The really neat thing about hardwood floors is that you can restore them. The really bad thing is that it takes some work to restore them to their original beauty. Hardwood floors are usually finished with a clear verethane or urethane coating. This finish brings out the grain in the wood and protects it as well. Foot traffic brings in grit from outside brought on shoes. It is ground into the floor, furniture scratches, marks from children’s toys and general use all contribute to the gradual decline in the beauty of your floor.  Fortunately, as long as there is still sufficient wood left, the floor can easily be refinished. The original luster can be restored.

Hardwood Floor Restoration Using a Belt Sander

If you have sufficient wood thickness left a belt sander is probably the best tool to use to remove any remaining coating on the wood. Minor gouges and scratches will also be removed since the belt sander will remove some of the wood as well. Each time you sand the floor the thickness of the wood decreases and once the nails are exposed, no more wood can be removed. Removal of minor scratches can be handled this way quite easily by using a belt sander. Once you are finished sanding, the floor and room needs to be thoroughly vacuumed and then a tack cloth needs to be used to remove all traces of dust prior to apply a new sealing coat.

Hardwood Floor Restoration When You Cannot Use a belt Sander

Hardwood floor restoration sometimes must be done using a lot of elbow grease. In situations where the wood is too thin, uneven or nails are beginning to show through, consumers will be faced with the job of sanding the floor by hand. While it is hard work and expensive if you hire someone to do the work for you, it is often less expensive compared to ripping out the existing floor and installing a new floor.

Sanding by hand is just plain hard work and even a small room is going to take several days to complete. Your arms and hands are going to get very tired and sore, so it is best to spread the work out over a few days. A couple of hours every day will make short work of it without taxing your body too much. Having personally sanded a floor in this manner took me three days to sand, another day to clean and then two days to apply two finishing coats with a light sanding in between.

Sanding by hand must be always done with the grain. Never go across the grain since this will leave tiny scratch marks which will show up when you apply verethane to the wood to bring out the grain. Sanding by hand also removes a minimal amount of wood which is a good thing if your floor is getting a bit thin.

Cleaning

Cleaning is done the same way. Make sure you vacuum well and then clean every square inch with a tack cloth to clear any dust away and avoid it marking the floor when you apply the finish.

Many hardwood floors take a lot of abuse, but they will stand up to this abuse for years and years. Hardwood floors will last longer than a carpet or linoleum. A floor that was installed in the 1920’s was refinished and looks as good as new. Hardwood planks were much thicker then than they are today and this floor has been restored multiple times. There are some small gaps between the planks and a few deeper gouges which can be still seen.

They add character to the floor that goes along with the building. Some boards are cracked or broken and need to be repaired. These can be carefully be lifted out and a new piece inserted. Most people will stain the new wood prior to actually installing the new piece into the floor. Care needs to be taken to make sure there is a good match in terms of color, grain and texture of the new piece with the existing floor. The new section also needs to be at exactly the same height as the existing floor to avoid scuffing marks and causing people to trip over it as they walk over it.

Hardwood floor restoration can be hard work, however the result is a beautiful floor you can appreciate for many years.

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