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What’s involved with refinishing a hardwood floor?

My home has beautiful hardwood floors, but they desperately need to be refinished. How is this done? And can I do it myself, or do I need to hire a professional?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

To answer your second question first, no, I would not recommend that you sand and refinish a hardwood floor yourself. The job involves using heavy sanders that require a deft touch so as to not gouge the floor. And the refinishing is a multi-step process that needs to be done right the first time.

The difficulties in sanding and refinishing depend on the condition of your floor but could include having to remove carpet glue and fill cracks between floorboards as part of the preparation process. Two different types of sanders are used; a belt floor sander for the main areas and an orbital sander to go around the floor perimeter. Once sanding is complete, the floor is stained and finished, usually with a polyurethane varnish. A semigloss finish adds more shine than satin without the high maintenance of a gloss finish.

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Greg answered the question very correctly. Hardwood flooring must be done by professionals and it will require lots of skills and other parameters to look out for. You may also do it yourself but better equip yourself with some good experience before you try to do it on your own. In the meantime get some good rugs for your floors.
Submitted by zetanumbers