting the job. Items such as trash bags, a sander, vacuum, broom, dustpan and plastic sheeting are some of the items you will need.

When Refinishing Hardwood Floors, the first thing you have to do is begin removing all the furniture, wall hangings, window treatments or curtains, and any closets connecting to the floor you are working on have to be emptied out as well. Be sure to use the floor cleaner and vacuum to get the flooring ready for the process of sanding. Now you want to cover any light fixtures with the trash bags mentioned earlier using the masking tape to help secure the bags. Cover any electrical outlets in the room with the tape as well. Make sure to plug in devices into an outlet in a different room than the one you are working in.

Now is the time to remove the baseboards if you are going to replace them. Once everything possible is covered and the room and any closets or cubby-holes emptied, it is time to block the room off from the rest of the house using the plastic sheets. You will want to use the masking tape to keep the plastic sheets closed on any doorway you will not be using. Be generous with the plastic sheets and leave a little room on each side, the top and bottom of the doorway, this will help in keeping the mess inside the room. Finally, open a window and put a fan in it blowing outwards. This helps keep the room healthy for you to work in. I recommend a box fan, as they are easier to clean and fit in most windows. Doing this makes Refinishing Hardwood Floors a safer project.

Be sure to move smoothly and not sit in one spot while sanding. If the sander is allowed to sit in one spot it can cause serious damage to the floor. Lower the sander setting when starting. This will help even the floor. Work up to the highest setting to complete the sanding process. This helps with getting the floor even and smooth. As you sand you should see the grains returning in the wood.

A drum sander is recommended by many to do the sanding process, but be forewarned though it is very efficient and does the job quickly it can damage the floor if not properly operated. Always tilt the sander back until it reaches the desired speed before placing it on the floor. This makes sure you start out with an even sanding. Start on plywood or some other wood you will not be using so you can get used to the feel of the machine. Once you can control the beast start in the middle of the room. After you have finished sanding each time, vacuum the floor before starting again and at the end. Follow up with a dry clothe.

It is now time to stain and seal or just seal your new floor. Be sure to check the drying times so you do not ruin the floors. Congratulations, you just refinished your Hardwood Floors.

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