Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Find out what you need to do to restore and refinish hardwood floors in your home.


Question:

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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?

Answer:

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 not to gouge the floor. And the refinishing is a multistep process that needs to be done right the first time.

The difficulties in sanding and refinishing depend on the condition of your floor, but they 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.

Answered by: Greg Cook, Home Remodeling Editor

About Greg

As a diehard do-it-yourselfer, Greg Cook has shared what he knows about building and remodeling with a national consumer audience for more than 25 years. He has served on the staff of magazines and websites such as Better Homes and Gardens, BHG.com, and Remodeling Ideas. Since launching his freelance career in 2006, Greg has contributed to Popular Mechanics, Men's Journal, and a host of special-interest and custom publications. He specializes in energy efficiency and sustainability.

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