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5 Tips for Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Once you’ve made the investment in hardwood flooring for your home or living space, you need to know how to maintain hardwood floors so they last for many years to come. Hardwood floors are some of the most desirable types of flooring and are also some of the most expensive. Those who do pay the extra cost of using real wood and having the floors professionally installed need to keep the wood looking and feeling like new. One of the best things you can do to keep your floors looking and feeling new is refinishing. Here are five tips for refinishing hardwood floors:


1. Clear Dust and Dirt from Hardwood Floors


Before you start any refinishing or polishing project for hardwood flooring, you’ll need to make sure the surface is free of dust and dirt. Dust, dirt, or a layer of grime can make the floors look dull and more worn out than they actually are. Clearing this layer of dirt off the floors with the right cleaning tools can revive the floors and also give you a chance to buff away superficial scratches.

2. Try a Deep Cleaning Session

Hardwood floors can be cleaned with simple vinegar and water solutions or wood flooring cleaners for maintenance, but a deep clean may be necessary a couple times every year. You’ll want to hire an expert to deep clean hardwood flooring using the right scrubbing brush and tools. Floor professionals use a scrubbing machine designed to remove dirt that might be embedded within the floors and leave the floor with a polished look. Deep surface cleaning like this at least once per year can help to refresh and revive your wood floors.

If you want to do a deep clean more than once or twice a year, invest in some quality microfiber mops and scrubbers to take care of the cleaning as a DIY project.

Wood texture and paintbrush

3. Refinish Hardwood Floors Without Sanding

If deep cleaning the floors wasn’t enough to breathe some life back into your flooring, you can refinish the floors yourself using staining products that don’t require sanding (Note: always check the labels to ensure sanding isn’t necessary). These products don’t require sanding the entire floor with a sander, so you can save time, money, and effort on a full refinishing project.

You’ll find a number of products out there that can rejuvenate and revive hardwood flooring by creating a glossy or satin finish. The sheen usually lasts a few months, and you can get the look without having to buff down the floors.

An added benefit of staining products that don’t require sanding is they tend to have a thicker consistency and will fill out scratches or small dents in the wood planks. All you need to do is clean the surface of the floors thoroughly and apply the stain according to the directions. The stain will need to seep into the wood for several hours or at least overnight to seal the wood.

Sanding hardwood floor

4. Understand the Full Refinishing Process

Refinishing hardwood floors is a multi-step process, and you’ll want to hire a professional to handle the sanding, patching, staining, and top coating stages of refinishing using the right tools. Many contractors will take care of all steps in one visit, so you don’t have to spend an entire weekend completing the project.

Refinishing floors may be needed when you have lots of gaps and cracks to fill and want to restore your floors to their original condition. The process might require using special materials to restore the floors without causing any damage to the wood. Ensure you make these repairs first before refinishing.

Home renovation

5. Pick Out the Right Stain

One of the best parts of refinishing a floor is choosing the stain color. You can change up the tone and shade of your floors just by picking a darker stain or refresh your existing flooring with a shade that’s very similar to what you currently have.

Stains that don’t require sanding aren’t your only option. You can also choose to repair and sand your floors which opens you up to a whole new world of stain. They come in several finishes, including glossy or satin finishes to create a different effect. Glossy finishes create a more slick and sleek look while a satin finish will be less shiny and more matte.

The brand or quality of the stain you choose will also dictate the final result. Higher-quality stains will stay in the wood longer and will be less prone to fading. Take some time to pick a stain that will keep your wood flooring looking beautiful for at least a few years and which creates a surface that is easy to clean and maintain.

If you’re wondering how to maintain your hardwood floors, don’t overlook the benefits of refinishing hardwood flooring with a complete refinishing and sanding project, staining, or a simple deep cleaning. There are several ways to revive hardwood floors and achieve a glossy or refreshed look that will last for months and years to come. As an added bonus, if this isn’t your forever home, keeping your floors in top condition doesn’t just look great for you—it can increase your resale value.

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David Montagliani

David Montagliani has been proudly “making dust” since 1978. Starting out at just 13-years-old cutting blocks and making trivets, Dave has built a 3 decade long career supplying and installing for contractors and home builders alike. Starting small as a benchman and joiner, then graduating on to running his own cabinet business specializing in Euro-style kitchens, you’d be hard pressed to find a realm of wood working that Dave hasn’t touched. Most recently, Dave has focused on millwork and flooring over the past twenty years of his career, and brought his expertise to the retail and eCommerce world. When not hard at work leading the Category Management team at flooring eCommerce destination BuildDirect.com, you can find him tinkering in his garage—you guessed it—making dust.