Better Homes and Gardens contributing editor Danny Lipford shows you how to uncover and refinish brilliant wood floors.
A wood floor gives a warm, welcoming feeling to a room while adding a touch of understated elegance. When remodeling an older home, it's not unusual to find wood flooring hidden beneath layers of linoleum or carpeting. Though refinishing an old floor can be a challenge, the end result can be worth the time and trouble involved.
While floor sanders can be rented at home improvement centers, sanding and refinishing a floor is a labor-intensive process that takes a lot of practice to get it right. Use the sander to remove the top layers of carpet.
An edge sander is used in conjunction with a floor sander to work close to walls and in corners.
Once the old floor covering was removed, the floor sanders were outfitted with coarse sandpaper to cut through the layer of glue that held the carpet to the floor.
The glue was sanded away rather than removed with solvents because solvents would penetrate into the cracks between the floorboards.
Uneven floors are sanded in a diagonal direction first in order to level the floor, then again with the grain of the wood. This was followed by additional sanding with finer grits of sandpaper to remove scratches left by the coarse paper.
A paste made from sanding dust and lacquer sealer was troweled over the entire floor to fill any cracks between the boards. Using dust from the floor in the filler ensures that it will match the wood perfectly.
Once the filler had dried, the floor was sanded again to remove any excess filler from the surface of the wood.
The floor was then stained to tone down the yellow cast of the newly sanded wood.
Finally, a clear semigloss finish was applied using a pad applicator. Semigloss adds more shine to the floor than satin, but without the high maintenance of a gloss finish.