There’s a reason why hardwood floors are so popular these days. Okay, so there are actually a few different reasons. One of them is that they don’t have to automatically be replaced if they suffer some surface damage. In some cases you can simply refinish it and it will be restored to its former beauty. Do you know what it takes to tackle this sort of project?

Prep

The first thing you’ll need to do is to prepare the floor for refinishing. To do this, start by clearing the floor of any furniture, carpeting, or rugs. If there are any protruding nails, be sure to hammer those down well. While you’re at it, secure any loose floorboards too. Use a hardwood cleaner to clean the floor really well. Seal off the air vent covers too so you don’t end up with sanding dust in your ductwork.

Sand

Once you’ve gotten through the prep, it’s time to start sanding. Start with the perimeter of the floor and hand sand areas that the buffer isn’t going to be able to reach. You’ll need to go about 4-6 inches out from the edge. Then take the belt or drum sander and rough sand the floor. Follow that up with a floor edger to get the edges and corners. Finish up the sanding by screen sanding the floor with a fine grit screening pad.

Refinish

After you’ve finished the sanding, take the time to clean up all the dust that’s been created. Only once you’ve got the floor all cleaned up should you start to apply stain to it. Start with the outside edges of the floor and then work your way from the area furthest from the entrance to the room and work your way towards the entrance. If you don’t intend to use a stain, apply a sanding sealer instead. Then you can apply the finish. Only do a small area at a time, since finish can dry quickly, leaving you with lap marks. Make sure you wait at least a week before replacing the furniture.

Refinishing a hardwood floor is a great way to extend its beauty and life. If you’re familiar with the refinishing process, this is a project you can tackle on your own. You may need to rent some equipment, since some of it’s just not the sort of thing your average homeowner has on hand. That said, it’s also a project you can outsource if it’s just not anything you want to deal with yourself.

If refinishing isn’t an option and you’re looking to put in a new hardwood floor, read this next: Aesthetics to Consider When Choosing Wood for Your Hardwood Floor.

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