How to Transform Your Hardwood Floors with Refinishing Techniques

Hardwood flooring presents an exquisite architectural element within a home; nevertheless, as time progresses, they inevitably exhibit signs of wear like scratches, sun-induced fading, and the general impact of daily usage. Nonetheless, a revitalizing solution exists through refinishing, infusing new vitality into these floors while seamlessly merging patched areas and establishing smooth transitions where old and new flooring meet in adjacent rooms. The positive aspect is that many homeowners can successfully undertake this refinishing process themselves. The procedure encompasses initial floor preparation, sanding, optional staining for color modification, and the final application of a protective finish.

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Prepping the Job.

Preparing the Task involves extracting all carpeting, staples, and tack strips. To mend holes and damages, use putty that closely matches the hue of the final flooring. For straightforward reinstallation, label the removed baseboards. Given that sanding generates dust, cover doorways, cabinets, and light fixtures with plastic sheeting. If your home employs forced air heating or A/C, safeguard return air grills and deactivate the system to avert dust dispersion throughout the house. Note that real hardwood floors are the sole candidates for sanding; laminate floors or engineered wood floors made of substrate materials featuring a thin upper layer of hardwood are not eligible, though a few possess a sufficiently thick hardwood layer for one sanding.


The Sanding phase necessitates the rental of an upright drum sander and an edge sander, the latter resembling a large disk sander with maneuverable casters suitable for edge use. Caution should be exercised to avoid initiating the sander with the drum in contact with the floor, as this could result in gouging. Instead, commence the device with the drum elevated, then lower it gently to the floor while firmly gripping the handles. Sand consistently in the direction of the grain, stopping just short of the wall. Proceed with the edge sander in a left-to-right pattern to blend in sanding marks left by the drum sander. For inaccessible corners and tight spots, resort to a pad sander. Protect yourself with a mask and hearing protection, and eliminate dust using a vacuum instead of a damp cloth, which could raise the wood’s grain.


Staining enters the equation if you desire an alteration in the wood’s natural color before initiating the final finish. Generally, individuals opt for oil-based stains due to their non-grain-raising property. Execute a trial in an inconspicuous location to confirm your satisfaction with the chosen color. Application methods include rag, pad, roller, or brush. In cases where the stain requires wiping off, administer the stain, followed by necessary excess removal. Performing this task with a partner can make it more manageable. Ensure ample ventilation, and systematically work from a corner towards the exit. Abide by the manufacturer’s guidelines for drying duration (typically around 24 hours) before proceeding with the final coating.


Finishing encompasses the application of a protective top coat, with polyurethane being a popular choice due to its clear drying nature and robust resilience. Variations include oil-based and water-based options. While water-based alternatives boast quicker drying times, easier cleanup, and reduced odor, they tend to be thinner and consequently necessitate a minimum of three coats for a dependable protective veneer. For expert advice, consult a reputable paint store, and conscientiously adhere to the application directions and safety protocols specified by the manufacturer.

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Levite Construction Co. General Contractor in Seattle provides a full range of residential and commercial construction services throughout the greater Puget Sound region. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to delivering quality results that are on-time and within budget. From large scale office builds to small home remodels, Levite Construction Co. offers design-build construction management that incorporates green building practices and energy conservation principles at every stage of the process.

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