The Proper Way to Finish Hardwood Floors
While carpeting in a new home is nice, and lends sophistication
to it, there's just something about hardwood floors that provide
a house with an elegance that nothing else does. And here's
something you might not know: If you bought an older house
already carpeted, there's a chance that if you pull back the
carpeting, you'll discover that the floors are hardwood. If
this is the case with your home, when the carpeting is ready
for replacing, how about considering restoring the old hardwood
floors instead? This means that once the carpet is torn up,
or once you've installed new hardwood floors, you'll have
to get the floors finished.
a note of caution. If you're still in the process of building
your home and have installed hardwood floors, wait before
you apply the finish. The rest of the house needs to be
completed before you start this project. Otherwise, you
risk having the dust that often comes with construction
sticking to the finish, destroying the beauty of the floors.
you're sure that you're ready to begin, take everything
out of the room. This includes rugs and curtains, because
the finishing products could damage anything else in the
room. Also, dust from those items could settle onto the
finish, ruining it.
floors will already have an old finish on them. If this
is the case with yours, have a sander ready to remove it.
You can rent one at almost any equipment rental shop. As
you sand, keep the drum lifted a bit off the floor, and
then move the device in even strokes.
you approach the wall at the other end of the room, lift
the drum and move over, lower the drum, and start back the
other direction. As you finish each stroke with the sander,
take a look at the board you just did. Make sure you've
gotten rid of all of the old finish. If not, make another
run over that board. However, be careful not to sand so
much that you begin to wear down the wood.
have a difficult time with the sander getting the finish
that's up near the baseboards. For this job, you'll likely
need to use an edger. You'll also use it in the corners
of the room, and in tight areas that the sander can't easily
reach, such as closets and by the base of fireplaces. One
other thing: If you're renting a sander, you might find
that the sandpaper is worn, so keep an eye on it, and decide
if you need to get new paper for the job.
you're sure that the sanding job is finished, clean up all
the debris from the floor. Now examine the floor closely.
Are all nails completely filed down? If not you'll need
to do this. Are there open holes? These will have to be
filled in, and then sanded down even with the boards. For
filling, buy filler at your local home improvement store.
These come in enough different varieties that you should
be able to easily find one that will match the wood on your
after you've finished preparing the floor, you can stain
it. For the right stain color, ask for an expert opinion.
And as you're staining the floor, don't get in a hurry.
If you do, you'll likely splash, and then you risk getting
the stain on the windows and walls. Use a soft cloth the
apply and spread the stain, being careful to stroke with
the wood's grain, never against it. Once you've stained
the entire surface, let it dry completely. Once totally
dry, you will have a gorgeous new floor that will look almost
too good to walk on!