a Hardwood Floor*
wall-to-wall carpet became big in the 60's and 70's, many hardwood floors
were covered up. You may discover carpet padding that has been attached
with hundreds of staples or adhesive of some sort. With much older hardwood
floors you may find screws and nails that previous homeowners used to
stop squeaks. Carpet tack strip will have to be removed. Don't be surprised
to find pet stains or other similar stains in the hardwood floor. In many
cases these cannot be removed and replacement becomes necessary.
Replacement from unseen areas such as closets will insure a prefect aged
match. Whether in parquet, slat or plank types, oak hardwood floors can
give your rooms a natural and visual dimension they could use. Strips
or planks of different colors can also be woven into the oak floor to
give it a striking appearance.
Oak flooring just seems to fit in well with the way we live, and matches
any type of house architecture. The golden glow of oak floors exudes warmth
and hospitality, so if you're a down to earth, people person, oak flooring
may most suited to your tastes.
is a phrase that flooring contractors use that goes "Cleanliness
is next to godliness". They should know, they do it every day. Take
your time and work as clean as you can because this is a dirty job. Take
the time to get the surface cleaned and sanded properly.
Remove everything from the room. Furniture, window treatments and wall
hangings all have to go. If the floor extends into a closet, remove all
the closet contents.
Remember to take
safety precautions when using sanding equipment
while sanding and staining. An open window with a fan is a good idea,
especially since the door is sealed
Close off the
room from the rest of the house by sealing the door with masking tape
or hanging plastic sheeting over the door opening.
Sweep or vacuum
the floor before sanding to remove dirt and debris.
Remove your base
moldings and cover any light fixtures, outlets and ceiling fans. Proper
sanding levels the floor and brings back the grain, one of the desirable
attributes of a hardwood floor. Several passes with the sanding tools
will be required to achieve a smooth finish.
drum sander is the first tool you'll use. It's not a part of most homeowners'
tool collections, but is readily available as a rental tool. If you've
never used a drum sander, ask the rental store for instructions or a demo.
Drum sanders remove a lot of material very quickly. One of the most common
mishaps of do-it-yourself floor refinishing is gouging the wood with the
sander. A few seconds is all it takes to do the damage.
Here are a few tips for using a drum sander:
Start the sander while the machine is tilted back and not in contact with
the floor. After it's up to full revolutions, slowly lower it to the floor
surface. Keep the sander moving when it is in contact with the floor it
will put a gouge in the floor real fast.
are removing dirt and old stain and creating a new level surface, so choose
the initial sandpaper accordingly. Start with a coarse grit and move to
finer grits as the floor begins to get smoother with each sanding.
Sanding grit estimates vary according to the condition of your floor.
In general, begin with 50 to 80 grit and end with 120. You may choose
to skip the 50-grit pass if the floor is relatively smooth. Always use
the same grit progression on all areas, whether drum, edge or hand sanding.
sanding in the center of the room. Sand with the grain from one end of
the room to the other, overlapping passes by an inch or two. Repeat the
procedure on the other half of the room. Sand the entire center portion
of the floor. If the floor is in really bad shape you can do an initial
pass at a 45-degree angle to the grain.
After the main portion of the floor has been sanded with the drum sander,
hand-sand or use an edge sander to sand areas where the drum sander did
the same grit sandpaper you used with the drum sander. You may need to
hand-sand or use a detail sander to reach the corners.
When the entire
floor is finished, vacuum and repeat the entire process using smaller
grit (larger number) sandpaper with each pass.
Finish by sanding
the entire floor with 120 grit sandpaper.
Take a well-deserved break and let the dust settle! Vacuum again and wipe
with a dry cloth or tack cloth.
can apply a clear sealer to your "new" floor or apply a stain.
You can choose between a water-or oil-based products. Oil based products
take longer to dry and will need to be sanded lightly with a 180 grit
sandpaper in between coats. Follow the directions on the sealer or stain
you select - each product will have its own instructions. If you want
to stain the floor before sealing try a test area (possibly a closet)
to make sure the color is what you want.
the label for the drying time. It's important not to begin moving furniture
back in before the floor is completely cured. Remember to be patient so
as not to scratch the floor now- you will not want to go through all this
work again. After the floor has cured, reinstall the molding, clean any
dust that may be on the walls and ceiling and move back in.
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