December 14, 2022

The Ultimate Guide to Preparing Your Hardwood Floors for Refinishing

White glove holding washing sponge

Buying an old house has its perks and challenges. While such properties cost less than newly-built residences, homeowners may need to finish a few remodeling projects to keep the interior safe and updated. Among these home improvement plans are hardwood floors. Unlike other parts of an old home, hardwood floorings last longer and will look good as new with proper cleaning and refinishing. Find out how to prepare your old hardwood floors for a refinishing project.

Keep Every Nook and Cranny of the Floor Clean

Ensuring that every part of your hardwood floors is clean is critical in prepping them for your refinishing project. Although homeowners tidy up their floorings, many make the mistake of only cleaning the hardwood surface. Unlike other flooring options, grime and dirt make their way into the tiniest crevices of your old wooden flooring. When this happens, the hardwood would still look dull and dingy, even after several cleaning.

Deep cleaning can bring your hardwood floor’s luster back. Although there are deep-cleaning services specializing in wooden flooring, you can do it yourself if you’re on a tight budget. Here is how you can do that without calling in the professionals.

Be thorough in sweeping the floors using a soft bristle broom. Stiff bristles can scratch the floor’s surface, especially if they’re old and worn. After a clean sweep, use your vacuum to reach the dirt in each room corner and in-between floorboards.

Follow this by mopping the area with a micro cloth and a concentrated cleaner for hardwood floors. Avoid using steam, water, and foaming cleansers as they would further damage the wood. Let it dry completely by airing out the room or using dehumidifiers. 

Inspect If Your Floors Need Sanding

Depending on the type of hardwood flooring you have, your floorboards are often thick enough to handle multiple sandings during their lifespan. But sometimes, you don’t need to sand your wooden floors before refinishing them. While you can do them any time you please, that doesn’t mean you have to.

Check the state of your hardwood floors after deep cleaning them. If the floorboards remain dull and dingy after the cleanup, you can consider sanding them. But if the dullness lessened after cleaning, you can apply a new finish without sanding or staining your flooring.

There are several finishing products that you can apply to your hardwood without sanding or staining. Here are some of them.

  • Rust-Oleum Wood Floor Transformations Kit
  • Minwax Hardwood Floor Reviver
  • Rejuvenate Wood Floor Restorer

These companies create products designed to give your hardwood floors new luster and look without sanding them. Some of these kits and products fill in the nicks and scratches on your flooring, making them unnoticeable and fresh, but you need to ensure that your floorboards are deep-cleaned before applying them. 

Seasons and Climates Matter

Gaps are one of the usual hardwood flooring problems that homeowners often encounter. Floor gaps happen when floorboards crack due to the lack of maintenance. While common, homeowners can resolve them by filling them in using a trowel and their preferred material.

Preventing gaps from happening is knowing how your hardwood reacts to the changes in temperature. When filling the gaps in your hardwood floors, do them during warmer seasons. Spring and Summer are the best seasons to do your annual hardwood flooring upkeep and repairs because the wood planks are at their most expanded. When you fill the gaps during winter, the material you used to fill in will push back out when the floors expand in the spring and summer.

Check What You Need for a Finish and Stain

Once you decide that your floors need sanding, you must prepare the finish and stain you need to apply afterward. However, homeowners should remember that different finishes can bring other factors to their flooring besides appearance.

Dark stains are one of the most popular choices for modern flooring styles. While they bring a contemporary aesthetic into your home, they don’t hide dirt well. They could be a problem if you have pets or children living with you. Glossy finishes are a classic option, but satin finishes are better because they’re less slippery and offer lower chances of slippage. Choose each finish and stain well to avoid the likelihood of a bad refinishing job.

Prepping Your Hardwood Floors

Prepping your hardwood floors is critical to ensure their durability, longevity, and appearance before choosing and applying any finish or stain. By cleaning and maintaining your floorboards, you can assess their condition and reach a decision that will benefit you long-term. Consider the temperature and season when repairing and remodeling your wooden floorings to avoid more damage. After doing these things, you can enjoy beautiful hardwood floors without overspending your budget.

Get an expert opinion from a hardwood professional by contacting Kelly Hardwood Floors today!