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Hardwood Floor Refinishing Bergen County NJ can make your floors look like new. The key to successful refinishing is sanding the wood and applying a fresh finish coat.
Before beginning refinishing, clear the room of furniture and seal doors, windows, and vents to prevent dust from spreading. Then sand down the boards using a drum or orbital sander, working with coarse-grit sandpaper and progressively finer grits until you reach the bare wood.
As with any floor coating, a clean and sound surface is key to a successful application. In addition, proper floor preparation helps to establish a strong bond between the substrate and flooring material. Whether you need to remove an existing finish to start from scratch or simply want to upgrade to a new color, adequate surface preparation is required.
When refinishing wood floors, a major part of the prep process involves sanding. Using a drum sander, the boards are sanded down to expose the bare wood beneath. This is necessary to remove the current finish and allow for a new coat of stain. Before sanding, it’s important to open windows and use a respirator to protect yourself from the dust produced. If you don’t have a sanding machine, renting one costs $25 per day plus the cost of 60- to 120-grit disks.
During this stage, it’s also a good idea to identify the type of wood in your home. Having this information will help you select the right stain for your floors. For instance, if you have boards with a swirly grain pattern, they are likely mahogany, while a curly grain is more indicative of maple.
Following sanding, it’s a good idea to wipe down the boards with a damp cloth to remove any residual dust and dirt. You should also identify and fill any nail holes or gouges in the floor. A quick and cheap solution is to mix sawdust with white glue and apply the mixture to these blemishes. For a more permanent fix, purchase a wood filler that closely matches your floor.
Before applying a new seal, it’s a good idea to vacuum the floor again and sweep to remove any remaining dirt and debris. You can then sand the boards again, this time with a 60- to 120-grit disk. If you’d prefer to skip the sanding step, or if you find a contractor that offers “dustless” refinishing, this is a much more environmentally friendly option.
Lastly, if you plan to refinish your floors, it’s a good idea to remove any furniture and move it away from the walls to prevent them from being accidentally stained. You should also be sure to cover and protect any baseboards that are still attached.
Staining a floor is a common practice in refinishing, but it can be tricky. It is important to make sure the floors are clean and dry before beginning this step. This will help the stain adhere and give you a great finished product. Also, if there are any damaged boards or areas that need repair, this is the time to do so. Finally, it is a good idea to remove the baseboards so that the sanding equipment can reach all the way up to them.
Stains are typically a mixture of dye and oil that is absorbed into the wood fibers. They come in a variety of colors and can be mixed to achieve a specific color. Stains can also be used to fill in deeper scratches on hardwood floors. After the stain has been applied, it is a good idea to protect it with a polyurethane sealer. This is available in both water-based and oil-based forms, and both are effective. However, a polyurethane that is compatible with your stain is the best choice because it will provide the most protection.
It is a good idea to use a lambswool applicator when applying the finish. This will ensure that the coats are evenly distributed. Work with a two-foot section at a time, and avoid puddles or streaks. It is also a good idea to let the finish dry completely before walking on it.
After the polyurethane has dried, it is a good idea to buff the surface with a cotton rag. This will help to create a smooth, glassy finish. It is also a good idea to wait at least three hours before reapplying the finish, and a week before putting furniture back on the floors.
If you are working with a professional refinisher, they will often have special containment systems that will keep the dust and fumes from spreading throughout your home. However, if you are doing the work yourself, it is best to tarp and close off the room to prevent dust from getting into your furnishings or lingering in the air.
If your floors have deep scratches, gouges or significant discoloration that can’t be repaired by resealing alone, it’s time to refinish them. Refinishing involves sanding down the floor to eliminate deep gashes and gouges, followed by staining and a new topcoat of finish. It’s a labor-intensive job that can take several days to complete, but it leaves your floors looking brand new.
Before refinishing, thoroughly vacuum and mop the floor to remove all dirt and dust. Any debris left on the surface can interfere with the final coating and leave a cloudy or dull finish. This is especially important if you plan to apply an oil-based or solvent-based finish.
Once the wood has been sanded, it should be completely dry before applying a sealant. This will help prevent the final coat from bubbling, cracking or peeling. Also, it will ensure that the wood can absorb the finish evenly and quickly.
When selecting a sealant for your hardwood floors, consider the color and durability you prefer as well as how much traffic your floor will receive. Penetrating oils give a natural appearance, but they don’t hold up to foot traffic and will need to be re-oilled more frequently than other types of finish.
A solvent or polyurethane sealant is durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic. It’s available in different sheens and has a fast drying time. However, it is fairly toxic and creates a lingering odor, so it should be used in a well-ventilated area. A water-based polyurethane is less toxic and offers a similar sheen as the other type, but it takes longer to dry.
The type of refinishing you choose will also affect how much the project costs. Using a solvent-based product will require more cleanup and will cost more than a water-based product. However, a high-quality water-based finish can be just as durable and may actually cost less than a solvent-based product.
When choosing a contractor, check their Better Business Bureau rating and read any complaints. Look for a company that settles claims in a professional manner and maintains a satisfactory rating.
When the refinishing is finished, your floor needs time to dry completely. This allows the finish to cure fully and helps your floor stand up to normal wear and tear.
If you are using a hard wax oil, this should take about one day; water-based finishes can take up to 14 days. It’s a good idea to use fans and keep the room at a consistent temperature during this process.
Your floor should be off-limits to traffic until it is completely dry. This means you should not walk on the floors in shoes, and you should wait at least 48 hours to move furniture back into the room. This isn’t always practical, but it is the best way to protect your investment in your home.
The last step in refinishing your hardwood is applying a coat of polyurethane. This seals the entire floor and protects it from moisture damage, scuffing and scratches. This is a crucial step to ensure your new floors last for as long as possible.
You will need to apply two or three coats of polyurethane in order to get a smooth, even finish. The first coat will probably look streaky, cloudy or yellowish, but this will improve as it dries. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and wait for your floor to dry in a well ventilated room.
After the last coat of poly, your floors will need to dry for a few more days before you can start walking on them again. It’s a good idea to stay off the floors as much as possible while they are drying, but this isn’t always feasible, especially if you have young children or pets.
If you need to do something other than walking on your floor, then you can use a rug or a piece of plywood to cover the flooring while you’re away. This will help to protect your investment and keep you from causing any unnecessary damage. If you have any questions or concerns, contact a qualified and experienced floor refinishing contractor. They will be able to guide you through the refinishing process and give your wood floors a new life.