Refinishing wood floors is one of those high-profile projects that offer immediate aesthetic benefits. It does require a fair amount of effort and time, but the pay-off is undeniable. Refinishing floors rates medium on the difficulty scale-- hiring a contractor is not uncommon. Whether you're doing it yourself or commissioning the work, here's what you can expect with this home improvement project.
Laying the groundwork is perhaps the most important step. Most floors are encumbered with rough seams, deep grooves and general unevenness. Sanding gets rid of the imperfections and prepares hardwood flooring for stain.
This is the addition of color--not the refinish. Staining is remarkably similar to painting and can be just as tedious. Also, expect a delay between the staining and refinishing process as you wait for these coats to dry properly.
Finish the job by applying refinisher to protect the hardwood flooring from foot and furniture traffic. A polyurethane finish is one of the more popular choices, as is a high-quality wax. In either case, several coats are required to achieve the desired results.
Always remember to wear the proper protective equipment throughout the project. You'll be working with a variety of caustic chemicals that can permanently damage eyes and skin. That means eye goggles, rubber gloves and a thick apron. If a contractor is completing the work, make sure there's proper ventilation to allow harmful fumes to release from the room.
About the Author: Kelly C. Richardson, MEd is a freelance writer and manic do-it-yourselfer. He specializes in home improvement projects ranging from savvy landscaping to house repair and beyond.