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Bringing Neglected Hardwood Floors Back to Life

Hardwood floors have long been a popular flooring choice for homeowners. They often add warmth and a natural look to a home as well as increase its value. However, this type of flooring, as with all other types of flooring, takes a beating. Luckily hardwood floors can be brought back to life through the process of refinishing. This process can make old, neglected hardwood floors look like new. Here are some important things to consider as you take on the task of refinishing your floors.

When is the Right Time?
Even if you suspect that your hardwood floors need refinishing, it can be hard to tell for sure. There are some signs to look for to help you decide. Some of them include:

Dents and gouges
Dull finish
Uneven floor
Water penetrating through the existing finish

DIY or Professional Refinishing?
Once you have determined that your wood floor needs to be refinished, you have to make another decision, whether you or someone else is going to do the job. While the process can be arduous and time-consuming, many homeowners have undertaken the project on their own. Others choose to hire out the work to professionals. While it would spare you hours of hard work, this option costs more money than the alternative; the cost to refinish hardwood floors ranges from $1,500 to $2,000 for professional refinishing, while a DIY refinishing job is estimated to cost between $1 and $2 per square foot.

Your floors may help you decide. Wood planks that are less than ¾ inch thick may need to be refinished by a flooring contractor. The thinner a floor is, the greater the chance of sanding through to the sub floor. A professional can help mitigate this risk. Tongue and groove wood flooring is also better left to professionals to refinish. If sanded too vigorously, the latch properties of the planks may be compromised. Taken together, there are many things to consider in the decision to do it yourself or hire someone out.

Refinishing Process
The refinishing process is a long one, but if done properly, will breathe new life into your aging wood floors.

Prep work: This entails removing all furniture and wall hangings from the space, filling holes in the wood, and sealing off doorways with plastic sheeting. Removing baseboards is optional but often preferred.
Sanding: This is the part of the process that removes the top layer of worn wood from your floors. Often, it is done with a high powered drum sander. The edges of the floor, however, will likely need to be sanded by hand.
Staining: After all of the dust is cleaned out, you can begin staining the wood the color of your choice.
Polyurethane Finish: After the stain is dry, a polyurethane product is applied to help protect your floors from future abuse.

Floor Restored
Refinishing your hardwood floors is a great way to beautify your home and increase its value and appeal. Whether you are tackling the job on your own or relying on professional help, you are likely to love the results.
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