Refinishing Hardwood Floors – Please Use an Expert, Even If It’s Not Us

Sanding & refinishing hardwood floors is one of the easiest and cost effective ways to change the look of your (or you client’s) home.

Sometimes it’s done to repair all the scratches and just make it shiny and pretty. Other times, it’s to give your place a dramatic face lift (e.g. go from dark to light to brighten up the place or go from light to dark to give it a more formal appearance). Either way, it really makes the place look like new.

Sanding & refinishing hardwood floors is one of the easiest and cost effective ways to change the look of your (or you client’s) home.

Sometimes it’s done to repair all the scratches and just make it shiny and pretty. Other times, it’s to give your place a dramatic face lift (e.g. go from dark to light to brighten up the place or go from light to dark to give it a more formal appearance). Either way, it really makes the place look like new.

Refinished Hardwood Floors Before And After
Refinished Hardwood Floors Before And After

If you’re selling a home, it’s usually a “must have.” If you are about to move into a new home, make the color your own (before you move the furniture in). Most people find the cost is less expensive than they thought…and, it’s certainly less than putting new flooring in, even less expensive than carpet.

What has baffled me these last few weeks is how many botched up sanding & refinishing jobs I’ve seen. These have all been places where customers hired someone who doesn’t do this professionally – a friend, or a handyman, or even in one case someone who claimed to be a “general contractor.”

One of the places had pine floors. Anyone who is in the flooring business knows that oak is different than pine, so if you’re going to do repair work, please use the matching wood. Pair pine w/ pine; red oak w/ red oak, white oak w/ white oak. It makes a huge difference – the idea when you do repair work is not to notice the repair. Pls also make sure the woods are the same width and please also weave in the hardwood rather than create a little box which was obviously a quick fix. This will continue to show each time you sand & refinish.

Also, anyone who really understands hardwood knows that pine accepts the stain differently than oak. So, if you’re going to stain pine, you need to add a conditioner in first to open up the pore. Otherwise, it will come out blotchy.

The worst one I saw was a few weeks ago in Ossining. I couldn’t help but laugh as to how many things were wrong with this floor. It turns out the “general contractor” didn’t even bother to sand the floors. Instead, he just applied stain on top of the polyurethane that was already there. You can’t do that. It doesn’t work and it doesn’t stick. This poor woman had holes that had peeled away in under 2 months; blotches all over the floor, and 3 different gloss levels in one room. It was pathetic. In addition, of course, red oak was added to pine for repair work. She asked me how long the job would take and I told her maybe 4-5 days including drying time, and she said, “Really? Because this took him months to do.” I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t imagine it taking longer than a week to complete even when factoring in humidity conditions.

I’ve also had a few customers who said they needed to save money and so they decided to do the work themselves or to have friends do it and they rented the machines. Besides that fact that it took them forever to do, these projects were a mess – both during (extremely dusty) and after – uneven floors from where the sander sanded a bit too much, and very blotchy work. They don’t buff in between coats, so the poly is not applied evenly nor does it last as long. I know this, because I’ve seen these jobs afterwards.

As I mentioned before, sanding & refinishing is not that expensive. It is not the place to try to save money. It’s fine to save money in moving the furniture and things like that, but please leave the sanding to the experts. You may even be able to get away with painting yourselves. But, unless you’ve done it before, please do not attempt to sand & refinish yourselves. In the end, you may need to bring in a professional anyway to fix the work and/or need to sand & refinish much sooner than normal.

Debbie Gartner, Floor Coverings International in Westchester/Western Fairfield

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Article Source: ezineArticles.com

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