4 Tips For Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a timeless, elegant feature of many beloved homes. But for homeowners who may be uncovering or restoring their hardwood, the process of refinishing floors can be messy business! Going the DIY route creates a huge amount of dust and debris, and opens you up to a significantly increased risk of damaging your floors. On the other hand, finding the right person to trust with your floors can feel daunting.

Every home is different, but when you’re ready to hire someone for hardwood floor restoration, there are a few planning tips we recommend considering to get your best results.

1. Decide Whether Your Floors Really Are In Need Of Refinishing.

Sometimes, floors are obviously in need of some love. They may be scuffed, scarred, or scratched. However, in other cases, the floors may appear to be mostly fine… But may not be sealed properly for preservation. 

To find out whether your floors are ready to be refinished, pour a tablespoon of water onto your hardwood. If the liquid beads up, your floors are still okay. If the liquid absorbs, it’s time to make some phone calls.

2. Choose A Proven Expert

All floor refinishing “experts” aren’t created equal. Look for a contractor with great reviews and lots of experience working on projects like yours. For instance, if you’re having the original floors in your 200-year-old farmhouse worked on, you should probably find someone with experience working on historical homes rather than new builds. 

3. Decide On Your Preferred Stain & Finish Ahead Of Time

Whoever refinishes your floors will want to know what stain and finish you prefer. There are lots of options out there, so give this some thought ahead of time! A starting point is deciding whether you prefer a water-based or oil-based stain. Water-based stains tend to include fewer toxins, which many homeowners prefer. However, oil-based stains are much more durable—which can be crucial for homes with pets or children. Do your homework and make the decision that feels right for your family.

4. Be Prepared.

Refinishing your floors will kick up a LOT of dirt and dust. As such, you’ll want to take steps to prepare your home before the refinisher arrives. Remove your furniture, rugs, and drapery ahead of time, and cover any fixtures that can’t be removed. Expect to be out of your home for several days while you wait for the floors to dry—rushing this step can lead to respiratory issues, so when in doubt, giving everything more time to settle is best. In fact, you shouldn’t move furniture or rugs back onto the floors for up to two weeks. Consult with your specialist for more specific details based on your project. 

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