The Basics of Hardwood Floor Refinishing in New York City

Well-maintained hardwood floors add beauty and value to your home. Whether your wood floors have become dull over the years or you’ve just discovered potentially beautiful wood under old carpet or linoleum, refinishing them can have them looking like new. Here are the basic facts about hardwood Floor Refinishing in New York City.

Refinishing your wood floors isn’t a very complicated job and it doesn’t require a lot of special tools. However, it’s very hard work. It’s not likely that you’ll finish it in a weekend if you attempt to tackle it yourself. Many people opt to call in a professional because it’s such a labor intensive and time consuming task.

First, it’s necessary to remove old layers of wax and varnish. A commercial wax stripper can be used to remove the wax, and there are lacquer thinners that can be wiped on to make the varnish easier to remove. Check your floor for protruding nails or carpet tacks. These can damage your sander.

You’ll need a drum sander or an orbital sander for the main part of the floor and an edge sander for along the walls and corners. Start with heavy grit sandpaper and use consecutively lighter grit sandpaper each time you go over your floor. Sand along the grain of the wood and don’t leave the sander in the same place for too long. This can be tricky when you reach the end of the room and have to turn the machine around. It’s advisable to turn the sander off at the end of the room, reposition the sander and then turn it back on.

It’s important to thoroughly clean up all the dust created by sanding. Wiping it down with a wet cloth is more effective that vacuuming. You can also use tack rags, which are treated with varnish oil and will remove the smallest particles of dust. Failing to clean the floor thoroughly will result in a bubbled and uneven finish.

A polyurethane finish is applied with a special brush or roller. Make sure the room is well ventilated and that you’re applying coats evenly. You’ll need two or three coats, and it will take roughly four hours of drying time in between coats.

Those are the basics of hard wood floor refinishing. It can be a tough job, but the reward is a beautiful, shining floor that you can be proud of.