The naturally occurring patterns of sawed wood are just absolutely beautiful. No man-made product or finish can match it. Even the artificially re-produced wood grain finishes look fake next to real wood.
Wood floorings are extremely durable. With proper cleaning and care, hardwood floors even age beautifully. The grain seems to take on a unique character of its own through the aging process.
Really Old Wood
Ever noticed an old board with that foot-worn dip in the middle? You see it in a lot of door thresholds of older houses and buildings. It took years of footsteps to create that wear-pattern character and probably years of neglect too.
But, hey, before your wood floorings have time to get that old and worn down, consider refinishing them. I have heard that refinishing wood floorings destroys the character of the wood. That is just a flimsy excuse for neglecting what you know needs to be done.
Check out the huge benefits of refinishing wood floorings and how to do it in the helpful tips below. These are intended as maintenance tips for full refinishing of American hardwood floors. That is hardwoods native to the contiguous United States.
Causes of Appearance Change
Many do not consider how and why wood changes. Wood fibers contract and expand in relation to moisture content. Woodworkers say the wood ‘breathes’ or it ‘goes and comes’.
Since wood retains water, it expands when moisture rises. It contracts as moisture decreases. Exposure to varying amounts of sun and light also affect its density and hue. All these contribute to changes in wood color and other physical properties.
Benefits of Refinishing Wood Flooring
Refinishing preserves the original look and finish. Refinishing wood floorings is also the best way to maintain them.
Maintaining them is the best way to extend their usefulness. Extending their usefulness gives them a chance to increase their beauty over the years.
The extent to which they need restoring depends upon their age and condition.
Sometimes, a full four or five-step process is not necessary.
If the hardwood floors are relatively new, and in close to original installation condition, you can often revive them with a good cleaning and a fresh coat of finish.
Why We Need to Completely Refinish Floors
As we already mentioned, wood is tough. It expands and contracts according to atmosphere, heat and light. This flexibility only increases its durability.
Other than normal use, abuse is the major cause for refinishing them. Dropping hard, sharp or metal objects on them constantly and scratching or cutting them with heavy furniture are fairly common abuses. Dragging heavy, rough objects across them also damages their surface.
Wood is not vinyl. You cannot just wipe away scratches and cuts in wood like you wipe away a mark on linoleum. You also cannot get the same level of natural beauty out of linoleum.
Process for Complete Refinishing—First Things First
Some people make a mistake refinishing hardwood floors before they even start. Refinishing is a multi-step process if you are going to do a complete job.
The most important first step is not sanding. There is an important step before you do any of that. First, remove any stains.
Stains will show through the new finish unless you take off enough wood to remove them. What do you have if you sand the stains more deeply than the rest of the floor?
Right, you have an uneven floor. You also may have color variations in your finished floor. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can sand the stains out. Remove them first instead.
Next, give the wood floorings a good cleaning. Be careful to remove all the grit and dirt. Doing so first insures a smoother sanding job.
Allow the hardwood floors to dry completely. Depending upon the amount of moisture in the air, this can take some time.
With the floors perfectly cleaned and completely dry, check the overall surface condition of the hardwood floors. Look for any deep cuts, split pieces, divots, high places and wide connecting joints.
Repair them with wood filler, let them dry. Sand any excess that has oozed above the surface creating a lump. Clean the repaired areas and let them dry.
This may sound odd, but believe it or not, some of the older wood floorings may not accept some of the new, more durable finishes. Wax and buff used to be the finish coat process. Now, much more durable products can give your wood floorings a harder, mirror-like finish.
I cannot stress how centrally important this step is. It is the one main step to the whole refinishing process that has to be done correctly. It is not a one-step process either.
You need to sand in at least two steps. If your hardwood floors are in bad shape, make it a three-step sanding process.
Start with a heavier 30-40 grit paper or a medium grit one grade up, again depending upon floor condition. Be careful to keep the sander exactly flat at all times.
Maintain the same coverage speed. Make sure you change paper as needed. This maintains an even surface. Clean the sanded surface thoroughly. Using a sander with a vacuum attachment will greatly speed this step.
Now, go over the floor with the next grade of sandpaper. If you started with coarse, use a medium. If you started with a medium 50-60, use a light 80-100.
Use the same technique as your first sanding. Go over the floor carefully and in the same order. Again, clean the re-sanded floor completely.
If you are doing a two-sanding, this is the surface which will receive your finish coat and sealer. It must be flawless.
This is the final, preparatory refinishing step. Go over the floor with a buffer using a fine grade of steel wool.
This smooths the grain and settles it so it accepts the finish more evenly. Use a shop-vacuum and thoroughly go over the buffed floor.
Dry mop the vacuumed floor to remove any dust you missed with the vacuum.
Applying the Finish
Refinishing wood floors is hard work. Your hard prep work has paid off handsomely. Finally, you are ready to apply your finish. Apply it to your prepared and cleaned floor just like you would paint a wall.
Use a brush to apply finish to the sides and corners. Apply with long, smooth, even and straight strokes. Use a roller to speed things along after you have ‘cut-in’ the walls. Work your way around the floor toward the door as you apply the finish.
Refinishing wood floorings is not an easy or quick job. If you have never done this before it is advisable to have it done by a professional.
Contact Brucke Flooring Today
Whether you need help installing a new wood floor, or you’d like our assistance refinishing wood floors installed on the premises many years ago, we welcome the opportunity to serve you. Our company possesses extensive experience working with a variety of different types of hardwoods, finishes, stains, and floor polishes. We specialize in this type of popular flooring.
The classic beauty of finely polished, shimmering hardwood floors helps transform real estate in an elegant, timeless way. The charm and practicality of wood surfaces makes this type of flooring perfect for many homes in this community. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore how lovely wood flooring might benefit your home or business. Contact Brucke Wood Flooring of Tulsa now at +1 (918) 599-8100, to schedule a convenient appointment. We look forward to discussing your household’s flooring needs with you soon!
Brucke Flooring of Tulsa
Contact Brucke Wood Flooring in Tulsa, Oklahoma today and let our capable and knowledgeable wood flooring staff assist you. Brucke Flooring prioritizes the highest quality hardwood flooring and we specialize in refinishing, restoring and installing wood floors in Tulsa.